Impact of translating / reading the Bible in the vernacular in Africa
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The phenomenon of translating the bible from the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, into other languages is not new. It has been examined many times before but mainly from different perspectives such as the socio-cultural, linguistic and literary contexts, exegetical ( as the basis for commentary), religious, missionary, historical, and even political. Previous endeavors have tended to overlook or marginalize the impact of translating the bible into vernacular languages. As a consequence, the underlying effects and dangers of translation have not been directly and fully exposed, mainly due to the polarization of religious views in succeeding centuries. In order to bring a different dimension to the subject therefore, in this thesis, I intend to investigate the impact of translating the Bible into the vernacular languages. This translation has a long history in Christendom. Formerly, it was solely the prerogative of the clergy to possess the Bible. The laity was once forbidden by the Catholic church to possess, read or even touch the bible considered as a holy book. This was to combat heresies , and to preserve the unity of the Church. After sometimes she changed this position thus allowing the laity to possess and read the bible. However, before this ban was lifted, some individual clergies had translated the bible to some vernacular languages and this had a great impact on the lives of the laity and on the society( e.g., Martin Luther’s translation of the bible to the German language played a major role on the birth of the Reformation and on Protestant theology). With this in mind, I shall endeavor to explore the following concerns: 1) Should the Bible be translated into local vernacular languages? 2) In case it should, what are the impact, the effects, implications and dangers of such an enterprise on the individual, the evangelizing mission of the Church, on culture, and traditional religious beliefs in Africa?