Monday, May 6, 2013

The Creole Bible (Bib Kreyòl La)

I'd like to share a bit of information about the Creole Bible and compare and contrast two Bibles that are available. (These are the only two Creole Bibles that I know of at this point. If there are any others, please contribute by adding a comment at the end of this post.)

This post is mostly for the benefit of missionaries and short-term groups who want to bring Bibles to Haiti. Hopefully it will be helpful and informative to you!

Bible #1: Bib La: Pawòl Bondye an Ayisyen
ISBN: 978-1-59877-393-4
Published by Societe Biblique Haitienne
46, Rue Fernand, Canape Vert
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
(509) 2244-0129;

Pros and Cons 
+  Most popular, widespread, the Bible they will use in Haitian church
+  Entire Bible is translated
+  Easily available and affordable (sellers almost always at the airport in Port, apprx. $15 USD)
-  Translation is not the best quality (see examples below)
-  Some spelling and orthography outdated

Bible #2: Bib Kreyòl La
ISBN: 1-59645-102-5 soft cover; 1-59645-103-3 bonded leather
Published by Bibles International
600 36th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Pros and Cons
+  Translation is superior
+  Spelling and orthography are proper for modern Creole
-  Only the New Testament is translated (Old Testament 10-15% complete).
-  Most recent press run of Bibles (2007) is almost sold out, according to their website. Another press run of 10,000 is scheduled for 2014, set to include Psalms and Proverbs with the New Testament.

Translation Comparison
If you read Creole, you will easily be able to see how much more elegant, precise, and accurate the translation is for Bible #2. If you don't read Creole, you should be able to tell the difference through the (rough) English translation I have provided.

Matthew 5:6
Bible #1: "Benediksyon pou moun ki anvi viv jan Bondye vle l la, paske Bondye va ba yo sa yo vle a."
(In English): Blessing for person who wants to live how God wants them to, because God will give them what they want.

Bible #2: "Benediksyon pou moun ki grangou pou jistis, epi ki swaf li, paske yo va kontante."
(In English): Blessing for person who hungry for righteousness, and who thirsty it, because they will be content.

Ephesians 6:14
Bible #1: "Pare kò nou: mare verite a tankou yon sentiwon nan ren nou. Pwoteje nou ak jistis Bondye a tankou plak pwotèj sòlda yo mete sou lestonmak yo pou pwoteje yo."
(In English): Prepare your body: tie the truth like a belt on your waist. Protect yourself with God's righteousness like a protective plaque that soldiers put over their stomach to protect themselves.

Bible #2: "Donk, kanpe fem. Sa vle di: Mare ren nou ak sentiwon verite a. Mete kiras jistis la sou nou."
(In English): So, stand firm. That means, tie your waist with the truth belt. Put the breastplate of righteousness on you.

John 3:16
Bible #1: "Paske, Bondye sitèlman renmen lèzòm li bay sèl Pitit li a pou yo. Tout moun ki va mete konfyans yo nan li p'ap pèdi lavi yo. Okontrè y'a gen lavi ki p'ap janm fini an."
(In English): Because, God so much like men he give his only Son for them. Everybody who will place their confidence in him does not lose their life. On the contrary, they have life that does not ever finish.

Bible #2: "Paske, Bondye te tèlman renmen lemonn, li bay sèl Pitit gason l lan, dekwa pou tout moun ki kwè nan li pa peri, men pou yo genyen lavi etènèl."
(In English): Because, God so much liked world, he give his only Son, so that everybody who believes in him not perish, but have eternal life.

Comments and Summary
The three sample verses I listed above should speak for themselves regarding the quality of the translation. However, due to availability and common usage, if you are looking for large quantities of Bibles to give away, Bible #1 will be more readily available, and it will be what most Haitians are used to. If you want a gift for a pastor or Bible student, I would recommend Bible #2 if you can still get one (I got 4 with not trouble simply by calling Bibles International. They charged me only $7.50 a copy for the Bonded Leather New Testament, and they shipped them really fast). Also, if you are looking for a Bible for yourself to read as you learn Creole, I would highly recommend Bible #2.

1 comment:

Thank you for commenting! I love comments! You have just made my day! :-)