Voice of the Martyrs Korea announced today the release of its complete Chosun Audio Bible as well as a reprint of its popular Chosun Study Bible. Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley says that the resources are available free to qualifying ministries and churches serving North Koreans.
“People might think that the Coronavirus would reduce the demand for Bibles among North Koreans, but we saw exactly the opposite reaction,” says Representative Foley. “This year we have already distributed more Chosun audio and print Bibles than in any other year in our ministry’s history.”
Printing sample of the Chosun Study Bible
Representative Foley attributes the increase in demand to North Koreans’ search for hope during the pandemic. “Everywhere we serve North Koreans, we find them asking deep questions about life and death these days. Even when we distributed masks or medicines with the Bibles, North Koreans always thanked us mainly for the Bibles,” says Representative Foley.
Representative Foley said that the increased demand caused Voice of the Martyrs Korea to accelerate its recording schedule in order to complete the whole Chosun Bible on audio. “It was a project we began more than ten years ago with Faith Comes By Hearing, an American NGO specializing in dramatized word-for-word recordings of the Bible. We recruited North Koreans as the voices and recorded the Chosun Bible New Testament. We got that into the field right away, and since then we have recorded more and more of the Old Testament whenever possible. This year, the Faith Comes By Hearing recording team really got stuck here due to the Coronavirus. We saw that as a sign from the Lord that it was time to complete the recording, so we did.”
Representative Foley says that Voice of the Martyrs Korea airs the Chosun Bible on its five True Voice of Martyrs radio broadcasts on shortwave and AM radio. It also distributes the recording on SD card and MP3/4/5 players wherever North Koreans are found.
Representative Foley says that Voice of the Martyrs Korea makes the audio players and printed Bibles available for free to North Koreans and to qualifying ministries and churches serving North Koreans. The printed Chosun Bibles are also available for purchase through the Voice of the Martyrs Korea website and by phone order.
Representative Foley says that while she believes it is important to distribute the Chosun Bible to North Koreans in places where the Bible is illegal, she says it is also important to distribute it to North Korean defectors in South Korea. “Literally every week we meet North Koreans who have been going to church in South Korea for years but who do not understand even the basics of Christianity because they simply can’t understand any of the South Korean versions of the Bible—even the easy-to-read versions,” says Representative Foley. “Several years ago CGN-TV did a survey of North Korean defectors and asked them which Bible they preferred to read. The Chosun Bible was their first choice.” Representative Foley says that South Koreans also tell her they prefer the Chosun Bible. “It’s easy to read but also accurate,” she says. “The dramatized audio version is also very powerful.”
Reprinting of the Chosun Study Bible
Reprinting of the Chosun Study Bible
The translation used by Voice of the Martyrs Korea in their audio and print Bibles is the NK Chosun Bible, which is the Pyongyang version of the Common Translation. “It was originally commissioned by the North Korean government, yet biblical linguists agree that the translation contains no political bias and is an accurate translation which is easy to understand,” says Representative Foley. She says that although North Korea printed 10,000 New Testaments in 1983 and 10,000 Old Testaments in 1984, almost none of these were distributed except to North Korea’s fake showpiece churches in Pyongyang.
North Koreans and North Korean ministries interested in obtaining free copies of the audio and print Bibles can contact Voice of the Martyrs Korea at 02-2065-0703. Individuals interested in purchasing a copy of the Chosun Study Bible can also call VOM Korea or visit www.vomkorea.com/store.
A VOMK NK student completes the audio recording of the Chosun Old Testament