[God] (God) in Ga tradition and Christian mission : an exploration of the historical relationship between the religious tradition of the Ga of South Eastern Ghana and Bible translation and its implications for Ga Christian theology.
Adjei, Solomon Nii-Mensah.
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In recent times, there are some indications which suggest an attempt to relegate the traditional or pre-Christian notion of Nyorjmo to the background in the face of recent Christian expansion within the Ga community. This may be observed basically in two forms. First is the attitude and thinking which attempt to separate Nyorjmo, who is considered a holy God, totally from the creation, considered unholy. This view suggests that Nyorjmo is holy and therefore his name cannot be attached to any aspect of the creation which is considered corrupted with sin and evil. In this regard, a distinction is thus made between Nyorjmo, the Supreme Being, and nyorjmo, rain. A new word nugbo,1 literally 'water stranger' or 'foreign water' has therefore emerged and is now being used for rain by some Ga. Secondly, there is the assumption, especially among some Ga Christians, that hitherto, the Ga did not know about God and that it was Christianity and the proclamation of the Christian message that introduced the knowledge of God into the Ga religious culture. These views are, however, contrary to the thoughts of the traditional Ga. The pre- Christian notion of Nyoymo is that of a Supreme Being, who is not far removed from creation but deeply involved in its daily activities. Thus one finds the name of Nyorjmo attached to some elements within the creation, as the configurations of Nyoymo2 indicate. Again, contrary to the views held by some Ga Christians, oral and early written sources indicate that the notion of Nyorjmo was well established within the Ga religious and social life before the coming of Christianity. However, one realises that with the influence of Christianity and Bible translation, the concept Nyorjmo has expanded and assumed a new meaning to become the Christian God of the Bible, 'the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' 1 E. T. A. Abbey, Kedzi Afo Yordan (Gbele Ke Yarafeemo), (Accra: Bureau of Ghana Languages, 1968), p 37. 2 Johanness Zimmermann, A Grammatical Sketch of the Akra - or Ga -Language and some Specimen of it from the mouth of the Natives, (Stuttgert: J. F. Steinkopf, 1858), pp 243-244. See also M. E. Kropp Dakubu, 'Linguistic Pre-History and Historical Reconstruction: the Ga-Adangme Migrations' in Transaction of the Historical Society of Ghana, Vol. XIII (i), (Legon, June 1972), p 119. This research attempts to investigate the 'development' of Nyorjmo as a religious concept from its pre-Christian usage to the present. It looks at how Nyorjmo was recognised in the traditional religious life. This is done by analysing the general historical and religious backgrounds of the Ga people, focusing on key elements within the social, political, economic and religious settings. The work further assesses the impact of Christian influence on Ga culture, especially in the area of Bible translation, and also observes how the concept has gained a new meaning as a result of this engagement. The researcher concludes by exploring some of the implications raised in the work and attempts some suggestions on how Ga Christian theology may be developed to address these concerns.Ye bei nee amli ni