First publications

In the 1950’s, the first Assemblies of God (AOG) missionaries came to the Bimoba region and published a first book (1957), called “Beginning to read Bimoba”. The gospel of Mark was translated by Davison and Symonds in 1958; they were members of the Assemblies of God. They worked with SIL members, who arrived in the 1960’s. Even though collaboration worked quite well, the AOG missionaries left the country again in the course of the decade.

GIL/GILLBT - the driving force

Gillian Jacobs, a British woman who came to Tamale, Ghana, working with GIL (Ghana Institute of Linguistics, later GILLBT) at the time studied Bimoba extensively, put it into writing, and produced a phonology article. Firstly, Old Testament Bible stories were translated in 1965, still in cooperation with AOG. She published a syntagmatic Bimoba grammar in 1970 with the help of Kenneth Pike. The same year, the second complete book of the Bible was translated - the Gospel of Luke. By the end of the 1970’s Jacobs was in poor health and had to leave. GILLBT, (, continued the translation of the Bible with the help of the Bimoba people who in general were very responsive to the gospel. Two indigenous co-workers must be mentioned: Mr. Achirifa and Pastor Thompson Tonlaar. Furthermore, literacy programs were started and showed good success. In fact, the courses were viewed as a role model for the entire region at that time.

Publication of the Bible and outlook

Finally, in 1984, the New Testament was published for the first time and presented to the Bimoba people with a dedication ceremony. When the people received the book, they were very glad and their attitude towards it changed. Previously, they did not really see a need for a Bible in their mother tongue, but when they held the 'Word of God' in their hands, they started to cherish it. However, the translation of the Bible continued and in 2004, after a republication of the New Testament in 2001, the entire Bible was published and another dedication ceremony was held. Currently, literacy programs are still running in the region. Nevertheless there is still a huge potential in particular when it comes to new literature publications. It is hoped that the publication of a web edition of a Bimoba dictionary will stimulate this.