SALT LAKE CITY — 30 March 2009 — (comunicado de prensa en español) In a letter to congregations of Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the forthcoming Latter-day Saint edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish.

One of several styles of the LDS edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish that will be available in September. © 2009 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“We are pleased to announce that the LDS edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish will be available through local Church distribution centers beginning in September,” the First Presidency letter states.  “It contains new chapter headings, footnotes, cross-references to all standard works, and other study helps that will enhance understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The 2009 Latter-day Saint edition of the Spanish Bible is similar to the 1979 English LDS edition of the King James Bible, which, with its cross-references and study helps, made the scriptures much more accessible to English-speaking Latter-day Saints.  This Spanish Bible project is one of the most significant scripture projects the Church has ever undertaken. The scriptural text of this new edition is based on the 1909 Reina-Valera Spanish Bible and is comparable in the dignity of its language to the King James Version of the Holy Bible in English.

Church leaders began the process to produce a Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible in Spanish in response to the increase in the number of Spanish-speaking members of the Church.  After years of labor, this new edition will benefit an estimated four and a half million Latter-day Saints whose native language is Spanish.

Final touches on project at LDS Church Printing Division.© 2009 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“This new edition of the Bible will promote gospel scholarship and a deeper appreciation of this marvelous, fundamental scripture,” said Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  “We anticipate that it will lead Spanish-speaking Church members to study the Bible regularly and that the excellent study aids will open the scriptures to greater understanding and that a more earnest application of scriptural teachings will follow.”

Church leaders, teams of translators, professional linguists and qualified lay Church members reviewed the 1909 Reina-Valera edition of the Bible.  Reading committees were organized throughout the world and extensive field testing was completed to ensure accuracy.  The 2009 Latter-day Saint edition modernizes some of the outdated grammatical constructions and vocabulary that have shifted in meaning and acceptability.

The text of the LDS edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish is based on the 1909 Reina-Valera edition.© 2009 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“As we embarked on this project, we were sensitive to the sacred nature of this work.   We tried to preserve the 1909 text making very conservative changes to ensure accuracy, understandability and faithfulness to the source texts,” says director of the Church’s Translation Division, Jeffrey C. Bateson. “The spiritual nature of this work was a humbling and uplifting experience for all those involved.”

The Church plans to publish the Latter-day Saint edition in September of this year, the centennial anniversary of the Reina-Valera edition used as the base text. This advance announcement gives families time to plan their scripture purchases.

New chapter headings, footnotes, cross-references and other study helps enhance understanding of the Bible.© 2009 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

This new edition will be available in printed, electronic and audio formats. The printed Bibles and audio CDs will be available through local Church distribution centers. The electronic text and audio MP3 files will be available on the Church’s Web site. Additional information is available in English and Spanish at SantaBiblia.lds.org

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regard the Bible as scripture, along with the Book of Mormon and other sacred texts. The Church’s eighth article of faith states: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

This article was prepared by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Newsroom at lds.org.