Franciscans translate Bible into colloquial Japanese

Rome, Italy, Aug 26, 2011 / 06:06 pm (CNA).- After 55 years of work, the people of Japan will soon have a translation of the Bible in colloquial Japanese thanks to the work of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Tokyo.

The text was recently presented to the prefect of the Vatican Library, Cardinal Raffaele Farina, at the Cathedral of Tokyo.

It is the first time a Japanese translation has been taken from the original languages of the Bible instead of from the Vulgate. In 1958 the translation of the Book of Genesis was published, and in 1979 the entire New Testament was completed. In September 2002 the Book of Jeremiah was finished.

The Japanese Biblical Society and the Franciscans of the United States collaborated in the effort.

Since the initiative began in 1950, the translation efforts have been under the supervision of Father Bernardin Schneider, a native of Kentucky.