Donald S. Deer

Donald S. Deer, 1951

B.A., Denison University
B.D., University of Pennsylvania
S.T.M., Hartford Seminary Foundation
Ph.D., University of Strasbourg

Citation awarded June, 1981

A gifted linguist and scholar, Dr. Donald Deer is professor of the New Testament in Zaire’s only Protestant seminary, which serves all the Protestant churches of Zaire, formerly the Belgian Congo. With 200 African languages spoken in Zaire, he teaches in the common language of French and preaches in English, French, Kituba, and Kikongo. He has also published numerous articles in 17 publications in the same four languages. He is the first missionary of the Board of International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. to obtain a doctorate from a French university and to hold the rank of professor at Zaire Protestant Seminary.

Dr. Deer’s two specialties are New Testament/Greek and Bible translation. He served as exegete and coordinator of the translation of the New Testament into Kituba (Kikongo ya leta) with a team of Zairian collaborators serving as translators. The work began in 1962 and resulted in the publication of this New Testament in 1973. It is the first “dynamic equivalence” translation to appear in Zaire, and probably in all Africa. Kituba is one of the four national languages of Zaire, and is spoken by 2.5 million people in central Africa.

Dr. Deer has also been associated as checker and reviewer with a new dynamic equivalence translation of the Bible in French that is sponsored by the Bible Societies. The New Testament appeared in 1971, and the complete Bible is due to be published in 1982.