Malay

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The Malay language (language code: ms; autonym: Bahasa Melayu) is spoken by more than 200 million people mainly in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Formally it is segmented into Bahasa Indonesia, the official language of Indonesia, and Bahasa Malaysia, the official language of Malaysia. In Singapore and Brunei the language is called Bahasa Melayu ("language of the Malays"). Indonesian and Malay are mutual understandable to a certain extend, but is not sufficient for deeper conversations between a speaker of Malay and Indonesian. The situation between these two languages is similar to the situation between German and Swiss-German, people can understand each other to some extend, but deep conversations are hardly possible. The Malay language is normally written with Latin script. An adjusted Arabic script also exists but is mainly used in Islamic texts and education. For more information see Wikipedia:Malay language


Malay Bible translations

There are various Bible translations into the Malay language. The most common are the "Alkitab Berita Baik" and the "Alkitab Versi Borneo". The latter was especially created for usage in the east-Malaysian states, where a big Christian minority speaks Bahasa Melayu. However, using these bibles in Malaysia is difficult, since there is an ongoing dispute over the usage of the word "Allah". In some federal states it is prohibited by law for Non-Muslims to use this word for God (and some other words). Still these Bibles are used in mainland Malaysia as well.

Alkitab Berita Baik

The "Alkitab Berita Baik" (transl.: "The Good News Bible") is the oldest Bible translation in modern Malaysian Malay. The translation was finished in 1987 and a revised version was published in 1996. It is an easy to read Bible translation, that focuses on translating the meanings of passages and verses rather then meanings word by word. It uses the word "Allah" for God and draws on a number of Christian vocabulary. It was mainly translated for the Malay speaking Christian communities in the Malaysian Peninsula and in east Malaysia.

It is freely available in the following ways:

  • Smartphone apps and software:
    • YouVersion smartphone app: Text of the whole Bible, no recordings. Can be downloaded and is then available for offline use. Select "Bahasa Melayu" in the language selection and then select "Alkitab Berita Baik".

Alkitab Versi Borneo

The "Alkitab Versi Borneo" (transl.: "The Bible: Borneo Version") is a Malay language Bible, that is especially aimed at the Christian Communities in Sabah and Sarawak, the federal states of Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It is a word by word translation. It is a very intellectual Bible translation, that sometimes uses very formal and high standard speech. It continues to use the word "Allah" for God and "Yesus Kristus" as name for Jesus. Like the "Alkitab Berita Baik", it draws on much Christian vocabulary. The translation was released in 2015.

It is freely available in the following ways:

  • Reading online:
  • Smartphone apps and software:
    • YouVersion smartphone app: Text of the whole Bible, no recordings. Can be downloaded and is then available for offline use. Select "Bahasa Melayu" in the language selection and then select "Alkitab Versi Borneo".
    • bible.is smartphone app: Text of the whole Bible, recordings of the New Testament. Select "Bahasa Melayu" in the language selection and then select "Alkitab Versi Borneo".There are two versions available: One non-drama version and one drama version (with background music)
    • Standalone Bible app "Malay Bible - Alkitab Versi Borneo", works also offline: for Android
  • Audio Bible:

Other Bible Translations

There are other Bible translations in Bahasa Melayu. The Bible App lists the "Kitab Alkudus: Injil Isa Al-Masih" (engl. "The Holy Book: the Gosple of Jesus the Messiah") that was translated in 1866. Although this translation omits most Christian vocabulary and uses more "islamic" terms, the translators writing style is not readable for most Malay speakers today.

Kitab Suci Injil

There is however a usable translation that focuses on using a more indigenous religious vocabulary. The "Kitab Suci Injil Taurat dan Zabur" (Engl. "The Holy Books Gospels, Torah and Psalms") are a revised version of the "Kitab Alkudus". It uses religious vocabulary and is a very reliable translation that intellectual Muslims understand. It is available online or in a standalone App for Android.

It is freely available in the following ways:


Jesus Film


Available resources in Malay