We want PNG authored books in our schools
The White House

Startling sequel to PNG’s acquisition of 17th century bible

Rev Dr Gene HoodKEITH JACKSON

REVEREND Gene Hood (pictured) was an Indianapolis preacher and missionary for many years, overseeing the handing out of bibles in Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Korea, South Africa and even Russia, where he said he had given away more than a million.

But his work never before received such a triumphal – nor controversial – response as the handover of a calf-skin-bound King James first edition claimed to have been published in 1611.

But there was a startling sequel to the ceremonial handover of the bible. A few days later Hood, 77, died suddenly of a heart attack.

The politically conservative Hood was pastor of the Nazarene church in New Palestine, Indiana, but his business interests were wide.

He was in real estate and insurance and owned and operated six radio stations in Indiana and Colorado which pursue a strong right-wing agenda.

He told The Indianapolis Star in 2008 that he got into radio because "cussing the liberal media" wasn't enough for him. "It's one thing to curse the darkness, and it's another to light a light," he said.

Where Hood obtained the 1611 King James first edition bible is unknown.

As the story took flight globally, The Australian newspaper recalled that PNG Speaker Theo Zurenuoc was accused of “Taliban-style cultural terrorism, when 18 months ago he launched a cleansing exercise to destroy the parliament’s traditional carvings and totem poles which took three years by specially commissioned artists to produce.”

The newspaper also reported PNG Trade Union Congress general secretary John Paska as saying he parted company “from those who advocate religiosity as a panacea”.

PNG’s core issues, Paska said, “are about good governance, abuse of power, and the fundamental constitutional tenet of freedom of religion and individual rights to worship in whatever religion or denomination”.

Meanwhile commentator Fr Giorgio Licini, writing in a private capacity from Rome, said in PNG Attitude that “the problem with the PNG Speaker is that he is not adding, but replacing. And he is doing so in a very primitive manner, by chopping and chain-sawing.

“I really feel for those who carved those works in the past and all PNG citizens who have so great respect for their cultural heritage regardless of its godly or ungodly nature….

“Churches and religions (when they turn into ideologies) are already responsible for a significant amount of destruction of cultural heritage and iconoclasm.

“When [former prime minister Rabbie] Namaliu added the orchids to the parliament gardens he didn't destroy the lilies. Zuruenuoc would be loved by everybody today had he done the same.”

Sources: How a Hoosier's Bible caused a stir 8,600 miles away, Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star (USA); Trip to retrieve PNG bible from US cost more than king’s ransom, The Australian; PNG Attitude Comments

Comments

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Allen Kalima

I assume that the donor of the Bible was struck dead by God because of God's irritation that the Bible donation did not stimulate spiritual development but superficial cargo cultism reactions in PNG.

Mathias Kin

Michael - I can't believe most of the stuff written here, although I am a true nationalist.

This is a dangerous trend from the speaker. All PNGians must be weary of this Finschhafen man.

Phil Fitzpatrick

That's really scary stuff Michael.

There are a few good points but it all seems to be coming from a fundamentalist left field.

As Peter indicates, the guy seems dangerously deranged.

He wants to change the name of the country from PNG to United Tribes of Paradisia. He thinks Papua means black moptop and Guinea has something to do with small pigs.

A long diatribe but try this excerpt:

"In correct sense of our national identity, our nation is the United Tribes of Paradisia. So where did the suppressive and exploitative ideas come from?

"In our search for our true identity, we have discovered that the name “Papua New Guinea” was imposed upon us by others – outsiders – which has serious derogative connotations.

“'Papua' is a Malay word meaning, black people with fuzzy air, flat nose, round head and brown eyes who are placed at the lowest end of the social spectrum. It has nothing to do with the people of the Central Province and the rest of the provinces identified by this name.

“'Guinea' has connotation associated with 'small pigs'. The philosophy behind the name is obvious – uncivilised, savage, uneducated, backward, underdeveloped, low class, kanakaes (sic), cannot do anything, nobody, and the list goes on.

“'Old guineas' were discovered along the West Coast of Africa and new ones discovered in our part of the world. So we were given the name 'New Guinea'. The term 'KIAP' (referring to a Colonial Administrator) was carefully, intentionally and thoughtfully crafted to capture the spirit of suppression, control and exploitation.

"KIAP does not mean anything in any known languages. It is an acronym in English language which means – Keep Indigenous Always Primitive or Poor (K-I-A-P). We have adopted and associated ourselves with a mindset that has kept us in prison for the last 40 years.

"Ending of the past 40 years calls for putting an end to a colonial second-class mindset. Shadows of our colonial past must not dictate our national policy direction any longer.

"Beginning of the next 40 years period calls for a radical emancipation from ruling ideas associated with suppression, control, manipulation and ultimate exploitation which have pervaded the seven systems I have alluded to earlier.

"The new beginning of this season calls for redesigning the future of our national destiny. We must begin the journey of reforming systems that influence our governance.

"We must challenge the philosophies that rule the world today. It is extremely imperative that every ruling and domineering idea must be put to test.

"We must refuse ideas where necessary and reform them when we can as we embrace the new beginning. Resource ownership, development and distribution laws must be redefined if we are to be in control of our own destiny."

Peter Kranz

Michael - that is frightening stuff.

"The children of Israel had to drive out seven nations which occupied their Promised Land.

"We have seven distinct systems in which our people are trapped, which we must take complete control.

"These systems are (1) the political system, (2) the economic system, (3) the education system, (4) the social systems, (5) the media, (6) the entertainment world, and (7) the religious systems.

"Our crossing over must be to take over these systems. As we begin the new era, these systems must be radically reformed to reflect our belief and convictions – to be in charge of these systems for our full benefit."

Sounds like a manifesto for a religious coup. I think Zurenuoc is sounding like a seriously disturbed person. His words read like a 'Christian' version of radical Islam.

Peter O'Neill better watch out and rein him in or he could be the next target.

Michael Dom

If you are already aware of this information then please ignore the link below.

http://www.parliament.gov.pg/index.php/news/view/2015-the-year-of-crossing-over-to-the-other-side

No arguments from me - everyone can make up their own mind.

(By the way there were 0 Likes and 0 Tweets on this page when I was there at 6:59PM on 5 April 2015 - Hey, get over there and show your support!)

Leonard Fong Roka

Kranz-with you.

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

Sorry to hear that Rev Gene Hood 77 the man who donated the 16th centurary King James version of the bible to the PNG government is dead. He died from an heart attack five days ago...

He was instrumental in placing Bibles in every school in Honduras and shipped over one million Bibles to Russia. Just days before his death, Dr. Hood's final act of spreading the gospel was donating a first edition, first issue of the 1611 King James Bible to the government of Papua New Guinea. (Taken from an obituary)

Peter Kranz

So let's be clear. The Bible was not a gift from the US Government (as some claimed); it was not even a gift from the US State of Indiana (as others did), but a private donation from the contentious Pastor of an Evangelic sect - which broke away from the Nazarene Church as Hood thought them too weak on sin.

The Bible itself is of unknown provenance (or at least unpublished), has not been verified by Biblical scholars or mainstream church leaders, and will be housed in the Haus Tambaran (not the National Library) which is notoriously falling apart and badly maintained. On a good day the aircon might actually work, on a bad day rooms are decaying due to mould and termites.

Papua New Guinea, I think you have been conned by an unscrupulous Speaker, some very gullible followers and a few deranged Pentecostal leaders.

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