More Information
ISBN: 9781783689040
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 14
Publication Date: 31/07/2015
Pages: 266
Language: English

Bible Translation in Suriname

An Overview of its History, Translators, and Sources

The Republic of Suriname has a long and rich heritage of Bible translation spanning more than 250 years, yet very little has been published on its history. In this book Dr Franklin Jabini, a Surinamer as well as a translator himself, provides the reader with a detailed survey of the history of Bible translation across the many language groups of Suriname. Illustrating the difficult and complicated process of Bible translation, the book furnishes brief biographies of translators, both national and foreign, as well as the denominations and parachurch organizations involved. This book is not just a historical account, but provides important insight into the efforts of reaching all tribes, tongues and nations with God’s word.

Author Bios

Franklin Steven Jabini

FRANKLIN JABINI is the Head of the Postgraduate School of the South African Theological Seminary (SATS). He serves the Evangelical School of Theology in Suriname (EST) and the Caribbean College of the Bible International in Trinidad (CCBI) in different capacities. Since 1988, he has been a full-time worker with the Plymouth Brethren.


Dr Frank Jabini’s book is very impressive; he gives a thorough overview of translation work in Suriname. Moreover, this book gives good insight to the inner workings of the technical and logistical details of Bible transla- tion projects. It is a must read for anyone interested in the spread of the Bible translations, the Bible itself and the history of Scripture development in Suriname.

Paul Doth, Jr
General Secretary Bible Society of Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana

In Dr Franklin Jabini’s book on Bible Translation in Suriname, he gives very interesting insights into the tensions that exist between various approaches to Bible translation, and factors that have hindered or enhanced the historical progress of translating the Scriptures and other materials in the life of the church in Suriname. The fact that he speaks as an insider, or a national of Suriname, lends tremendous credibility to his views and findings in his years of detailed research into the various mission movements and translation activities into the various languages and creoles of Suriname over a 250-year time frame.

Dr Barry Funnell
The Word for the World Bible Translators,
United Kingdom

This new book of Dr Franklin Jabini, Bible Translation in Suriname, is a valuable book and resource of knowledge about the history of the country and the church. It gives us a clear insight into the beginning and process of Bible translation in the different languages and cultures in this country. He looks at the biblical scholars, the linguists and the indigenous brothers and sisters with their knowledge of culture and language. I am warmly recommending this book.

The Right Reverend John Kent
Moravian Church,

The author, who has great affinity with the subject matter, gives a detailed overview of Bible translations in one of the most multicultural societies of South America. The book provides the history of Bible translations in Suriname, biographical information of the translators and discusses the challenges of translating ancient texts and foreign concepts into a different cultural setting.

Dr Paul Peucker
Archivist of the Moravian Church in America Northern Province

Bible Translation in Suriname is a unique book which provides a panoramic perspective of the Bible’s translation in Suriname over a period of 250 years. The usefulness of this volume is enhanced by providing a quick reference to the history of Bible translations in Suriname in a very readable format and will prove to be an indispensable reference work. This volume deserves a place in every seminary and theological institution’s library.

Professor Arthur Song
Former Dean and Faculty of Theology and Religion Studies,
University of Zululand

Dr Franklin Jabini’s book, Bible Translation in Suriname, is a must read for anyone interested in Bible translation in general and modern church development, specifically through the lens of the Caribbean region’s rich history of Bible translation, minority language and Creole language development, regional church history, missions and the growth of an emancipated local church. This book fits the growing trend in localized and regional documentation and historical interpretation of Bible translation, which is not provincial or isolated by any means, but very much part of an ongoing global dialogue.

Rev Dr Marlon Winedt
Global Translation Advisor,
United Bible Societies Willemstad

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Abstract
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Abbreviations
    1. Chapter 1
      1. The Bible Translation in Suriname
        1. 1.1 Introduction
        2. 1.2 Ethnicity and language in Suriname
        3. 1.3 What is Bible translation?
        4. 1.4 The early Surinamese society: 1650-1740
        5. 1.5 Structure and method of this book
  5. Part I: Early Translations, 1740-1955
    1. Chapter 2
      1. Missionary Linguistics: Arawak and Saramaccan
        1. 2.1 Introduction
        2. 2.2 Arawak Scriptures
        3. 2.3 Saramaccan: Early beginnings (1765-1805)
    1. Chapter 3
      1. Acceptance of the Bible: Sranantongo
        1. 3.1 Introductions
        2. 3.2 The Moravians
        3. 3.3 The Roman Catholic Church
        4. 3.4 The first native Surinamese Bible Translator
        5. 3.5 Conclusion
    1. Chapter 4
      1. Bible Distribution and Translation Agencies
        1. 4.1 Introduction
        2. 4.2 The Dutch Bible Society (1814–1900)
        3. 4.3 Vereeniging tot verspreiding van Bijbels en Traktaten inSuriname (1900–1950)
        4. 4.4 Towards a Surinamese Bible Society (1966–2006)
        5. 4.5 Summer Institute of Linguistics (1966–2001)
  6. Part II: Fifty Years of Bible Translations, 1956–2003
    1. Chapter 5
      1. Partnership: Sranantongo
        1. 5.1 Introduction
        2. 5.2 The revision of Old Sranantongo translations (1956–1961)
        3. 5.3 Towards a new Sranantongo Bible: Genesis (1972–1977)
        4. 5.4 A new translation of the New Testament (1977–2002)
        5. 5.5 An Old Testament project
        6. 5.6 Non-print media
        7. 5.7 Other translations
        8. 5.8 Conclusion
    1. Chapter 6
      1. Mentorship: Saramaccan and Ndyuka
        1. 6.1 Introduction
        2. 6.2 The Bible Society (1956-1963)
        3. 6.3 Saramaccan New Testament (1968-1998)
        4. 6.4 Ndyuka New Testament (1968–1999)
    1. Chapter 7
      1. Ownership: The Languages of the Indigenous Peoples
        1. 7.1 Introduction
        2. 7.2 Arawak (1972-1978)
        3. 7.3 Carib (1968-2003)
        4. 7.4 Trio and Wayana (1959-1979)
    1. Chapter 8
      1. Independency: Surinamese Javanese and Sarnami Hindustani
        1. 8.1 Introduction
        2. 8.2 Sarnami Hindustani (1973–1998)
        3. 8.3 Surinamese Javanese (1979–2001)
    1. Chapter 9
      1. Issues in Bible Translation
        1. 9.1 Introduction
        2. 9.2 Partnership of stakeholders
        3. 9.3 Type of translation.
        4. 9.4 Languages for Bible translation
        5. 9.5 Format of Scriptures
        6. 9.6 How much of the Bible?
        7. 9.7 Translating names of deity in Suriname
        8. 9.8 Recommendations
  7. Part III: Translators
  8. Part IV: Sources
    1. Location of translations
    2. Literature on Bible translation in Suriname
    3. Guide to translations
    4. Sample verses
  9. Photos
  10. Bibliography
  11. Index

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