Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

MA in English



First Advisor

Dohra Ahmad

Second Advisor

Steven Alvarez


On the one hand, colonial-era Bibles represented powerful rhetorical devices for imperialists; on the other hand, Bibles offered a voice of justice that baited hope in marginalized readers. During the U.S. settler colonial movement, Bibles equipped U.S. missionaries with the authority to force assimilation practices, including the extermination of indigenous languages with English-only laws. In Hawai'i, English-only policies functioned to not only dispossess indigenous populations of their native languages, land, and sense of belonging, but they also began a century-plus tradition of monolingualist policy in the U.S. that continues into the present day. Such policies, along with standardized English ideologies throughout the U.S., intended to endanger rather than preserve Hawaiian pidgin. The study will examine the agency that Hawaiian pidgin inherits from Da Good An Spesho Book, the Hawaiian Pidgin English translation of the Bible. It will analyze the implications such authority has on power dynamics in a monolingual-forward nation in addition to an extensive breakdown of the interconnections between settler monolingualism, translation, postcolonial Bible criticism, and the historical development of Hawaiian Pidgin English. Furthermore, this thesis will conduct a textual analysis of the introductory statements, discourses of oppression and resistance through the term "freedom,” and its translation to “slave guys no moa," and issues of copyright authority in Da Good an Spesho Book. Finally, this thesis will examine the translation values behind the Hawaiian Pidgin Bible. Published by Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Hawaiian Pidgin Bible observes the translation standards of the Forum of Bible Agencies International. Analyzing certain aspects of these standards as presenting a modern post-colonial Bible “translation theory,” and their application of such “theory” via the Hawai'ian Pidgin Bible, this thesis will ultimately draw claims on the contradictions between this exemplification of postcolonial Bible translation theory and its practice in Da Good An Spesho Book.