Leftists are intent on demanding the use of woke language, and a recent story suggests this trend even extends to the Bible. 

“I will make you fishers of persons.”

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported last week that the Desclée de Brouwer publishing house is rewording its Spanish translation of the Jerusalem Bible.

In its current version, Christ states in Matthew 4:19, “I will make you fishers of men.” However, the new version substitutes “person” (“persona”) in place of “man” (“hombre”). It thus reads, “I will make you fishers of persons.”

That hasn’t gone over well with Fr. Antonio María Domenech Guillén, who serves as a priest in Spain’s Diocese of Cuenca; he expressed disappointment with the change in wording.

“It doesn’t seem right to me, but I think it has the importance that we give it,” the priest remarked, adding, “If we read Holy Scripture every day, we would have realized long ago that the Jerusalem Bible translation is not the best option.”

Priest warns of potential for theological confusion

Father Jesús Silva is a Spanish priest and graduate in Patristic Theology, and he argued that the change may lead to confusion among readers.

“The term that translates, ‘anthropos,’ refers to a ‘human being’ regardless of sex. However, the translation as ‘persons’ has its problems,” Silva explained.

“To what persons was Jesus referring: human, angelic or divine?” the priest asked. “Well, in the text, thus translated, it is not excluded that Jesus is calling the disciples to evangelize the angels or God himself.”

However, the new word choice was defended by Javier Gogeaskoetxea, who serves as managing director of the Desclée De Brouwer.

He told CNA’s Spanish language sister news agency ACI Prensa that “[t]he change is due to the fact that the Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem seeks above all fidelity to the original texts.”

“It so happens that in the original ‘Greek’ text the word used does not include gender,” Gogeaskoetxea pointed out. “Therefore the translation possibilities should not include it either: person or human being.”

“If I were to put ‘man,’ we would be lacking in fidelity to the original text because the Greek word is neither man nor woman.”