Jonas Adelin Jørgensen praises Swahili Bible OL at Nyakato

Picture of Nicolai Winther-Nielsen
Jonas Adelin Jørgensen praises Swahili Bible OL at Nyakato
by Nicolai Winther-Nielsen - Saturday, 8 September 2018, 8:12 AM

Bible OL John 1

Bible OL now has Swahili glosses for Hebrew and Greek in test at Nyakato Theological College in Tanzania.

We can also soon start our first pilot projects to deliver Bible OL and our Greek and Hebrew language learning courses on our new Raspberry Pi server solution.

Read the praise for this new solution by Jonas Adelin Jørgensen, Secretary General of Danish Mission Council

The production of Swahili glosses for Greek and Hebrew is the result of a promising collaboration with two important partners. The Swahili lexicon was developed by Dr David Instone-Brewer,  director of the STEP Bible project, and it was funded by the United Bible Societies and Tyndale House Cambridge. We appreciate the support for this project by Renier de Blois and the funding of David's research. The use of the Swahili glosses in Bible Online Learner is at present only experimental, but we hope to have constructive feedback from Kiswahili speakers. The glosses are available with Bible Online Learner on GitHub under an MIT license.

Our new solution for Swahili can potentially reach 100 million users and make an impact in East Africa. With technology to automatically generate glosses by parallel alignment from Bible translations and to use Strong numbers work, it may be possible to do similar projects for hundreds of other languages - the pilot project on Swahili was in effect set up to deal with the most challenging task David Instone-Brewer could think up. Such projects could have a huge impact on training of Bible translators and teaching of Biblical languages and interpretation throughout the Majority World. 


First time Bible OL has experimental Swahili glosses for both the OT and the NT.

This Summer the Danish couple Kirsten and Peter Buch visited Denmark. They are sent by Danmission to Nyakato Theological College. Kirsten Buch has already taught 2 courses under supervision of Harold Kime (for the Nykato project see HERE).

Kirsten and Peter Buch with Bible OL in Swahili

I had the pleasure to host Kirsten and Peter in Copenhagen in July. I still recall the excitement they expressed, when they for the first time could see Swahili implemented for Bible OL. Kirsten who points at the prologue to the Gospel of John could barely hide her feelings when she saw this new interlinear on the screen. We hope that they and their students and many more potential users will give us useful feedback on these new experimental glosses and thus contribute to the editing of the glosses and their use by the students at the college.

Kirsten on September 7, 2018 shares the latest news from Nyakato.

"Ny first students finished Greek 1 and started on Greek 2. Now they are out in internship and have to translate 20 of the texts arranged for Sundays service. But they also want to continue to study Greek online.

My good first diplomas can translate by using Bible OL. We have read both the Gospel of John and Paul’s letter to the Galatians together.  

This semester 11 new diploma students started. We now have a computer-classroom with 12 raspberry pi 3 computers and good internet. It is amazing. Soon the programs will be accessible on an internal server. Then we are not dependent on the expensive internet.

One of my earlier students translate a little grammar from your grammar Book to Kiswahili. This is a good help for them."

Judith Gottshcalk’s development of a our new Raspberry Pi technology was announced in our news on World sensation: the Bible OL Pi3 App is here! on December 18, 2017. The Bible OL Pi server is a credit card sized mini-computer which can be used as a small server and a mobile access point. It hosts Bible Online Learner, developed over a decade and accessible through the internet. We also distribute offer courses through Moodle, the World’s most popular free and open e-learning solution.

Gottschalk is now setting the system up as a Mumble Server. The new solution will allow devices to connect to each other via the same server. It has a very simple administrative interface and has high sound quality and fast response time. A teaching assistant can do simultaneous translation or offer individual support to any of the phones, tablets or PCs connect to this hotspot. 

Jonas Adelin Jørgensen,
Secretary General of Danish Mission Council, with demonstrated the first Rapsberry Pi mini-computer at the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Arusha in April 2018. He is serving on the Danish board of Global Bible Initiative and believes that the Bible OL Pi Server has great potential for global theological education on the Biblical language and the interpretation and contextualization of Sriptures. Please find his praise for the server included below.

We are now waiting for potential projects to be funded and scaled up.

Judith Gottschalk installs free and open Moodle courses on this cheap and fast computer, costing less than 100 dollars. The server runs an operating system on a micro-SD card, which is flashed in Europe and works as a mobile access point. It supports an independent computer network by just connecting the Raspberry Pi 3 to solar power or to an ordinary power bank, which can be loaded with solar power.

Our visions is to offer a mobile seminary for theological education that costs less than 100 Euro. We also believe that Bible translation teams working in hard remote areas with expensive, unstable or even non-existent internet will now be able to have state or the art technology for theology. The Bible OL Pi server has been able to support more than 20 users. It is a very robust for African settings.

Harald Kime’s Global Greek Grammar is successfully in use in Greek language learning in Tanzania. We will be able to offer My Biblical Hebrew.  We can also distribute course material developed in Moodle by third party providers. We can offer training and support for local adaption and for improving on the theological curricula.

Instructor Kirsten Buch at work in her Nyakato Greek state of the art class-room.

You can come to Copenhagen to train, or you can plan for a pilot project for less than 10.000 dollars: We visit on location twice during the semester for a week at a time, and we handle instruction, technical support, certification, curriculum planning, and adaption to local interests.  

For more information, see Do not hesitate to contact director of GLI, Nicolai Winther-Nielsen.