Translation of Scripture into Modern Japanese Is Completed

Project of Franciscan Biblical Study of Tokyo

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TOKYO, OCT. 25, 2002 ( The Franciscan Biblical Study of Tokyo has just published the Japanese version of the «Book of Jeremiah,» which completes the translation of the Bible, carried out in 37 installments.

The Study (Furanshisukp-kai-Seisho), directed by Father Odaka Takeshi, culminates a work begun in 1956 by the previous director, Father Bernardino Schneider, OFM, who, at 84 years of age, is still involved in the project.

The idea arose in 1952, when Japan was still rebuilding from World War II. That year, Father Schneider, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, arrived in Tokyo as a missionary. The only Japanese translation of the Bible extant at the time was based on the Latin Vulgate. It was in classical Japanese, a language that young Japanese do not speak.

The translation begun by Father Schneider is in spoken Japanese and is based on most recent critical editions of the original texts, yet keeping the Latin Vulgate in mind.

Father Takeshi announced that within the next five years the Study hopes to publish the complete translation of the Bible in just one volume.

The last Japanese version of the Bible in one volume was published in the 1980s by the Japan Bible Society, in the framework of a project in which Catholic and Protestant scholars participated.

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