The Bible Society of Zimbabwe has a mandate to translate the Bibles into native/indigenous languages for purposes of easy understanding of the Bible in one’s native language. In Zimbabwe we have 16 official indigenous languages. Over the years, the society has published Bibles in a number of native languages including Ndau, Ndebele (Ibhayibhili Eligcwele) and Shona Bibles including the recently launched Bhaibheri ReChishona Rine Tsanangudzo (Shona Study Bible). Currently the Society is working on the following major translation projects:
- Chikunda Translation Project: a project focusing the translation of Chikunda Bible. The language is being spoken in Kanyemba, Muzarabani, Guruve and in some areas in Mozambique and Zambia.
- Tonga Translation Project: a project focusing the translation of Tonga Bible. The language is being spoken in Binga and Gokweand in some areas in Zambia.
- Bhaibheri ReChishona RineTsanganudzo (Shona Study Bible).
- Zimbabwean Sign Language project.
Future Projects: All remaining 11 Languages in Zimbabwe.
Since its inception in 1965, the Bible Society of Zimbabwe has been and continues to be the leading distributor of Scripture and Christian literature in Zimbabwe mainly to Churches, Defence Forces of Zimbabwe, Prisons and Correctional Services of Zimbabwe, schools and universities. The distribution is made possible through selling of Bibles and Christian Literature at affordable prices (This process has been reduced due to the effects of COVID-19). We distribute Bibles, and Study Bibles in different sizes, versions and translations. We also distribute special collections and editions for the youths and children. Moreover, the Bible Society of Zimbabwe has made strides in distributing Brail Bibles and Audio Bibles to persons with visual impairments. The area of distributions has faced challenges of high importation costs of bibles and Christian related literature, this affects our zeal for free distributions and selling of the bible at bare minimum cost. We envisage to purchase machinery for printing and typesetting the Bible in order to increase our distribution at a very low cost.
The Society embarks on a number of Scripture engagements such as emphasising on the role of Scripture in peacebuilding initiatives in order to promote healing and reconciliation in inter and intra personal relations at family, Church, work place, and in society in general. We also have a deliberate bias in engaging scripture with persons with disabilities through programmes which include Faith Comes by Hearing in which we provide Brail and Audio Bibles. Moreover, we have youth programmes which focuses on imparting them with Christian moral ethics and instilling a culture of reading the Bible through quiz shows and Bible reading.
Resources towards the operations of the Society have been drawn from membership subscriptions and free will donations from individuals and member Churches. We have been largely been supported by donor funds from United Bible Societies and its associates. However, these lines of funding have been reduced due to global economic recession and lately by effects of COVID-19. This has affected our resource base, hence the initiative to seeking partnership with local companies who share and value the efficacy of the role and impact of the Word of God in transforming communities and the nation at large.