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The modern Vietnamese alphabet chữ Quốc ngữ was created by Portuguese and Italian Jesuit missionaries and institutionalized by Alexandre de Rhodes with the first printing of Catholic texts in Vietnamese in 1651, but not the Bible. Some New Testament extracts were translated and printed in catechisms in Thailand in 1872.
Jean Bonet (1844–1907), of the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, Paris, translated the Gospel of Luke from French to Vietnamese in 1890 for the Protestant Convention in Paris.
In 1916 the Catholic Church published Albert Schlicklin's Latin-Vietnamese parallel text Bible in Paris by the Paris Foreign Missions Society. Known under Schlicklin's Vietnamese name Cố Chính Linh, the Cố Chính Linh version was still the most used Bible among Catholics in 1970s.
The organized work of British and Foreign Bible Society in Vietnam began in 1890. The first translation from Greek, and still the standard Protestant Vietnamese version, was that of William Cadman (New Testament 1923, Old Testament 1926). He worked for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) and co-operated with the British and Foreign Bible Society. The whole Bible was published in 1934 and is published by the Bible Society in Vietnam as the Old Version.
In 1966 the Vietnamese Bible Society was established. The Bible societies distributed 53,170 Bible examples and 120,170 New Testament examples in Vietnamese within the country in 2005. In 2008 the New Vietnamese Bible was published.
In 1977 Nhóm Phiên dịch Các Giờ kinh Phụng vụ (NPD-CGKPV), a working group established in 1971 to translate the Liturgy of the Hours, started translating the New Testament. It had been completed in 1993 and had the permission to publish one year later; after that, the whole Bible translation with some short references had been completed in 1998. This version, which has been published since 1999, is named KPA and is the most used Catholic Bible in Vietnam nowadays. The group has been continuing to revise it in the version called KPB.
Before NPD-CGKPV, there were 5 complete Catholic Bible translations, all by individual priests: Albert Schlicklin (1913), Gérard Gagnon (1963), Trần Đức Huân (1970), Nguyễn Thế Thuấn (1976), and Cardinal Trịnh Văn Căn (1985).
In 2011, the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, a New Testament translated by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses, was released in Vietnamese, under the title Kinh Thánh - Bản dịch Thế giới Mới (Ma-thi-ơ đến Khải huyền).
|Kinh Thánh - Bản dịch 1926||Vì Ðức Chúa Trời yêu thương thế gian, đến nỗi đã ban Con một của Ngài, hầu cho hễ ai tin Con ấy không bị hư mất mà được sự sống đời đời.|
|Kinh Thánh - Bản dịch của Nhóm phiên dịch các giờ kinh phụng vụ, KPA (1994)||Thiên Chúa yêu thế gian đến nỗi đã ban Con Một, để ai tin vào Con của Người thì khỏi phải chết, nhưng được sống muôn đời.|
|Kinh Thánh - Bản dịch Thế giới Mới (Ma-thi-ơ đến Khải huyền) (2011)||Vì Ðức Chúa Trời yêu thương thế gian đến độ đã ban Con một của ngài cho họ, để ai thể hiện đức tin nơi Con ấy sẽ không bị hủy diệt mà được sống đời đời.|