THE BIBLE

 

IsiZulu

IsiZulu is the most widely spoken language in South Africa with more than 11 500 000 speakers in the country. The greatest concentration of isiZulu speakers live in KwaZulu-Natal.

Missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) arrived in Port Natal in 1835. This group distinguished themselves as the first translators of the isiZulu Bible. The first complete book of the Bible to be translated into isiZulu was The Gospel according to Matthew translated by George Champion and revised by Newton Adams.

The first complete isiZulu Bible which incorporated the translation work of the ABCFM missionaries was published by the American Bible Society in 1883.

In 1959 a new translation of the isiZulu Bible appeared which is still the preferred Bible of isiZulu speakers. At the request of some churches using the Bible in isiZulu, a new translation is currently underway.