Kaulong Profile

Kaulong New Testament Translation Project

Profile of the Kaulong

Location:

  • Papua New Guinea, West New Britain Province, Kandrian district, southwest

Language Family:

  • Austronesian (World Atlas of Language Structures Online)

Population:

  • 4,000 (Ethnologue)
  • 5,700 (Joshua Project)

Religion:

  • Primarily Catholic and Lutheran
  • 85% Christian; 10% Evangelical

Literacy:

  • The Throops developed the written language
  • The Gospel of Mark was the first book BI ever printed (2009) in the Kaulong language

Existing Bible Translations:

  • The Kaulong is a first-language project

Project Progress:

  • The New Testament is currently going through final checks.

Overview

The Kaulong people are one of over 850 people groups who live in the country of Papua New Guinea. For thousands of years they have lived and survived in their tropical rain forest home by gardening, hunting (with long 15-20 foot blowguns), and foraging. In the mid-twentieth century most of them converted to Roman Catholicism, superimposing that belief system on top of their traditional animistic beliefs.

In 1979, missionaries Craig and Linda Throop went to live among the Kaulong to learn their language and culture so that they could help them translate the Bible into their own language. They joined Baptist Mid-Missions in 2004, and Bibles International adopted the Kaulong project at that time.

One of the men who has helped them with the translation is Lau. As Lau was exposed to the Word of God through Bible translation, the Spirit of God began to work in his life, and he eventually put his trust in Jesus Christ as his sole and sufficient Savior. One day Lau was asked by Craig why it had taken him and his people so long to come to Christ. "There are two reasons," Lau replied. "First, we have never before heard the beginning of God's story, only the last part. And secondly, we have never before heard it in our own language."

Lau's words underscore two vital elements of the missionary task: the need to teach the "whole counsel of God" and the power of hearing the message in one's own mother tongue.

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