March 26-April 1, 2012
General Assembly News
New Hakka Bible to be published in April 2012
Reported by Lin Yi-ying
Written by Lydia Ma
After 26 years of arduous work, Bible Society in Taiwan (BST) and PCT Hakka Mission Committee announced that the “Hakka Bible: Contemporary Taiwanese Hakka Version” will be published in April 2012. A thanksgiving service marking its publication will be held on April 22 at National Chiao-Tung University to celebrate the first printing of this new Bible.
“When people use their mother tongue to converse, those words can really make an impression in people’s hearts,” said BST General Secretary Tsai Ling-chen quoting Nelson Mandela. For this reason, the publication of Hakka Bible is a milestone in the publication of mother language Bibles in Taiwan. “Mother languages play an important role in ethnic self-identification and passing on cultural heritage.”
Tsai underscored that under the long reign of the KMT in Taiwan, Mandarin became Taiwan’s official language and, consequently, the Chinese Union Bible became the best-selling Bible in Taiwan. However, Bible Society in Taiwan (BST) maintains that the influence mother languages exert on people should not be underestimated either. For this reason, it has spared no effort over the years in translating and producing Bibles in various mother languages in Taiwan. Besides publishing a Taiwanese Bible, it has also helped indigenous peoples across Taiwan produce Taroko, Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Tsou, and Sediq Bibles.
Tsai said she was especially grateful for the help she received from previous general secretaries of the BST, in addition to the support she received from the Presbyterian Church in Canada, PCT Hakka Mission Committee, and the long years of commitment from the Committee of Hakka Bible Translators. “Translating the Bible is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of human and financial resources,” Tsai said.
Tsai added that the first edition of the Hakka Bible, totaling 6,000 copies, was printed in South Korea to ensure quality because South Korea has many agencies skilled in Bible printing as the number of Christians in South Korea is very high compared to Taiwan.
As for how these 6,000 copies will be distributed, the PCT Hakka Mission Committee has ordered 1,500 copies, Hakka Presbytery and local Hakka fellowships have ordered 2,500 copies, the Christian Hakka Evangelical Association has ordered 1,000 copies, and the remaining 1,000 copies will be marketed by TBS.
This new Hakka Bible comes in three types of covers – red, blue, and leather – and though translators have opted for contemporary Hakka language, they have also emphasized on the clarity and fluidity of the text. However, as the use of Hakka language varies between regions, TBS has urged for understanding and patience on the part of Hakka groups across Taiwan.