Spanish edition of Roman Catholic Bible to change 'fishers of men' to 'fishers of persons'

The Roman Catholic Bible has switched the word ‘man’ to ‘person’ in its new Spanish edition, which was published by Desclée de Brouwer. Hombre (man) was changed to persona (person) in the new Spanish edition.

This change is related to the portion of the Bible – Matthew 4:19, where Jesus said His disciples would become fishers of men. However, the new Spanish translation says that Jesus would make His disciples to become “fishers of persons”.

The Jerusalem Bible, which is the English version of the Catholic Bible, was published in 1966. Asides the 66 books of the Protestant Bible, the Jerusalem Bible added seven more books which are said to be extra-biblical books outside the Catholic Church.

The managing director of the Desclée De Brouwer publishing house, Javier Gogeaskoetxea, told Catholic News Agency the change was not due to social media pressure. Instead, it was necessitated by "fidelity to the original text".

He added that the decision was not from the publisher, rather it is from the Jerusalem Biblical and Archaeological School. The school is linked to the Dominicans, an order of the Catholic Church.

Gogeaskoetxea said, "If I were to put 'man’. We would be lacking in fidelity to the original text because the Greek word is neither man nor woman.

"I understand that there is an attempt to 'polemicize' by attributing 'inclusive' language to the translation. But nothing is further from reality; the reason is fidelity to the original text.”

A Spanish priest, Father Jesús Silva, disapproved of the new translation. The cleric, who is a writer and Patristic Theology graduate, said the translation from ‘man’ to 'people' is not clear enough.

He wrote on Twitter, "What people was Jesus referring to: human, angelic or divine? Well, in the text, thus translated, it is not excluded that Jesus is calling the disciples to evangelize the angels or God himself."

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