MUSOMA, Tanzania – During this Christmas season, almost 2 million Africans will read the story of the birth of Jesus in their own language for the first time. It’s all part of an ambitious project to translate the Bible into nine African languages.
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth,” booms the voice of a man reading the Gospel of Luke aloud.
Two Chapters – 100 Verses
“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.” (Luke 2:7)
“In the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
This Christmas season, in the town of Musoma, Tanzania, Luke’s biography of Jesus comes alive.
“You know, it’s so significant that I, myself, have a hard time getting my own head around it,” said Danny Foster, a Canadian linguist.
Foster and a team of 18 Tanzanians, are translating the first-ever verses of Scripture from Luke’s Gospel.
“The story of the birth of Jesus Christ, for the first time in their languages, that’s significant,” Foster said.
In a modest office in Musoma, men and women working for Wycliffe, the world’s largest Bible translation organization, are busy translating the Christmas story into nine African languages.
“I believe that everybody has the right to read God’s Word in their own language, it’s a message from His heart to man’s heart,” Foster said.
But to give God’s Word in a language that people can understand is a daunting challenge. First, the team had to create the alphabets that they are using to write Luke 1 and 2, because they were working on languages that have not been written down before.
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