Teacher translates the Bible

Faith, Normal

The National, Thursday October 10th, 2013

 By TIM SCOTT of Summer Institute of Linguitics, Ukarumpa, Eastern Highlands

FOR  high school teachers like John Caspar, holidays mean a break from normal routines, a chance to rest and to catch up on school-related work. 

But over the school holidays, Caspar, a science teacher in Mt Hagen, met with translator Mack Graham to go over questions he had written down while proofreading the New Testament.  

During the previous school term, he rose almost every day at 4am to read the newly-drafted Scriptures.  

He had read the New Testament in the past, but this time it was special:  he was reading – and editing – the draft version in his own mother tongue, Kandawo.

Reading is important to Caspar.  He reads fluently in Tok Pisin and English.  

Despite his fluency in these second and third languages, Caspar marvels at how he never really understood the Bible until he read it in Kandawo.  

That motivated him to be a part of the team translating the New Testament into Kandawo. 

Lead translator Graham has known Caspar since he was a boy.  

Last week, Caspar was introduced at a church service, and he told of his work in reading and editing the Kandawo Scriptures. 

Afterward, many people came up to shake his hand, sharing that they had been encouraged and challenged by his example.  

Though Caspar is a working man, he gave up his holiday for the second job of editing his own New Testament.  

One person said: “We too are working people. But what have we done for our own Bibles?”

Sometimes, it takes a second job to get the job done.