A Language of Their Own: Two Former St. Louisans Translate the Bible into Ura for Villagers in Papua New Guinea

By Patricia Rice Post-Dispatch Religion | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 22, 1997 | Go to article overview

A Language of Their Own: Two Former St. Louisans Translate the Bible into Ura for Villagers in Papua New Guinea


Patricia Rice Post-Dispatch Religion, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Christians in the South Pacific village gathered in their light-blue frame church and sang two Psalms in their own language - Ura.

That Methodist service on a Sunday in August 1995 was historic. Never before had the people of the village of Gaulim recited Scripture in Ura. The village of grass-thatched, woven bamboo homes is on an island off the New Guinea main island.

Until two former St. Louisans began visiting Gaulim, Ura was an unwritten language. After six years of struggling to make an alphabet, Ura grammar and dictionary, the St. Louisans gave the villagers a taste of the Bible in their mother tongue. It didn't make headlines even in the nation of Papua New Guinea. Only 1,500 people speak Ura. "They put the two Psalms (Psalms 23 and 13) to music in just two weeks. They were very excited," recalled translator Gary Rosensteel, 44. "Frankly, all I could think of was how much more (translating) we had to do." At the Mehlville-area apartment where they are staying for their yearlong furlough, Rosensteel and his wife, Peggy, 36, and their two children, Lydia, 9, and Aaron, 4, talked about their missionary adventures. So far, they've translated half of the gospels of Matthew and Mark and the beginning of Genesis. They guess they will spend another dozen years in Papua New Guinea translating into Ura the rest of the New Testament and some Old Testament selections. When they return next summer, they hope to begin biblical translations into Mali, a closely related language with 2,100 speakers. Until two summers ago, the villagers' "church language" was Kuanua, a language of former conquerors. Methodist missionaries introduced Christianity to the villagers in that language. Villagers don't use it anywhere else. All of its nuances are lost to them. Most villagers attend church services every Sunday. Without Scripture in their own language, Christianity seems remote, Gary Rosensteel said. "Only about 10 to 20 percent are believing Christians," he said. Once the villagers study the Gospels in their own language, they may understand Jesus, Peggy Rosensteel said. "We know how the Scripture changed our life, and we wanted to help it change other lives," her husband said. At 12, Gary Rosensteel was baptized in a Baptist church. As a teen, he experimented with drugs. In 1976, when he was 23 and a college dropout drifting from job to job, he made a "radical" conversion at a California church. He met Peggy Ewalt, who at that time was a music student at St. Louis Community College at Meramec. They married in June 1982 and committed their lives to spreading the Gospels. They spent their honeymoon in a linguistic training summer school in Seattle, got their college degrees the following spring and then enrolled in the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Dallas. The ecumenical, nonprofit Wycliffe Bible Associates runs the institute, affiliated with the University of Texas at Arlington. Gary Rosensteel got a master's degree in linguistics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Language of Their Own: Two Former St. Louisans Translate the Bible into Ura for Villagers in Papua New Guinea
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.