Pórtico de la Biblia, a Gateway to the Word of God, now accessible to Chinese readers

Marco Carvalho

A reference book that should be used as a reading companion to the Bible and the fundamental texts of the Catholic Church – this is how the local subsidiary of Claretian Publications refers to its latest editorial endeavor, the Chinese-language adaptation of the Spanish book Pórtico de la Biblia (Bible Portico).

The volume, which should hit the shelves of Macau and Hong Kong bookstores later this month, is seen as a gateway to the Sacred Scriptures and aims to provide a better understanding of the fundamental texts of Christianity through timelines, detailed maps and illustrations of the holy places where Jesus lived, preached and performed his miracles. The book, Claretian Publications explains, is the ideal companion for those that are looking to deepen their understanding of the Bible and is a fundamental tool for anyone willing to strengthen their knowledge of the fundamental texts of Catholicism.  Extensively illustrated, the volume was conceived with the purpose of making visible small and larger aspects of salvation history. “Salvation history, as understood and taught by the Catholic Church down through the centuries, is here set out in timelines, maps and graphics for each book in the Bible, to help believers prepare for an encounter with the Word of God,” Claretian Publications announced in a press release.

Among the resources that the volume makes available are detailed timelines, from the time of Abraham to the current day. Historical information is complemented by maps that contextualize the most significant moments in the history of the People of God until the first major expansion of the Catholic Church. The illustrations detail each one of the books of the Old and the New Testament.

The book was originally written by Jesús Gil, a priest of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, and Joseángel Domínguez, a doctor of Biblical Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. In Hong Kong and Macau, the effort to publish the volume is the result of a joint effort between Claretian Publications and the Pastoral Bible Foundation, an organization within the scope of the Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with an office in Hong Kong.

The book is one of the strongest editorial endeavors of Claretian Publications in 2022, but there is more in terms of editorial boldness. The Claretian missionaries are also working on the Portuguese language edition of The Children’s Daily Gospel. “We are going to publish The Children’s Daily Gospel in three languages: Chinese, Portuguese and English,” says Father Jijo Kandamkulathy, the director of the Macau subsidiary of Claretian Publications.