Rev Dr T Jeyakumar, President of Trinity Annual Conference of the Methodist Church in Malaysia, says:
“I have been telling many folks that while many translations speak to the mind, the AVB speaks to the heart.”
Alkitab Versi Borneo (Alkitab Bahasa Melayu, Versi Borneo, or AVB in short) is the new formal-translation Malay bible, a completely new translation that had taken the project team more than 15 years to complete. In 1998, the Lord provided a nucleus team of key translators who began drafting. Eminently qualified linguists and educationists with fluency in classical and modern Malay contributed in literary beauty and linguistic clarity. Native speakers were engaged to field-trial its acceptability, while Greek/Hebrew scholars and reviewers played a major part in biblical accuracy and theological meaning.
Modern translation softwares and tools were utilized to the fullest to achieve significant progress on rendering of biblical terms, consistency of words, harmonization of parallel passages, and ensuring fidelity to the original languages. From the very beginning, national church leaders have provided spiritual oversight and support to the team over the years.
Why A New Translation
Bahasa Malaysia (BM) or Malay is our common language. The Indonesian version differed significantly in form, expression and terminology from BM, thus posing an impediment to a fuller grasp of the depth and extent of the Word of God.
For Christians who use the Malay language (Bahasa Malaysia, BM), the majority of whom are indigenous brethren (“sons of the soil”), an accurate and scholarly translation of the Bible, based on the original languages, is a high priority for the Malaysian church.
Why A Borneo Version
As the Borneo States of Sabah and Sarawak enjoy relatively greater religious freedom, Alkitab Versi Borneo (or Alkitab Bahasa Melayu, Versi Borneo -- Borneo Version of the Malay Bible) is adopted as the name, as it helps to reduce sensitivity.
AVB enjoyed a momentous reception. Since receiving the 10,000 copies in late February 2016, the distribution has been swift and stocks are largely depleted to date. Official launches were carried out in Sabah (19 April 2016) and West Malaysia (25 May 2016).
Responses from the users/readers are very positive and encouraging. They find the AVB easy to read and understand, yet is accurate and robust in its scholarship. Such is the fruit of labour from a team of dedicated translators and linguists who have worked tirelessly for more than 15 years. The AVB is truly a ‘gift’ to our Bahasa Malaysia-speaking brethren.
"Today I read YESAYA 6 in AVB. Fantastic. Crystal clear message. YESAYA is already great poetry, but in BM it is even nicer."
REV. JEYA [15:45, 11/23/2016]
In East Malaysia, it was so right for readers to feel an euphoric sense of ownership, of a Borneo Bible in highly readable yet fluent Malay. In West Malaysia, readers who love the language read it with tears of joy.
Speaking at the launch, the president of Bible Society of Malaysia was upfront in lending his full support, saying: "Translating the Bible in as many local languages and dialects was supposed to be our task, but it was already completed by a group of volunteers at no expense to the Bible Society!"
The significance of AVB is also felt in other ways. People are proud that eminently-qualified linguists helped to distinguish its quality, and that Biblical translators and consultants contributed relentlessly in its accuracy. Like never before, heads of churches came forward to declare their support of AVB. Many spiritual leaders did not hesitate to acclaim the AVB as historically significant, as our first formal translation Bahasa Malaysia Bible.
- REACHING PEOPLE WHOSE FIRST LANGUAGE IS MALAY -
A Miracle in Our Hands
The project started with a burden, a burden big enough for a hundred volunteers.
It started with zero budget. When all is done, actually paying translators, consultants, readers and reviewers could take RM 1 million.
When ideas and vision aligned, locals and expatriates took off. Without an inkling of its eventual acceptance, the work persevered. In fact, ten years on into the tunnel, the translators did not see any light but they persisted.
The translators supported themselves through their own jobs. And there was not a single paid staff until towards the end of 2016.
To bring the product out, more volunteered – funds for printing, importation, storage, distribution, launches.
Today, 40,000 copies has gone out - all glory to our God!
IT WAS MEANT FOR THE BM CHURCH, A HERITAGE FOR THE BM CHURCH IT WILL BE.
ONLINE WEB & APPS
1) AVB Online: See our website: AlkitabVersiBorneo.org
2) APPS: AVB Bible App available in:
(a) GOOGLE PLAY STORE, Android App
Search using "AVB" or "Borneo Bible" - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=yuku.alkitab.debug
(b) APPLE APP STORE, iOS App
Search using "Borneo Bible" - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/borneo-bible/id1147545735?mt=8
(c) BIBLE.IS - Online Access only; Search language "Malay - Alitab Versi Borneo" - http://www.bible.is/ZLMAVB/Matt/1/D
(d) - In progress: Offline Access; Scripture App Builder
(e) Scripture Projection software for AVB for distribution to Churches
We are deeply grateful to the Lord that the long years of toil have yielded a moment of divine clarity.
You are welcome to join hands with us.
PUBLISHER: LAB Network
Please contact: Operations Officer
Lot 6, Ground Floor, HTM Industrial Estate Kolombong
88450 Kota Kinabalu Sabah.
Telephone : +60 138627897 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Need - 3rd & 4th Printing, Jul - Dec 2017
Printing are being arranged at regular intervals in line with demand. Currently, 2 editions are printed:
(a) Regular Edition, and
(b) Student Edition (as and when there are sponsorships for Student Edition).
Please contact us if you wish to be involved in making available the AVB to the various Bahasa Malaysia speaking communitiies.
About LAB Network (Literature and Bible Network):
As the translation neared completion in 2014, issues of ownership, printing and distribution became more imminent. The translation team was advised and had approached a few bodies and groups to take up this important phase. The translators who were based in West Malaysia realised that equally passionate co-labourers from East Malaysia were needed to embrace this new translation, as East Malaysia houses the majority of Malay-speaking Christians.
Quite independently, God moved the hearts of Sabah church leaders like Rev. Jerry Dusing, who for years urged for a good BM translation of the Bible. In God’s timing, the parties from West and East met, and together they laid the groundwork for the formation of Literature and Bible Network (LAB Network), with a mission to publish the new BM Bible and to produce other biblical resources in BM. With such an alignment of initiatives, and a merger of passion and mission from East and West Malaysia, we see AVB as a truly Malaysian Bible.
LAB Network was established to birth the new BM Bible, the AVB. Its mission is to enhance biblical scholarship amongst the Bahasa Malaysia speaking Christian communities, by making available biblical literatures of the highest quality in Bahasa Malaysia and to nuture the development of biblical scholars amongst the gifted BM-speaking Christians.
LAB Network is wholly owned by T Heights Bhd (Company number: 565802-P)
LAB Network Working Committee:
- Chairman: Datuk Rev. Jerry Dusing (SIB)
- Vice Chairman: Pr. Chin Chi Kiong (Baptist)
- Operations: Pr. Ng Kee Chuan (SIB) & Mr. Hendrew Sigar (SIB)
- Research: Rev. Herbert Tong (Anglican)
- Marketing & Distribution: Mdm. Leong Tuan Ghee (Brethren)
- Secretary: Mdm. Tan Gam Kyee (Independent)
- Member: Ms. Hannah (Methodist)
All glory be to our God!