Local bookstore promotes Filipino version of New Testament at ‘Aklatan’

Published August 17, 2020, 7:53 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Local Catholic bookstore St. Pauls Bookstore has once more brought to public awareness a Filipino version of the New Testament, the newest Bible translation from the Philippine Bible Society.

Sample text from the New Testament Pinoy version (Photo from St. Pauls Online)

Launched in 2018 during the Manila International Book Fair, it is coming to the attention of more people as the bookstore promoted anew the “New Testament Pinoy Version” for “Aklatan,” the first-ever all Filipino digital book fair, that is ongoing at the online shopping platform Shoppee.

St. Pauls Online said the translation was completed in December 2017 and used a “heterogenous language” or a combination of more than one language to translate the Filipino version.

The textual base of the new version was based on the content of the UBS Greek New Testament 5th edition, the basis of most modern Bible translations and biblical criticism.

“Mas madali itong maintindihan. Nasa nature kasi ng Pinoy na piliin ang English pag ‘yung nasa Greek text ay mas madaling sabihin o i-explain sa English (It’s easier to understand. It’s in the Filipino’s nature to choose English when the Greek text is easier to pronounce or to say in English),” the bookstore said about the translation process.

The Filipino version is written in Taglish (Tagalog and English).

In a Facebook post, the store shared some verses of the Taglish version:

“Tapos, pinagtripan nila si Jesus. Sinaluduhan nila s’ya at sinabi, ‘Mabuhay ang hari ng mga Jews!’ Hinampas nila ng stick ang ulo ni Jesus at dinuraan s’ya.” (Mark 15:18)

“After ilang minutes, may nakapansin ulit kay Peter at sinabi sa kanya, ‘Isa ka sa mga kasamahan nila.’ Pero sumagot si Peter, “Hindi po ako ‘yun, sir!” After one hour, may lalaking nag-insist, “Sure ako, kasama ni Jesus ang taong ito, kasi taga-Galilea din sya.” (Luke 22:58-59)

“Sobrang na-shock ako sa inyo. Ang dali n’yo namang tinalikuran ang Diyos. Imagine, sobrang bait n’ya at pinadala n’ya si Christ sa atin. Ang Diyos mismo ang pumili sa inyo, tapos ngayon, ine-entertain n’yo ang ibang Gospel?” (Galatians 1:6)

St. Pauls Online encouraged the youth to read the Filipino version to understand the gospel and to use the teachings to “strengthen their faith and relationship with God.”

However, the promotion did not sit well with some of the netizens.

One netizen said he is disappointed with the book store: “This should not even be published.”

Another one even called the attention of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to look into the version.

“I understand the need to bring the Word of God across everyone in every generation, but not at the expense of sacrificing the richness and contextual meaning of scriptures as translated from the original languages. Language is an important factor in understanding the Bible, translating it however into modern language or everyday speech is not a good idea. Please reconsider the implications,” the netizen added.

Meanwhile, other netizens lauded the use of Taglish for the version as the language is more accessible to the youth: “Hindi naman masama na gawing Taglish ang Biblia. Alam naman natin na karamihan sa atin ay nagsasalita rin ng Taglish, especially teenagers and those who are called millennials (I don’t think it’s wrong to translate the Bible in Taglish. We know that teenagers and millennials today speak Taglish).”

The book has the required nihil obstat and imprimatur, or declarations that a book is free of doctrinal or moral error, from bishops to clear it for Catholic use and it has also “been heartily endorsed by church leaders.”

“Thus, we find it a worthy addition to the lineup of many Catholic Bible versions we make available for our beloved patrons to choose from,” St. Pauls Online added.