Tapos, Pinag-Tripan Nila si Jesus:’ Is the Taglish Bible Disrespectful?

There are those who are for and against this Pinoy version.

The Bible has been around for nearly two thousand years and is perhaps the most widely read and all-time bestselling book in history. It has also gone through numerous versions and translations over the centuries.

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But one of the latest translations is generating controversy.

The New Testament Bible Pinoy Version is not new. According to the Manila Times, it was launched just in time for the Manila International Book Fair in 2018. But it has recently popped up again on social media after local religious bookstore St. Paul's posted a social media card promoting the book on its Facebook page.

The post contains excerpts of the text written in what can only be described as easy-to-understand, conversational style, mixing Tagalog and English words like how conversations are between young people in many urban settings these days.

“After ilang minutes, may nakapansin ulit kay Peter at sinabi sa kanya, 'Isa ka sa mga kasamahan nila.' Pero sumagot si Peter, "Hindi po ako 'yun, sir!" After one hour, may lalaking nag-insist, "Sure ako, kasama ni Jesus ang taong ito, kasi taga-Galilea din sya.”


The text is from Luke 22:58-59. Compare that with the original text from the New International Version (NIV): 

“A little later someone else saw him and said, ‘You also are one of them.’ 

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Another excerpt: “Sobrang na-shock ako sa inyo. Ang dali n'yo namang tinalikuran ang Diyos. Imagine, sobrang bait n'ya at pinadala n'ya si Christ sa atin. Ang Diyos mismo ang pumili sa inyo, tapos ngayon, ine-entertain n'yo ang ibang Gospel?" (Galatians 1:6)

NIV: "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.” 

And another one: “Tapos pinagtripan nila si Jesus. Sinaluduhan nila siya at sinabi, ‘Mabuhay ang hari ng mga Jews!’ Hinampas nila ng stick ang ulo ni Jesus at dinuraan siya.” (Mark 15:18)

“And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.

“I love reading and meditating scriptures,” said one commenter. “I'm afraid that kind of translation might ruin my meditation...I would rather spent (sic) my money for the new jerusalem translation than this.” 

“Di ko talaga kayang tanggapin na binaboy nyo po ang Banal na aklat,” said another.

Some people however, don’t seem to mind the translation.

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“Gaano ba kahirap iimagine na ganito magsalita si Hesus?” one asked. “Di ba naging tao siya? Di ba nakitawa siya sa mga friends niya? Di ba nakipag-inuman din siya?”

“Kaya ito ginawa upang mas lubusan nating maintindihan ang salita ng Diyos ayon sa wika natin,” said another. “Hindi ibig sabihin na pag taglish ay binabastos na ang salita ng Diyos. Eh halos ang salita na ginagamit natin araw araw ay taglish. Ano masama sa salitang ito?”

It should be noted that this version is an official translation commissioned by the Philippine Bible Society, an ecumenical body made up of Roman Catholics, mainline Protestant churches, and Evangelical and free Churches in the Philippines.

“We should know that New Testament is originally written in Koine Greek, a language which no one now uses,” said the Most Reverend S. Pabillo in a commentary on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines . “To make it understandable to people therefore, it has to be translated into the languages that people now use." 

Linguist Annie del Corro, who is a translation consultant of the PBS, said this Pinoy New Testament is written in a “heterogeneous” language sourced from Tagalog and English.

“This is to retain the natural flow of thought, this is how we speak in a natural situation,” Aric john Sy Cua quotes her in his article in the Manila Times. “Look at our context, we are exposed to these two languages. This is a natural result of our history. These two languages have been a part of our nation for many years. The language that we are exposed to is the language we acquire.”


According to Reverend Pabillo, the Pinoy version took 10 years to complete.

“The research showed that more than half the people consulted among different sectors and denominations gave positive feedbacks,” he said. “The work then started, gathering a team of young people from various Christian denominations plus experts in the biblical languages. Each verse has gone through the scrutiny of the translation team seeing to the fidelity both to the original language (Greek) and to the present way that people speak and understand in Taglish. Street and tabloid words were avoided, but taking care that the emotions behind the original language be not watered down.

“We cannot say the Pinoy version is disrespectful of the word of God as we cannot say that our Taglish is disrespectful,” he added.

What do YOU think?

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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