Written by Mitchell Michie, photo by Janeen Michie
The Binumarien people have been actively using their vernacular New Testament dedicated in 1984 and the vernacular compilation of Genesis, Exodus and Psalms published in 2003.
The current translation team is working to complete the whole Bible. Namondi Unare leads the team of five Binumarien men in the current Old Testament translation effort. Mitchell Michie has been assisting and training the team. The team has drafted much of the Old Testament, but it is expected to take several years before their Old Testament work is completed.
A couple of years ago, some Binumariens requested to buy a New Testament. Their thirty-two year old New Testaments were worn out due to much use and the harsh tropical environment. One man showed us his New Testament that had lost its cover. The pages were smoked up from wood fires that they make in their houses for cooking and kezeping warm. Concerns were also raised that the young people did not have a vernacular Bible. Unfortunately, no more Bibles were available.
In 2017, the Binumarien translation team slowed down their Old Testament translation work in order to focus on getting the Scriptures that had already been published back into print. Their revised Bible includes the New Testament, Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Proverbs, and Esther. They made some minor revisions to the original text and removed tone markers. The new publication also includes new maps, illustrations, and a topical index for Bible study.
The New Testament revision with five Old Testament books was dedicated June 16, 2018. Besides making Scripture available, which leads to spiritual transformation, the publication of this volume will strengthen the language group’s use of their mother tongue and help to preserve their rich cultural identity.