What is NVI?
It is a new translation of the Bible directly from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek languages into a newer and more exact and elegant contemporary Spanish.
How could we classify this Bible?
This Bible has kept the values of the traditional versions—rigorous faithfulness to the original text and the elegance of diction and style—yet has taken advantage of the progress in biblical science to produce a fresh and contemporary version. The NVI can be catalogued as "The Bible of the Third Millennium," the translation ideally suited to evangelize new generations.
What was the origin of this new translation of the Bible in Spanish?
In light of the extraordinary reception that the English-speaking world gave to the New International Bible (NIV), Biblica gladly accepted the request from scores of believers and churches to undertake translations of the Bible into other languages, following the same exegetical parameters and hermeneutic guidelines used by the 110 Bible scholars in the English version. The Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI) was the first translation in a different language.
Were there any other considerations taken into account to begin this project?
The general exegetical principle that advises the usage of not one but several versions of the Bible when reading, studying and preaching the Word was taken into account. It was time to offer the Spanish-speaking believers and people at large a new version of the Scriptures done by the most select and reliable group of evangelical Bible scholars of our continent. This version was translated directly from the original texts (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) into a modern, clear and beautiful contemporary Spanish. In fact, the NVI is the first Bible ever to be translated totally into Spanish by a team of Latin American evangelical Bible scholars.
When did this project begin and what phases were followed in its implementation?
In 1979 Biblica made the decision to produce a New Testament in Spanish following the NIV translation principles. Several people and committees worked on this project for over ten years. During this time various translations of the New Testament were published based mostly on the NIV English text, with close consultation to the original texts. In 1990, after several consultations with renowned Bible scholars and leaders in Latin America, the decision was made to organize a committee on Bible translation (CBT) and appoint Dr. René Padilla as chairman, and Dr. Luciano Jaramillo as CBT executive secretary to undertake the translation of a new version of the Bible based on the original Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek texts.
Who are the members of the Committee on Bible Translation?
The Committee on Bible Translation responsible for the NVI is composed of renown pastors and professors knowledgeable in different biblical areas: Old and New Testament, history, anthropology, semantics, linguistics and other disciplines. All of them have good command of one, two or three of the original languages of the Bible: Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek. But above all, they fervently believe in the Word of God, and recognize it as eternal and unerring revelation.
In addition, they are representatives of over ten Hispanic American countries. Some live and work in the United States, but most of them carry out their teaching and preaching ministry in Latin America. Lastly, they represent a wide range of evangelical churches and denominations, among them Assemblies of God and other Pentecostal branches, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Mennonite, Baptist, the Central American Church and others.
Who sponsors this project?
Biblica is a worldwidewell-known Christian evangelical organization, which for near two hundred years has been dedicated to the translation, publication and distribution of the Bible, with the sole purpose that many people may come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and accept His salvation, and through the study of the Holy Scriptures, they may grow in faith and become authentic disciples of the Master. Biblica's ministry of translating, publishing and distributing the Scriptures in hundreds of languages has spread to 56 countries around the world providing churches, individuals and institutions with programs of evangelism and discipleship, and a vast array of Bibles, New Testaments and other Scriptures and materials for evangelism and discipleship.
What features does the NVI present?
The NVI combines saithfulness to the text, meaning, and original message of the sacred writers with the dignity and elegance of the Spanish language seeking at the same time to be accessible to a large majority of readers.
What process was used in the translation?
Right from the beginning, each book was treated in a particular way. A translator specialist in a specific book drafted a first translation that was later on revised by other translators. Then the Old or New Testament committee dedicated several teamwork sessions to revise the manuscripts, contribute with their observations thus enriching the work. Readers and revisers in various countries read the manuscripts and sent in their observations. Finally, a committee of Bible scholars and writers gave the final stylistic touch. The entire Committee on Bible Translation was responsible for the final approval of the text.
What were the guiding principles for the translators?
An absolute reverence for the divine Word, and a sound faith in it.
A genuine desire that today’s reader may be able to read the living Word of God in a fresh, dignified and current Spanish, and readily and joyfully receive it in its beauty and clarity.
Eagerness to present the message of the Word as clearly, simply, and naturally as when the Holy Spirit inspired the original text.
A painstaking concern that the NVI language might keep the dignity and beauty of the inspired Word.
In addition, the exegetical and hermeneutic principles used in today’s most well-known, accepted and used English Bible, the New International Bible (NIV), were closely observed.
Why can it be affirmed that the NVI is a clear, faithful and accurate translation?
The NVI reproduces in today's Spanish what the sacred writer, inspired by God, wanted to convey to the people of that time in the then current languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek). A faithful and accurate translation must take into account not only the original language, but the target language as well. This means to transfer the total content of the message to the grammatical forms and expressions of the target language.
How does the NVI relate to other traditional versions?
The NVI can complement and even improve some aspects of older Bible versions. For instance, terms and expressions so familiar to and well understood by Christians have been kept. At the same time, because new terms and expressions have been introduced to communicate things that are not clear in other versions. Also, the NVI the most recent Spanish Bible translation, its translators have been able to use the most refined textual base, the result of the study and research of thousands of Bible manuscripts discovered recently. Likewise, they have used in their work state-of-the art resources of Bible translation auxiliary science, including computer techniques.
A final word
For nearly a decade, the Biblica and its Committee on Bible Translation have lovingly, faithfully and enthusiastically worked to put into the hands of readers the best version of the Bible text we have in Spanish. We rest assured that the NVI will be beneficial and useful not only for the individual study of the Scriptures, but also in preaching and teaching, and especially in evangelism. We are deeply convinced that just as with the English-speaking readers of the New International Version (NIV), the Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI) will become indispensable to Spanish speaking readers.
May everything be to the glory of God and the wider knowledge of his Word, so that this precious gift that God has given to humankind will be accessible, understandable and close to the heart of our people.
Director de Ministerios Hispanos
y Secretario Ejecutivo del CTB
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