6. Bible Translation
the churches differ from each other in their understanding, both
of the authority and the interpretation of the Bible, they all accept
it as the basis of their thinking and their teaching. This common
point of reference can be made manifest even more than hitherto
if they begin to use the same editions of the original text and
the same translations. The translation of Scriptures is therefore
one of the tasks which can be undertaken and furthered together.
If the Gospel is really to enter the various cultures, the Bible
must be translated into still more languages, and as translations
constantly need revision, existing differences can be gradually
overcome by a common effort.
these last years much has been achieved. In some countries existing
translations have been made available for wider use, in other countries
new translations are being undertaken. Conversations between the
Roman Catholic Church and the United Bible Societies have shown
that it is possible to find solutions to problems which hitherto
presented difficulties (use of original text, Apocrypha, adding
of notes, etc.).
April 1966, the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity was entrusted
with the task of inquiring of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Conferences
concerning the needs and possibilities of Bible translation and
concerning possible co-operation with other Christians in this field.
The replies show that the overwhelming majority of episcopal conferences
is in favor of such co-operation. About one hundred projects have
been decided or are currently under discussion. The principles to
guide this collaboration have been clarified in discussions between
the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity and the United Bible
Societies. The United Bible Societies have already organized a meeting
of African Bible Societies and representatives of some churches
(Winneba, Ghana, March 1967), in order to plan policies of collaboration
throughout Africa for the next six years, and similar meetings are
planned for Europa, Asia and the Americas.
Joint Working Group has no direct responsibility for this co-operation.
It is of such importance for the churches, however, that it decided
to refer to it in its report. The Joint Working Group wants to give
its full support to this work and expresses the hope that churches
and individual Christians will join in this common effort.
[Information Service 3 (1967) 28-33]