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New Edition of Ka Baibala Hemolele to be Released

November 18, 2018, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated November 17, 10:52 AM
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Partners In Development Foundation (PIDF) will celebrate the release of Ka Baibala Hemolele, a bilingual Hawaiian-English Bible, next Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Sites and Archives in downtown Honolulu.

The new release is the first Hawaiian-English Bible incorporating diacritical markings in the modern orthography.

PIDF is currently holding a pre-sale for the books which may be purchased by calling (808) 595-2752.

“The Baibala is a major linguistic, cultural and spiritual resource for the Hawaiian community and Hawaiian language students throughout the world,” said Helen Kaupu Kaowili, Baibala Hemolele’s project director. “There have been global efforts in recent years to preserve indigenous languages like Hawaiian. Just this year, global language-learning platform Duolingo released the Hawaiian language on its smartphone app.”

The Hawaiian Bible Project initially started back in 2002 as an effort to electronically preserve the 1839, 1868 and 1994 printings of the Hawaiian Bible, making it publicly available. It has since grown into a new edition of the Hawaiian Bible.

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In 2012, The Hawaiian Bible Project printed the first Hawaiian Bible in modern Hawaiian orthography and included genealogical pages and Hawaiian biblical maps. Two years later, Kamehameha School and the Atherton Family Foundation partnered with PIDF to produce Ke Kauoha Hou me Ka Buke o Nā Halelū a me Nā ʻŌlelo Akamai a Solomona, the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs. This second publication is a bilingual edition featuring parallel text in Hawaiian and English, a concordance with Hawaiian equivalents, Hawaiian and English biblical maps and a 19th century timeline of Hawaiian history.

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An advisory committee was created in 2016 to oversee the completion of The Hawaiian Bible Project and offer strategic advice. All 66 books of the Baibala Hemolele completed processes of editing and standardization last year.

“Over the next few years, we aim to improve our electronic hosting of the Baibala, make it more accessible to communities, and provide a Baibala curriculum that can be integrated in schools and churches,” Kaowili said. “Mahalo palena ʻole to the Atherton Family Foundation and Kamehameha Schools for their support and sponsorship. Without their partnership this project would not be possible.”

The release event scheduled next Tuesday will feature a special exhibit and copies of Ka Baibala Hemolele will be available for purchase. In addition, the historic mission buildings will be open for tours and heavy pūpū will be served.

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