I have lamented (loudly I hope) the lack of a single Portuguese Bible version on CrossWire Bible society. The SWORD modules provided by CrossWire are free of charge and work with a variety of programs and on all major operating systems. However, while major languages like Spanish, German and French have multiple versions available, Portuguese, the seventh largest language in the world, has not had a single version made available. This is not the fault of CrossWire. In fact they are to be commended for refusing to make available various unauthorized versions that are floating around the Internet.
As of October 29, the Bíblia Livre is the first New Testament and Psalms available in Portuguese. I trust that they will in good time finish the rest of the Bible. The source text is a public domain version of the Almeida from 1819. I highly commend Diego Santos and Mario Sérgio for their work in doing this.
My question for the Portuguese Bible Society, the Brazilian Bible Society and Biblica is this: “Why have so many quality translations been produced yet so few are freely available electronically?”
Translations like the NET and ESV have shown that giving away electronic versions for free actually increases sales and acceptance for a translation. It’s not just good for sales and publicity, it is morally the right thing to do. Bible Societies exist “to make the Bible available to people in a language they can understand, at a price they can afford and in the format they can use.” SWORD modules are one such format and they are ideal for those who don’t have financial means to afford a commercial piece of software.
I know of two other non-Bible Society Portuguese versions that are moving through the pipes en route to being released as SWORD modules. Praise the Lord for the initiative of those who are doing this.
Aos meus queridos irmãos em Cristo, Diego e Mario, que Deus vos abençoe ricamente pelo vosso sacrifício vivo através desta iniciativa!