The passage below is John 3:16 in Gullah spoken on the South Carolina and Georgia coasts. The American Bible Society and Wycliffe Bible Translators (1994 and 2003 respectively) are responsible for the translation. Gullah, a.k.a. Geechee, was born in America and is an English creole that is the result of Africans taken from several nations who contacted each other and ended up in the marshy low country of the Southeastern coast. This is how they spoke the Scriptures and were written down from their language…
De Good Nyews Bout Jedus Christ Wa John Write
John 3:16, Cause God lob all de people een de wol sommuch dat e gii we e onliest Son. God sen we um so dat ebrybody wa bleebe pon um ain gwine dead. Dey gwine lib faebmo.
Translation: Because God love all the people even the world so much that he give his only Son. God sent him so that everybody that believe upon him aint going to die. They going live forever.
Translation: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Translation back to early text: frgdslvdthwrldthathgvehsnlbgttnsnthtwhsvrblvsnhmshldntprshbthvvrlstnglf (This is John 3:16 in the English equivilent of how the earliest Greek manuscripts were written. There were no breaks between words and no vowels. Imagine trying to read the New Testament that way! AND be thankful someone took the text that was written that way and made it readble for you and me.)
Now the America Bible Society has translated the New Testament into Gullah… so that those who still speak the language can read the Scriptures in their native language. God bless them for such dedication to spreading God’s Word. While we’re at it…
Be thankful for those who spent years in a small damp room under candle light copying by hand the Scriptures. Who would throw away an entire book because of one slip of the pen or the mispelling of one word. Be thankful for those who made it their life’s work to study old pieces of paper with faint words on them to ensure that the Scripture we have today is accurate. Be thankful to people who are called to translate the Bible from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into the language of the people… whatever their tongue is. But for them, WE would not have a Bible.