TBS Bemba New Testament
04 March 2020
Bemba is a major Bantu language spoken primarily in the north-eastern and Copperbelt regions of Zambia by the Bemba people and as a lingua franca by around a further eighteen related ethnic groups. This makes Bemba the most spoken indigenous language in Zambia. Estimates vary as to the number of native Bemba speakers, but it is approximately four million.
In 2017 the Society and the Free Grace Evangelistic Association (FGEA) began working together to prepare a faithful new edition of the Bemba New Testament. The native translators are primarily referring to a Received Text interlinear New Testament and the Authorised (King James) Version and secondarily to older editions of the Bemba Bible.
In God’s often mysterious providence the work has encountered various delays, including the main translator suffering from bouts of malaria. Notwithstanding these hindrances, it is good to report that the second draft of the Gospel according to John is now undergoing extensive checks. In addition, the translation of Matthew is well underway; the first draft of chapters 5 to 10 were recently submitted to the Society for review, chapters 1 to 4 having already been reviewed.
Do remember the Bemba translation team in your prayers as they labour in Zambia to prepare a faithful edition of God’s Word for Bemba speakers across the nation and beyond. ‘The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times’ (Psalm 12.6).