Why are there several translations for Sacred Scripture?

Learn and reflect on the translation of Sacred Scripture

Care must be taken to ensure that all the faithful have access to the Word of God, written and disseminated throughout the world, through Sacred Scripture. It is like a conversation between God and man all over the world. Every corner of the planet, every nation, every people and person needs to recognize, in reading the Bible, the love of God, the teachings of the Son and the presence of the Holy Spirit. For this, it is necessary to be very careful, because a translation is always something more than a simple transcription of the original text in a new language. The transition from one language to another requires an adaptation of the cultural context: the concepts are not identical and the range of symbols is different, because they are read and interpreted according to the reader’s own life and ideas.

The main purpose of the translations of the Sacred Scriptures, so that it can be well understood by the faithful, has been observed since the times of the Old Testament, when “Ezra read in the book of the Law of God, translating and giving the meaning: thus one could understand reading ”(Ne 8.8). To spread the Word of God is to fulfill the mission that Jesus Christ left us, to make disciples in all nations. Since then, the Church has sought, with a mother’s affection, for faithful translations to be made in the various languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books.

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It is through the search for understanding of the Bible by all nations that not only are the translations closely watched by the Church, but it is also required “that they must be accompanied by the necessary and truly sufficient explanations, so that the children of the Church may become familiar in a safe way and useful with Sacred Scripture, and penetrate your spirit ”( Dei Verbum ). For this inspiration, it was stated in the Code of Canon Law that the books of the Sacred Scriptures cannot be edited without the approval of the Apostolic See or the Episcopal Conference, as well as authorization is required to edit the versions in national languages, which must still be published. be annotated with necessary and sufficient explanations.

Biblical translations

Among the most well-known biblical translations, the Jerusalem Bible presents critical options that guided the translation, with introductions, marginal notes and appendices, which instruct a more literal and technical reading of the sacred texts. The Ave Maria Bible is a translation of the Bible of the Monks of Maredsous – Benedictine religious from Belgium -, starting from a French version of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek originals, which carries a spiritual wealth that overflows the reader’s heart. The Holy Bible Pastoral Edition, which preserves fidelity to the original texts, brings a more common language, avoiding elaborate constructions and little-known terms, promoting an easier and favorable reading to start reflections. There is also the CNBB’s Holy Translation Bible, which follows the “New Vulgate” model,

The work of translating the sacred texts is manifested in the mission of spreading the Word of God throughout the world, making it enter into the heart of every believer, wherever he may be, whatever his culture or language. In reading the Bible, let us try to listen carefully to what the sacred texts intend to show us, the designs of God for our works and the teachings of Jesus Christ for our lives. Committed to a profound reading, that we may choose the translation that best reaches our hearts and, if necessary, I am sure that all of them will be well received by the reader’s dedicated faith.


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