Sunday, January 16, 2011

The gift of a Bible

from w
Some gifts are greatly appreciated, others dismissed as propaganda. The Gideon organisation are renowned for their gifts of Bibles into hospitals, schools and hotel rooms, though these days this doesn't always happen. I like different translations but as for the King James version, well, that is difficult though poetic.

Now the Ah Koy gift of Bibles to Fijians in the Corrections institutions seems to me to be of the propaganda type as the Bible gifts are not the standard Fijian Bibles but a new translation that has a few problems - such as the re-working of the familiar word 'kalougata'. Also, why give Bibles only to Fijians and not everyone? That implies that people are divided by religion which is not 100% correct.

Now a gift of a thousand Methodist Hymn Books would be appreciated with the love of singing in Fiji. Ah ha, but does that sound like bias also!!!

Yesterday at a Fijian church service in our town, one of the kai vavalagi visitors was astonished by the fine singing, even a po-lotu with a triangle - and I think that is where the heart of Fijian worship is - praise of God through the human voice.

from Fiji Sun today:
Inmates receive bibles

All i-Taukei inmates have a reason to celebrate the New Year after they were given a Bible each through a donation from a former parliamentarian. The bibles, often preached to inmates by Prison Commissioner Brigadier-General Ioane Naivalurua, as the best place ever to seek advice, were donated by Sir James Ah Koy. Mr Ah Koy recently completed his term as Fiji’s Ambassador to China.

About 2000 bibles were handed over to the Fiji Prisons and Corrections Service (FPCS) through the Ah Koy Christian Trust and James Ah Koy Trust.

The Fiji Prisons and Corrections Service (FPCS) chaplain Netani Bolatolu is in the Western Division distributing bibles to all i-Taukei inmates at the Lautoka and Ba Prison. Mr Ah Koy said it was their wish that all i-Taukei inmates received a bible each.

Mr Bolatolu said FPCS was grateful to Mr Ah Koy for the donation. “Now each i-Taukei inmate will have a Bible which they have been requesting, for a long time,” he said. Mr Bolatolu said the bibles would help his ministry and that inmates would benefit. I believe that spiritual intervention is the beginning of rehabilitation,” he said.


Andrew Thornley said...

One would wish to applaud any gift of Bibles and I don't like to "knock" this kind of philanthropy. But Jim Ah Koy is pursuing his particular crusade in distributing his personally-funded new translation. Apart from the debate over 'kalougata', this Ah Koy version was carried out by well-intentioned translators who worked from the English version and possibly with the current Fijian Bible in hand as well. So it is a flawed translation, not being from the original languages.
This whole issue is not helped by the slowness of the Bible Society of the South Pacific in producing their new translation of the Bible which has been in the pipeline for many years. I know this is going on because Paula Qereti is working on the Apocrypha for the BS. But something really needs to be produced in the interim because Ah Koy simply has the field to himself at the moment.
I plan to have the complete John Hunt Fijian New Testament (1847 translation) ready for publication in time for the bi-centennial of Hunt's birth in 2012. I am hoping for financial support from the Methodist Church in Fiji so that we can do a few thousand copies and be competitive with dear Jim.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Andrew,
Thank you for your contribution to this blog and your passion for good translation work on the Fijian Bible. I hope the funding is forthcoming as the Hunt Bible translation is more important than the use of resources and time on court cases for the Methodist Church leaders.

rewan@large said...

Praise the LORD for the Ah Koy family in accomplishment of the quick work with stripping the Fijian Bible of that flawed word which effectively undermined the advance of the gospel and yielded bad fruit for the Fijian these long years. Let the LORD judge everyone's motivation and give reward according to His righteous judgement. GOD bless Fiji and keep Fiji and all peoples that regard it as home.