International Bible Society’s new Spanish translation speaks the language of today.

By August 17, 2006

Latin America (MNN) — A significant part of Latin American culture has been their spiritual heritage, especially Roman Catholicism.

But, Steve Johnson of the International Bible Society says they’re seeing something of concern to the church. “One of the things that we’re seeing, especially throughout Latin America, is that the younger generation is really in many ways, very disenfranchised. We’ve got huge problems with street children and with poverty that really is the probably the biggest issue that Latin American children struggle with.”

Along with disenfranchisement, says Johnson, another challenge the church in Latin America faces is effective evangelism, “While the church is growing by leaps and bounds, evangelism through the Word of God is so critical. But oftentimes the Word of God is very difficult for people to understand, especially as they struggle with issues of illiteracy or if they’re young.”

Johnson says IBS saw the need to create a Spanish translation of the Bible that would reach the next generation, “and so IBS really felt compelled to create a translation that would really speak their language, that we knew would be a trustworthy rendering of God’s Word, but at the same time would communicate the word of God to young people in a way that they could really understand and relate to.”

To meet that need, IBS recently released a new Spanish translation of the original Living Bible, using updated language. It’s called the Nueva Biblia al Dia.

For the church, it’s a key part of effective evangelism and discipleship for the next generations, “And so we believe that from an evangelistic perspective, the Word of God needs to be communicated in a way that anybody can understand, especially those who’ve never been exposed to the Word of God or ever been in a church to understand what it means. And that really is the heart behind this translation. This text is really intended to reach a new audience with the Word of God in a way they understand and can relate to. It really is intended to break down the barriers of understanding that so often people encounter when they first get into the Word of God.”

The desire is to see God’s Word go forth throughout Latin America in a powerful way through this new translation, and Johnson says, “We’re hoping that between our commercial partner in Grupo Nelson and our ministry partners throughout Latin America, that we can literally blanket the continent with a new edition of God’s Word that really speaks the language of the day to Latin American young people.”

IBS works with sponsored children with Compassion International throughout Latin American, and the new translation, reports Johnson, has already picked up momentum among its target audience, which are these children at risk.

“God’s Word always accomplishes what it sets out to do,” says Johnson. “That in the hands of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God changes lives forever, and I think the prayer that IBS has as we launch this text is that it will penetrate the hands and the hearts of millions of young people throughout the Latin American continent and that because of the existence of this text that millions of people will encounter Jesus Christ in a new and life-changing way.”

Pray that God’s Word will work powerfully across Latin America and this new translation will bring many young people to an understanding of Christ Jesus.

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