SEPTEMBER 13, 2023
On September 2, 2023, Jehovah’s Witnesses released The Good News According to Matthew and Acts of Apostles in three languages: Basque, Galician, and Valencian. Special programs were held in the regions of Spain where these languages are spoken, and brothers and sisters from 42 congregations were invited to attend in person. Following the releases, these Bible books were immediately available for download in digital formats in all three languages. When all the books of the Christian Greek Scriptures have been translated, printed versions will be released.
Brother John Bursnall, a member of the Spain Branch Committee, released The Good News According to Matthew and Acts of Apostles in Basque at a Kingdom Hall in the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz. About 216 people attended in person, with another 353 tied in via videoconference. This is the first time a portion of the New World Translation has been made available in Basque.
Today, there are approximately 1.2 million Basque-speaking people in Spain and southern France. There are 233 Basque-speaking publishers serving in four congregations, two groups, and three pregroups in Spain.
One Basque-speaking brother was deeply moved by Jehovah’s words at Matthew 3:17: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” He commented: “In the New World Translation, ‘beloved’ is rendered using the word kuttuna. In the Basque language, this word powerfully conveys the thought of a tender, special relationship. It endearingly expresses the intense love Jehovah has for his Son.”
Brother Jürgen Weyand, a member of the Spain Branch Committee, released The Good News According to Matthew and Acts of Apostles in Galician to 611 attendees gathered at the Palacio de Congresos e Exposicións de Galicia in Santiago de Compostela. Another 552 viewed the program via videoconference. There are over two million Galician-speaking people in Spain. Almost 1,000 brothers and sisters serve in 18 Galician-speaking congregations throughout the country.
One sister remarked: “The New World Translation uses the same Galician that I use when talking with my family. When read aloud, it sounds so natural.”
Brother Andrés Mayor, a member of the Spain Branch Committee, announced the release of The Good News According to Matthew and Acts of Apostles in Valencian to an audience of 595 at the Assembly Hall in Benidorm. An additional 702 people tied in to the program via videoconference. Some 2.5 million people speak Valencian. Over 750 brothers and sisters serve in 15 Valencian-speaking congregations throughout Spain.
The first Bible translation in Valencian appeared at the beginning of the 15th century. “Until now, Jehovah’s name has never appeared in a Bible in Valencian,” observed one brother. “I am excited to show Valencian-speaking people Bible verses containing Jehovah’s name.”
We rejoice with our Basque-, Galician-, and Valencian-speaking brothers and sisters at the release of these Bible books in their respective languages. We are sure that these releases will benefit both publishers and others who are seeking “an accurate knowledge of truth.”—1 Timothy 2:4.