Church in Kurdistan- Church Mission Society
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Missionaries complete 28 year Sorani language Bible translation project

Wed 19 Apr 2017
By Premier Journalist

A 28 year project to translate the Bible into the central Kurdish language of Sorani has been completed.

Now Sorani speakers in Kurdstian, which is in Northern Iraq, have access to the scriptures for the first time thanks to the Church Mission Society (CMS) and well as other partners.

The new translation is available in physical copies. People can also access it digitally through the YouVersion app and a newly designed Kurdish app called Pertukekem ('My Book').

Paul Thaxter from CMS told Premier's News Hour the translation was a great need.

He said: "Having the Bible anchors your faith and enables people to engage it in a way that you just can't simply do with not having the written word and not having the stories told to you orally".

Thaxter says the project took a massive amount of commitment which included working alongside indigenous Kurds and other foreign nationals drafting text, checking names, terminology and style, and finally checking both the Old and New Testaments so they could be published together for the first time as the complete Bible.

He said: "I think any translation of the Bible to do it well, requires a long term commitment to that.

"Our people there have been able to do that and through many different situations, whether there's been peace or not peace they've been able to be commitment to local people in the local language so it does take a long time actually to do that".

The organisation believes this will leave a legacy.

Thaxton said: "This is a gift not simply for this generation but it's an intergenerational gift.

"So I know it may have taken 28 years to bring this translation together in the Bible, but it's going to serve future generations."

CMS has already received positive feedback from Sorani speakers. A man told them he felt "empowered" by being able to use the new version on his mobile phone".

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