ROME, FEB. 1, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A Bible expo in Rome is showing that the translation of the word of God has united Christians in a special way since the Second Vatican Council.
"The Word Translated Together: The Bible in Common Christian Initiatives From Vatican II to Today" is the title of the expo open until April 29 in the Don Bosco Library of the Pontifical Salesian University.
The expo is one of the activities preparing for the October Synod of Bishops, which will focus on "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church."
In the inauguration Tuesday, Archbishop Nikola Eteróvic, secretary-general of the Synod, said, "The word of God for all Christians -- Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox -- is essential."
He invited Christians to dive again into the sacred texts: "All of us should rediscover it as a living word that the Lord directs to us in this historical moment, in our personal, community and social life."
Father Giorgio Zevini, dean of the theology faculty at the Pontifical Salesian University, said the expo aimed "to gather everything that refers to the translation of biblical texts, everything that has been produced around the world."
Pastor Paul Irwin, of the American Bible Society, said, "The Bible in 2008 is current and changes people's lives. It is a very strong word."
The ecumenical expo includes panels, ancient and modern books, and several Bible products, including those for teaching. It is organized in two rooms, including a multimedia area.
Translations are divided in regional sections: Europe and the Middle East, America, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa.
Since 1968 and as a fruit of Vatican II, 211 biblical translations have united Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. In the expo, over 100 of these ecumenical translations are on display.
A translation of at least one book of the Bible exists in 2,426 languages. The complete Bible has been translated in 429 languages, and the New Testament in 1,144.