Igikuria Bible Translation

The Kuria is a community found in both Kenya and Tanzania. The Abakuria of Tanzania and the Abakuria of Kenya are essentially one people. In Kenya, the Kuria reside in Migori County, while in Tanzania they reside in the Tarime, Musoma, Bunda, and Serengeti districts of the Mara region of Northern Tanzania.

According to the 2019 census, the Kuria in Kenya are 340,000. The Kuria in Tanzania are 596,000 according to the People Groups organization, giving a total of 934,000 for both Countries.

The Kuria belong to the Bantu linguistic group. They are divided into clans (ibiaro) with minor variations in laws, practices, and language. Historically, the Kuria practiced pastoralism and farming.  Like many other ethnic groups in Kenya, the Kuria base their social organization on the family unit. The Kuria are divided into small clans as the units of organizations.

The Church is well entrenched among the Kuria in both Countries and the Christian population is approximately 70% of the entire community. However, some practice traditional religions and there are some pockets of Muslim faithful.

Kenya is always championing the fight against Female Genital Mutilation but the practice in the Kuria community brings a setback to government efforts to eradicate the practice by 2022. According to reports, almost 2,800 girls from the Kuria community in south-western Kenya underwent FGM in the year 2020 and more than 1,000 in 2021. This being a major concern in the community we believe that the launch of the Igikuria Bible will help in curbing the practice.

The Gospel of John in Igikuria was printed by Bible Society of Kenya in 1987 in the revised translation and orthography. A revised New Testament in Igikuria language was launched in November 1996. Work on the Old Testament has been going on facilitated by the Tanzania Bible Society in 2013. However, it was felt that the two Bible Societies need to work together so that the end product of the translation can serve the Abakuria of both Kenya and Tanzania.

In 2013 Kenya and Tanzania Bible Society signed an agreement that they would work jointly to avail a Bible that is mutually acceptable on both sides of the boarder. BSK launched the Igikuria Book of Deuteronomy and Malachi on September 17th 2016 at Mabhera Geton’ganya. By 2020 all the drafting, team revision, reviewers work, and Translation Consultant checking of the complete Igikuria Bible had been done.

The Igikuria project had five full-time translators from Kenya and Tanzania including Fr. Samuel Habuba, Rev. Peter Rosso, Pst. Edward Mocha and Pst. Elkana Birore and Bishop Emmanuel Mwita Matuntera. Part time translators were Pastor Cancius Simo, Ms. Catherine Sinuni, Mwalimu John Maroa, Pastor Jackson Nyangi, Rev. Daniel Marara, Mr. Samson Nyangi and Pastor Joseph Oroni. The translation work was taking place in Komotobo, Kehancha, in Migori County. The work was finalized in 2021 and the Bible will be launched in April 2022. The 17 reviewers played a crucial role of checking the text to ensure the language used is Proper.

This will be the 22nd complete Bible to be launched by the Society and 27 in the country. The Bible is available online and can be downloaded from You Version.

Features of the Igikuria Bible include

  • Two editions(Protestant and Catholic edition)
  • Illustrations
  • Glossary
  • Maps
  • Friendly font
  • Write-ups on how to read the Igikuria language
  • Introduction to every book of the Bible
  • A table on the miracles of Jesus and parables of Jesus
  • Calendar comparing Igikuria calendar and the Jewish calendar
  • Chronological table with biblical history
  • Cross-reference and parallel reference in the Bible
  • For Catholic edition, contains imprimatur (approval from the Bishop)
Kuria Bible translators at work

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