The Bible society of Kenya launched the Revised Kalenjin Bible in a colorful event held in Eldoret town on 22nd July 2017. The revision took 7 years to be complete and will cater for all the Kalenjin dialects which comprise of Kipsigis, Nandi, Tugen, Marakwet, Keiyo, Sabaot, Injems and the Terik.
The much awaited launch drew attendance from Key religious leaders in the country, Bible Society of Kenya board of governance and staff, guests from various Kalenjin dialects, believers from various denominations and communities. The event began with a procession across the town, beginning from the Catholic Cathedral in Eldoret town all the way to 64 stadium, where a crowd was eagerly waiting to receive God’s word.
Eldoret town is known as the home of champions since many renowned athletes come from this area. Three athletes from the area demonstrated their prowess by running with the Bible symbolizing that the recipients of the Bible were ready to run with it in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the community and the world at large.
The first Bible to be translated for the Kalenjin community was in Nandi dialect which was published in 1939. The other Kalenjin dialects could not clearly understand this Bible, which led to the translation of the Kalenjin Union Version, which was published in 1969. This version adequately catered for all the Kalenjin speaking community. However, a request was made in 2002 by key Kalenjin church leaders to have the Kalenjin Union Bible’s words readdressed with a view of making them more understood by their people. The leaders indicated that the Kalenjin Union Bible had some old words and that some terms were not clearly understood. The Kalenjin union Bible did not have the additional Catholic books called deuterocanonical books either. These reasons necessitated the Revision of the Kalenjin Bible and the translation of the deuterocanonical Books that we are launching today, a project that began in 2005 and was completed in 2012.
The Revised Bible has two editions one with Deuterocanonical books mainly used by the Catholic faithful and the other without which is used by Protestant denominations.
Kenya has over 53 language groups. So far 21 languages have complete Bibles, 15 have New Testaments, 7 have portions of Scripture and 11 have no scriptures at all.
The Translation Consultant Prof. Margaret Muthwii and the translators officially handed over the Bible to the General Secretary Mrs. Elizabeth Muriuki to confirm that the Bible has been translated accurately from the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Mrs. Muriuki then handed over the Bible to the Church leaders so that they may use it to feed the flock they shepherded.
Prof. Mumo Kisau the BSK Board Chairman lauded the team who worked diligently to make Revised Kalenjin Bible a reality. He added that the message of the Bible has a solution for all the challenges that we face in the world today. He urged the gathering to pray for Kenya during this election period and to be ambassadors of peace wherever they are.
The Chief Guest Speaker Rev. Dr. Robert Langat from Africa Gospel Church shared a powerful message on the need for people to read the Word of God. He noted that the Bible gives direction and wisdom in all aspects of life. He challenged the congregants to make it a habit to read, apply and share the Word whenever there is an opportunity to do so.
The BSK General Secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth Muriuki expressed her gratitude and conviction that the Bible will be an instrument that would bring positive transformation in the lives of the Kalenjin community and the society at large. She added that it is always a joy for her to see a community receive the Bible in their own language. She noted that with the digital era, BSK endeavors to meet the Scripture needs of all our audiences through the use of both analogue and digital media and for that reason this Bible can also be accessed in digital format from the You version App.
“I am overjoyed to see this Bible being launched today. My fellow translators and I worked tirelessly for seven years to put together this Bible hence it is such a privilege to see it being unveiled and availed for people’s use. May it being positive transformation to everyone who will read it.” Said Father Kiruy, former translator.
I am very happy to receive the Word of God in my own language today. I will share it with my family and friends so that they too may share in the joy of reading the Bible in the language they understand best. Kudos to Bible Society of Kenya for availing God’s word to the Kalenjin community!” Mr. John Lang ‘at, former Reviewer.
Today is a great day in my life. I have received the best gift of a Bible in my own language. I will read it daily and to teach my friends so that they may know God and live for Him. May God bless the work of Bible Society of Kenya.” Deborah Jerono.
The guests were entertained with music from choirs and a guest artist from the Kalenjin community. It was indeed a colorful ceremony and we thank God for making the day come to pass.
The Bible Society of Kenya continues to fulfil its mandate, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ by translating, producing, distributing and encouraging use of the Holy Scriptures.