Yup’ik Bible dedication celebration

'It has been our prayer over the years that one day we will be reading the Holy Bible in our Yup’ik language," wrote Bishop Peter Green. "We especially thought of our children, youth and young people who will benefit and learn from the Word of God, knowing that they learned reading and writing the new orthography in school. It will be easier for them to read compared to the old system of writing." At right is the first page of Genesis. Photo by Kelly Lincoln

by Greg Lincoln

The newly published Yup’ik Bible, or Tanqilriit Igat, was celebrated at the Alaska Moravian Church in Bethel on October 18th, 2015.

For many years, hardworking translators, proofreaders, editors, type setters, and supporters have worked on this project which includes both the old and new testaments written in the new Yup’ik orthography.

This new, flawless orthography was introduced in the 1970s and has been taught in the schools in our region. In fact, you may know someone who has studied this new orthography and can read and write it.

A dedication liturgy was held during the service signifying a day of gladness.

“We rejoice as we accomplish the work that the Lord has given to us…” said Barb Penner of the Canadian Bible Society. “Now we present these bibles to be dedicated for the Yup’ik people and for churches and service.”

Alaska Moravian Provincial Board President Isaac B. Amik gave these words of thanks.

“Dear friends, we rejoice God so moved the hearts of many individuals that the Yup’ik bible has been worked on and completed. Let us now dedicate them for their holy use in our church services and by both young and old alike as they read them in their own tongue,” said Amik. “O Eternal God, mighty in power and incomprehensible majesty, whom the heavens cannot attain. Let the Tangqilriit Igat be a special blessing to us.”

The new Yup’ik Bibles can be found at the Alaska Moravian Bookstore in Bethel.