“Jehovah’s Witnesses Release Two Complete Bibles in Sesotho” – Press Release

For Immediate Release 

MASERU – [June 26, 2022] – On June 26, 2022, Jehovah’s Witnesses released two complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in Sesotho (Lesotho orthography) and in Sesotho (South Africa orthography) in digital format. This is the first time, the Basotho people in South Africa will have a complete New World Translation Bible in their mother tongue. While those in Lesotho, will take pride in a complete revised edition which is easy to read and understand.

The digital Bibles are now ready for use and free download on the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, www.jw.org and hard copies will be made available for distribution around December 2022. An estimated 3.8 million people in South Africa and 1.8 million people in Lesotho speaks Sesotho.

At the release of these Bibles, Kenneth Cook, a member of the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses, said “When the language is clear, people will more easily be moved to serve God from the heart and to make needed changes in their lives.”

Although the Sesotho spoken in Lesotho and South Africa is the same, the individual orthographies (the way of writing) are very different. Thus, two translations had to be made available, so that both languages could be catered for while their original structure in written format was considered and respected.

The two Sesotho Bible releases are a result of close collaboration between the two translation teams for both languages. The work was accomplished in the wake of many challenges experienced during the translation period in the last two years because of lockdowns and Covid-19. 

Commenting on how the old Bible made it difficult to understand, one translator said: “When using the old Bible, it felt like a different language was being used. With this new Bible this problem is resolved because the translation is clear. Bible students and it’s avid readers alike are going to love it!”

Speaking after the release Khotso Pitso, National Spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lesotho said, “The Bibles have come right on time. Jehovah’s Witnesses who speak Sesotho will be able to use the new Bibles during our upcoming virtual Convention program with the theme, ‘Pursue Peace!’ that will run from July to August worldwide. They will be able to follow the program reading from a Bible with modern and simple language.”

In total, three Bibles were released on the day, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in Sesotho (South Africa) and Ndebele for the first time in their respective languages and a complete revised New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in Sesotho(Lesotho).

The Bible is the most widely translated and distributed book in history. Nearly 100% of the world’s population have access to the Bible in a language they understand. The Bible is available in over 3 000 languages in whole or in part and an estimated number of 5 000 000 000 copies have been produced.

Media Contact: 
For more information, please contact:  

Mr Khotso Pitso / Tumelo Rametse

Regional Spokesmen

Public Information Department of Jehovah’s Witnesses

+266 5842 5278 / +266 6373 4773