Complete Gypsy Bible Scheduled for Next Year
A complete Bible in the Romani (Gypsy) language will roll off the presses sometime next year, completing a joint project of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries and the United Bible Societies in the United Kingdom.
"It will be the first authorized translation of the complete Romani Bible to appear, and it's the next logical step in the Scripture ministries of the Fellowship's Gypsy team, said "T" Thomas, CBF missionary based in Paris.
Printing of the complete Bible follows the first printing of a Romani New Testament in 1995, in a joint venture of Virginia Baptists, CBF and the UBS. That printing, funded by a $13,000 gift fromVirginia Baptists, helped pave the way for new ministry opportunities among 40 million Gypsy people scattered across several continents, Thomas said.
The United Bible Societies and CBF decided to move ahead with the publishing and distribution of a complete Bible as the initial printing of 3,300 copies of the New Testament began to run low.
Text will come from the only surviving copy of a Romani Old Testament housed at the University of Cambridge library.
The CBF Gypsy team projects that scanning the existing Old Testament into a computer can begin in November, Thomas said. "After that, it can be proofread and printed." Missionary Keith Holmes, a member of the CBF Gypsy team, has already experimented successfully with scanning some chapters.
"We initially thought that we would need to type this manually and volunteers from CBF South Carolina have already signed up to do the job." Thomas said "Now, by scanning it, we can save months in delays and also cut costs."
"Though few funds are currently allotted to this project, we feel that once the word is out interest will grow and the necessary resources will be found," Thomas said.
"This is another turning point in sharing the Gospel with the Gypsy people of the world. Now, when people ask, 'When can we have the rest of the Bible in our language?' we can say, 'Soon, very soon!'"
World News: New Commission for United Kingdom's Evangelical Alliance. By Peter Linford.
© 1997 Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc.