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Khmer Christian Bible: Hot off the press!

June 28, 2012

It’s finally here!  After 8 years of translation, editing layouts, creating beautiful fonts, testing, proofreading, and evaluating huge amounts of feedback we have finally launched the New Testament of the Khmer Christian Bible!

Part of the the translation team celebrating the completion of the New Testament

The Khmer Christian Bible was a team effort with leaders from many different churches and denominations all working to translate a very accurate Bible from the Greek language.  It has taken 8 years to complete the New Testament and the Old Testament is ongoing, with Genesis to be completed very soon.

The goal of this translation is to be an essentially literal translation, yet using a vocabulary which is not too complex for the modern Khmer reader.  We also desired a translation which is 100% Khmer in spelling, grammar and punctuation and have worked with some of Cambodia’s top linguists and scholars to produce a grammatically correct Bible.

We have added additional tools which have previously never been available to Cambodian Christians.  For the first time ever, we have included a several hundred word concordance of key Bible terms so that readers can easily search to specific topics and verses.  A larger, more extensive will also be available separately soon as well. There are also notes to explain Biblical references. These notes are not interpretative, but simply notes which add to the understanding of the text.

We have even added more than 100 illustrations which have all been carefully drawn to reflect things which would be unknown to most Cambodian readers like “wineskins” and “rams horns”.  Additionally, we have printed the New Testament with the words of Jesus Christ in red ink just to make the Bible more attractive, but also to make it clear which words Jesus said himself.

Another special feature, is that we have spent thousands of dollars to create special Khmer fonts which are extremely easy to read.  Anyone from children to older adults with weak eyesight will find this font easy to read.  We have made the text large enough for anyone to read in low-light as most of Cambodia do not have electric lighting.

An audio Bible is already complete and will be available on CD or by download very soon.  Some of the most talented and best sounding voice masters in Cambodia have spent weeks carefully recording every word in the New Testament.  Specially written Khmer music was added to the background of the audio Bible making a beautiful recording.

Digital Bibles are already available on several platforms.  We are creating even more platforms and would be willing to work with anyone to develop more platforms for digital Bibles including online Bibles and Bible study software.  All these digital Bibles will be free of charge.

The first New Testaments available now are either hardback or paperback, with vinyl and leather editions coming shortly.  Both current editions are only $3.00 each.

Every Bible is printed legally here in Cambodia on special Bible paper from Spain on our own printing press.  Our goal is to print 1 million Bibles in the next five years for the people of Cambodia.

At present, a study of the church found that only 26% of Cambodian Christian own a Bible.  We hope to change that statistic soon with the launching of this new Bible.

To God be all the glory!

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Raksmey J. Chamreun permalink
    June 28, 2012 4:35 pm

    Great work Steve and the team! You guys are such a great blessing to Cambodia! I’m so excited for this :)

    • Raksmey J. Chamreun permalink
      June 28, 2012 5:09 pm

      Anyway, Mr. Steve. How can I (or other people) get the copies of these Bible? At Antioch Institute?

      • June 28, 2012 5:53 pm

        You can contact Poline at 097-7997989 or come by Antioch Institute. Right now the demand is great, so we will get Bibles out as fast as we can. We hope to be producing 20,000 Bibles per month! I am sure you will love the Bible! Thanks so much!

      • Raksmey J. Chamreun permalink
        June 28, 2012 8:30 pm

        Thanks for letting me know, Mr. Steve. I’ll let my friends know as well. Praise God!

  2. June 28, 2012 9:54 pm


    Congratulations to you and your team. This is fantastic news and an accomplishment that will have a great impact for the kingdom in Cambodia and beyond.


  3. June 29, 2012 1:05 am

    Congratulations. Wonderful news.

  4. mauricepatrick permalink
    June 29, 2012 4:57 am

    Brilliant Steve, that is one outstanding contribution you and your team have made

  5. Mark H. permalink
    June 29, 2012 7:16 am

    Praise the Lord, brother! That is so awesome! I shared this with Stephanie and we are really excited at what God is doing in Cambodia. Well done!

  6. July 5, 2012 9:36 am

    Way to stay with it and get it done! Praise God! We look forward to seeing those first Bibles off the press.

