Soferet Baht Yehuda
KNN-British Isles, London
However, as the purists and revisionists within Jamaican society remain divided along the lines of class and snobbery, neo-colonialism and English language superiority complexes; according to the Bible Society of the West Indies, “for five million people, Jamaican patois is the language of the street and home; full of character and expression, it’s a language that captures the spirit of the Caribbean”. Not withstanding the fact that Patois speakers remain one of the largest groups in the world without any scripture in their own language.
The £250.000 project is well on its way and due to be completed in 2012 and since it is the New Testament and not the whole Bible; it may well be in time for the ‘Second Coming’ of Jesus Christ; another issue not for flippant digression. According to ‘ONE VERSE PROJECT UPDATE’, the team is currently checking and reviewing the Scripture soon to be ready to send drafts to Greek scholars for review. Later, a website would be designed to host some of the translated material. Support is also being sought from the Jamaican Language Unit at the University of the West Indies. Audio and other translations forms are also planned.
Until recently, Jamaican Patois was a largely oral linguistic form, seen only in racist history books as a form of ridicule along with degrading cartoon-like images of Africans. Since then, a growing nation in post-colonial cultural confidence with its heritage and identity in its language was helped by Cultural Attache the late legendary Louise Bennett, who popularised the language by writing it down in poetry, prose live performances.
Patois is also the main language for humour and stage comedy, hence some of the more pious, pompous and traditional Jamaican Christians of the upper classes; objecting to the messages of the Lord being be taken and “…..mek fool! Fool! an poppyshow!”
While the linguist, etymological, lexicon and the socio-cultural debates between African-Linguists and traditional church purists rage on; there are other more underlying deceptive dynamics at play. The message being sent reinforces the disconnection of African Jamaican from their Hebrew Israelite spiritual roots by focussing on the New Testament, where most of the deceptive theological interpretations were deliberately inserted, with the institution of Christianity.
There was and still is a spiritual war against the African- Edenic Hebrew Israelite message of the First (Old) Testament and the Laws of Moses.
Bob Marley, the legendary Reggae- conscious Jamaican artist made the Jamaican Patois language artistically popular in the global world of music. His message ‘Emancipate yuhself from mental slavery’ is apt here. While King James may have been the archetypal snob to this translation today; “ …mi cyan tel im sey, im is ah hypocrite, tu rahtid. B’ car im dida translate de Bible inna im lingo wit im ‘thou’ ‘thee’ an ‘thy’ di lingo of im people dem fi dat time.” I hope the translators also send the drafts to Hebrew scholars for proofing, since the Greeks had already doctored the original text.
KNN’s Soferet is working on the Ten Commandments translation in Patois. Not for laughs though.“ Ah serious ting dat!” “ Di God of Israel ah labrish (chat/talk) thru burnin bush, soh if me nah tan ‘umble an a gwain like Miraim, oonu might nat hear from me again if judgement cum pan meh.” Shalom.