Catholic, Protestant churches agree to produce common Urdu Bible

.- Catholic and Protestant Church leaders in Pakistan have agreed to use one Urdu Bible instead of two different versions, reported UCA News this week.

The Pakistan Bible Society and Catholic Bible Commission Pakistan organized a national consultation for the Inter-Confessional Bible Project in Lahore. Representatives from both Churches signed an agreement on Nov. 10 to produce a joint translation in their national language.

Catholic and Protestant speakers stressed the need for a common translation of the Scriptures. They said they believe the agreement to produce a common Urdu Bible is a major step forward toward Christian unity.

They also cited Dei Verbum (Word of God), the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, which emphasizes the importance of the Scriptures in the life of the Church, as the "foundation stone" for their collaboration.

The United Bible Societies will be consulted in the translation project, which is expected to take five to 10 years. Anicia del Corro, translation consultant with the United Bible Societies spoke to church leaders about the challenges of the Bible project and made practical suggestions.

She said verses with distinct deviations in translation could be highlighted and accompanied by footnotes giving references to textual meanings in the original Greek sources.

She also suggested placing the seven deuterocanonical books between the Old and New Testament sections. The Catholic Church accepts these books as part of the Old Testament, while Protestant Bible translations either omits them or place them as an appendix called the Apocrypha.

A common translation of the New Testament for the Catholic and Protestant Churches was done in Sindh province in 1996, when Bishop Joseph Coutts, then bishop of Hyderabad and now bishop of Faisalabad, commissioned a translation into the Parkari language. 

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