Philippines (MNN) — In an effort to keep translations up-to-date and to reach even more people, Biblica celebrated the completion of two new translations in the Tagalog and Cebuano languages of the Philippines.
The Biblica Group Vice President for Asia Pacific, Somporn Sirikolkarn, said these new translations will replace versions which are out-of-date: “The Cebuano and the Tagalog [translations] are over two decades old, so these are new, contemporary translations, which are accurate.”
This project has been in the works for a while, says Sirikolkarn: “We have been working for the last 18 years.”
Thanks to the tenacity of translators, Filipinos can now enjoy these versions of the Bible, which were developed using similar methods to the New International VersionÂ® (NIV). While developing the translations, Biblica focused on clarity of the text, creating an easier-to-read Bible for nearly 100 million people. As two of the four major languages of the Philippines, there are approximately 70 million people who speak Tagalog and 22 million who speak Cebuano.
“This is a major opportunity for us to distribute the Word of God in mother tongues of the Filipinos,” Sirikolkarn said.
However, this journey has not been without its challenges, and even now, Biblica faces obstacles on how best to distribute the Bibles across the Philippine Islands and how to fund distribution.
Yet, Sirikolkarn said God is providing and will see them through: “The churches there are growing, and therefore, we see this as a great opportunity, in spite of some of the obstacles.”
Last year, another translation in the area was completed, Hilligaynon, and Biblica is currently starting a fourth translation in the Illcano language.
As they begin this new project, Sirikolkarn said funding is the biggest obstacle they face.
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