Skip to content

OCTOBER 31, 2019

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures Released in Tzotzil

On October 25, 2019, at a regional convention held in Chiapas, Mexico, at the Poliforum of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Brother Armando Ochoa, a member of the Central America Branch Committee, released the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in Tzotzil. The event was also tied in by video to the Centro de Convenciones. The total attendance was 3,747.

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures in Tzotzil was released on December 26, 2014, and has been distributed to the Tzotzil-speaking people, who live principally in the mountains and the lowland areas of the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Of the more than 16,000,000 indigenous people in Mexico, about 500,000 speak Tzotzil, including 2,814 Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Tzotzil translators faced many challenges. For instance, little secular literature has been published in Tzotzil and few dictionaries are available. Also, there are seven regional dialects of the language. As a result, translators needed to carefully choose words that all Tzotzil readers could understand.

One of the translators observed: “Because this Bible translation uses God’s name, Jehovah, it will help readers to have a personal relationship with him. The two other Bible translations available in Tzotzil use the divine name only once in a footnote in Exodus. This will be the first Tzotzil-language Bible to restore the divine name to all the places where it rightfully belongs.” Additionally, a Tzotzil-speaking publisher noted that “other Tzotzil translations of the Bible are quite expensive. Few people can afford one. But this Bible will be available without cost to everyone.”

This newly released Bible will no doubt benefit all who speak Tzotzil and are “conscious of their spiritual need.”—Matthew 5:3.