Monday, August 25, 2014

Vinaka Dr Thornley

from w
Excellent news and thank you very much to scholar Dr Thornley.  What would Fiji do without these energetic Aussies helping with such difficult tasks as putting out the Bible in an early translation.  Be good to compare the later version.  Story in today's Fiji Times.

Church launches vernacular Bible

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Update: 1:25PM REPRESENTATIVES of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma this morning witnessed the launch of the original iTaukei language Old Testament edition which was translated from the Hebrew language by Reverend David Hazelewood in the mid-19th century.
Church communications secretary Reverend James Bhagwan said the Bible edition was compiled by Methodist historian Dr Andrew Thornley who previously compiled the original i-Taukei language New Testament edition translated from Greek language by another missionary, Rev John Hunt.
The launch was held at 9am and the meeting continues at the Centenary Church in Suva, Fiji.
The photos are of Dr Thornley launching the earlier book - the New Testament as translated by John Hunt, and the second photo was taken in Melbourne when Dr Thornley came down to St Marks Chadstone to the Fijian congregation to introduce us to that book.

And DrThornley writes in the Fiji Times, Saturday 30 August:

ITaukei translation
I READ with interest Thursday's letter regarding the Bible translation (The Fiji Times 28 August).
The iTaukei translation which was recently launched at the Methodist Conference is the very first translation of the Old Testament into iTaukei.
It was completed between 1844 and 1855 by the Wesleyan missionary Rev David Hazlewood and he was assisted by Fijian convert Noa Koroinavugona, very likely Fiji's first theologian, who had earlier greatly helped Reverend John Hunt with the 1847 Fijian New Testament.
Hazlewood's Old Testament translation was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1864.
Hazlewood was a gifted linguist. Along with his native language of English, he was skilled in six other languages - French, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Tongan and iTaukei.
His translation of the Old Testament was done from the original Hebrew text of the Scriptures and translated directly into iTaukei.
The importance of the Hazlewood Old Testament for the iTaukei language and also the John Hunt New Testament which was translated from Greek directly into iTaukei is that this first iTaukei Bible is the foundational text of the iTaukei language and the reference point for all later translations of the Bible into the Itaukei language.
Of course no translation is perfect. However the Fijian people can be assured that in the work of Hazlewood on the Old Testament and Hunt on the New Testament they have a Bible which is a worthy record of the iTaukei language as it existed in the mid nineteenth century, including many rich and evocative idiomatic phrases.
Just as importantly, this first Bible translation is a faithful rendition into iTaukei of the meaning expressed in the original biblical languages.
(Dr) Andrew Thornley, Suva


Andrew Thornley said...

Thankyou Wendy and Peceli for covering this event on Babasiga.
It was indeed a momentous occasion to witness the launch of the David Hazlewood Old Testament. This had been the dream of the Qase Levu vakacegu, Tuikilakila Waqairatu, an Old Testament scholar himself.
From feedback I have received since the launch of the Hazlewood OT, it seems that Hazlewood employs much simpler Fijian in his translation. The generally accepted and used Fijian Old Testament, translated by Frederick Langham in 1901, has a lot of chiefly language. This is a result of Langham having lived on Bau for more than 30 years. Fijians have struggled with Langham's choice of words and thus Hazlewood provides a reliable and idiomatic alternative.
The book is big print; this was necessary since it was scanned from an original copy in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. A smaller page size would have made the words less easy to read. In its current format the Hazlewood OT is a beautiful book, printed in China.
It is available from the Methodist Bookshop in Suva for
$F40.00. The book can be ordered from there but of course postal charges would be an extra cost.I would thoroughly recommend that Fijian congregations purchase at least one copy of the Hazlewood OT as a "pulpit" Bible and make sure that it does not get "kerekere'd"!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you Dr Thornley. When a relative goes over to Suva, I can ask them to buy a copy.