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Financial crisis rocks translation of Bible into Ghanaian languages

The Bible Society of Ghana (BSG) exists to ensure that the vision of making Bibles affordable and available is achieved through translation of Bible into Ghanaian languages.

While focusing on our vision, it is also needful to develop effective and meaningful programmes using all forms of media through which we can attain our set objectives and facilitate Bible distribution and usage in churches and among individuals.

In pursuit of its mission, BSG does translations, distribution, programmes and fundraising.

The goal of BSG is to reach every home with a Bible in a local language they can read and understand.

Currently, the Bible has been translated into 9 major Ghanaian languages, namely, Asante Twi, Akuapem Twi, Ga, Mfantse, Ewe, Dagbani, Dangme, Nzema and Esahie. We are working on others, while revising some of the older versions.

BSG is currently working on Dagaare Old Testament, Gurune New Testament and Bono.

BSG ensures the widest distribution of scriptures to every part of the country.

Currently, BSG has seven main distribution points where its offices are located; Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Ho, Hohoe, Tamale, Cape Coast, Sefwi Wiawso, Koforidua, Bolga and Sunyani.

Additionally, there are over forty distributors spread across the country.

BSG also distributes some of its Bibles for free during very special events, to first year students of the universities in Ghana in their Christian fellowships. Braille Bibles are also given out to the blind.

Recently, the Bible Society presented over 5,000 free copies of the English Standard Version Study Bibles to students in theological institutions across the country.

Despite these good works, BSG is calling for financial assistance to translate the Bible into the various Ghanaian languages as their donor support is dwindling.

This is because, some of its sources of funding like the American Bible Society and Swedish Mission, which had been financing translation and literacy projects are limiting their support.

The America Bible Society for example has written to BSG that they can no longer sponsor because they themselves are going through transition.

The Swedish Mission also said their new government is not easy to go when it comes too foreign aid support.

It cost the BSG $20 to translate a verse in the Bible and considering the 31, 102 verses, it would cost them $622,040 (GH¢7 million) to complete one language in about 10 to 15 years.

The Bible Society of Ghana has a core duty to make the Bible available to all persons in the format and language convenient for people suffering from visually hearing impairment where the braille Bible and sign Bible are being produced.

A sign language bible which would be put in a video form would help them understand all the verses.

It takes BSG 10 to 15 years to complete one translation and for the sign language, BSG is looking at 30 years.

The only country in the world that has been able to complete a sign language Bible is the US and it took them years despite leveraging the expertise and technology in Americans.

The Bible translation into the local languages is not only to keep God’s words and make it available but to preserve our culture, languages and identity.

There has been a worrying trend where we see more English Christians in Ghana than Ghanaian Christians.

We are departing from our heritage, a time will come that our languages will go into extinction and it will be difficult for our languages to be on track.

Translation is challenging and money intensive. More can be achieved if the needed funds are available.

The Christian community in Ghana should rally together and raise funds to support BSG.


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