“I felt there was no life without the Bible.”
Helping make the first Okun New Testament a reality.
March 01, 2022Print this article
Hundreds of believers gathered to rejoice and praise God in North Central Nigeria as the very first Okun New Testaments were delivered. Okun, a dialect of Yoruba, is spoken by more than 600,000 people in the region. Though 85 percent of Okun speakers are Christian, this is the first Bible translation they have ever been able to read in their heart language.
Evangelist Omolara Theophelus said of the momentous occasion, “We have been preaching and singing in our language, so being able to now read the [New Testament] in Okun will enhance and revolutionize the presentation of the Gospel.”
“We have longed for this,” declared Ruben*, a young Okun speaker.“Reading other languages does not give the joy,” he continued, “but this has made us happy!” Ruben knows this new translation will help him grow spiritually and draw closer to God.
Many Okun speakers like Paul* own Bibles in other languages, including English. However, their understanding was limited by the language barrier. “I felt so bad because I heard other communities around us have the Bible in their languages, except the Okun people,” Paul shared. I feel very happy because it is now in my language and I can understand it.”
Alvin* expressed his excitement saying, “The most difficult time of my life was when I had no Bible in the house that I could read and easily understand. I felt there was no life without the Bible. This will help me because I will use it for prayer, meditation, and even to teach other people. I will read it to know the mind of God.”
Chief Olorunshiye Kolade, who served as one of the reviewers, added that the Okun New Testament will serve as a unifying factor among the different Okun-speaking communities. Recalling a time when Bible translators were humiliated and even killed, Engineer Paul Ajisafe, Chairman of the Okun New Testament dedication, thanked the Bible Society for all the work it is doing to translate Scripture.
Our partner’s generosity is transforming lives through the translation of Scripture! Please pray for the continuing work on the Okun Old Testament, which is due for completion at the end of this year. Thank you!
*Name changed for privacy
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