By Edwin D. Arceo

Officially launched at the 2018 Manila International Book Fair last September, I have been all over in recommending the Pinoy Version New Testament to others especially young people. I first had experience with the Pinoy Version when we recorded the Book of Mark with The 700 Club Asia hosts as one of our donor premiums. Even during that time, I already liked it (I thought our hosts liked it as well)!

The Pinoy Version New Testament has been controversial ever since it was announced. Catholics and Evangelicals both voiced criticisms and concerns. Some have even gone to the extent of saying that it sounds like jejemon. Unfortunately, these people who say that the Pinoy NT sounds jejemon may not even know accurately what jejemon is.

According to a Manila Times writer, “One editor of a Catholic book publishing company probably describes best the feeling which the reading of the literature evoked: “While reading it, I could not help but hear it being narrated in my head by the voice of Vice Ganda.” Personally, I did not here Vice Ganda in my head, but to each his own.

When I read the Book of Mark in this translation, I was delighted. This is much easier to read, and more importantly, to understand. Don’t we want that to happen? People having an easier time to read the Bible? If more people will read it, then more people will have a better knowledge of Jesus and the Good News. Doesn’t that make this Bible translation worth it?

Maybe it being printed in paperback form offends people. Does making the Bible affordable, lighter and better laid out make it a bad translation? I really did not mind it at all. But then, I’m used to reading paperbacks. Maybe a hardbound version will make it acceptable, making it look more “holy.” Thoughts?

Met personally the team translating the Book of Proverbs and Psalms at the head office of the Philippine Bible Society in Manila.

The Philippine Bible Society, which undertook the translation, took pains in making sure that they met the standards set out by the United Bible Societies in resolving translation issues. It is unfortunate that many who criticize the Pinoy NT have not even had a chance to read it themselves. When they read from social media the criticisms and it came from someone they know, they immediately agree. What a shame.

I recommend that those who are interested in the translation buy themselves a copy; it was only 85 pesos. Unfortunately, as of this writing, they were all out of stock due to the strong demand for it.

I am blessed that I know the Director General of PBS, Dr. Nora G. Lucero. She is a well respected Christian and has been untiring in her dedication to get everyone in the Philippines easier access to the Gospel. They gave me my copy of the Pinoy NT. I have been able to read it and compare with other Tagalog versions. I sincerely like this one better.

A sample page of the New Testament Pinoy Version.

Allow me to compare the Pinoy NT with other Tagalog versions using the most popular New Testament verse, John 3:16,

“Sobrang mahal ng Diyos ang mga tao sa mundo kaya binigay nya ang kaisa-isa nyang Anak, para hindi mapahamak ang lahat ng naniniwala sa kanya, kundi magkaroon sila ng buhay na walang hanggan.” [Pinoy NT]

“Sapagkat gayon na lamang ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa sangkatauhan, kaya’t ibinigay niya ang kanyang kaisa-isang Anak, upang ang sinumang sumampalataya sa kanya ay hindi mapahamak, kundi magkaroon ng buhay na walang hanggan.” [Magandang Balita Biblia (MBBTAG)]

“Sapagkat gayon na lamang ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa sanlibutan na ibinigay niya ang kanyang tanging Anak, upang ang sinumang sa kanya’y sumampalataya ay huwag mapahamak kundi magkaroon ng buhay na walang hanggan.” [Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)]

I find that the Pinoy NT is more emphatic in a more contemporary sense. “Sobrang mahal ng Diyos,” vs. “Sapagkat gayon na lamang ang pag-ibig ng Diyos,” makes it more clear to me how big God’s love for me is. The Pinoy NT, for me, is hands down a much more relatable version than the previous ones.

If you have doubts about the translation, reserve your judgments until after you actually read a copy. You may have to wait for a while though. 😎

Edwin is the Founder and Publisher of Jacob’s Fountain, a website dedicated to publishing content that aims to help a believer’s walk in Jesus and glorifies God in the process.

He also works as the Manager for Merchandise Development at CBN Asia, the producers of the long-running weeknight inspirational show, The 700 Club Asia. He has been working here since 1994. Edwin is also the husband to Emy and a father to his two sons, Ephraim and Edwin James.

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