To value the inclusive and Canarian language in the Bible and leave behind peninsular conjugations and expressions with a sexist charge. This has been the main objective of the group of seven people linked to the Worker Brotherhood of Catholic Action (HOAC), Frater and the Christian Networks community of Tacoronte, which has carried out the first island and egalitarian adaptation of the New Testament. A work published by the Mercurio publishing house that started ten months ago and can now be found in any Canarias bookstore under the title New Testament. An adaptation to inclusive and Canarian language.
“The idea of carrying out this project arose in June 2020 when HOAC continued to use the gospel of the day in the peninsular and we saw it necessary to adapt it to our language. The good reception that the proposal had encouraged us to carry it out, ”says Antonio Quintana, coordinator of the work, graduate in Theology and journalist. However, it was 40 years ago that this initiative was put on the table.
It was in 1981, when the Department of Theology of the Canarian Realities of the Theological Center of Las Palmas (Tereca) published Jesus, the new man; a selection of evangelical texts based on a Latin American Bible. “In the absence of a version of the Gospels made from the Canary Islands, and for our people -interesting and necessary work that some people are trying- it has seemed to us that this is the simplest and most accessible, as well as serious and scientific,” the respect from the entity.
Four decades later, that desire echoed by Tereca has been consolidated into a reality, after nine months of hard work on the part of the project participants. “A childbirth”, according to Quintana jokes, who has seen the light thanks to the work of Juan Barreto, doctor in Trilingual Biblical Philology; Felipe Bermúdez, doctor in Theology; María del Carmen Peñate, Graduate in Pedagogy; Juani Sosa, Professor of Permanent Training; Roberto Perdomo, graduated in Theology, and Águeda Vilavert, graduated in Social Work.
They have been in charge of reviewing the 27 books that make up the second part of the Bible to locate and adapt the second person plural that often appears in the texts to the personal pronoun “you” that is used by 400 million Spanish speakers, including the Canaries ”. It has also proceeded to change numerous words of the masculine gender such as “brothers, Jews, just, saints, blessed”, among many others, for an “inclusive language that includes more egalitarian expressions such as person, Jewish people, happy, or those who believe in Christ, ”Quintana explains. A meticulous and delicate work to which they have dedicated many hours and which has been especially difficult in the part of the Apocalypse or of the letters of Saint Paul. “Throughout these months we have reviewed it about five times,” adds the coordinator.
“It is not a translation, but an adaptation like many others that may exist,” he emphasizes, since the work is based on the New Testament of the New Spanish Bible, a translation directed 34 years ago by the biblical scholars Juan Mateos and Alonso Schökel , in whose group was also Juan Barrero.
Thus, New Testament. An adaptation to the inclusive and Canarian language “, was born with the purpose of helping us to live a personal, community, critical, committed and festive faith, which encourages us to be new people and contributes to the construction of that new society that Father Mother God wants for our world ”, according to the authors in the foreword of the book that will be presented online this Friday to a group from HOAC. The idea is also that the work “be useful for priests and groups of island Christians who will be able to count on a text adapted to their way of speaking” and without the sexist bias in the language.
Likewise, the team expresses that the publication is in tune with what Pope Francis said in his 2020 apostolic letter Love for Sacred Scripture: “the Bible needs to be constantly translated into the linguistic and mental categories of each culture and each generation. , even in the secularized global culture of our time ”. In this sense, Antonio Quintana recalled Monday on Radio Las Tirajanas that “the Bible is the most widely read book, partially translated into 400 languages and more than 2,000 languages.”
Specifically, this inclusive and canarized adaptation of the New Testament is published by Mercurio Editorial in Madrid, from where it arrived last Easter Sunday by sea through Huelva. “In total, 400 copies have been printed, of which 250 have already been reserved in just two days,” so the authors estimate that there will be more editions. To get one of them, Quintana explained on the radio station that it is “as simple” as going to any bookstore in the Canary Islands and requesting the book, “if you don’t have it, you can ask the publisher.”