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JULY 23, 2021

New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures Released in Tojolabal

New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures Released in Tojolabal

On July 18, 2021, Brother Arturo Manzanares, a member of the Central America Branch Committee, released the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures in Tojolabal.

The indigenous language Tojolabal is spoken by more than 66,000 people, primarily in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, in the southeastern part of the country bordering Guatemala. The Bible was released in electronic format during a prerecorded program streamed to an estimated audience of 2,800.

“Why do we need a translation of the Bible into Tojolabal?” the speaker asked during the program. He followed up with the answer: “Because it is important to have a Bible that gives due credit to its Author, Jehovah.”

A sister who assisted with the translation stated: “I was deeply moved when I read John 5:28, 29. I could almost picture in my mind my mother being resurrected. I have read those verses many times in Spanish, but now that I am reading them in my language, they take on a deeper meaning. Thank you very much!”

The new Tojolabal remote translation office located in Las Margaritas, Chiapas

During the project, the translation team moved from the Central America branch, near Mexico City, to their new remote translation office in Las Margaritas, Chiapas. The office is now located in a Tojolabal-speaking area, 990 kilometers (615 mi) from the branch. Currently, there are nine translators serving full-time at the remote translation office, along with five brothers who work in support departments. Although Tojolabal speakers of different communities understand one another, there are slight differences in how some terms are used. The translators took great care to render the Christian Greek Scriptures in a way that is both accurate and easily understood by the majority.

For example, vernacular Bibles translate “God’s Kingdom” as “the place where God commands” or “the town (or city) of God.” But these renderings have no real meaning for the readers who do not use these expressions. The New World Translation in Tojolabal renders the phrase “God’s Government,” which is more readily understood.

“Certainly, Jehovah guided everyone who participated in the project to produce a clear, accurate, and easy-to-read translation,” said one sister who attended the program. “I am sure that this gift will reach the heart of many individuals who do not yet know God.”—Acts 17:27.