Mission Statement


By translating the Bible into the heart language of the Jamaican people, we aim to aid in effecting positive change in the spiritual, ethical, psychological and social life of Jamaicans.

Purpose of the Project

PROJECT GOALS

To produce an accurate and acceptable translation of the Holy Scriptures (of the New Testament first and then of the Old Testament) into Jamaican Creole (Patwa). The final product will be suitable for use in areas such as evangelism, discipleship, individual/group recreational listening, youth ministry and broadcasting.


MEDIUM OF DISTRIBUTION AND ACCESS

The translation will be published first in audio format. There is an expectation that a print format will follow the initial release of the audio. The specific strategies as to the release of the print format will be developed in the future in conjunction with plans to translate the Old Testament. The audio version will be a dramatised production - this includes dramatic monologue, multi-voicing, poetry, chanting and song.


INTENDED AUDIENCE

The project is aimed at Jamaicans (at home and in the Diaspora) from different social, educational, religious and regional (urban and rural) backgrounds.


TRANSLATION TYPE

In translating the Bible, the translation team aims at reflecting the meaning of the best Hebrew and Greek texts available to us today.


LANGUAGE STYLE

The text in Jamaican will not be loose, laughable, vulgar or slangy; at the same time, it will not be rigid and unnatural.


TIME FRAME

Our goal is to have the New Testament completed and available to the public by 2012. The Old Testament should be completed by 2018.

History

Translating the Bible into indigenous Caribbean languages goes as far back as the 1700s. It was not until the 1980s that serious consideration was given to translating the Bible into Jamaican Creole.

In that year, the United Bible Societies (UBS) commissioned its regional leaders to conduct a survey of all the major languages of the world with over 1 million speakers who do not have the Scriptures in their mothern tongue.

To the Society’s utter amazement, Jamaica had over 2 million Creole speakers who did not have any form of Bible translation in their heart language.

Here’s how things have progressed since the discovery:



1985: The Turning Point

     A Jamaican Christian social worker relates to Bible Society of the West Indies (BSWI) the positive impact of communicating with Jamaicans in Creole.


1993: The Launch - January 15-16

     Dr Fehderau and Rev’d William Edwards meet with 13 persons to explore the scope and direction of a Jamaican Creole Bible.


1996: A Who Run Tings

     A dramatic audio production highlighting God’s power over all things is launched in Jamaica.


2003: Di Krismos Story

     Second dramatised audio production, this time highlighting Jesus’ birth is launched in the UK, USA and Jamaica.


2007: The Luuk Buk Project

    A third dramatised production, this time of Luke, is to be launched in Autumn, 2009.


2008: Jamaican Creole Translation Project

     BSWI is granted financial support to translate the entire New Testament into Jamaican Creole.

Project Goals

To produce an accurate and acceptable translation of the Holy Scriptures (of the New Testament first and then of the Old Testament) into Jamaican Creole (Patwa). The final product will be suitable for use in areas such as evangelism, discipleship, individual/group recreational listening, youth ministry and broadcasting.

Methods & Values

METHODS

The Jamaican Creole Translation Project will carry out its mission by endeavouring to:

  • affirm the power of God to speak to every Jamaican through the Holy Scriptures in Jamaican Creole.
  • work in partnership with churches and other para-church organisations both locally and internationally.
  • collaborate with other organisations that would help to advance its cause.
  • produce an accurate translation of the Bible that is clear and natural in Jamaican Creole.
  • make the Jamaican Bible in both audio and print format.
  • encourage creative use of the Jamaican Bible. (For example, producing "engagement" material that addresses the problems and felt needs of individuals within the language community.)


VALUES

The following values/beliefs define the Jamaican Creole Translation Project:

  • The Bible is God's message for people everywhere.
  • Bible translation is the task of the whole Church, and everyone can have a part.
  • For a local Church to be truly contextual, it must have the Bible in its mother tongue.
  • The most effective means of communication with someone is in his or her mother-tongue.
  • Jamaican Creole is a language in its own right and, like the world’s major languages, it is capable of conveying anything its speakers wish to convey.
  • God’s word is able to transform lives.
  • Partnering with Christian and other organisations which would help to advance our cause.
  • Producing non-sectarian Jamaican Bible.
  • Excellence in all we do.