Mizo New Testament

  • Location: Asia
  • New Testament Completion Date: 2005

The Mizo people group numbers approximately 831,000 within its region, with a total number of over 843,700 in the world. Although 98.5% of the population profess Christianity, with another 90% in a neighboring country, 45% of whom claim to be evangelical, likely only 50% of that percentage have experienced a spiritual rebirth. Since both primary and secondary schools teach the Mizo language, the people experience a literacy rate of 82% and have adopted the Mizo language as the statutory language of provincial identity for over 70 years.

Two Scottish missionaries entered the Mizo region over 125 years ago, where they encountered an animistic tribal people of Mongolian descent who not only possessed no written language but also had never heard of the gospel before. After seeing a need for the Word of God among the Mizo, these missionaries developed a Roman script alphabet for the people and translated parts of the Bible into their language. This important work caused the Mizo region to rank second in literacy rate as well as recording the highest percentage of Christians in the entire nation.

The publication of the first New Testament translation was in 1916 and the complete Bible in 1959. Years later, the Mizo language committee became concerned with the reliability of these translations, so they met with Bibles International twice, first in November 1995 and again in April 1996. They expressed their concerns about the omission of certain verses from the original Greek text, as the translators of the current Mizo Bible had translated the various books from many different versions instead of the original Biblical languages.

In April 1996, Bibles International adopted the Mizo project and began working on the New Testament translation by conducting a translator training workshop. After almost a decade of hard work and faithful support, the Mizo believers received the completed New Testament translation in their language at its dedication in 2005. One thousand attendees celebrated the completion of a trustworthy translation of the Word of God and the beginning of the distribution of 10,000 copies among the Mizo people.

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