On November 13, 2012, the Inuktitut Bible was featured at 100 Huntley Street. Translation Director Hartmut Wiens and Inuktitut translator, Benjamin Arreak shared about the translation work that took over three decades to finish.
Watch the video below for the full story.
31 million Bibles for those who hunger to read God’s Word… from churches, to jungles, to deserts, to the Arctic
The Canadian Bible Society, along with 146 national Bible Societies around the world, has been working diligently to bring the Bible to every man, woman and child since 1904. And yet it’s hard to believe that there are thousands of people still waiting to receive their own copy of the Holy Scriptures. But with the help of many supporters in every corner of the globe, along with the dedication of hard working staff and the leading of the Holy Spirit, this past year we saw that number reduced by millions.
When the Bible is placed into waiting hands, or given to someone who is in need of encouraging words, the impact on their heart can be life-changing as these stories illustrate…
Oi kám-chhia Song-chú, yîn-vi Kì he chü-san; Kì ke chh`ü-oi yún-yén chhòng-chhùn.
A bit confused? Well, this is the opening verse of Psalm 136 in Hakka, the language spoken by four million Hakka people in Taiwan. We recognize the familiar English translation, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever" (NIV). Today, Hakka Christians thank God for his goodness and love made clear through the publication of the Bible in their own language. Until recently, the Bible was not available in Hakka – which explains why only two or three of every 1,000 Hakka in Taiwan have accepted Christ.
To access sites on the Internet, it's necessary to type an address that is globally identifiable. Of course, without a universal system coordinated around the world, the assignment of domain names, addresses, space allocation, country codes and similar organizational tasks would be impossible. This is why the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, was created in 1998.
Recently the American Bible Society (ABS) began the process of working with ICANN to develop a new, top-level domain called .BIBLE. This is a detailed and expensive undertaking that requires, apart from legal and developmental costs, an application fee of $185,000 USD. However, with Internet users expected to double to over three billion in the next four years, the .BIBLE domain will make millions of additional URLs possible. It will also facilitate efforts by faith-based groups, including CBS and the other 145 members of the United Bible Society, to make God’s Word available to countless people in a way that fits their digital lives.
“Every time I visit the Arctic the people ask me, ‘When will we have the complete Bible?’ Now their question can finally be answered”, said Hart Wiens, Director of Scripture translations at CBS. On June 3, in Iqaluit, the capital of the Nunavut territory, milestones were celebrated as a new cathedral was dedicated, two new bishops were consecrated and God’s Word was celebrated. On this brisk, sunny day the Inuit people finally received what they had eagerly awaited thirty-four years for… The Inuktitut Bible – an entire translation in their own tongue! Inuktitut, the language of Inuit people, is the most widely spoken aboriginal dialect in Canada’s Arctic.
Begun in 1978, this historic undertaking marks the first Canadian translation of the whole Bible completed entirely by native speakers rather than missionaries. The Inuktitut Bible is also the first full translation produced in Canada using the cutting edge computer software tools distributed and supported by CBS. Time, care and personal attention by the native translators, along with the CBS software support team, was necessary since Inuktitut was an oral language for thousands of years. Significantly, most modern speakers of Inuktitut are Christian.
A survey commissioned prior to Easter 2012 by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies revealed that only 42 percent of those polled agreed with the statement “religion is an important part of my life”. The sad truth is that as our national and global leaders have diminished the role of faith in their own lives, they have influenced the citizens they serve to do likewise. This, of course, does not make them poor leaders – most are men and women of integrity. It simply means they haven’t discovered or encountered the truths of God’s Word in a way that has impacted their lives.
On May 30, in an effort to share the Good News with a key group of Canadian leaders, members of the legislature at the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly were each given a bilingual copy of the world’s best-selling book. Making the donations were representatives of the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) including Reverend Ted Seres, CBS national director; Shirley Giberson, governor of CBS for New Brunswick; Reverend Doug Hapeman, CBS president for New Brunswick; and Reverend Dr. Lorne Freake, CBS director for Atlantic Canada.
The German Bible Society is making the Bible translated by Martin Luther available as an e-book. This is the classic German Bible which, in the revised version of 1984 and with the later adaptation to the new German spelling system, is the official text of the German Protestant Church.
Alongside the printed edition, the Luther Bible is also already available as an audio book, in digital editions for computer or smartphone, and online at www.die-bibel.de.
The new e-book edition is available in ePub and Kindle formats. A list of the sites where it can be obtained in these formats is available at www.dbg.de/ebooks.
On Sunday, June 3, in the bustling Nunavut capital of Iqaluit, an event will take place that the Inuit people have been eagerly awaiting for thirty-three years. They will finally receive the entire Bible in their own language!
‘When will we have the complete Bible?’
“Every time I visit the Arctic the people ask me, ‘When will we have the complete Bible?’ Now their question can finally be answered,” says Hart Wiens, Director of Scripture Translations, Canadian Bible Society (CBS).The Inuktitut language is the only indigenous language given recognition and status as an official language of a Canadian territory.
This June, Inuit living in the eastern Arctic and northern Quebec will finally have the opportunity to read the entire Bible in their own language.
After 33 years, a team of clergy from the Anglican diocese of the Arctic has finished the monumental task of translating the Bible into Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit.
The Canadian Bible Society (CBS), which is publishing the Inuktitut Bible, has already sent the final manuscript to its translation offices in Kitchener, ON. A consecration ceremony is being planned on June 3, coinciding with the dedication service for the new St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iqaluit
Throughout Jewish history, devout and skilled artisans, called scribes, have carefully and precisely copied the Word of God. In ancient times unblemished animal skins and ritually purified writing utensils were painstakingly prepared and used. The scribes, who were chosen for their unwavering moral fibre, not only bathed and prayed before each writing session, they also spoke or sang the words aloud so they would thoughtfully consider each character they etched.
At the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) we humbly consider ourselves modern day scribes. No, we don’t preserve the Scriptures on lambs’ hides but all of us – from translators to administrators to support staff – take our responsibility to make Scriptures available in heart languages around the world very, very seriously. We consider each Bible our team produces to be the holy, sacred and perfect Word of God. And, because each verse was Spirit breathed, we take special care to reproduce the original meaning of the human writers as precisely as possible.