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Run for the Bibleless event held in Mombasa

The Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL) organisation has held the 2nd edition of the Run for the Bibleless in Mombasa.

Run for the Bibleless is an awareness-creation and resource mobilization occasion held annually to generate funds to support Bible Translation, sustainable literacy, and Language Development among the small language groups in Kenya and the East African region.

Bible Translation and Literacy is a Christian-based organization established in 1981 to facilitate Bible translation and sustainable literacy language development programs among small language groups in Kenya and beyond.

BTL’s National Director, Rev. Peter Munguti, said they have held a five kilometer walk and a ten-kilometer run in the coastal city to drum up support for new efforts to translate the Bible into Ribe, Jibana, Rabai, and Kauma languages.

The identified languages form the nine Mijikenda language groups, and their native speakers are mainly found in Kilifi County. Mijikenda includes the Giriama, Digo, Chonyi, Duruma, Jibana, Kambe, Kauma, Rabai, and Ribe sub-tribes.

He said these entire nine subtribes found in the coastal region have their own languages and that BTL will continue translating the Bible for them, one language at a time.

“We are running to drum support for the efforts to write the Bible into more native tongues and complete more scriptures,” he said during the interview at the Treasury Square.

Munguti said BTL has already translated the Bible into Duruma, Digo, and Pokomo native languages in a bid to spread the gospel across the coastal region.

He said the effort to translate the Old and New Testaments into native languages is to enable communities to read the scriptures in their own language.

Munguti said BTL is striving to bring the gospel to marginalized communities in their own languages. He said the Old Testament has been translated from Hebrew, which takes about 15 years, while the Greek language for the New Testament takes about seven years.

Munguti added that the translation of the Bible is important in the country since it safeguards native languages and cultures for generations. He said that translating the Bible will not undermine the culture and customs of the communities but will instead preserve them for posterity.

The man of God noted that the organization is also working on efforts to translate the Bible into indigenous languages for communities living in Tanzania and South Sudan.

Munguti said that the translation of the Bible will help the modern church, especially in the local communities, develop programs that are found in the scriptures. At the same time, he condemned false prophets and preachers who deceived the people in the name of God.

He said false spiritual leaders were unfortunately using the Bible to fleece their flock with fake miracles as they are filled with greed and are after money.

Munguti said the majority of such preachers know little about the Bible and are dabbling in religious matters to enrich themselves at the expense of their flock. He said people should learn the Bible from authentic sources and save themselves from the grasp of evil people masquerading as servants of God.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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