Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 9:26 PM on Saturday 19 April

/ Front page / News

New Bibles

Timoci Vula
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BUSINESS tycoon and Fiji's former ambassador to China Sir James Ah Koy yesterday continued his planned 10-year journey to fulfil his "magnificent obsession".

The obsession to give every iTaukei citizen in the country a copy of the New Fijian Translation Bible — the King James version of the Holy Bible that has omitted the use of the word Kalougata (meaning snake god according to Sir James) and its derivatives.

Sir James believes that word had cursed the Fijian race for 175 years, beginning from when portions of the Gospel of Matthew were translated by missionaries William Cross and David Cargill in 1836 using the word to mean a blessing, and still used so far.

This Bible, the printing of which has been fully funded by the Ah Koy Christian Trust and James Michael Ah Koy Trust, is translated using the Bauan dialect.

In May 2005, Sir James publicly shared his thesis on the word kalougata as a curse while serving as a senator — citing the "rapid deterioration of things relative to iTaukei".

He said in November 2010, the first 5000 copies of the standard first edition of the NFTB were circulated in Fiji without the word kalougata, marking the "lifting of the curse".

In November 2011, 10,000 standard second edition copies of the NFTB were printed and circulated free, he said.

Yesterday, his team began a free distribution of 31,000 pocket-size newly-translated Bible, totalling 52,000 Bibles circulated so far.

Sir James said this year marked the achievement of his quota to print 50,000 copies annually for the next 10 years.

He said they would distribute them to all tertiary institutions, including all villages in the 14 provinces.

"This has always been my magnificent obsession to give every indigenous Fijian a copy of this Bible free.

"I want to eradicate this word kalougata from the lips of every Fijian," Sir James said yesterday.

Sir James said he believed the curse of God had begun in 1836 when the word kalougata appeared in the Bible translated by missionaries William Cross and David Cargill.

That curse for over 175 years, he said was lifted for the first time in 2010 when the first edition of the translated version was circulated acknowledging the God of Heaven and not that of the snake god.

"The Kalouvinaka Bible is now the alternative Bible for Fijians and I am working on getting out 480,000 copies in the next 10 years. Now, there is going to be an explosion of good things for all Fijians in the world," Sir James said.

"If God blesses me with a long life and more revenue, I will shorten this period to less than 10 years."

Six thousand parallel edition (both English and iTaukei) of the NFTB is also in circulation and retailing at the Tree for Life bookshops in Suva, Nadi and Lautoka.