Thursday, May 24, 2012
John Hunt translation
from w In today's Fiji Sun - an article about the publishing of the John Hunt translation of the New Testament. I've already posted something about this. Thank you Dr Thornley. I still don't know why blogspot won't stay with the paragraphs! Now Methodists to celebrate mission May 25, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom By Dr Andrew Thornley, Visiting Lecturer, Davuilevu Theological College. Wednesday June 13 2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Rev. John Hunt, who was born in England on June 13 1812. He was one of the pioneer Wesleyan missionaries to Fiji, arriving at the beginning of 1839 and serving at Rewa, Somosomo and Viwa. He died in 1848, at only 36 years of age, and is buried on the island of Viwa. He was Qase Levu (President) for the last four years of his life. The people of Viwa will be celebrating the life and ministry of John Hunt and his wife Hannah on their island on June 13. An important part of these celebrations will be the launching of John Hunt’s original Fijian (iTaukei) translation of the New Testament. John Hunt is known as the “Apostle of Fiji” for his successful endeavours among the iTaukei. Four of his achievements deserve to be highlighted: Firstly, his missionary efforts on the island of Viwa brought about the conversion of the whole island, including Adi Litia Vatea, the principal wife of the high chief Namosimalua and Ratu Ravisa (Ilaitia Varani), nephew to Namosimalua. The evangelical efforts and influence of these two converts brought many other iTaukei women and men to Christianity. Secondly, Hunt’s warm, genuine and intelligent personality came to the attention of Ratu Seru Cakobau on the neighbouring island of Bau. While he remained loyal to the iTaukei gods throughout Hunt’s life, Cakobau was nevertheless strongly impressed by Hunt’s preaching, beliefs and actions, and converted soon after the missionary’s death; the conversion of Cakobau began a large-scale Christian movement among the iTaukei. Thirdly, Hunt was the first Christian missionary to introduce theological education among the early iTaukei converts, thus laying the foundation for a celebrated tradition of indigenous ministry, both within Fiji and in missionary work overseas. The bi-centennial celebration on Viwa also provides an opportunity to launch a republication of the first iTaukei New Testament. This beautiful work of translation was the fourth major achievement of Hunt’s ministry. While on Viwa, Hunt translated the New Testament from Greek into iTaukei; he did so with the assistance of a young iTaukei from Viwa – Noa Koroinavugona. Hunt translated all the New Testament books except for the gospel of John which was translated by the missionary printer, Thomas Jaggar, while he was at Rewa. 1000 copies of the New Testament were printed on Viwa in 1847 and distributed among the Wesleyan converts. This original translation became the accepted version on which all subsequent revisions were based. The republication of Hunt’s New Testament has been jointly edited by Dr Andrew Thornley and Tauga Vulaono. Also included as part of the republished version is a commentary on each of the books of the New Testament by iTaukei ministers and laypeople.