Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Jamaican Creole Bible - More Fire!

On 16th June one of our leading newspapers, the Jamaican Observer, revealed the Bible Society of the West Indies’ (BSWI) plan to translate the Christian Scriptures into the heart-language of the Jamaican people. To read the article click here.

As I expected, the proposal has created a firestorm - Jamaicans, both here and in the Diaspora, have voiced opinions for and against the project. Persons “for,” sometimes accuse those “against” of being unpatriotic, ashamed of our Jamaican culture, Euro-centric, elitists, and the like; those “against,” usually characterise Jamaican enthusiasts as being sacrilegious, globally insensitive, economically disadvantageous, anti-progressive, anti-English language, self-aggrandisers and a host of other emotive expressions.

I think the thing persons have really taken an issue with is the proposed cost - $60 million JMD! ($5 million per annum). The money, it is generally argued could be used to promote a million and one needy social initiatives. I do not deny the project is expensive and that the Church could use that amount of money to quench the financial thirst being experienced by many individuals and charity organisations in our country.

Some of questions are, however: “how much money/resources does the Jamaican Church spend on national development each year?” Think of all the learning institutions, medical facilities and programmes, housing initiatives, food programmes, community activities, social services, etc, etc… Can we not spend some money to enhance our understanding our understanding of God's word? Does not having the Scriptures in our language have "social" benefits as well?.....

I'll make the various articles and responses available soon. So far, one of the better contributions to the debate has been that of R. Anthony Lewis. To read Anthony's article click here.

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