The new edition of the Bible in Arabic: a precious gift for all the Christians of the Holy Land | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

The new edition of the Bible in Arabic: a precious gift for all the Christians of the Holy Land

Jerusalem, 23rd February 2012

The Franciscan Printing Press (FPP) in Jerusalem has recently printed two versions of the Bible in Arabic, one including the Old and the New Testament costing 100 NIS and the other containing only the New Testament, in paperback at 10 NIS and a hardcover version costing 15 NIS.

This is a very valuable initiative which aims to be a concrete response to the appeal of the Catholic Church which has invited the whole community of the faithful to rediscover the roots of the Christian faith, the foundations and the significance of our life of faith and our mission as disciples of Christ. In this sense, reading and knowledge of the Bible and constant meditation on its texts and message of salvation are an indispensable element for building up the Christian identity and perfectly complying with the project of God for man. For those who live and work in the Holy Land and for the Christians who form the local community, the relationship with the Bible is certainly enriched by a particular experience, a direct contact with the human, geographical, social and cultural context in which Jesus lived and it thus becomes the propulsive centre of a sensitivity and an intentionality to protect and preserve the Christian Holy Land and its great cultural and spiritual heritage.

The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, well aware of the irreplaceable value of the Bible in the life of every Christian, purchased the Arabic version of the Bible translated by the Jesuits of the University of St. Joseph in Beirut and printed it at the Franciscan Printing Press which, when it was opened more than 150 years ago, began its activity by printing the Bible in Arabic.

On this new re-edition of the work, the Custody has given each parish in the Holy Land two copies of the complete Bible and ten copies of the New Testament, in the hardcover and paperback versions, accompanying the gift with the wish that the parish priests continue tirelessly in their pastoral work, that the Custody shares and supports and that aims to diffuse the Word of God and make known to all the work of the Lord in the history of man and the mission of Jesus, sent by the Father for the salvation of the whole world.

This new edition of the Bible in Arabic, produced to offer a service to all Christians and, in particular, to the faithful of the Holy Land, adds another precious element to the long history with at its centre this extraordinary book of the Revelation of God, translated into countless languages, studied and interpreted throughout the ages and which even today appeals to the heart of man, opens up horizons of meaning that are always new, invites dialogue with God along original paths of research and reflection and helps to relive the experience of the faith in the land of Jesus.

By Caterina Foppa Pedretti