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SYNOD-ABS Oct-7-2008 (310 words) With photos. xxxi

Pope, synod members get limited edition polyglot Bible

The American Bible Society presented Pope Benedict XVI this one-of-a-kind, white leather-bound version of the polyglot Bible at the beginning of the world Synod of Bishops dedicated to sacred Scripture. (CNS/courtesy the American Bible Society)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI and participants in the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible received a limited edition polyglot Bible from the American Bible Society.

Only 1,000 copies of the gilt-edge, deep-red, leather-bound volumes were printed to commemorate this year's synod dedicated to sacred Scripture and to mark the start of increased cooperation between the interdenominational society and the Vatican.

The Rev. Dennis Dickerson, chairman of the American Bible Society's board of trustees and a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, told reporters Oct. 7 that presenting the pope earlier that morning with a one-of-a-kind, white leather-bound version of the polyglot Bible marked a "historic occasion" for the society.

He said the society was proud this Bible represents "a linkage, a connection" between the society and the Catholic Church. The initiative was part of an ongoing effort by the society to deepen its relationship with the Catholic Church, he added.

"We are looking forward to future collaboration as we mutually confirm the centrality of the word of God in the teaching and preaching of God's message," he said. He added that the society was planning a biblical congress, with Vatican participation, at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana next summer.

Made in collaboration with the Vatican Publishing House, the multilanguage Bible features Greek, Latin, English and Spanish translations of all the books. The Old Testament texts are also written in Hebrew and Aramaic.

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Cape Coast, Ghana, said the different languages appear on the same page in parallel columns and offer a great tool for students or scholars.

The cardinal told the press conference that the myriad of languages spoken in the world should never be an obstacle to people's access to the word of God.


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