A New Day: Vanuatu Bibles on the Web
Another history making event for Vanuatu! The missionaries of the 1800s and early 1900s who translated the Word of God into some of the languages of Vanuatu could not have even begun to imagine what has just happened. As of last week, the speakers of 3 Vanuatu languages can access the New Testament in their language on the World Wide Web. All they need to do is type Baebol.org in their computer browser and find any verse of the New Testament. They can even click on a link to download their Bible to use on their own computer any time they like.
The three blessed languages are North Tanna, Southwest Tanna, and Tangoa (South Santo). The Bible translation in these languages was all completed in the last couple of years by local level members of Vanuatu Bible Translation (VBT) in partnership with SIL linguistic field workers.
Each of those New Testaments took between 9 and 17 years to complete. That represents thousands upon thousands of hours of dedicated, sometimes tedious, sometimes mind-blowing work on the part of those involved in the translation process. The specialized process puts a big emphasis on making an accurate translation that also sounds natural to the speakers of the language.
Paama and Southeast Ambrym speakers can also find portions of their New Testaments online. And in coming days anyone who speaks Uripiv will also be able to read the New Testament on the internet. As more and more Scripture becomes available in the languages of Vanuatu, you will be able to find it at Baebol.org.
There is a similar website for New Testaments that have been translated over the last 50 years in PNG. If you are a Papua New Guinean have a look at PNGScriptures.org.
Those early missionaries might not have been able to imagine how the Bible is being used today, but you can bet that if they can see us now, they are cheering!