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Galicia celebrates its ‘Novo Testamento’

The project, which involves people from different evangelical churches in the northwest of Spain, is the first step towards having a complete Bible translation in Galician.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 16/Daniel_Hofkamp,5/Evangelical_Focus MARÍN (SPAIN) 17 DE MAYO DE 2023 15:56 h
The New Testament in Galician is a collaborative effort of native speakers of evangelical churches and Wycliffe Associates. / Photo: [link]Protestante Digital[/link].

The most widely read, translated and distributed book in history arrives in a new edition in the Galician language, coinciding with the celebration of the Día das letras galegas (Galician Language Day, 17 May).

The Novo Testamento, published by Wycliffe Associates, was presented this weekend in the northwestern Spanish cities of A Coruña and Marín. In the coming days, it will continue to be introduced to new readers in different public events in other places of Galicia, a 2.7 million inhabitants region with its own language.

The Bible is available in Galician in a translation of the original languages, made with the sponsorship of the Roman Catholic Church, but this is a pioneering initiative in the evangelical sphere.

The differences? The main one is that this edition offers the text in colloquial and accessible language, without any footnotes or annotations.

This New Testament came as a "godsend" for the Galician evangelical churches who would like to have the book both for their worship services and for evangelistic use.


Welcomed and celebrated in the evangelical churches

At the presentation of the new text in the Evangelical Church of Marin, there was an atmosphere of joy, since the project involved people of different churches, ages and professions, all moved by the desire to contribute to the spread of the Bible in this land.

During the presentation meeting, in addition to singing hymns, praying and exposing the Word, Rubén Torres, one of the members of the translation project, and author and speaker Jaime Fernández, told details of the project. Then, the story from Luke 15, the parable of the prodigal son, was read by 5 people.

Pois este meu fillo estaba morto e volveu á vida. El estaba perdido e agora foi atopado (For this son of mine was dead and is alive again He was lost and now he has been found)”, was heard in the church of Marín. After the reading, a resounding applause welcomed the new version.

[photo_footer] The presentation by Rubén Torres [/photo_footer] 

Responding to a need

This first edition has been limited to a print run of 4,000 copies.

It is an inexpensive edition (5 euros) that is being offered especially to churches so that they can have the first copies.

One of the ministries that has promoted the project is Nacer de Novo (Born again), the evangelical television show that has been broadcast since 1987 on the state-owned Galician broadcaster and which, throughout its history, has given away some 40,000 New Testaments  - so far, in Spanish language. Jaime Fernández, the host, was happy that "now we have the option of also giving this one away in our mother tongue, in Galician".

"I believe that whatever language is spoken, it enriches us. Reading in our own language, especially now that it is being promoted in schools and there are many speakers, is going to be very good", Marta Piñeiro, the secretary of the television and radio programme Nacer de Novo, told Spanish news website Protestante Digital.

"This is an answer to a prayer from many, many years ago. Nacer de Novo has always given away New Testaments, and we didn't have copies in Galician", added Torres.

[photo_footer] The two covers of the new Galician New Testament. [/photo_footer] 

Working together

When presenting the New Testament, Torres explained that "Wycliffe Associates contacts native linguistic believers, so that they can translate the text. We worked starting from a Spanish version, but going to the originals when necessary, as well as to other versions, and in one year, with around 15 people working, we achieved a very worthy version of the Galician", pointed out Torres.

Among the translators and reviewers there are "philologists, but also teachers, nurses, some housewives". "I believe that the Galician language that is used here is colloquial, not the imposture that is sometimes found in some linguistic projects", said Torres.


More goals

"As evangelical people in Galicia, our passion is to spread the Bible, for everyone to read it. I would love to achieve the same with the Old Testament. It is a bit more complicated to carry out, but we hope that more people will join the program and in a reasonable time we can bring out the whole Bible without notes in Galician", says Torres.

For the moment, the Novo Testamento will be distributed and a team will be formed to continue the work of translating the Old Testament.

There are also plans to record an audio version. The materials will be made available to all through a website, where churches, bookshops and ministries can contact details to request copies.





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