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Worth 20 years: the contemporary Scriptures for Tagalog speakers

By December 15, 2010

Philippines (IBS/MNN) — A lot can happen in two decades. Infants grow up to be
adults. World history changes. 

In 1990, the first Web page was created. Microsoft introduced Windows 3.0. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos, at Superbowl XXIV in New Orleans. Nelson Mandela was released from prison. And, a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Luzon, followed by a
devastating typhoon that crippled the nation's economy.

Yet 1990 was also a year of hope for the Philippines, as
Biblica Philippines translators began the long, detailed process of creating an
NIV-like Bible translation in the Philippines' major language. Bishop Leo
Alconga, Biblica's
East Asia Area Executive Director says, "Language changes, and at the
same time, the need for the new translation is for people to have an
understandable Bible with clarity and with accuracy."

That journey is now complete, providing more than 85 million
Tagalog speakers in the Philippines access to the
Salita Ng Dios
(Word of God) in clear, contemporary language. It is soon to become a powerful instrument
to reach the Filipinos for Jesus Christ. "Transforming the people through the Word of God–that is our first
concern. Secondly, we are praying that
many souls will be seeing the truth, the life, and the light through the Word of
God. "

Through this Tagalog Bible, the church leaders are hoping
that "there will be more understanding of the Word spoken by the people, and
at the same time, be rightly connected with their personal knowledge of the
Lord Jesus Christ."

Having the Scriptures in a contemporary edition not only
reflects a shift in language, it also represents a shift in how believers share
the freedom of the Gospel. Alconga says, "We are praying and hoping that
it will enhance the work and the ministry of local churches. We believe that it will equip believers to do
their work of evangelizing, and even transforming people and community."

The Tagalog Bible was dedicated November 23 at a service attended by more
than 200 church leaders, bishops, and pastors from various church denominations.   

Biblica International CEO Keith Danby said, "There was a
sense of awe and reverence as we prayed to dedicate the Tagalog Bible. You
could feel the presence of God in the room as we celebrated the birth of this
anticipated translation in their mother tongue."

There's more about Biblica's work in the Philippines here.

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