Gangte Bible

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HISTORY OF GANGTE HOLY BIBLE

(How it came into existence)

 

The Manipur Christian Synod later renamed as Evangelical Synod Church in a conclave held in between 13-15 January, 1956 constituted Gangte Holy Bible Translation Committee. In a conclave each and everyone expressed the need of the Gangte Holy Bible. Without much delayed Shri Jamkhokam Gangte, Headmaster, Mission School was unanimously selected to take up the task of translation work of Holy Bible from English Bible into Gangte dialect. Shri Jamkhokam Gangte took the assignment as God given mission and after he laboured for 3 years finished the whole translation process in 1971.

The plain manuscript was then brought to the notice of the Bible Society of India for printing and compilation. But unfortunately the aspiration of the Committee could not however be fulfill by the BSI as the Gangte Community could not fulfilled the criteria laid down by the society. The ground of rejection are due to thin population and limited of market.

Time and again, the committee members by resolution formed a sub-committee under the Chairmanship of Shri Suonkholal Thangjom and Rev. K.Thuomngell as a Secretary General with few members to search another willing society which may help to take up the works of printing and compilation of Bible in Gangte dialect. So, communication was established with the Trinitarian Bible Society. The translation work done by the then Shri Jamkhokam Gangte was turned down by the Trinitatian Bible Society as it was not perephered from King James Version.

So, it was really imperative that the translation had to begin once again.So, the second translation of Holy Bible based of King  James version was taken up by Rev. K. Thuomngell with Rev.Sawngthang Gangte. Following their completion, the plain manuscript was submitted to the Trinitarian Bible Society. However, the society agreed to print New Testament portion only for the first time. But this suggestion was not acceptable to the committee as they did not want to print only New Testament for the first time. So the project to print and compilation of the whole Bible was abandoned for the second time.

The history of Gangte Holy Bible could not be completed without mentioning the activities shown by Pastor T.M.Thangzalien Gangte. He was by dint of merit selected as a distributor promotor under BSI Shillong auxilliary in 1984. His field of working covered Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Meghalaya and the duty entrusted to him was distribute in large number the various selection, portion New Testament and Bible to different communities scattered in the above mentioned four states.

Pastor Thangzalien while serving under the Bible Society Shillong Auxilliary as a distributor promotor could not forgot in mind the absence of Gangte Holy Bible. At this critical juncture a meeting was convened in Calcutta under the caption of BSI MINI Budget Session. By God’s plan Pastor Thangzalien was also invited to be the member of the budget session. Also the meeting attended by the Secretary of each zone and translation department. With a day long prayer and participation Pastor Thangzalien put up an agenda related to printing of Gangte Holy Bible. But then this agenda is concerned the session members turned a deaf ear. Pastor Thangzalien received such stiff opposition from Rev. Achumi who insist that there could be no printing of Holy Bible for a small communities like Gangte speaking. Then Pastor Thangzalien strongly refuted the stiff opposition of Rev. Achumi saying that he belong to Gangte tribe and the population of Gangte in Manipur was more than 15000. The rigid stand by Pastor Thangzalien ultimately convinced the mind of the session member resulting to the acceptance of printing and compilation of Gangte Holy Bible as a project. The meeting was closed and Rev. Achumi admired with the words “Pastor are you happy now.”

It came to passed that, the resolution arise out of the Calcutta session came to the notice of the Gangte Holy Bible Translation committee. When the committee saw the bright prospect of the Gangte Holy Bible an earnest meeting was called in which Rev. Khaigin Gangte the then Executive Secretary was selected to take up the task of translation of Holy Bible.

Lastly, the year 1986 passed and in 1987 Rev. Khaigin with firm determination start the work of translation. The days from 19 – 24 September, 1987 was a highly remarkable because a person like Dr. John Phillipose, Rev. Achumi, and Rev. Hinewtta could came to attend the translation workshop centre whose teaching they provide, guidance they gave and advice led to the final publication of Gangte Holy Bible.

The Gangte Holy Bible was published with 5000 copies. And dedicated by Rev. Benjamin Rai, Translation Director in the name of God for the needy people to read and seek eternal kingdom on March 1, 1991.

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