Dinangat Bible translation hits milestone

By August 9, 2012

Papua New Guinea (MNN) — After six years of exhausting translation work, the Dinangat people of Papua New Guinea finally have portions of God’s Word in their heart language.

Ralf Schlegal, missionary with New Tribes Mission, has been working on translating the Bible into the Dinangat language for six years. Six other people are part of the translation team.

Last month, they were able to present the Dinangat people with a new bound edition of portions of God’s Word. It includes portions of Genesis, Exodus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts. It also has the whole book of Romans and Ephesians.

According to Schlegal, “There are altogether about 1,700 verses that are printed in this edition. There are still another 6,000 verses that need to be translated before we can hand out the whole New Testament."

Schlegal goes on to say, “Now that the believers have at least part of God’s Word in their own language, they can feed on it anytime they want. Hopefully by doing that, they will live more and more according to truth and will grow in their love for their Savior, and in doing so, will glorify God through their lives.”

The translation team’s next goal is to finish Mark and 1 Corinthians. They’ve also started work on 1 Timothy. “We as a team want, by God’s grace, to finish the New Testament in the next five to six years,” says Schlegal.

So far, as the Dinangat believers have begun to drink in their new translations of Scripture, they are filled with joy. Jaspa, a Dinangat Christian, says, “I’m really tired because I stayed up most of the night reading my new Bible. It was just so sweet I couldn’t stop.” Another believer, Felix, says he wanted to cry when they were given the portions of God’s Word.

“Our desire is that the believers will continue to grow in their understanding of the truth and in their walk and relationship with their Heavenly Father,” says Schlegal. “We desire that they continue to go out to their neighboring villages to teach them the precious truth.”

Translation work can be exhausting and overwhelming. When a paragraph is translated into Dinangat, it is then read to a Dinangat person. That person then responds with what they heard; if the messages do not line up, translators have to find where the mix-up occurred and fix the translation.

Please pray for the translation team as they press forward to finish the whole New Testament in Dinangat. Pray for many more Dinangat and people in surrounding villages to receive Christ.

Click here to support the Schlegals in their ministry.

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