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A Brief History of the Biblical Translations Authored by

Msgr. Juan Straubinger
[1883 - 1956]

Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Müenster, Germany

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The purpose of this condensed history of the Biblical translations by Msgr. Straubinger, Professor of Holy Scriptures in the St. Joseph Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of La Plata, Argentina, is to make known to the English speaking world the work of the author of what we consider the best translation of the New Testament.


Monsignor Juan Straubinger would become the author of the first translation of the Bible made in Argentina. He was born in Esenhausen, Germany, on December 26, 1883. Due to the situation that his homeland suffered at that time, in 1938 he traveled to Argentina and settled in the city of Jujuy. There he published a humble biblical sheet. The following year he decided to launch the Revista Bíblica (a Biblical Review).

In 1940 he traveled to La Plata, capital of the province of Buenos Aires, and worked as a professor of Sacred Scripture in St. Joseph Major Seminary. He stayed there until 1951, teaching various subjects. Apparently, later on he returned to Germany, settling in the city of Stuttgart. The Lord calls him Home on March 23, 1956.

Monsignor Juan Straubinger alternated his teaching duties with a critical update of the Spanish translation of Monsignor Torres Amat's Vulgate Bible. While a professor of Sacred Scripture at the San José Archdiocesan Seminary in La Plata, in 1941 he published a revised and annotated New Testament through the Librería e Imprenta Guadalupe.  The work had as special peculiarity that the numerous glosses in italics of the Torres edition disappear in Straubinger's edition, the same adjusted to the Vulgate Bible. The German cleric continued to publish the translation of the Vulgate in a free edition of the 'viruelas', as Father Castellani graciously called the italicized glosses that fill the Torres Amat edition.

In September 1944 an edition of the Gospels appeared, with 186 xylographs. The translation, according to the Greek, was entrusted to Straubinger on the occasion of the IV Argentinean National Eucharistic Congress. It had a prologue by Cardinal Santiago L. Copello. The following year the author had the Acts translated. In 1947 the Letters of Saint Paul were published. One year later, after the translation of all the components of the New Testament, it was published in a complete edition.

Straubinger chose to translate the Old Testament from the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Vulgate versions, finishing it by 1951. Straubinger's translation has been reprinted several times in various places in America, including in an ecumenical edition of the Bible, published in Chicago in 1971.

The translations of the New and Old Testaments show a certain influence of the Vulgate, which the author expressly claims to follow for Old Testament books which are not in Hebrew. For the other books of the Old Testament the Masoretic text was followed. Straubinger points out that he has taken into account the Spanish translations of Nícar and Colunga, as well as that of Bover and Cantera, published in the Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, in Madrid.

An accurate judgment of the work indicates that: 'The work carried out with thoroughness, reflects a good textual criticism and a solid exegesis. From the stylistic point of view the text is correct and clear'.

The translations linked-to below were accomplished with the use of  DeepL Translation Services

Brief background on the four Evangelists

Introductory Notes to the Acts of the Apostles and all Letters in the New Testament

Published on December 12th, 2019

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