Right at the beginning a flood of questions came up. The culture in biblical times was so completely different to the one of Mumuye that the narratives could not be translated 1:1.
Sun, Moon or Allah?
The first query arose about the word for God. The Mumuye God is the sun. The people worship the sun and the moon. The word for sun is La, the one for moon Shella. That could not be the word for the God of the Bible who has created La and Shella according to the narratives in Genesis. The young people called the God of the Bible Allah. They borrowed this expression from the Islamic religion. But they did not really know who he was and what kind of imagination they have to make about him. After many discussions, explanations and studies, the young Christians agreed to call God Kpanti La which means Chief over the sun.
The New Testament is translated from the Greek text. English and German translations serve as a guide, together with many commentaries about biblical text. The first task is to take a Greek sentence and divide it up in its kernel statements. Next the relationships between the kernel sentences are evaluated. After that the separate statements are translated into Mumuye, always keeping in mind that the correct relationships are set between them.
The translation must not only be correct, but it also should be natural to the Mumuye ear. In addition the translator has to find out the idioms of the language, and be able to integrate them into his translation. The result is a natural and idiomatic translation of the biblical text.