The Spanish Bible Society will also launch an audiovisual discipleship project, in addition to exhibitions, presentations in different formats and trainings.
The Spanish Bible Society is working on a new translation of the Bible called Lenguaje Básico (Basic Language), targeted to 8-14 year olds. “We have been working on it for about eight years”, said Gonzalo Soriano Ariza, coordinator of the organisation.
The new project aims to translate from the originals (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) into a basic language that does not lose the essence of the message.
Soriano explained that Ricardo Moraleja, director of the translation department and in charge of leading this rigorous work, “put together a qualified team of collaborators who carefully read and revise each of the texts”.
“Language is not something that becomes stagnant or dies, it keeps going. Many young people do not understand how people spoke in the 16th century, which is the language of our precious Reina Valera Bible. My children, even being grown up, speak differently, imagine our grandchildren. Actually, the schools have updated 'Don Quixote”.
The Bible Society coordinator announced that “it should be ready by 2023”, and highlighted the work already done with the Reina Valera 2020, the God Speaks Today version and the translation of The Word “into a more contemporary academic language”.
Soriano stressed that they don't only focus on the written text; they are currently working with a ministry called Faith Comes by Hearing to bring audio translations. Last year “we recorded the New Testament in Madrid using a more contemporary language”.
The Bible Society is also focusing on a new project called From End to End which aims to take the gospel to people who have no knowledge of the Word and then accompany them to become followers of Jesus.
“It's a discipleship project that we do with several partners where we reflect the gospels in images, and then we provide technological tools so that those interested can meet in small groups with teenagers and project the audiovisual material, which is also available on the Youversion app”, he said.
Soriano explained that “we will use our website so that people can request the technology. We aim to officially launch the initiative on 14 January 2023.
Soriano underlined that they are constantly working on different projects to bring the Bible to every corner.
“We prepare exhibitions in cultural halls or libraries. The idea is to take the Bible to where people are. We also plan fundraising events, free distributions, trainings and presentations in different formats”.
Furthermore, “we do special workshops depending on the context, for example, Bible and Violence, with the Christian police society of Spain, held in youth centres or institutes; on the root of violence, how to deal with it, forgiveness and the formation of a new identity, as well as violence in social media and in gangs”.
Soriano also pointed out that each initiative brings different challenges.
“In prisons, for example, officials no longer want us to carry Bibles, not because they are against it, but because some prisoners used the paper to smoke. Because of this, we had to create a New Testament with a smokeless paper, where we took the opportunity to include testimonies from prisoners. We have also provided MP3s with audio dramatisations of the Word ” .
Moreover, “the audio formats also enable us to reach elderly homes or sick people who do not have the capacity to read at that time”.
Soriano stressed that the Spanish Bible Society responds, according to its possibilities, to the demands for Scripture and training made by churches and ministries.
That is why they promote fundraising, aiming to cover that need for knowledge, education, evangelism and promotion of the Bible as best as possible.