I first discovered that the Christian Bible had been translated into Jamaican Patois at Ant Writes blog. I don’t remember what I was originally searching for, but was pleasantly surprised when I accidentally found this controversial news. Imagine, the lilting beauty of the language as expressed in the fiery redemption songs of Reggae music – now being used to describe Jesus Christ’s gift of redemption!
Many Jamaican Christians are talking about how wonderful it is to have the Bible translated into their language of birth. The people are very excited and feel that the scriptures in patwa (patois) “comes alive” as never before.
“People are diabolically against Bible translation because of what it does for the common people” at 15:26
John Roomes, CEO, Wycliffe Caribbean
On the other side are those who feel that Jamaican patwa (creole) is too crude and vulgar a language for the Holy Bible to be translated into. They also feel that patwa is too limited to convey the nuances of the Biblical scripture in the way English does, and that translating the Bible into patwa is a huge backward step for Jamaica.
As a speaker of “ebonics”, I have my opinions about the issue. In these videos, the people speak on their joy of having the “J.P.” version of the Holy Bible.
- The ‘Jesus book’ that divides Jamaicans (bbc.co.uk)
- Jamaica’s patois Bible: The word of God in creole (repeatingislands.com)