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Selected 19th Century Sesotho Readings of the Bible: David Moiloa and the Days of Basotho’s Ignorance1

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Chapter Summary

In the pages of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (PEMS) newspaper, Leselinyana la Lesotho, the earliest generations of literate Basotho found not only a source of political and spiritual guidance, but also a medium whereby they too could express their views even if within that missionary setting. This chapter desires to "hear" some of the issues raised by these Basotho in order, chiefly, to see how they brought the Bible to bear on those issues. David Moiloa is one such interlocutor who ably illustrates some of the issues as well as the ingenious manner of reading and writing that 19th century Basotho engaged in. Moiloa's article is a castigation of Basotho for holding on to the worship of images whereas the true Molimo now stands revealed in the Gospel. Incidentally Moiloa's linako is shared by the only other version of the Sesotho Bible, the dynamic equivalent 1989 version.

Keywords: Basotho; David Moiloa; Leselinyana la Lesotho; Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (PEMS)



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