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The Gospel of John published in Maliseet

(Left: Shirley Giberson, CBS Board Member, presented a copy of the Gospel of John in Maliseet to New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governon Graydon Nicholas. Right: Hart Wiens, CBS’ Director of Scripture Translation, with Graydon Nicholas.)

Fredericton, NB — It was a joyous day for the Maliseet First Nation when a portion of God’s written Word was publicly launched in their language. On June 19, representatives of the Maliseet community in Fredericton, led by New Brunswick’s Lieutenant-Governor Graydon Nicholas, gathered to celebrate the Gospel of John in Maliseet.

“It’s a historical moment,” Graydon Nicholas said. “After so many years, 400 years of contact, to have a scriptural book written in our language, that is very significant for our people.” He added that this new publication will help to preserve what was once an endangered language.

Preparing the Gospel of John for publication in Maliseet took two years to complete. Canadian Bible Society (CBS) National Director Ted Seres shared that translating the Bible is a long and involved process. “It’s not like putting it into Google Translate and hitting a button,” said Rev. Seres. “It takes years of just trying to communicate the right words in the right language. If there was a demand for more in the Maliseet, I think that would be a project we would want to consider.”

The Gospel of John publication also contains English, French and Mi’kmaq versions, the four languages of New Brunswick.

CBS is committed to helping Canada’s First Nations people translate the Bible into their languages, as having the Scriptures translated and published not only contributes to the spiritual life of these communities, but also contributes to the survival of the languages and provides a foundation for further literary activity. More about CBS’ translation work in Aboriginal languages can be found on our Canadian Translations page.


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