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Nov 21, 2013

What is a house without a pole?

Written by Misha S.

mzee_listening_rev The task of understanding challenging scripture books
is helped by ensuring Mother tongue is used.
For the Ikizu people the significance of having a good central pole is important in their traditional houses to hold the sturdy wall and thatched roof together. The book of Revelation is tricky to translate, and the Ikizu translators tried their best to make it understandable, while not losing the imagery or accuracy.  They needed to know what other Ikizu people thought of their work, so they traveled to a village called Sarawe to read aloud the chapters they'd drafted.

After listening to the translators read a few chapters of Revelation, an older Christian man said, "I've never really understood Revelation before when it has been read in my church in Swahili, and even when I try to read it myself at home, going slowly and paying attention, I still can't figure out what it means.  Today, when you were reading it in Ikizu, it made sense."

He continued, "It's like how the traditional Ikizu houses are built - round, with thatched roofs and a pole in the middle to hold the center of the roof up.  You can have the best thatching material and the sturdiest walls, but if you don't have a good central pole, it is all worthless.  This Ikizu translation is like the pole, holding up the Scriptures."

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