The Scripture in the Iloco Language

According to historical information from the Philippine Bible Society, one of the early portions of the Bible that was published in the Iloco dialect was translated from the Spanish Bible by Isabelo delos Reyes, a lawyer from Vigan City, Ilocos Sur who was educated during the Spanish regime. While he was incarcerated in Spain sometime in 1898 due to a labor problem, he was approached by agents of the British Bible Society to translate the Gospel of Luke. This he did. This translation of the Gospel of Luke was the first portion of the Bible that was circulated among the Ilocanos at the beginning of the 20th century after the Americans gained control of the Philippine archipelago.

Isabelo delos Reyes, a lawyer, is recognized as the founder of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. So it could be deduced that the influence of the Bible which he read in Spanish and a portion which he translated into his mother tongue strongly influenced him to break away from the Roman Catholic Church which at that time suppressed Bible reading among  the lay people. His knowledge of the Holy  Scriptures could have encouraged him to say that what the Bible says is not what the Pope teaches.

As late as 1959, the parish priest in my town in Ilocos Norte refused to lend me a Bible. He told me that he would look for a copy of the Bible. He never showed me a Bible. Ten years later, the priest, Father Godofredo Albano of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte who succeeded the parish priest who refused to lend me a  Bible became a member of the Philippine Bible Society team that labored in Baguio to bring out in 1972 the Naimbag a Damag Biblia. Now the Roman Catholic Church widely promotes Bible reading and Bible study among the Roman Catholic flock. What a change within a quarter of a century within my life time. -Eusebio Tanicala (7.1.10)

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