A delegation from the American Bible Society presented Pope Benedict XVI with a one-of-a-kind Bible on Tuesday at the Vatican.
The 3,200-page Biblica Polyglotta (Polyglot Bible) was created in honor of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops, Oct. 5-26, taking place at the Vatican. The theme of the Synod of Catholic Bishops is "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church."
Along with the special version for the pope, ABS also presented the Vatican with 1,000 additional copies of the Scriptures, which will be given to visiting dignitaries as the official biblical gift of the Holy See.
Biblica Polyglotta bears the seals of the Vatican and the American Bible Society (ABS).
All those attending the Synod will also receive a copy of the Bible.
"We join you on the journey to rediscover the Bible as a precious treasure both ancient and ever new," said the Rev. Dennis C. Dickerson, chairman of the board of trustees of the American Bible Society, in gratitude of being able to share the multi-language Bible with the pope.
"It is with great pleasure and happiness we return to the Bible again and again to deepen our understanding of the Word of God and rekindle our love for it."
A polyglot Bible is a multilingual Bible in which the different texts are displayed in parallel columns.
The massive project took ABS scholars nearly a year and a half to translate the Scriptures into five different languages for the Old Testament – Hebrew/Aramaic, Greek, Latin, English and Spanish – and four different languages for the New Testament – Greek, Latin, English and Spanish.
ABS hailed the joint project as the beginning of a new relationship between the Bible ministry and the Vatican.
The same ABS delegation to the Vatican will present the only other copy of the special text to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the United Kingdom on Oct. 10.
ABS was founded in 1816 and has its headquarters in New York City. The mission of the ministry is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format they can understand and afford.