Pope Francis today spoke of his hopes that all Christians might learn the "sublime science of Jesus Christ" with Bibles in languages they can understand.

The Pope said this today as he received in audience members of the United Bible Societies, who presented to him an Italian-language an inter confessional Bible translation "in current language."

"I will tell you something of my experience," the Holy Father began, in addressing the group. "The translation of the Bible prepared by Evangelicals and Catholics in current Argentine language has done so much good and does so much good. It is a good idea, because simple people can understand it, because it is a true language, proper, but close to the people. In the missions we did in the parishes of Buenos Aires, we always went to the Bible Society to purchase these translations. They gave me a good discount! We gave the Bible to the people, and the people understood it. They understood! It was a beautiful effort, and I am pleased that it is now available in Italian, because in this way the people can understand stories and expressions that, if translated literally, cannot be understood."

The Pontiff also praised the effort to prepare an inter confessional translation, saying this work is significant especially "if one thinks how much the debates on Scripture influenced the divisions [among Christians], especially in the West."

He said their ecumenical work has given the Bible scholars an opportunity to "entrust your heart to your other companions on the way, overcoming suspicions and diffidence."

"I hope that this text, which is presented with the approval of the CEI [Italian Episcopal Conference] and of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, will push all Italian-speaking Christians to meditate, to live, to witness and to celebrate God’s message," the Pope said. "I would so like it if all Christians could learn 'the sublime science of Jesus Christ' (cf. Philippians 3:8) through the assiduous reading of the Word of God, because the sacred text is the food of the soul and the pure and everlasting source of the spiritual life of us all. Therefore, we must make every effort so that every member of the faithful reads the Word of God, because “ignorance of Scriptures in fact, is ignorance of Christ,” as Saint Jerome says."


On ZENIT's Web page:

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-at-presentation-of-interconfessional-italian-bible