Kalabari people receive their Bible with unspeakable joy

The speakers of the Kalabari Language in Rivers State, came out in their hundreds, dancing and singing as they received their Bible Fiafia Baibulu when it was dedicated at the Ecumenical Centre, Port Harcourt.

IMG_0409They were led by their King, His Majesty, Professor T. J. Princewill, Amachree XI who defied his health Igwestatus as he came in a wheel chair accompanied by his wife and his chiefs to receive their Bible which they had longed to see for 53 years. The King was excited that the Bible was dedicated during his reign. He directed that a copy each be given to each of the churches in Kalabari, at his own expense, to encourage the speaking of the language and to preserve it.

Bishop Emmanuel Bobmanuel kissing the Bible
Bishop Emmanuel Bobmanuel kissing the Bible

The Guest Speaker, Bishop Emmanuel Bobmanuel urged the jubilant crowd to embrace the Lord and his Word to have peace, adding that only the Bible has the power to save a nation, an individual and a family. He encouraged all parents to teach their children how to speak the Kalabari Language, while the Chairman of the occasion and General Overseer of Overcomers Ministry of Believers Fellowship, Bishop Ombo Isokariari expressed joy that the Kalabari Bible project has helped to unite the people of Kalabari. He urged them to maintain the unity and draw closer to God.

The Archbishop of Rivers Province of the African Church, the Most Reverend D. B. Kaladokubo who served as the fourth Secretary of the Kalabari Bible Translation Project Committe for about 10 years, described himself as the happiest Kalabari person. “The whole Kalabari people are happy now that the Bible is out. It is easier for me nowIMG_0101 to use the Bible to teach and preach. Everybody is happy because we have the Bible in our mother tongue,” he added. Also sharing his joy, the Bishop of Christ Army Church of Nigeria, the Most Reverend Dr. Ibiba Siri said Kalabari Bible means a lot to him and the entire Kalabari people. According to him, the Bible will strengthen the unity of the people and as well encourage the speaking of the language.

The efforts to translate the Bible into Kalabari started in 1965.The New Testament with Psalms was dedicated in 2003, while the complete Bible came out 15 years later. The Bible was translated by three people, reviewed by 18 people and was supervised by seven Translation Consultants.

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