The Bible, Christian Conversion and Expression: The Case of the Talensi of the Upper East Region of Ghana

AUTHORS : Samuel Zuul Bayeti
ISSUE: July 2019 Volume 1 Number 1 Article 4
PAGES : 29 – 38
DOI : 10.32051/07051904



Throughout the ages, God had demonstrated His desire to be encountered by all humans in every race. The Bible constitutes the medium of God’s self-disclosure for all humanity and contains His purposes for the world. Throughout Christian history, the Christian church had used the Bible for its evangelistic and discipleship activities. The Great Commission, which is Jesus’ mandate to his disciples and by extension to all Christian believers stipulates that, the Christian message be communicated to all people in every part of the world. This presupposes that all humans irrespective of language or ethnicity are to hear the gospel, understand it and appropriate it in their socio-cultural and political realms. For a long time, the Talensi language has not had a literary tradition and the people have been without the Judeo-Christian scriptures in their mother tongue. However, churches have been established in some Talensi communities. These churches draw their membership from the native population. This paper investigates how the Talensi have come to encounter the Christian faith and are expressing it in their daily lives. The paper contends that if the Bible constitutes the medium of God’s self-disclosure for all humanity, then the Talensi have a legitimate right to have the Bible in their mother tongue. They need to hear God speak to them directly in their mother tongue instead of through any other language. It is recommended that the Talensi language be reduced into writing and the Judeo-Christian Scriptures translated into the Talensi language to enable the Talensi own the Scriptures and the Christian faith.
Key Words: Missions, Gospel, Conversion, Mother Tongue, translation, appropriation

Author Biodata: SAMUEL ZUUL BAYETI, is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – Kumasi, Ghana.