Founded on the conviction that the words of the Bible are the very words of God, we have a passion for sharing God’s Word with the world. The Myanmar Standard Bible© is a product of our dedication to accuracy and clarity. It faithfully expresses the power and depth of meaning of God’s Word. The Word of God deserves nothing less. This unique combination of readability and fidelity has produced a translation suited for every Myanmar Christian. From scholarly study to personal reading, group worship to family devotions, the Myanmar Standard Bible© is a Bible for all of life.
Completed: The whole Bible text with audio for the New Testament
In Progress: Audio for the Old Testament
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a nation of about 50 million people with more than a hundred ethnic minorities living along its borders. Among different people groups that exist in this nation, Burmese remains the majority – accounting for 70% of the nation’s population; most of whom are Buddhist by religion.
The Word of God was first preached to this nation by Adoniram Judson; an American missionary who came to Burma in 1813. He translated the Bible into Burmese, and the translation of the entire Bible was completed and published in 1835. Despite Judson’s long and painful struggle with the translation of the Burmese Bible and the preaching of God’s Word, only a handful of Burmese accepted Christ. However, the gospel spread dramatically among the ethnic minorities and many Christians are found among them today.
Judson’s version of the Bible, known as Judson Burmese Bible (JBB), has been the only Bible available in Myanmar for many years. There have been some unrecorded minor revisions and fixes to the text such as corrections on spelling. However, there haven’t been any major changes in the text since it was first published. Today, some of the words found in the text are obsolete making it difficult to understand. Further, due to the evolution of the language itself, some words used in the text when applied in today’s context convey a totally different meaning than originally intended. For instance, the word “eunuch” used in JBB means “gay” in today’s language, and the word “physician” means “drug addict.”
Completed portions of the Myanmar Standard Bible© can be read on YouVersion.
The Burmese language used in the JBB has become obsolete and difficult to understand for modern readers, but many Christians are reluctant to make changes. The JBB translation is regarded as the only Bible (like King James Version in English) and therefore anyone who tried to make changes was considered heretical. Adding to this, many Christians have a wrong notion that the Bible is supposed to be difficult to understand, and that it needs to be read and explained by those who have attended Bible School. The second reason is that people do not have any viable alternative option. That forces people to stick with the difficult to understand JBB translation, which reinforces this wrong notion. Christians need a Bible that they can read and understand on their own without needing any explanation.
The Myanmar Standard Bible© uses the OPTIMAL EQUIVALENCE translation philosophy. This means that it seeks to be as literal as possible while also communicating the meaning of the text as clearly as possible for Myanmar readers. For more information about optimal equivalence and the translation philosophy for this project, click here.
Thank God for this crucial project you have been working on for the people of Myanmar. Thank you for your hard work in providing the people of Myanmar with a Bible translation faithful to the original texts and easy to understand for modern Myanmar readers. I am not a Burmese but one of the minorities in Myanmar.
Before Myanmar Standard Bible (MSB), I could not really understand the Bible when I read it in the traditionally used translation alone without comparing it with an English version. However, with MSB I do not really need an English version of the Bible to help me understand the Bible. I can understand God's word just by reading it in MSB. I am sure that is how (most) Christians in Myanmar will think and feel about MSB.
I also like MSB for you have retained the conjunctions and the original sentence structures as much as possible. This really helps Bible teachers and students like us so we can trace the author's thoughts and arguments well. It helps us to use MSB for Bible studies too.
Overall, I am very supportive of MSB. It would be great if I can know when you are projecting to complete the translation of the entire OT. When will the entire Bible be available in the MSB version?
Contact us at Permissions@GBI.llc for information regarding licensing or permission to use the Myanmar Standard Bible© text. The text is made available through the Digital Bible Library. (Any Paratext user who has a translation, translation support or publication role in an approved organization which agrees to abide by FOBAI principles, have permission to access the text by default.)
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