- Catalan New Testament
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translation of the Bible to the Catalan
language with rigorous care has been a project that has
with many difficulties within the Evangelical Christian
contended that the Spanish Reina-Valera version sufficed.
It is true
that many of us Catalan Evangelical Christians have been
this glorious Spanish version that has circulated since
1569 and seen
many careful revisions, and which has been at the root of
Evangelical movement in all the territories of Spain and
America. But Catalan Evangelical Christians sorely felt
the need of a
faithful version, true to the original texts, without
books and without notes, through which the Holy Spirit
talk to those of us that had grown from the cradle in the
language. In Revelation, the Scripture says, in words
John the Apostle: «Thou must prophesy again before
and nations, and tongues, and
kings». It is therefore necessary that each language
the testimony of Scripture, and the fact is that Catalan
has been a
language that for a long time has been lacking, with the
of versions of Scripture that were not really useful for
at church meetings and for general Gospel work.
Ramon Rocaspana was born in Lleida (in Spanish known as Lérida) in 1958, and he graduated as M.A. in Catalan Philology, with minors and parallel study in classical and koine Greek. For two additional years he did comparative language studies. He was substitute professor of historical Catalan grammar at the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona, and is now professor of Secondary Education at the Guindavols High-School in Lleida.
Having become an earnest Christian, he started to read the Greek New Testament, which he obtained from the well known Atlàntida Book-Shop in Barcelona, and started to do a comparative study of different versions, working an interlinear presentation of the Greek original with translations as those published by the Monks of Montserrat, the translation published by the Evangelical Biblical Institution of Catalonia, and others.
In 1980, having become aware of the need of a modern Catalan translation, but avoiding liberties with respect to the originals, he started the task. He began with a translation draft, and in 1984 he contacted the Trinitarian Bible Society, which agreed to an eventual publication of the translation. The Gospel of John, finished in 1985, was published in 1989. The draft of the whole New Testament was ready by 1987. That year saw a first revision. After, in a coordinated endeavour between the Trinitarian Bible Society, Ramon Rocaspana and Mr. Milton Portugal, a Christian worker in the ministry in Cerdanyola del Vallès, a Reading and Revision Committee was established, to refine the translation with careful comparison to the Greek New Testament (TR).
The Committee began its task in 1990 and ended its work in 1997. All this work was done by means of regular fortnightly meetings, sometimes weekly meetings, and some occasional intensive seminar of two or three days. All work, the translator's and that of the members of the Committee, was done on a voluntary basis. The members of the Reading and Revision Committee were:
|The Committee, working in Barcelona, from left to right: Una Herbage, Ramon Rocaspana, Jordi Grayling, Santiago Escuain, Antoni Mendoza
|The Committee, working in Cerdanyola del Vallès, following clockwise from the left: Una Herbage, Jordi Grayling, Mrs. Sarela de Portugal, Milton Portugal, Antoni Mendoza, Ramon Rocaspana, Santiago Escuain
After finishing the translation of the New Testament, in 1988 Ramon Rocaspana began translating the Old Testament from Hebrew to Catalan. The first draft was ready in 1995. From then work has been progressing towards a precise translation by another Committee, which is advancing in the task, with a possible prospect of publication of the year 2005. The final versions of the first four books of Moses are ready, as well as the Psalms, Isaiah, parts of Jeremiah and of several historical books.
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