I read this book on three levels because of (a) my marriage of 45 years to a Polynesian woman from Hawaii, (b) my years as a Christian missionary, and (c) my years teaching linguistics. The New Testament in Hawaii Pidgin might at first be misperceived as ethnic humor, but this is a serious project of the Wycliffe Bible Translators, hardly tongue-in-cheek dudes. I found my copy at the nonfacetious Univ. of Hawaii bookstore, where I presented it to two Polynesian cashiers for their opinions. Both reacted with enthusiasm, saying that it was a Bible they could better relate to emotionally, though they also spoke excellent English. It's fun to read, and though I've read the Bible in other languages, I gained A LOT of insight from this disarmingly direct dialect. The spelling reflects pronunciation; "special" is "spesho," "everything" is "erryting," etc. "Jesus chose his 12 apostles" becomes "Jesus ben pick his 12 spesho guys."Da Wycliffe Translayta guys didn't just cobble it together by "talking funny." Da tranlata guys wen make Da Jesus Book wit local kine peopo. Wuz 26 local peopo dat stay talk Pidgin from small keed time, dat do um. Dey make shua erryting mean da same ting jalike da way da peopo wen write down da Bible firs time. Da main translayta guys, dey da ones dat talk Pidgin all da time, cuz dey know wass da bestes way fo say stuffs so all da local peopo goin undastan. Da team check erryting five o six time, an use all kine commentary books fo make shua da meaning stay okay. Dey use da heavy kine Pidgin from country side, cuz dis book fo da people dat talk Pidgin all da time an English onny litto bit. Also too, fo plenny peopo who onny talk Pidgin, dis way mo bettah fo undastan.Read more ›
Being a serious student of the Bible for almost 50 years, I have a number of translations, versions, and paraphrased editions in my library which I use for comparison as well as reading and studying. This Pidgin English volume offers a brand new perspective unlike any other, in that it is written in such simple earthy terms that not only the meaning of the verses but the "heart" of the verses jumps out at you. Reading aloud from it is also enjoyable entertainment in small informal group settings. I highly recommend it.
This is a wonderful book! For lovers of Hawai'i and for lovers of God! It really takes me back to the Islands...I graduated from High school there and went to UH for college...It is just so fun to read what Jesus says in pidgin!!
Da Jesus Book is the New Testament in the Hawaiian Pidgin language. It will read like a paraphrase to most English speakers but is actually a true translation (done by the highly respected Wycliffe people). Hawaiian Pidgin is distinct from typical English in several ways. It seems to use only three verb tenses. Some words are used repeatedly for many different things. The vocabulary is extremely limited. This is what makes it so very wonderful. The Scripture becomes alive in new ways because of the limited vocabulary. For instance; they have no word for 'peace' so they say 'let your heart rest inside', 'sin' becomes 'da bad kine stuff dey like do jus cuz de peopo', 'verily verily' becomes 'ho!', and 'Messiah' becomes 'da Spesho Guy God Goin Send'. When I use this translation for public reading, the typical initial response is giggling... but after a paragraph or two, fascination sets in as the truth takes on a childlike quality that connects with warmth and emotion. For me, more often that any other translation, people are moved to tears when they hear it read. Most people do not want it to stop. But some people... uh, well, I guess we must always suffer with some people... Because of the vocabulary, technical parts of the Bible suffer, but then other parts take on new life. For me, Romans is terrible to read in Da jesus Book, but the Gospels and Acts are wonderful. If you're trying one out, I might suggest Luke 24:13-35 (road to Emmaus), or Galatians 5:19-24 (deeds of the flesh & fruit of Spirit). But beware, they have words which we do not. And it takes practice to read it well. There is a companion CD that you might purchase to help with pronunciation, inflection, and rhythm. God Bless, Thomas S Boswell
I bought this Bible for two reasons: one, I really enjoy listening to people speak in Pidgin. I once had a boss who did that and I can't think of anyone who sounded more colorful than him, especially with his frequent cursing. I know a lot of Hawaiians seem to be ashamed of this dialect and try to hide it but to me, this is a wonderful aspect of their culture. The second reason I bought this was to compare to official versions of the Bible such as the NASB, NIV, King James, etc.
In my opinion, the message in the Pidgin New Testament comes across with the same intent and meaning as it does in the standard versions of the Bible. That is, you can read this one and understand what God is saying through the various writers of the Gospel and the other books in the New Testament. Aside from the unusual language, the meaning is not distorted.
I did find myself having to look up a lot of words, though. I thought I was more familiar with Pidgin but I guess I wasn't. Reading something in that dialect is a lot more difficult than listening to people speak it, especially because when listening, one can gain clues about the meaning of things from the context as well as the inflection and gestures of the speaker. I found the book a bit difficult to follow and had to really slow down and concentrate on the text to truly understand it.
Bottom line: this version captures the intent and spirit of the real Bible, so if it helps someone to understand the New Testament or is a factor in them accepting Jesus Christ, then what more could you ask for? I think it's a great idea.