New set of Bible stories in Filipino Sign Language launched

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God wants to speak to us in the language that we understand. He wants to communicate even to those who cannot see, nor hear, nor talk. But how can God communicate with them when there is no Bible in the language that speaks to their hearts? How can they be reached?

 

These are pressing questions in light of the almost one million deaf Filipinos who are cut off from normal means of hearing the gospel. They need a Bible tailored to their condition and in their case, in Filipino Sign Language (FSL).

 

The Philippine Deaf Sign Language Association (PDSLA), in partnership with the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) and the United Bible Societies, responds to this need with the ongoing Bible translation for the deaf. Nine Bible stories in FSL, produced in DVD format, have already been completed and were launched last May 27 at the PBS Ministry Building.

 

“The deaf cannot understand written words like the normal reader. Letters appear like figures and patterns to them. They cannot study the Bible on their own,” says PDSLA President Julius Andrada through an interpreter. He is also a deaf pastor serving in the deaf ministries of three different churches.

 

As there are unique challenges in teaching and counseling deaf people, providing them with sign language translation in their heart language will help them relate to God more deeply.

 

“We praise and give glory to God for this opportunity to make the Bible available to our brothers and sisters with hearing impairment, in the format they need. God has given us this tool so we can minister to them that they may know Jesus Christ in their life,” says PBS General Secretary Nora Lucero.

 

The process of making the FSL Bible includes rigorous review of the sign language translation for accuracy and faithfulness to the originally-intended meaning of a specific Bible passage. It also employs facial expressions, a unique characteristic of FSL. The videos were later tested among deaf students and businessmen to check comprehension.

 

One of the deaf translators, Pastor Jose Irish Pascual, shared that their work is both challenging and rewarding. “The Bible is so deep. I would often have to research the words for better understanding so I can translate it faithfully,” he says through an interpreter.

 

He also likened the video project to that of making a movie, with plenty of retakes and hurdles. Despite the difficulties, however, he excitedly shared that he becomes more eager and even sometimes moved to tears when he studies the Bible. “The creation story, Jesus’ suffering, and other Bible stories are just so interesting and captivating. I’m inspired by God’s amazing work and His goodness,” he added.

 

This FSL Bible is a five-year project which will be comprised of 110 chronological Bible stories, 32 of which is targeted to be finished by year end. Making it available through mobile applications and online platforms is also being explored. This Scripture translation will also be a feat for the Philippines, whose legislators are currently reviewing FSL as the national sign language through Senate Bill No. 1455. FSL is currently being used as the medium of instruction in schools for deaf learners.

 

The 9 FSL Bible stories are available at the PBS Bible Houses with contact number 526-7777 local 110.

 

1 Comment

  • Geofrey March 22, 2018 2:47 am

    i think this is not philpans problem but globly so request to you to forword this gift to the forgoten ugandans,be blessed.

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I am a Bible Ambassador because I believe that the Bible can help people a lot. And knowing the Bible, people come in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.Apostolic Administrator, Achdiocese of Manila

Gusto kong makipag-fellowship sa kanila, masaya sa Philippine Bible Society kapag may mga (membership) meetings.  Gusto ko rin madagdagan knowledge ko... yung opportunity makapag.distribute ng Biblia sa maraming tao at magamit ako ng Panginoon. Pangatlo ay yung ma.bless din ako and be a blessing to many people.

Ptra. Dolores “Loy” Fulgencio
Ptra. Dolores "Loy" FulgencioAnnual PBS Member

It's an honor and a privilege for me to support the Philippine Bible Society - to reach out to the unreachable people by giving Bibles not only in the Philippines but the whole world.

Ptra. Nina Vergara
Ptra. Nina VergaraAnnual PBS Member

“It is a blessing to be able to support our local churches in need of Bibles and Bible study programs. It is our hope that they not only grow in terms of membership but also have the heart to extend spiritual help to others, just like how they have received help.”

Ptr. Callum TabadaUCCP Cosmopolitan Administrative Pastor (AACP benefactor)

“We are thankful since each individual now has a Bible. Our members will no longer have a hard time reading. Thank you also for the discipleship materials for these will help all in getting to know Jesus and to know how to be a better Christian.”

Ptr. Eric BulanteChurch Pastor, Shepherd's Church in Hills of Zion, Talim Island (AACP beneficiary)

“Philippine Bible Society organizes trainings that really respond to the needs of people who are suffering.
It has well-equipped leaders who facilitate trainings and workshops.
Its mission to reach out to Filipinos using God’s Word is fulfilled through its works.”

Miriam del RosarioExecutive director at The Birthright Educators Foundation

“I praise and thank our Almighty God that, through PBS, I now own a Poimen version of MBB (Magandang Balita Biblia) in the national language of the Philippines – Tagalog.
Knowing Matthew 10:32-33, I read and study the Bible so that I will not be dismayed when the Lord Jesus Christ comes. Life is too short compared with the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom.”

Jorge BianesLocal Church Elder at LJOR Unified Commonwealth

I think this is very helpful to every readers. The word of the Lord are the food of our soul which we always need every minute of our life. I dont often read the Bible but everytime i open it, God was always like in front of me and speaking as what is something i'm just needing to hear. He speaks to me and i can feel it. A million thanks to You my Lord.

CrisTin Bocar AtregenioHousewife, Stay-at-home parent

I love the ministry of the Philippine Bible Society in sharing the Word to the world. God bless PBS!

Ganni BanzueloScripture Marketing Officer at Philippine Bible Society