Kristojamo ebahe shi ni loolo le aabo moderj ni agbe Kristojamo ashwa ye Ga shikpoji ano le, tamo noni hie miihe akpa boni wonuo wiemo 'Nyonmo' le shishi wohaa ye wo blema shihile mli aloo dani Kristojamo le bashe bie. Enejeo kpofann ye gbei srotoi enyo ano. Klerjklen le, tamo noni ye wo nifeemoi ke wo susumoi amli le wokaa ake woten Nyonmo he nfoniri ko. Noji ake wonaa ake eye Kronkron ni nohewo le esda ni ake egbei bataa adeboo noko he kwraa ejaake nofeeno ni yoo je le mli le kpa ye he ni ehe ewo muji ke esha. Enehewo le mei komei taoo ni amegbla Nyonmo ni ji Tse Ofe le ke nyonmo ni neo le ten. Arjoo nyonmo ni neo le ake nugbo.1 Emli jalemo ji nu ni ebato gbo. Nugbo nee ji gbei ni nmenerjmene le Gamei komei ketseo nyonmo ni neo nee. No ni ji enyo le, Ga Kristofoi komei susuo ake Gamei lee Nyonmo ye blema bei le amli. Ene le eji sane ni naa wa ni yoo ahuntoo. Ye neke mei nee asusumo naa le, Kristojamo ke Nyonmo wiemo le gbee ke shwamo le ji noni ha Gamei na le ake Nyonmo ko ye, ye amejamo ke shihile mli. Shi moy neke susumo nee, jee Ga shikweebii asusumo ni. Eke noni amele ye Nyonmo he kpda gbee kwraa. Anokwale le ji ake beni Kristojamo ba ko Ga shikpon le no beebe le, Gamei le Nyonmo ake Ofe ni eta adeboo fee no, ni asan ejieo eheshi ye adeboo nibii komei ke Gamei anifeemo nii ke ame daa gbi shihile mli. Ene hewo je ni woyoseo ake Gamei ke Nyonmo gbei le ebata adeboo mli nibii komei ahe le.2 Asan jwerjmo nee ni kristofoi komei yoo ye Nyonmo he le jee ja keke ni ejda, shi moy ye Gamei awiemo ke woji ni anmlafee amli le, ejeo kpo fanrj ake Gamei le Nyonmo ye ame jamo ke jen shihile fee mli dani Kristojamo ba. 1 E. T. A. Abbey, Kedzi Afo Yordan (Gbele Ke Yarafeemo), (Accra: Bureau of Ghana Languages, 1968), p 37. 2 Johanness Zimmermann, A Grammatical Sketch of the Akra - or Ga -Language and some Specimen of it from the mouth of the Natives, (Stuttgert: J. F. Steinkopf, 1858), pp 243-244. See also M. E. Kropp Dakubu, 'Linguistic Pre-History and Historical Reconstruction: the Ga-Adangme Migrations' in Transaction of the Historical Society of Ghana, Vol. XIII (i), (Legon, June 1972), p 119. Shi ksle, woyoseo hu ake Kristojamo ke IJmals Kronkron shishitsoomo eye ebua ni else shishinumo ni Gamei yoo ye Nyonmo he le mli: agbene Gamsi naa Nyonmo ake Kristofoi aNyonmo, moni IJmale Kronkron yeo ehe odase ake eji wo Nuntso ke Yiwalaherelo Yesu Kristo Tse le. Oti ni yoo mi ninmaa nss mli ji ake magbls shi ni matao boni Gamei naa Nyonmo ye ame jamo ke ams shihils mli amshaa, ksjs blema, dani Kristojamo ba ks agbene tsakemoi srotoi ni eba ksje nakai bei le amli aahuu kebashi nmsns. Boni afee ni mi nine ashe oti nss he Is, mitao Gamsi ayino saji ks ams blema shihils amli, ni titri Is mikws ame jen shihils, mankuramo, nitsumoi, jarayeli ke jamoi fee aks meni abaanye akaseys nibii nee amli. Nokome hu ni mifee ye nikasemo nee mliji ake, mikws shishinumo hee ni Gamsi ena ye Nyonmo he, titri Is kstso IJmals Kronkron le shishitsoomo no, ks agbene boni Kristojamo hu etsake ams ashihils eha, ketso IJmale Kronkron Is kanemo no. Mimu shibgblsmo nee naa ke naawoo: gbe no ni abaatso ni Kristo he nilee baa shwere ye Gamsi aten. Eji mihemoksyeli aks nikasemo hee ni jso shigblsmo nee mli Is baa hsle Gamei ashi, titri le Kristofoi, koni ameyose ake nibii babaoo ye ame jen shihile ke blema saji amli ni baaye ebua ams bo ni afee ni ams nu Nyonmo shishi jogbann ni asan ams nys ameja le ye ame disrjtss ams shishinumo naa ksjetj shihils mli.