The Buk Baibel is PNG’s pidgin translation of the Bible. For those of you who know what a Bible snob I am, you’ll understand what I mean when I say it is less than adequate–mostly because of the inadequacy of pidgin, a trade language with a very limited vocabulary. Nonetheless, for many people here in PNG, it is the only Bible available. The standard version is the green one in the picture above. I bought the black one recently because I thought it would be good to have one of my own and I was tired of hiking with the large, heavy, green loaner.

On the second page of my new zipper encased pocket sized Buk Baibel are written these words (in pidgin):

This little pidgin Bible has all the words of the Bible just like the words in the green Buk Baibel. Only to make the book small, we have taken out all the pictures and maps and other helpful notes that are in the green Buk Baibel. And so this book does not have all the notes that are written underneath the scripture. And it does not have all the notes of other parts of the Buk Baibel where you can see some translations. And it does not have all the different kinds of helpful notes in the back of the big Pidgin Bible. If you want to see all these kinds of notes, you have to get a big Buk Baibel. To make this book really small and easy to carry around, we have taken out all these other things. There is an important thing in this book, the words of the Bible only.

When I read this I laughed, of course. But the first time I pulled this Bible out of my backpack in front of Hoax he said, “Oh that’s a nice Bible. It’s really great. Is it the same as the big green Buk Baibel? Does it have all the words that are in the green Buk Baibel?” So I read him the introduction.

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