Zulu King endorses newly translated isiZulu Bible

A new isiZulu Bible sounds absurd.

But then it appears the “old” translated bibles no longer does it for the Bible Society of SA (BSSA).

On Sunday, head of eastern region of the BSSA Clive van Royen, Zululand District Mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi, IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Ulundi Municipality Mayor Wilson Ntshangase launched the new isiZulu Bible in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Even though there have been other translations before it, the 2020 version is the first for BSSA to be completely done by theologians and language specialists who speak isiZulu as “mother tongue speak”.

Chairman of the Review Committee Manqoba Ndlovu said the following were a problem:

  • Translation of ancient weight and measurements from Hebrew to isiZulu
  • Name of Hebrew months also was a challenge
  • Ancient references to time of day
  • Proper names in the Bible have a meanings – – translating with meaning to isiZulu becomes a problem
  • Words and phrases used
  • Standardising the language – “what is our standard isiZulu?”

“With the development of the Zulu language over the years, this important book needed to be translated to become more relevant with the Zulu language that is spoken in the 21st century,” said the mayor of Ulundi.

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