  7. John Yoder permalink
    July 10, 2012 7:10 am

    Great news! We will definitely be ordering some in the near future. Will they be available at the Bible Society?

    • July 12, 2012 3:33 am

      I don’t even know where the Bible Society is! :) We are recruiting distributors right now!

  8. Jim Stewart permalink
    November 29, 2012 1:39 pm

    Hi Steve . . I’ve been in Phnom Penh about 3 years – putting out two booklets in regards to the Faith . . just heard about your translation work . . would very much like to read any discussion of your reasons for doing another Khmer translation . . Jim Stewart

    • November 29, 2012 9:08 pm

      Dear Jim, well I have been working in literature in Cambodia since 1994. I worked with the Cambodian Bible Society and was on its board, but my passion is the rural church. Do you know where you can buy a Bible in Cambodia? One of 3 places in Phnom Penh. There are one or two missionaries in provinces who sell them on their own, but there is no national distribution. Bible League is the only one who had a national distribution plan. According to a nationwide survey 74% of all literate Christians do not have access to a Bible. That is the main reason behind the Khmer Christian Bible: ACCESSIBILITY to the Scriptures. We also assembled a team of Christian Khmer (living in Cambodia) scholars including consultants for grammar and spelling from the top linguistic scholars in the nation to make an ACCURATE, LITERAL and CLEAR translation of the scriptures. The multi-denominational Evangelical team of translators worked 8 years on the NT alone. The OT is being prepared right now. I don’t want to criticize the other 4 Bible Versions available in Cambodia, but we feel the Khmer Christian Bible is very accurate to the original languages because we did not translate it from English, but from Greek and Hebrew. We also wanted to develop Bible study tools and so we have a full concordance of the NT and a 100 page concordance is included with every NT. Cambodia has never had a concordance before. There are also hundreds of notes and illustrations. I wrote a 100 page document on why Cambodia needed a new version, but this is just a summary! I won’t bore you with the 100 pages!

  9. Jim Stewart permalink
    February 1, 2013 9:56 pm

    Hi Steve . . in this 28June12 blogpost above, you mention that you have digital versions of your NT available for download . . I haven’t been able to find a link for for them . . do you have it in a MS Word version?

    • February 2, 2013 6:21 am

      Dear Jim,
      We are working on a software version right now. It is available on YouVersion (iPhone) and AndVersion (Android phones). The AndVersion is excellent! We also have a version for Nokia phones which have Khmer fonts installed. As soon as the computer version comes out I’ll let you know. (We will eventually have a website which tells where they are.)

      • Jim Stewart permalink
        February 2, 2013 9:25 am

        . . that was quick . . thanks so much . . I know a guy who would like to get your Android version

  10. Jim Stewart permalink
    February 1, 2013 11:17 pm

    . . just realized you probably don’t have an MS Word version of your NT since you made special fonts for it . . do you have a version that I could possibly copy from and paste into an MS Word document?

  11. Kate Khawaja permalink
    July 30, 2013 2:48 am

    Hi Steve! I am part of a team traveling to Cambodia soon. We are trying to find scripture translations for six popular bible stories for the kiddos. We would like to have a coloring sheet with the translated text. But I can’t find translated verses! Can you help??
    1) Daniel & The Lions Den
    2) Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego
    3) Good Samaritan
    4) David & Goliath
    5) Jesus Feeds the 5,000
    6) Zacchaeus.

    Thank you for ANY help or redirecting! Time is of the essence. Kate

    • July 30, 2013 7:29 am

      Right now we have only translated the New Testament and our Old Testament is not complete. We have previously done a coloring book with all the stories and more which you have mentioned. It is available at the Family Book store which is next to the Ministry of Defense Head Quarters (called “Dey eN” in Cambodia). Whoever you local partner is could easily just copy some verses out of a full older Bible for you. You can actually copy the text off of YouVersion App where 2 Cambodian Bibles are located, however, you would want a Cambodian to check it before you print because the script is complex and some computers cannot make the script correctly (before you print). It is easy to do locally. Bless you on your trip and sharing with children of Cambodia!


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