R3m TO SIT AT ZUMA’S TABLE
The Jacob G Zuma Foundation is to work with the Roman Catholic Church to improve the existing isiZulu translation of the Bible.
The foundation, established by President Jacob Zuma, announced its partnership with the church in a statement yesterday.
As the foundation’s patron, Zuma is expected at the St Joseph’s Cathedral in Mariannhill, KwaZuluNatal, today to hand over a R500 000 cheque that will go towards the project.
In its statement, the foundation said: “As a speaker of isiZulu, President Zuma has long felt that the existing isiZulu translation of the Scriptures is inadequate and so a new version will now be directly translated from Biblical languages, such as Hebrew and Aramaic, straight into the isiZulu language.”
Though many maintain there should be a clear distinction between religion and the state, the president has never been afraid to espouse Christian ideas in his public statements.
At his traditional pre-Christmas gathering in Nkandla, Zuma reportedly told a group of elderly people that priests should pray for God to send Jesus back to Earth because there were so many sins being committed in South Africa. According to the Sunday Times, Zuma was speaking off the cuff when he said: “The sins we have today are more than those that Jesus came to salvage. I ask the priests to ask God to send His son to come back again to cleanse our sins.” In its statement, the foundation said the new version of the isiZulu Bible would be “more accurate and closer to the original manuscript”.
According to the foundation, the last isiZulu translation of the Bible was done by the Bible Society of SA in 1959.
“This work will culminate in a more relevant Zulu Bible, which is considered a critical evangelisation tool for both worshippers and scholars,” the foundation said.