20.09.2004 Regional News

Bible Society marks bi-centenary with Bible reading marathon

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Accra, Sept. 20, GNA - Lack of national interest by the society has led to rampant corruption, indiscipline and promiscuity with ripple effects in the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Most Reverend Professor Kwesi Dickson, Immediate Past President of the All Africa Council Churches said on Monday.

He said the pursuance of the national interest must therefore, be the hallmark of every citizen, rather than self-interest, to help execute developmental programmes of any government and accelerate the improvement of the quality of the lives of the people.

"People must learn that they must live their individuality in communality," Professor Emeritus Dickson said at the opening of a "Bible Reading Marathon and Hand Copying of Favourite Scripture Verses" to mark 200 years of the establishment of the Bible Society worldwide.

According to Prof. Dickson, though it was the responsibility of a government to draw up developmental programmes, the citizenry had to execute such programmes to help attain national development. He therefore, called on all Ghanaians, particularly Christians, to be revitalized and renewed by the word of God, by living according to what the Bible teachings of service to mankind.

The Bible Reading Marathon, being observed by the Bible Society of Ghana (BSG) throughout the week, seeks to bring together Christians from various denominations to celebrate God's unchanging word and to project and promote the value and transforming power of God's word as a step towards national revival.

The Reverend Kofi Owusu, General Secretary of BSG, explained that under the programme people would be allowed to publicly read the whole Bible, chapter by chapter after which they would be asked to write their favourite Bible passages, that would later be compiled and kept in the BSG archives.

He said those who wish to write their favourite verses would be obliged to donate toward helping translate the Bible into the new Ewe, Dagbani, Esahie and revised three Akan languages and the spreading of the gospel in general.

"It is our expectation and prayer that as the Bible is publicly read, the Spirit of God will move us to repentance, reconciliation and renewal and revival," Rev Owusu said.

Apostle Dr Michael Ntumy, First Vice President of the BSG and Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, who chaired the function urged people to patronize the programme and contribute their quota in helping to establish the word of God.

The celebrations, which started from January, would be climaxed on December 12 with a thanksgiving service after a fund-raising dinner on December 4.

The BSG established in Ghana in 1965 distributes and sells over 200,000 Bibles nationwide each year at discount and non-commercial rates.

The Bible has been currently translated into over 2,300 languages out of about 6,300 languages worldwide.

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