PNG: Renewing the Tok Pisin Bible

Translation in Papua New Guinea


The Bible Society of Papua New Guinea (BSPNG) is revising the Tok Pisin Bible, which was first published in 1989 and became the biggest seller of any Bible in the country. The revision of the Bible will take into account the changes in the Tok Pisin language over the last 30+ years.

PNG’s population of 8.9 million predominantly live in remote rural areas. PNG has over 800 known languages. English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu (the lingua franca of the Papuan region) are the official languages. Most of the population now speaks Tok Pisin and many children learn it as a first language. 
Since the Tok Pisin Bible was published in 1989 (the original translation work began in the 1960s), there have been significant changes in the language, and Christians and church leaders began requesting a revision of the Bible. The BSPNG and the local church believes that an updated and improved modern language version will encourage people to use it more. The churches are keenly awaiting a revision.


  • 8.9 million PNG Population  
  • 800 known languages in PNG 
  • 120,000 people speak Tok Pisin as their first language (as of 2004) 
  • 4 million speak is as a second language (as of 2005) 

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