A new Bible translation for West Africa

Highly anticipated Yoruba Bible could reach up to 30 million

“It’s like the birth of a baby, and a long awaited one at that,” says Rose Birenge, director of publishing and outreach for Biblica Africa. She is referring to a new Bible translation in the Yoruba language, recently completed by Biblica translators based in Africa.

The Yoruba language is spoken by up to 30 million people in the West African countries of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. Until now, the one of the few Bibles available was a translation first published in 1868, which many readers found incomprehensible.

Biblica’s Yoruba Bible is a completely new translation, several years in the making. “It has been tough and difficult,” says Ebenezer Boafo, director of translation for Biblica Africa, “but the Lord has been our strength and helper.”

The Yoruba Bible is one of roughly 30 Bible translation and revision projects underway at Biblica. The 200-year-old Bible ministry targets major languages with a million or more speakers, such as Yoruba, in order to maximize impact. “Our carefully trained Bible translators are committed to giving people a text that is both accurate and readable,” says Scott Bolinder, Executive Vice President for Biblica. “We believe people everywhere deserve the very best translation of the Bible in their heart language.”

In West Africa, anticipation is high for an accurate, readable Bible in the Yoruba language.

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