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Providing Bibles in Their Mother Tongue

Providing Bibles in Their Mother Tongue

Jehovah’s Witnesses distribute the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures to anyone who wants to read it.

Although billions of Bibles and numerous translations have been printed by various Bible societies, poverty and religious bias prevent many people from obtaining a Bible in their own language. Consequently, Jehovah’s Witnesses offer the New World Translation in more than 115 languages.

Consider some examples:

  • Rwanda: “We are very poor,” explain Silvestre and Venantie, who have four children, “so we could not buy Bibles for every member of our family. Now, we each have our own copy of the New World Translation in Kinyarwanda, and we read the Bible together every day.”

    An Anglican pastor in that land stated: “This is a Bible that I can understand. It is much better than all the other Bibles that I have read. Jehovah’s Witnesses are really interested in people!”

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Some churches have refused to sell Bibles in Lingala​—one of this country’s most common languages​—to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Small wonder, then, that since the release of the New World Translation in Lingala, Congolese Witnesses have eagerly used and distributed this Bible. In fact, the New World Translation has generated such excitement that when it was released at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, policemen who were present at the stadium lined up to get their own copies.

  • Fiji: Bibles in Fijian are so expensive that in the past many of Jehovah’s Witnesses used the English New World Translation instead. In 2009, however, Fijians received the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament) in their mother tongue.

    One man was so impressed with the clarity of the Fijian New World Translation that he asked for a copy. However, local Witnesses explained that he would have to wait at least a month before the next shipment of Bibles arrived in his town. Unwilling to wait for his Bible, the man agreed to meet another Witness over 35 kilometers (22 mi) away who had a New World Translation to give to him. The man said: “This translation is much better than the one we normally use. It’s clear and easy to understand.”

  • Malawi: After Davide began to study with Jehovah’s Witnesses, members of a local Baptist organization went into his home and took back the Bible that they had given to him. Therefore, the release of the New World Translation in Chichewa was a dream come true for Davide.

    Since Bibles are so expensive in Malawi, Davide had wondered how he could ever obtain another one. But when he was given a copy of the New World Translation, he said: “Now I have a better Bible than I used to have!”

Over 60 years ago, when the first part of the New World Translation in English was released at a New York City convention, the audience was urged: “Read it through. Study it . . . Put it in the hands of others.” To accomplish that aim, Jehovah’s Witnesses have published over 175 million copies of the New World Translation. Moreover, you can now read the Bible online in about 50 languages.