Understanding and Interpretation of Revelation 1:8 by Some Asante-Twi Speaking Scholars

Emmanuel Foster AsamoahORCID iD

Issue: Vol.6  No.3 June 2020 Article 4 pp. 181-189
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020064    |   Published online 22nd June 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

60 Downloads

Without Bible translation, it would have been very difficult for the Church to perform its preaching and teaching mandate in a new environment, for Scriptures were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. A faithful translation of the Bible allows the Church to help the local indigenes to understand the text and theologise aright in their mother-tongue. However, the Asante-Twi Bible, an example of a translated Bible has some text that have not been translated accurately. One of such is the translation of Revelation 1:8, the study area for this paper. The present translation of the Greek text in the Asante-Twi Bible does not allow God to possess an Ashanti name. This article delves into the study of the text with the lens of Ashanti scholars in the Asante-Twi context and an exegesis of the Greek text to look for the sameness in the Asante-Twi. The paper argues for the translation of Revelation 1:8 as: Mene Ahyεaseε ne Awieeε no, Awurade Nyankopɔn na ɔseε, deε ɔwɔ hɔ, na ɔwɔ hɔ dada na ɔreba, ade nyinaa so Tumfoɔ no (“I am the Alpha and Omega,” says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty).

Keywords: Bible Translation, Mother-tongue, The Alpha and Omega, Asante people, Asante name, Asante-Twi Bible, to alpha kai to omega.

Abarry, Abu Shardow. “The Significance of Names in Ghanaian Drama,” Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Dec. 1991), 157-167. https://doi.org/10.1177/002193479102200201


Abraham, Willie E. The Mind of Africa. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1962.


Adomako, Kwasi and Bright Amo, “Some Translation Practices in the Asante Twi Bible,” SKASE Journal of Translation and Interpretation, vol. 7 (1), 2014: 9-27.


Asamoah, Emmanuel F. “A Comparative Study of to Alfa Kai to Omega in the Greek New Testament (Revelation 1:8) and Asante-Twi Bible.” Journal of Mother-Tongue Biblical Hermeneutics and Theology 2, no. 1 (2020): 70-77. https://doi.org/10.38159/motbit.2020049


__________, An Assessment of the translation of TO ALFA KAI TO Was Alfa ne Omega no in the Greek New Testament (Revelation 1:8) and Asante-Twi Twerɛ Kronkron (Sacred Writings), Unpublished MPhil Thesis. Kumasi: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, 2019.


Atta-Akosah, Thomas, “The Language factor in African Christian Mission: Bible Translation and Biblical Interpretation in the Church in African Church,” Journal of African Christian thought, Vol. 15(2), (2012): 20- 25.


Aune, David E. Revelation 3 vols. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997/1998.


Bandy, Alan, “The Hermeneutics of Symbolism: How to Interpret the Symbols of John’s Apocalypse,” SBJT 14.1 (2010): 46-58.


Barnes, T. D. “Legislation against the Christians,” Journal of Roman Studies 58, 1968.


Bible Works Greek LXX/BNT for Windows, Revelation 1:8. Bible Works, LCC, 2003.


Biblesoft PC Study Bible, CD-ROM, version 5.0.


Blount, Benjamin, Personal Names. 2015. Accessed online from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303519288_Personal_Names on April 25, 2020.


Blount, Brian K. Revelation: A Commentary. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.


Brand, Chad, Charles Draper and Archie England (eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, Tennessee: Homan Bible Publishers, 2003.


Bratcher, Robert G. “The Art of Translating,” Bible Translator (9) (1958): 84-9.


Derrida, Jacques “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences.” In Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1978: 278-93.


Dewey, David, A User’s Guide to Bible-Translations: Making the Most of Different Versions. Illinois: InterVasity Press, 2004.


Edusa-Eyison, Joseph M. Y. “The Bible in Dialogue with African life and thought and the role of the Mother tongue: The Contribution of Kwesi Dickson to a new Creative stage in Theology,” Journal of African Christian Thought, Vol. 10, (2007): 8-17.


Ekem, John D. K. Early Scriptures of the Gold Coast (Ghana): The Historical, Linguistic and Theological Settings of the Ga, Twi, Mfantse and Ewe Bibles. Manchester: ST. Jerome Publishing, 2011.


__________, Priesthood in Context: A Study of Priesthood in Some Christian and Primal Communities of Ghana and its Relevance for Mother-Tongue Biblical Interpretation. Accra, GH: SonLife Press, 2009.


Geisler, Norman L. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007.


Kuwornu-Adjaottor, J. E. T. “Bible Studies and Biblical Studies: An Interface”, in The Bible, Cultural Identity, and Missions, ed. Daniel Berchie, Daniel Kwame Bediako and Dziedzorm Reuben Asafo. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.


___________, “Mother-Tongue Biblical Hermeneutics: A Current Trend in Biblical Studies in Ghana,” JETERAPS, 3(4): 575-579.


Loba-Mkole, Jean-Claude, “History and theory of Scripture translations,” Hervormde Teologiese Studies (HTS), vol. 64(1), (2008): 254-266. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v64i1.20


Lockyer, Herbert F. F. Bruce and R. K. Harrison (eds.). Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986.


Mandela, Nelson, “Mandela in his own words.” CNN homepage, June 26, 2008, accessed online from http://edition. cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/06/24/mandela.quotes/ at November 23, 2017 at 21:53 GMT.


Moberly, R. B. “When Was Revelation Conceived?,” Bib 73.3 (1992): 376-393.


Mounce, William D. The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993.


Newmark, Peter, Approaches to Translation. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1981.


Nida, Eugene A. “The paradoxes of translation,” The Bible Translator 42, (2a) (1991): 5-25. https://doi.org/10.1177/026009439104202a03


Nida, Eugene and Charles R. Taber, The Theory and Practice of Translation. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969.


Omniglot: The Online Encyclopaedia of Writing Systems & Languages, Accessed from https://www.omniglot. com/writing/akan.htm on October 28, 2019.


Quarshie, Benhardt Y. “Doing Biblical Studies in the African Context-The Challenge of Mother-Tongue Scriptures,” Journal of African Christian Thought, 5 (2002): 4-14.


Rydelnik, Michael and Michael Vanlaningham (eds.), The Moody Bible Commentary. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014.


Sproul, R. C. The Last Days According to Jesus. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000.


Strong’s Greek Dictionary, Power BibleCD 4.3 Software.


Sweet, J. P. M., Revelation. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1979.


Swete, Henry B. The Apocalyse of St. John. Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA: WM B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1968.


Tenney, Merrill C. New Testament Survey Revised. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1985.


Thayer, Joseph H. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1999.


Umberto, Eco, Experiences in Translation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.


WorldAtlas, Who Are the Akan People? Accessed Online from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/who-are-the-akan-people.html on April 25, 2020.

Emmanuel Foster Asamoah, MPhil, Research Associate, Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. District Pastor, The Church of Pentecost, Antoakrom, Kumasi – Ghana. Email: hisdivinegrace7@gmail.com

Asamoah, Emmanuel F. “Understanding and Interpretation of Revelations 1:8 by some Asante-Twi Speaking Scholars.” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies 6, no.3 (2020): 181-189. https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020064

© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).