The Taiwan Bible Association recently unveiled a first volume release of the “Good News for the Hakka: Proverbs, Psalms and the Gospel According to John.” The name Hakka refers to the ethnic native minority whom traditionally dominated the mountains of Taiwan. In Taiwan, the Hakka have also been dubbed “aboriginals” by local Taiwan-residents.
“This book makes use of the contemporary Hakka vernacular as it is spoken on the street. Insofar as it was possible, the translation was made so as to put the Bible into an idiom that can easily be grasped and passed along,” said General Secretary Lai Chun-ming in a recent interview with the local-based Taiwan Church News agency.
Reverend Peng Der-kuej, an expert with years of experience in Hakkanese missions, has pointed out the importance of publishing this bible. Reverend Peng was impressed with the layout that combined Chinese Characters and Romanized-English along with a preface explaining the Romanized system in Hakkanese. “Contemporary trends spur us to greater effort to promote Hakka culture. Hakka TV went on the air in Taiwan interest in study of Hakkanese has grown in many communities,” Reverend Peng said to Taiwan Church News reporters. He expressed hope that the new publication will be openly and enthusiastically accepted by the overall Hakka community.
The new portion bibles are not designed to serve the same functions of full Bibles. Meaning that the bibles were designed to be simplistic enough for Hakka to understand the concepts of the bibles. Conversion, Reverend Peng feels, will depend strongly on patient for the individual and devoted discipleship by lay members.
In open approval of the new portion bible, The Hakka Gospel Association has acquired over 2,000 copies with plans for receiving additional copies for widespread distribution. Funds for advancing this plan comes from the Southern Baptist Convention.