The Pinoy “Millennial” Version of the NT Bible: A Brief Review

There are many young Filipino believers who are now made aware of this new Filipino Bible translation introduced today by the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) as “Pinoy Version” translated by a group of respected Filipino Bible translators under the care of Dr. Anicia del Corro, PBS’s Translation Consultant. According to the Philippine Bible Society, “the Pinoy Version is a faithful translation employing the method of dynamic equivalence, also used in other meaning-based translations such as the Magandang Balita Biblia (MBB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Contemporary English Version (CEV).” (1)

In translation, many times it is difficult to make sense of a Hebrew or Greek phrase if the translator would render it word-for-word without incorporating prepositions, verbs, or additional terms. This would surely produced awkward English or Tagalog.

And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the BOY was healed instantly.

Matthew 17:18, ESV

At pinagwikaan siya ni Jesus; at ang demonio ay lumabas sa kaniya: at ang BATA’Y gumaling mula nang oras ding yaon.

Matthew 17:18 (Tagalog Ang Biblia)

If you will noticed that in our literal Tagalog Version the word “bata” is a general term without any gender while in the English they rendered it accurately. This is because we do not have a one word to describe the “boy” without making them understand that we are referring to a young male or female. So the more accurate translation is “batang lalaki.”

As much as possible, the translator would like to bring across the text to the modern-day recipients as literal as possible but they could not do that always. There are versions that only get’s the thought of the text or passage then rephrase it despite the absence of such word or words in the original. This is what we call paraphrased versions.

A good student of the Bible will not use a paraphrase version in studying the Scripture but would go to the literal and dynamic in order to know what the author really meant. A paraphrase can be a good guide if one can’t really understand the literal. It is also good for devotion as well.

In Galatians 1:6, the Greek terms use are only eighteen words. The English Standard Version considered to be literal used twenty five words to communicate the meaning. And the known dynamic version namely New International Version (1984) utilized twenty six words to convey it to the twenty first century reader. While the most conservative of them all, the King James Version rendered this passage using twenty one words only. In the Tagalog Ang Biblia, the translators maintained only nineteen words to translate the said particular passage which is far more conservative.

But the Pinoy Version rendered the eighteen Greek words of Galatian 1:6 in a whooping thirty seven words. Despite the translator’s claim that this version is a “dynamic equivalence,” it seems like their manner of translation reflects a moderate paraphrase version just like the New Living Translation which also claims to be translated in the form of dynamic equivalence but is doubted by a number of scholars. You may compare the versions below.

Sobrang nashock ako sa inyo. Ang dali nyo namang tinalikuran ang Diyos. Imagine, sobrang bait nya at pinadala nya si Christ sa atin. Ang Diyos mismo ang pumili sa inyo, tapos ngayon, inentertain nyo ang ibang gospel?!

Galatians 1:6, Pinoy Version

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News. 

Galatians 1:6, NLT (Dynamic/Paraphrase)

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.

Galatians 1:6, KJV (Literal)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

Galatians 1:6, ESV (Literal)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–

Galatians 1:6, NIV (Dynamic)

The phrase, “Imagine, sobrang bait nya at pinadala nya si Christ sa atin” could not be found in the literal Greek words not even the thought of it. This is probably the translator’s rendering for the word “grace.” The New Living Translation did not even attempt to use the words “Imagine, he is so loving that he sent Christ for us” rather they rendered it as “from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ” which is more faithful to the thought of the passage.

If you want to quote a passage from this version then you may use it to connect and engage with your “poor” young millennials or adult readers and listeners who have a hard time making sense of the literal and dynamic.

Would I recommend this version? In a way, yes, for young kids and very “poor” young millennial and adult readers who cannot immediately understand the literal and dynamic version. This version can be a supplement reading for the literal version. And it could also be a good starting point to engage and make them understand the Scripture but not for serious study of the word.

These are my thoughts. You may visit their website at May the Lord bless Dr. Corro and the people behind this translation work for their heart to bring the written Good News in the hands of every Filipino millennials.



Photo Courtesy of Philippine Bible Society

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