Archive for the ‘Bible’ category

The Word of God is not chained

May 7, 2015
Title page of Lucena’s revision of the Reina Valera  printed by the Oxford University Press in 1862

Title page of Lucena’s revision of the Reina Valera
printed by the Oxford University Press in 1862

The Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy, written from a prison cell, were meant to encourage him as to the irresistible power of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:9). In today’s Europe we need to hear this message and to hold on to the promise that nothing can contain the power of the gospel.

This edition of Vista deals with Bible translation and engagement in Europe. That Bible translation might still be necessary in some European languages may come as a surprise to some. More generally, the challenge of Bible engagement is a pressing one across the continent.

Our guest editor for this edition is Maik Gibson, director of the Centre for Linguistics, Translation and Literacy at Redcliffe College. He presents the challenge of reaching today’s audience with translations which effectively and authentically communicate the good news.

Jim Memory then tells the story of two forgotten heroes of Bible translation and engagement in Spain: Lorenzo Lucena and George Borrow.

Darrell Jackson gives a personal account of evangelical Orthodox collaboration in Bible translation in Eastern Europe, and Joanne Appleton completes the edition with another review of resources, in this case non-English language Scripture resources.

No chains can bind God’s word, not even the apathy and secular disdain of today’s Europeans. Paul’s words to Timothy, written to encourage him to hope beyond hope in the power of the Scriptures, are words that we need to heed today. May we never take for granted the Bibles we have in our hands nor fail to remember those who work to translate the message of the gospel into the language of today’s Europeans.

Download Vista 21 here

Bible Translator honoured in Slovakia

November 30, 2011

This edited excerpt from Branko’s blog is fascinating. Branko was visiting the town of Stara Tura, in the White Carpathian Mountains on the Czech-Slovak border. When he drove into the town’s main square he noticed a TV crew filming the uncovering of a memorial statue.  When it was uncovered, the memorial he recognised that the statue commemorated a Slovak Professor, Jozef Rohaček, and his work.

Branko writes;

“Professor Rohaček (1877-1962) was born in Stara Tura, but lived and worked in Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, and what is now Serbia, in Vojvodina. As a Lutheran missionary, later pastor and teacher, he spent five years in Kisač and surroundings, teaching Slovaks to write and read in their mother tongue, from 1906-1911. Additionally, while in Kisač, he published the first ever Slovak translation of the Gospel of Mark in 1910. The whole Bible was published in 1934, and was translated from the original languages. The church, however, did not endorse his work… but when the Bible was printed eventually, the first 5,000 copies were sold in less than four months. Such was a hunger for the Word of the Lord in the Slovak language.

Here is what Stefan Šebo wrote about Jozef Rohaček in his 2010 book Jozef Rohaček, zivot a dielo:

“He was working on socio-theological concepts as a solution to the social situation of the Slovak nation… he had worked on a translation all of his life while working as a teacher, pastor, assistant, friend and brother. Along with his family he founded the orphanages, homes for the elderly, hospitals, schools, chapels and churches… He challenged the theology of the time because he recognsed that theology was soaked with evolutionary ideas and was progressing in a questionable direction… Jozef Rohaček himself was a representative of the social dimension of the biblical testimony…”

Branko’s Blog


Internet usage forces changes to the new Danish Bible translation

May 25, 2011

A new Danish Bible version completed in 2007 has just been revised (as ‘The New Agreement’)  in response to Google search engine returns for a range of religious words. According to the Danish Bible Society, if you type ‘sin’ or ‘sinner’ (synd/synder) into the Danish version of Google you get a range of hits that refer to the environment, football, education. Hits that refer to orthodox Christian understandings fall some way down the rankings.

Research by the Bible Society shows that 56% of Danes turn to Google when they want to find something out about religion. This is an argument for Christian websites to pay more attention to optimising the search terms they use to ‘tag’ their pages. However, the Bible Society decided that they should be doing something proactive about the fact that most Danes are unable to decode religious language. According to news, ‘The assumption by the editorial committee is that modern Danes do not understand the religious codes behind such words as ‘mercy’ and ‘repentance’, and the new version helps them into the religious world with recognizable and meaningful words.’

A sinful person is now somebody ‘who does not live as God wants’ and ‘confession of sin’ becomes ‘telling somebody about everything you have done wrong.’

The New Agreement is available on Facebook and Twitter and features over 1,500 revisions made following internet research.