Bible Week Booklets for downloading
The Tonga Contemporary Old Testament project is progressing steadily since it started in October, 2015. It all began with a weeklong translation workshop conducted at the Toutaimana Catholic Centre in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. This project is quite unique in the sense that each workshop participant from various Christian Churches had to work with a computer as modern technology is now adopted to speed up the translation work. It is a moving away from the old practice of writing translation drafts on separate books to doing translation on the computer right away. At the end of the workshop, all the participants were encouraged to start translating a book from the Old Testament. This was led by the former Bible Society Tonga Branch Chairman, the Reverend Lopeti Taufa, and the newly elect chairman, Lord Afu’alo Matoto. A follow up workshop on Paratext (computer software used) carried out in April 2016 at the same venue was very useful to the Tongan project team. An exciting development this year is the recruitment of a key translator and Theological College lecturer, Rev. Dr. Ma’afu Palu, to serve as the Project Translation Advisor in 2017 whilst undergoing training in this field under the Bible Society’s Translation Officer training program at the same time. The LORD is to be praised for the work progress so far which also reflects the great input and commitment from the project coordinator, Bill Falekaono. In addition, big Bill had also displayed his big heart by purchasing two laptop computers recently in October, which are now used by two potential translators/reviewers on the project. On the completion of this project, it will be joined to the already published Tongan Contemporary New Testament (commonly known as the ‘Taulua’) to become the Tongan Contemporary Bible. Almost 65% of the Old Testament books have been drafted so far.
More than 300 people converged at the Nailaga Methodist Church on Sunday 4th December 2016 to witness the launching of the “Tuxutuxu Vina sa Vola xo Marixa – ena Tata vaxa-Ba” (Gospel according to Mark in the Koronubu-Ba language). Receiving the first scripture booklet in the Western-Fiji itaukei language at this historical occasion was the prominent chief of the province, the Gone Marama na Tui Ba, Adi Senimili Cagilaba. She thanked the Bible Society and everyone who worked tirelessly on this special project. It is the first of its kind and more books of the New Testament will be translated and published in the coming years. The support from the ‘vanua’ and the Churches in Nailaga Ba was tremendous. Many people showed a lot of excitement about this project especially when the gospel is written in the new writing system of the Fijian
itaukei language; for example, the adoption of ‘x’ instead of ‘k’ to specifically sound out the guttural ‘kh’ (or ‘chet’ in Hebrew). God’s Word in the Koronubu language is indeed a timely Christmas gift for the Ba community in this advent season.