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Canadian Bible Society
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Main  | Media Kit | Press Releases
Press Releases

August 2, 2008

Attention: News, features, lifestyle, religion editors

The Canadian Bible Society (CBS) is celebrating the dedication of the Ojibwe Bible - including a partial Old Testament

Dryden, Ontario — The Ojibwe Bible, was launched on August 2, 2008 in Dryden, Ontario where more than 800 people gathered at the Northern Youth Ministries, Beaver Lake Camp for a Family Camp/Music festival, to help celebrate the completion of this new Bible.

photoAlthough the first Ojibwe New Testament was completed in 1988, and prior to that, between 1833 and 1854, some scripture portions were available in Ojibwe, this is the first Ojibwe Bible with a partial Old Testament (about 50%) published along with a freshly revised NT.

CBS involvement in this translation project began more than twenty years ago under the guidance of Rev. Bob Bryce, an Anglican priest who worked as a consultant for CBS until his retirement five years ago. Our partners, Henry Hostetler - serving with Impact North, and Ojibwe translator Jim Keesic have been working diligently on this translation for more than 20 years.

Henry Hostetler has told CBS that this project has been very dear to his heart and he is thrilled to have worked on it with his friend Jim Keesic. Jim says, "I was the main translator for my language - the Ojibwe language, and the work was very slow - very tedious. But about six years ago, the Canadian Bible Society gave me Paratext, which really helped to speed up the translation process because I could look at multiple word lists and I could open many windows at the same time." Paratext is cutting edge computer technology used today by close to 2,000 translation projects around the world, to facilitate Bible translation.

From the CBS translation office in Kitchener, Ontario Ruth Heeg, Ed Peters, Hart Wiens, Jeff Klassen and Barb Penner, have invested a lot of time through consultation, checking for quality assurance, text processing, and in the past year with typesetting. The Ojibwe Bible translation is unique because it is published in di-script - whereby the Ojibwe text in Syllabic script is set alongside the same text in Roman script. This makes the Bible widely accessible to the Ojibwe people, some of whom read Syllabic and some of whom only read Roman as taught in the schools today.

Hart Wiens calls this Ojibwe Bible, "A wonderful gift for our Ojibwe speaking brothers and sisters" and emphasizes that, "This Bible will be a great encouragement to the Ojibwe people because it can now be read in their own language. Nothing moves the heart like God's Word in a person's heart language."

Former Ojibwe Chief, William Forbester, was thrilled to be at this important event and he said, "I'm really happy that we're able to be able to teach or talk to our people in our own language, from the Scripture. I'm so excited that this is happening. I had the first part of the New Testament, but I sort of missed that Old Testament part. Now today is a great day for me to be able to read the Old Testament now with the New Testament."

After more than 20 years, the dream of hearing God speak through His Word in the Ojibwe language has become a reality, and thousands of Ojibwe people will now be able to receive God's message of love in their heart language.

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