Reading John 1:1-18 in Sesotho : an investigation of the issues, meanings and interpretations raised by mother tongue exegesis.
By focussing on literary translation dynamics, and on how the current vernacular Bibles (specifically John 1:1-18 in Southern and Northern Sotho) encourage certain and not other understandings of the Bible (popular theology), this project attempts to achieve three related goals: (a) to reintegrate me as a Mosotho Biblical Studies student into the world and discourse of my people, (b) to bridge the gulf between the world of the Basotho believers and the academic world which has produced copious resources for the study of the Bible, and (c) to explore the implications of, or to assess the value of, the availability of the Bible in the vernacular for the Church and the academy in South Africa. The first goal is rather subjective and difficult to quantify. The second is critical in a complex plural society like South Africa. The third cannot be dealt with conclusively, perhaps the use of this project lies in pointing out various possibilities in this arena. The overarching bias (hypothesis) is that conscious critical work with the Bible in the vernacular is enriching in more ways than one.