Sumu Yedi ya Isa Masiya 1906, Kitamo 1897, Malumbo 1905 (TAVETA)

Tubeta [Taveta]

Read Version: Sumu Yedi ya Isa Masiya 1906, Kitamo 1897, Malumbo 1905

Taveta Language

The Taveta language also called Tubeta and kiTaveta is spoken in southern Kenya on the border with Tanzania, south east of Mount Kilimanjaro. In 1885 missionaries from the Anglican Church Missionary Society (CMS) arrived and set up a station in Old Moshi.

A. R. Steggall

Albert Remington (A.R.) Steggall was born on 28th January 1863 in Carlisle, the son of Rev Frederick Steggall who was an Anglican clergyman. In the 1870s they lived at Consett where his father was a vicar. He studied at Durham University, where he graduated with B.A. in 1883, and L.Th. and M.A. in 1886. Then he became a curate at North Barnsbury, Islington until 1886, and then he served at Great Rollwright, near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire until 1889, when he left to join the Church Missionary Society (CMS).

In 1889 we was posted to Mochi, near Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa. The station had been opened in 1885. Steggall learnt the Taveta language and set about translating parts of the Bible. He ran a school for boys which had 45 boys in 1891. The German flag was hoisted in the area, by Lieutenant Ehlers soon after his arrival. He was then transferred to Taveta in Kenya, British East Africa in 1892. He established another school, where 30 boys were under instruction, five of whom had been baptised.

He was accused by the Germans of arming the natives who defeated the German attack on Mochi. CMS recommended he came back to England on furlough, pending an investigation. Steggall returned in June 1893 along with Yohana Nene Mdighirri, one of the baptised Taveta natives. They preached in many places for CMS. They returned, and arrived back in Taveta on 4th May 1894.

He became superintendent of the CMS station at Mahoo, and founded a quarterly newspaper called the Taveta Chronicle, which he edited which was published from 1895 to 1901.

In December 1898 he returned to England. On 6th September 1899 he married Miss Dora Grace Mould in Soham, near Cambridge. He returned to Taveta with his wife in 1901, where she died in 1904.

In March 1905 he was made archdeacon of Mombassa and Bishop's Commissary, and was acting secretary of the C.M.S. in British East Africa. At the end of 1905, he resigned and returned to England. In January 1906, he became curate at Shipley in Yorkshire, and afterwards held curacies at Chester-le-Street and Medomsley, until 1912 when he became vicar of Holy Trinity, South Shields.

He married again to Miss Margaret Wilson McLare in 1913, and they had a son John Steggall in 1917. He died in South Shields on 17th April, 1929, where he had seved at vicar of Holy Trinity, leaving a widow Margaret Wilson Steggall and a son.

Scripture Translation

Steggall worked with a native believer called Yohana Nene Mdighirri, to translated the Scriptures into Taveta, by reference to the English and the KiSwahili. Some of the items were published at the Church Missionary Society (CMS) Press and some were published by the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) and the Psalter by the Society of Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK).

New Testament

In 1892 the Gospels of Mark and John were published as Sumu Yedi ya Isa Masiya, hena Marko and Sumu Yedi, yakwe Yohana. They were printed at the Church Missionary Society Station. In 1894, the epistles 1-3 John were published. In 1896 The Gospels according to St. Matthew and St. Luke were published by BFBS as Sumu Yedi yakwe Yesu Masihi hena Mattayo and Sumu Yedi yakwe Yesu Masihi (niye Jesus Christ) hena Luka. In 1900 the Acts of the Apostles were published by BFBS as Mihiro ya Waondo. Also in 1900 the Epistles of St. James, St. Peter, and St. Jude were published as Mawaraka Mawo Waondo Yakobo, Petro, na Yuda. They were printed at the CMS Taveta Mission Station. In 1903 the Gospel of Mark was revised from the 1892 edition prepared by A.R. Steggall (Church Missionary Society), and published as Sumu Yedi ya Isa Masiya hena Marko in 1903 . In 1906 the Epistles and the Revelation were published as Mawaraka na Ujughuo: hena viteto vya kiyuweta: (the Epistles and the Revelation in Taveta), and these completed the New Testament.

Old Testament Selections 1894

In 1894 he published through SPCK The Book if Common Prayer in Taveta Kitamo cha Kuomba. This included liturgical selections from Jeremiah 10:24, Ezekiel 18:27, Daniel 9:9-10 and Joel 2:13.

Exodus (Kitamo) 1897

In 1897 the book of Exodus was published as Kitamo cha keri cha Musa chaitangwa ‘Kufuma’, printed at the Office of the Taveta Chronicle. The bulk of this edition was destroyed by a fire in 1903. Some letters were unclear to read, and the symbol @ has been used in these cases.

Psalms (Malumbo) 1905

In 1895 he published, through the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), Hymns in the language of Taveta. In 1905 The Psalms were published by SPCK as Malumbo, hena viteto vya kituweta: (the Psalms, in the language of Taveta), and printed by Richard Clay and Sons of Bungay. There were published by SPCK.

Digital Edition

The New Testament was digitised in 2022, with the help of MissionAssist, from originals in the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) archives at Cambridge University. For convenience this includes the Old Testament books of Exodus and Psalms and the liturgical verses from the Prayer Book, . 

Publisher

British & Foreign Bible Society

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