More than 200 people gathered at the Kiribati Uniting Church’s maneaba (meeting place) in Antebuka Tarawa on the 17th September, 2016 to celebrate the launch of their new Bible version in today’s Kiribati language. The Bible Society of the South Pacific in partnership with the Churches in Kiribati started this project in 1988. The New Testament was translated by the former Moderator of the Kiribati Uniting Church, the late Rev Baiteke Nabetari who passed away in 2005. The Old Testament was translated by the late Rev Raubane Naikara who passed away in 2006.
The other two translators who helped finish the project and who were so happy to be present at the launch service are Pastor Teakamatang Eritai of the Assemblies of God Church and Rev Iote Tebaio from the Kiribati Uniting Church. After the launch, everyone received a copy of the new bible and started reading straight away. These bible gifts were sponsored by the Dayspring Ministry through the Bible Society of New Zealand.