‘You can imagine my emotions…’
Earlier this month the Prime Minister of Chad, Mr Joseph Djimrangar Dadnadji, broke away from meetings with international leaders to attend the dedication of the Chadian Arabic New Testament at a local church in N’Djamena, accompanied by most of his cabinet.
“You can imagine my emotions,” said the Prime Minister, “because you know what the Word of God means to me. As the prophet Isaiah said, ‘the Word is like rain, when it falls it has impact.’” (He was paraphrasing Isaiah 55:10).
Arabic and Roman script
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the Bible Society of Chad for the new translation, which will help Chadians read the Bible and promote bilingualism. (Chadian Arabic is the joint first official language in Chad, along with French.) He also praised their decision to print editions both in Arabic and Roman script.
The government’s website declares, “Now colloquial Arabic speakers will have no difficulty in reading the New Testament published in Arabic by the local Bible Society of Chad.”
Bible Society General Secretary Jérôme Altana said he hoped that the New Testament would contribute to national unity as 60% of Chad’s 11 million people speak Chadian Arabic. He thanked the Prime Minister for the President of Chad’s generous gift to help make the cost of the New Testaments affordable for local people, and also to help with its distribution across the country.
Audio recording in a rich mix of Arabic accents
Nearly 800 people attended the dedication ceremony, joining in prayer and thanksgiving for the new translation. Excerpts from the audio recording of the new translation were also played during the service. The audio version includes a rich mix of Arabic accents from five different regions across Chad. The new translation will also soon be among the 245+ languages available digitally through the YouVersion Bible app.
This new translation is the fruit of 15 years of work by the Bible Society of Chad and its partners, WEC International and SIL International. Work is well underway on the Old Testament, which is due for completion in 2016. It will be the very first time the Old Testament will be available in Chadian Arabic.
Please pray that the New Testament will have a significant impact on this nation and God will help the translation team to complete the Old Testament as soon as possible.