The Sideros (see-day'-ross) people (a pseudonym) live predominantly in the southern part of their state, and number around 10,000. Historically nomadic headhunters, the isolated Sideros people lived in ignorance of the outside world. The gospel first arrived among the Sideros around 1917, but long-standing animist traditions prevented the Sideros from readily accepting the new faith, so the good news spread slowly. By God's grace, 98.6 % of the hill people of their state profess Christianity today, with about 60 churches in their Baptist church association. The Sideros experience a 65% literacy rate.
Although the Sideros received a New Testament translation in 1975 and a complete Bible in 1992, the translators of those manuscripts had used the English Bible as their source and had experienced difficulties understanding some of the English passages. The Sideros clearly needed a Bible translated from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
The largest Baptist church association among the Sideros people requested the assistance of Bibles International with a new translation in 1994. After signing an agreement to translate the New Testament in 1995, several national translators began to work with consultants on this project and completed the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs fifteen years later with a joyful dedication service on November 19, 2010.
To provide some background for the published New Testament, the translation team developed and printed an Old Testament Storybook in 2004. Then, upon the completion of the New Testament, BI and the Baptist church association signed an agreement to begin translating the Old Testament in 2011. In addition to ongoing Scripture translation, BI also produced the Sideros Writers' Handbook in 2019.
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