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Dinka Language

The Dinka people live in Southern Sudan and speak different forms of Dinka. The Dinka language (Jieŋ) spoken near Bor was called Dinka Bor.

Dinka Bor New Testament

The Gordon Memorial Sudan Mission of the Anglican Church Missionary Society (CMS) began work at Omdurman in South Sudan in 1899. Work with the Dinka or Jieng (Jieŋ) people began in 1905 when seven CMS missionaries arrived at Malwal near Bor in the Sudan. Amongst them was Rev Archibald Shaw (1879-1956) who became Archdeacon of the Southern Sudan. Shaw learnt the Dinka language and oversaw the translation of the New Testament. In 1908 they produced selections from the New Testament.

The Gospel of Luke was translated by Archibald Shaw assisted by Alier E. Kut, a catechumen and was printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) in 1915. The Gospel of Mark translated was translated into the Dink Ciec and Dinka Bor dialects by Cuthbert A. Lea-Wilson of CMS and published by BFBS in 1917. This was revised translation by A. Shaw, assisted by Philip Anyan Agul, Gordon Apeec Ayom and Daniel Den Aton and republished in 1936.

In 1922 a tentative edition of the first 20 chapters of Acts was printed on the Mission Press at Malek. Acts was translated into the Bor dialect by A. Shaw and Philip Anyang Agul, and published by BFBS in 1923. John was translated into the Bor dialect of Dinka by A. Shaw, Philip Anyang Agul and Paulo Barac Macok, and was published by BFBS in 1929, James was printed by BFBS in 1931. Matthew was translated into the Bor dialect of Dinka by A. Shaw and Philip Anyang Agul and was published in a tentative edition in 1932, Mark in 1936 and the whole New Testament in 1940 as Lek jot de benydiitda ku duluen da Yecu Kritho. This included an index (Indek) of names and proper nouns and their references.

Old Testament Selections

In 1925 the first 4 chapters of Genesis were printed at the Mission Press at Malek. In 1930 Archibald Shaw published A Shortened Prayerbook (Kitap de Duɔr) in Bor Dialect which included several psalms, which was republished in a modified form in 1956. In 1935 Selections from the Old Testament were published by the Society for the Propagation of Chirstian Knowledge (SPCK). Later Archdeacon Leonard Sharland (1904-1978), who came to South Sudan in 1934, worked on translating the Old Testament and completed much of the Penteteuch and the Minor Prophets.


The orginal 1940 BFBS New Testament was reprinted as Lek Jot de Jecu Kritho by the Bible Society of the Sudan in 1959, and again in 1988 by the Bible Society of the Sudan, and in 2012 by the Bible Society of South Sudan.

Digital Edition

The 1940 Dinka Bor New Testament was digitised for the Bible Society by MissionAssist in 2016. 

© British and Foreign Bible Society 1940, 2016

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