Zambia’s Diocese of Solwezi Bishop, Charles Kasonde, this week presided over Holy Mass to launch and commission the locally translated Catholic Bible in three local languages namely, Kaonde, Lunda and Luvale. The three languages are widely spoken in the Diocese of Solwezi.
Speaking in a homily at St. Daniel’s Cathedral Parish, Bishop Kasonde said that Christians need to deepen their knowledge and assimilation of the Word of God by making it the basis of their Christian lives.
Before delivering the homily, the Bishop presented Bibles to six senior citizens present in the congregation (three men and three women). He then gave Bibles to two of the youngest babies who were in the Cathedral. This was a symbolic gesture of the Word of God passing from one one generation to another.
“Before the homily, I would want to perform a ritual of two generations as we receive the Word of God,” Bishop Kasonde said. “I want to connect the two generations of people who helped to plant Ekklesia (the Church) and the younger generation who are growing and who are going to continue to carry out the work of planting Ekklesia...all these I am going to give a Bible each,” explained the Bishop amid applause from the congregation. Bishop Kasonde pointed out that since 1959, the Church in Solwezi has been using the Protestant Bible for its pastoral and liturgical needs.
Earlier in the week, the Bishop had witnessed the offloading of the Bibles from a truck driven by a Muslim man who drove over 2,000 Kilometres to make the delivery.
The Bishop, in particular, expressed appreciation to the Overseas Bible Outreach; the people of South Korea and the Bible Society of Zambia for their invaluable assistance. The translations were carried out by the Solwezi Diocese Pastoral and Liturgical Commissions. The Bishop thanked members of these Commissions for the long hours they put into the work of translation.
“Worth mentioning also is the magnanimous cooperation of the Bible Society of Zambia who allowed us to use their text for the realisation of the Catholic translation of the Word of God,” the Solwezi Bishop said in his acknowledgement note.
Bishop Kasonde said there was the need to be grateful to God and the Korean people for enabling the Diocese reach the stage of having the Word of God translated into the local languages.
“I would like to express and pay tribute of thanks to the Overseas Bible Outreach for funding the printing cost of these Bibles. We will commit ourselves to pray for the success of its apostolate. I am particularly grateful to the Archbishop of Seoul, His Eminence Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo Jung, Rev. Fr. Francis Lee and the Catholic Publishing House of South Korea for their contribution to facilitate the printing of these Bibles in Kaonde, Lunda and Luvale. May God bless and reward you for the work you are doing: Bringing the Word of God closer to the people,“ the Solwezi Ordinary said.
The Catholic Bible contains additional books and some additions. It has a total of 73 books, 46 in the Old Testament while the Protestant Bible has 39 books in the Old Testament. Both the Catholic and Protestant Bible have 27 books in the New Testament.
The additional books in the Catholic Bible are known as the Deuterocanonical/Apocrypha books. These are Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), and Baruch. The Catholic Bible also includes additions to the books of Esther and Daniel.
(Wilbroad Musonda in Solwezi)