07/04/2014, 00.00
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Bangkok's go-ahead to print the first Catholic Bible in Thai language

by Claudio Corti
The announcement was made by Msgr. Arpondratana Francis Xavier Vira, head of the Biblical Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Thailand. The first 16 thousand copies, printed in South Korea, will be available in early November 2014.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - It's full steam ahead in Thailand for the first edition of the Bible in the Thai language: the Catholic version of the holy book will be presented in a single volume, 16 thousand copies of the first edition will be printed in South Korea.

 The go-ahead arrived June 30, when at the headquarters of the Thai Episcopal Conference in Bangkok, Msgr. Arpondratana Francis Xavier Vira, head of the Biblical Commission and Sister Phanni Phuruanghong, secretary of the Commission itself, signed an agreement with the Rev. Dr. Seri Lokanphai and Mrs. Phailanya Sahawan, representatives of the Thailand Bible Society.

In the opening ceremony Msgr. Arpondratana highlighted the importance of the Word of God in the lives of Christians and, quoting Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium," urged the Thai Catholics to devote more time to reading the Bible.

The signing of this agreement is a landmark event in the history of the local church and indicates that it the translation of the entire Bible in Thai language has finally been completed, using the same language that is used within the Catholic Church in Thailand.

The entire Bible had already been translated and published by the Protestants, and in part used by Catholics, but the use of different terms to indicate some biblical concepts had pushed the Bishops' Conference to entrust (about 20 years ago) the task of preparing a new translation using the terminology used by Catholics to Thai biblical scholar Fr. Thatsanai Khomkrit.

The first 16 thousand copies of the complete Catholic version of the Bible in the Thai language, in one volume, will be printed in South Korea and will be available in Thailand in early November.


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