Thursday, September 2, 2010

Solomon Islands Bible Translation Stamp Launches Today!

“Celebrating Bible Translation in the Solomon Islands”

To view a news clip of the day, click here.

Excerpts from a speech given by the Governor General, Sir Frank 0 Kabui:

"Bible translation in Solomon Islands has been going on for many years. It is said that it began about forty years ago. There are now Bibles written in twenty-two local languages, including my own the Toambaita language. The Pigin English translation of the Bibles is the most recent one. launched in Solomon Islands. We have heard the brief remarks by Dr. Zobule about the translation work being done by the Bible Society in Solomon Islands. It is a great work. We must all give it our support.

Katie Zartman of the Colorado State University has said that until people can read the Bible in their own language, God is a foreign concept. Similarly. Pio Osifera. a Wala speaker in Solomon Islands has said that reading the Bible in English is like going into a house built on stilts. Whereas, reading it in Wala is like going into a house built on the ground. In other words, it is easy to read and understand the Bible in one's own language than reading and understanding it in English.....In my view, the Bible translation work in Solomon Islands should continue as it is. It is a worthwhile cause for Christians all over the world. It is the only way the Bible can be understood and appreciated by millions throughout the world. It is not easy though. It costs money, time. commitment and continuous focus. Above all, training is a must. The undertaking itself is technical because knowledge, skill and accuracy are required....What remains for me to say now is to say. "Long Live Bible Translation in Solomon Islands". Thank you.

The story behind the commemorative stamp block

Following the declaration of 2008 as the Year of the Bible and recognizing the Bible translation efforts of more than thirty years, the Solomon Islands Philatelic Bureau proudly issues this stamp “Celebrating Bible Translation.” In the words of former Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua, “There is no greater place to build the character of our people than from Biblical foundations and values.”

These beautiful watercolour illustrations tell the story of the arduous task of translating the Word of God (upper right) and after many years of hard work, the arrival of the printed Bibles.

Symbolically representing the arrival of the Gospel to the islands (upper left), the Bible is carried into the church on a ceremonial canoe. Following a thanksgiving service, the people rush to purchase the treasured Bibles (lower left). As the people read the Word of God in their heart language, it brings understanding and joy and refreshment (lower right).

The open Bible in the center of the stamp block features two Bible verses, Hebrews 4:12 (The Word of God is alive) and John 17:17 (Your Word is true), taken from the Solomon Islands Pijin Bible which was launched in 2008.

A Pijin Bible on a ceremonial canoe was presented to then Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua on the 30th Anniversary of Independence. It is now part of a Solomon Islands Bible Display and is housed permanently at the National Parliament in Honiara.

From Varisi in Choiseul Province to Natqgu in Temotu Province, Solomon Islanders rejoice in having God’s Word in their heart language. The names on the perimeter of these stamps represent the languages which now have a New Testament or Bible. With more than 65 languages spoken in the Solomon Islands, church and government leaders are committed to seeing translations completed in each one.
Jan Gossner, Solomon Islands director of our Bible translation work with the head of state, His Excellency the Governor General Sir Frank O Kabui. The Governor General had to approve the stamp design.

These are the executive members of the Solomon Islands Bible Translation and Literacy Program with  Dr. Alphaeus Zobule of the United Bible Societies (second from left) and The Governor General Sir Frank O Kabui (third from left).

Would you like to be involved in Bible translation in the Solomon Islands? They do need linguist/translation workers, literacy workers, Scripture use workers, managers and trainers. Opportunities exist for linguist/translators to work in traditional programs with one language, in adaptation programs and in cluster programs. Contact Wendy @ for more information.


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