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Gilbert D'Mello - Herald / Sent by Dr Pratap Naik SJ - TSSK

Old Goa, May 31: While the liturgy and other documents of the Church in Goa have been available in Konkani since Vatican II, the church, however, still found itself in need of bringing out the entire Bible in the 'maim-bhas' (mother tongue).

This sacred book will now be available to the Konkani-speaking community, after the translation of the entire Bible in Konkani in the Roman script was completed recently.

The Konkani Bible (Old and New Testament) will be released by Archbishop-Patriarch Felipe Neri Ferrao at the Pontifical Mass in Se Cathedral, Old Goa at 10 am on June 4.

"The process for the compilation of the entire Bible in Konkani was set in motion in 1990, when Archbishop-Emeritus Raul Gonsalves entrusted the task to the liturgical committee," Fr Manuel Gomes, Secretary of Diocesan Commission for Biblical Apostolate (DCBA) told Herald.

In 1993, Archbishop-emeritus Gonsalves constituted the DCBA, entrusting it with the job of bringing out the entire Bible in Konkani. Though the New Testament in the Roman script of Konkani was already available, the DCBA revised the edition, while bringing out the Old Testament in Konkani in a single entire edition.

The translation of different books of the Bible was undertaken by a team of 15 experts, comprising priests and laity, which were then edited by Fr Gomes and assisted by Fr Ave Maria Afonso.

The Diocesan Synod 2002 had asked the DCBA to expedite the work of bringing out the Konkani edition of the entire Bible. As a follow-up to the Synod, Archbishop Gonsalves appointed a "full-timer" to the job in June 2002.

As many as 60,000 copies of the Bible are printed, of which 40,000 copies are subsidized at Rs 150 per copy. The remaining 20,000 copies will be sold at Rs 300 per copy.

"The Bible contains 2,300 pages, which are of special imported Bible paper, and the total cost of printing has been Rs 1.8 crore," informed Fr Gomes. The existing practice and style in the Roman Script Konkani has been retained in a perfect form, in order to make the reading lucid.

Names of persons in Hebrew or Greek have been retained, while those names, which are in use among the Konkani-speaking people (e.g Moizes, Isaias, Jeremias, etc) have remained untouched. Wherever necessary, detailed meanings of words or events have been given on the right hand side of each page. Meanings and explanations of complex words are provided in Konkani and English in the glossary section.

"Process is also under way to bring out the Bible in the Devanagri script of Konkani," Fr Gomes added. 


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