by Bible Network News Staff




BRANTFORD, Ontario, Canada, April 24, 2006 — Hollywood could not have come up with a better story. A First-Nations boy snatched out of his burning village by a Scottish soldier in 1760. Raised in Scotland by the soldier who saved his life, he had his own child, John Norton, who would make his way to Canada as a soldier. There, Norton was attracted to the ways of his father’s ancestors and subsequently left the army to become Teyoninhokarawen — a First Nations warrior who led his Six Nations people as allies to the British, fighting against the Americans in the War of 1812…

But that’s not all he did. In 1804 this First Nations leader and war hero translated the Bible’s Gospel of John into Mohawk.

Teyoninhokarawen’s most lasting legacy will be re-enacted and celebrated for the public at 3:00 pm on June 25 at Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks in Brantford, Ont.

His gift to his people was the Gospel of John. His gift to the world was the first ever foreign translation of the Bible Society-a movement that would sweep the globe publishing, translating and distributing the Scriptures.

In Canada, that movement lives on in 2006, as the Canadian Bible Society celebrates 100 years of translating, publishing, distributing and encouraging the use of the Bible in Canada.

"John Norton’s story really is amazing," says Dennis Hillis, district director of the Canadian Bible Society for South Central Ontario. "He played a significant role in the War of 1812, but even before that, his translation of the Gospel of John marked the beginning of something so much bigger than himself."

The June 25th commemoration includes a re-enactment of the arrival of the first 500 copies of the Gospel of John in Mohawk at the very spot where this special delivery took place 200 years ago.
A service featuring a First Nations "Four Directions Ceremony" will follow, including the premiere of a short movie about Norton’s life called, "I Take the Path: Story of a First Nation’s Hero." The ceremony will also mark the release of a children’s book about Norton’s life and a Norton commemorative edition of the New Testament. Mohawk musician Johnathan Maracle will perform.

The highlight of the ceremony will be a reading from one of the original translations of the Gospel of John (only two are known to still exist) that Norton created for his people.

Copies of both the children’s book and the movie about Norton’s life will be available July 1 through your local CBS District Office.

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