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The story of the Bible among Ovakwanyama : the agency of indigenous translators.

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This research deals with Bible translating into Oshikwanyama between 1891 and 1974. Poeple who live in northern Namibia and southern Angola speak Oshikwanyama. The research will focus on stages of translation projects and work done by translators, co-ordinators and the translation committee, as from German missionaries from the Rhenish Missionary Society for Finnish missionaries from Finnish Missionary Society. However, the focus will concentrate more on the agency of African indigenous translators. The German missionaries started the translation of the New Testament into Oshikwanyama with the assistance of the indigenous people when they arrived in Oukwanyama in 1891. The New Testament was printed in 1927 in London. The Finnish missionaries started the translation of the whole Bible into under the auspices of the BFBS Oshikwanyama in late 1958, and it was published by the BSSA in Cape Town in 1974. In line with the focus of this research, little has been documented up t6o now about African missionary identities and their contributions. The present research on Bible translation into Oshikwanyama aims to correct this by giving their biographies in some details. The issue of Bible translation into Oshikwanyama went hand in hand with the development of the language in written form. Therefore at the end the Oshikwanyama were very happy because God now speak to them in their language and at the same time their language has been recignized. In this research you will find out that indigenous people were not only behind the translation of the Bible into Oshikwanyama, but they were involved in that translation, proofreading and the correct appropriation of words. The 1974 Bible in Oshikwanyama is the product of African missionaries. After reading this thesis you will know them by their names and individual contributions.


Thesis (M.Th.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2004.


Bible--Translating., Theses--Theology., Missions--History--19Th Century., Missions--History--20Th Century., Missions--Namibia., Missions--Angola., Ovambo (African People)--Missions.