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20-year project completed as Jamaican New Testament is launched

More than 100 people gathered at the Jamaican High Commission in London this week for the launch of the Jamaican New Testament ...

More than 100 people gathered at the Jamaican High Commission in London this week for the launch of the Jamaican New Testament. The celebration concluded a 20-year academic project.

The High Commissioner, Her Excellency Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, welcomed the publication saying it was "an important piece of work".

The Rev Courtney Stewart, General Secretary of the Bible Society of the West Indies said: "This New Testament will achieve a kind of engagement of our people with the Word of God in a way that has never happened before.

"There will be transformation in people’s lives. For the first time they will have an understanding of God’s Word."

He revealed how controversial the translation had been both in Jamaica and in the UK, as critics claimed that Jamaican Patois was not a language in which the Bible could be written.

But he said, "At the Bible Society we believe that everyone has a right to have access to the Word of God in their own language.

"The time has come for Jamaican people to have the Word of God in their mother tongue."

Among the guests were the Chaplain to the House of Commons Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, former Portsmouth footballer Linvoy Primus and crossbench Peer Lord Michael Hastings.

Marcus Prince Johnson, son of the beat poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, read The Lord’s Prayer in Patois.
The New Testament is published at the end of October, both in print form and as an mp3 download. Click here for an audio clip of 1 Corinthians 13 from the Jamaican New Testament.

It will be published in Jamaica at the end of the month to coincide with celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence.

Photo: Jamaican High Commissioner Her Excellency Aloun Ndombet-Assamba is pictured with Rev Courtney Stewart, from the Bible Society of the West Indies. [Bible Society]

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