Religion of 2014-06-30

SILDEP launches Sissali Bible in Tumu

A translated Sissali Bible has been launched in Tumu in the Sissala East District with a call on the people to use it as a spiritual material and for their intellectual transformation and spiritual growth.

Out of the more than 6000 languages in the world, only 500 have Bibles translated into their dialects. This means that the Sissali Bible has put Sissali into the membership of a very exclusive group of languages worldwide.

Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah, Executive Director of Ghana Institute of Languages, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT) said the Sissali Translation Project was started in 1964 at Nabugobelle. He commended Mr. and Mrs. Frempong for committing 40 years of their lives to the course of translating the Bible and other literature into Sissali.

He said GILLBT translated the 1992 Constitution into 24 languages including Sissali, as well as the New Testament into 29 Ghanaian languages.

It has also translated the Bible into six Ghanaian languages while four New Testament and 11 Old Testament translation projects are ongoing.

He said through GILLBT, Ghana had become the African country that had made the most contributions to the pool of translated Bibles Worldwide in the Wycliffe Family.

He lauded the Sissali Translation Project for transforming the project into a non-governmental organisation known as Sissala Literacy and Development Project (SILDEP), which helped in making the project more vibrant.

Reverend Ernest Baiden, Pastor of Tumu Methodist Church in an exhortation titled: “The Bible: God’s Love Letter to Mankind,” noted that the word of God gave live and comforted mankind.

He outlined listening, reading, studying, meditating, memorising and practicing the word of God as some of the principles one need to adopt in order to know God and His word.

Rev Baiden said reading the Bible in one’s own language is very exciting and urged Sissalas to cherish it in order that the effort put in by the translators and their partners would not be in vain.

Mr. Hannes Wiesmann, Director, Wycliffe Switzerland said the launch of the Bible is the greatest of God’s gift to Sissala.

He said the efforts would be useless if the people do not make a conscious effort to promote its usage.

Mr. Moses Dramani Luri, District Chief Executive, was a Pioneer Linguist in the Sissala Area and the lead brain behind SILDEP.

Kuoro William Baah, who represented the Tumu Kuoro, said the translation of the Bible into Sissali risked becoming meaningless if majority of the people cannot read and write in their own language.

He, therefore, called on the education authorities to consider making the Sissali language a language of study and examinable in schools.

Mr. Samuel Issah, a representative of Mr. Samuel Awinkine Atintono, Head of the Gur-Gonja Department of the University of Education, Winneba, hinted that there is much discussion at making the Sissali language a language of study in the University to prepare the way for it to become an examinable language.

He said after three years of introducing the language, if there are no students to study it, it will be curtailed.

Fifteen Bibles were auctioned for Ghc1,280.00.