KINGSTON, Jamaica - When English teacher Faith Linton first proposed translating the Bible into Jamaica's patois tongue in the late 1950s, most people who heard the idea shook their heads.
Some on the deeply Christian island believed it was sacrilegious. Others opposed it because the mixture of English and African languages was disdained as a coarse linguistic stepchild to English, which is the only official language in the former British colony.
Decades later, Linton's vision is becoming a reality: After years of meticulous translation from the original Greek, the Bible Society is releasing in Jamaica print and audio CD versions of the first patois translation of the New Testament.
The Rev. Courtney Stewart, general secretary of the regional Bible society, says Scripture is best understood in a person's spoken tongue.
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