Concept: Bible Translation


Sections of the Bible were translated into Solomon Islands languages as early as the 1870s. The first was probably the Melanesian Mission translation of John's Gospel into the Nggela language in 1879. This was followed by translations into the Bugotu (Isabel) and Santa Cruz languages in the 1890s, and the languages of Kwara'ae (Malaita) Ulawa, Lau and Sa'a (Malaita), and Arosi (Makira) in the 1900s. The Melanesian Mission Press published these, and the British Foreign Bible Society published other translations. The 'Solomon Islands Languages' section of Sally Edridge's Solomon Islands Bibliography to 1980 lists many externally published Bible translations produced by the Catholics, the South Sea Evangelical Mission, the Methodists and others.

Dr Norman Deck (q.v.) and four Kwara'ae men (two of whom travelled to Australia to help with the work) translated the New Testament of the Bible into the Kwara'ae language of Malaita. This translation, published in 1961, was sponsored by the South Sea Evangelical Mission and the Council of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Australia. In the early 1980s, the Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group was formed as a subcommittee of the Solomon Islands Christian Association to bring the Summer Institute of Linguistics under an ecumenical umbrella.

Most recently, in 2008, the Bible was translated into Solomons Pijin English. (NS Aug. 1961; Terry Brown, personal communication, 10 Oct. 2011)

Related People

Published resources


  • Edridge, Sally, Solomon Islands Bibliography to 1980, Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific; Alexander Turnbull Library; Solomon Islands National Library, Suva, Wellington & Honiara, 1985. Details


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details