Evaluation of Translation and Interpretation of the Dangme Bible

Jonathan E. T. Kuwornu-Adjaottor ORCID iD 

Issue: Vol.2  No.5 December 2020 Article 2 pp. 109-115
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/motbit.2020122   |   Published online 18th December 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


A critical reading of the Dangme translation of the Bible revealed that there are translation problems of some texts that affect the understanding and application of such texts in the religio-cultural context of Dangme Bible readers. Using the mixed method of research and the mother tongue biblical hermeneutics approach, the author sought to research some phrases of three of such problematic texts: Matt 6:12; Mark 1:12; Luke 24:25. The findings are that among Dangme Bible readers, kε ke (Grk. afes, forgive, let go) in Matt 6:12 matches better with tɔmi ɔmε (wrongdoings, sins) rather than hiɔ ɔmε (Grk. ofeileemata, debts); in Mark 1:12, ha nε e ho (permitted him to go) is a better rendition of the Greek ekballoo (threw out/cast out); in Luke 24:25, Oo nyε juεmi he jɔ, (your mind has become cold) tones down the insult in anoeetoi translated as kuasiahi. The author’s translation of the texts would go a long way in helping Dangme Bible readers understand the said texts in context. The paper has thus, added Dangme translations and interpretations of Matt 6:12, Mark 1:12 and Luke 24:25 to the existing translations and interpretations of the texts.

Keywords: Dangme Bible, translation, interpretation, mother tongue

Bediako, K. Christianity in Africa: The Renewal of Non-Western Religion. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1999.

_______. Jesus in Africa: The Gospel in African History and Experience. Akropong: Editions Clé and Regnum Africa, 2000.

_______. Biblical Exegesis in the African Context – The Factor and Impact of the Translated Scriptures” Journal of African Christian Thought Volume 6, Number 1, June 2003: 15-24.

_______. Religion, Culture and Language: An Appreciation of the Intellectual Legacy of Dr. J.B. Danquah – J. B. Danquah Memorial Lectures, Series 37, February 2004. Accra: Ghana Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2006.

Collins R. F. I & II Timothy and Titus. The New Testament Library. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Derrida, J. Of Grammatology. Balttimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1976.

Ekem, J. D. K. Priesthood in Context: A Study of Priesthood in Some Christian and Primal Communities of Ghana and its Relevance for Mother-Tongue Biblical Interpretation. Accra: SonLife Press, 2008.

_________. Early Scriptures of the Gold Coast (Ghana): The Historical, Linguistic, and Theological Settings of the Gā, Twi, Mfantse, and Ewe Bibles. Rome/Manchester: Edizioni di Storia Eletteratura/St. Jerome, 2011.

Kpobi, D. N. A. Entrusted with the Word: A History of the Bible Society of Ghana, 1965-2015. Accra: Heritage Publications, 2015.

Kuwornu-Adjaottor, J. E. T. Mother-Tongue Biblical Hermeneutics: A Current Trend in Biblical Studies in Ghana. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies (JETERAPS) 3 no. 4 (2012): 575-579.

________. Doing Biblical Studies using the Mother-tongue Approach. All Nations University Journal of Applied Thought (ANUJAT) 1 no. 1 (2012): 55-80.

________. A Comparative Study of the Translation of anoeetoi (Lk 24:25) in the Greek New Testament and Dangme Bible, in Samson Fatokun, Jacob Ayantayo Solomon.

Mepaiyeda, Olusesan Familusi, Samuel Okanlawon (eds) AFRICAN CHRISTIANITY IN LOCAL AND GLOBAL CONTEXT: A Festchrift in Honour of Rev. Prof Isaac Deji Ayegboyin. Ibadan: Department of Religious Studies, University of Ibadan, 2019: 232-243.

________. A Critical Study of the Translation of Mark 1:12 in the Dangme Translation of the Bible. Oguaa Journal of Religion and Human Values 5 no 2 (2019):146-164.

________. A Critical Translation of Matthew 6:12 in the Dangme Bible. Journal for the Study of the New Testament in Southern Africa 54 no. 1 (2020):67-86.

Sanneh, L. Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture. New York: Orbis Books, 2004.

________. Gospel and Culture: Ramifying Effects of Scripture Translation. In: Stine, P.C. ed., Bible Translation and the Spread of the Church, The Last 200 Years. Leiden: Brill, 1990.

Tyson, L. Critical Theory: A User-Friendly Guide. New York/London: Routledge, 2006.

Jonathan Edward Tetteh Kuwornu-Adjaottor (PhD), is an Associate Professor of New Testament and Mother Tongue Biblical Hermeneutics at the Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.

Kuwornu-Adjaottor , J.E.T., “Evaluation of Translation and Interpretation of the Dangme Bible.” Journal of Mother-Tongue Biblical Hermeneutics and Theology 2, no.5(2020): 109-115. https://doi.org/10.38159/motbit.2020122

© 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/).