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Opinions from the Czech church leaders

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Opinions from the Czech church leaders

(November 2002)

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What do you think about the translation of the Stara and Nova Smlouva (the Old and New Testaments) from the KMS?

 

Tomas Ditrich

Editor-in-chief of Zivot viry (Life of faith magazine)

I've been using this translation for 8 years now, since the Nova Smlouva was first issued. It's a translation that I like very much. As for preaching and my personal study this translation is my primary text even though I also consult other translations. When I compare this translation with the original it's very accurate and the quality of it's language is good, especially after the revision two years ago. 

 

Jaroslav Pleva

Chairman of the narrow board of Moravian Brothers - Unitas Fratrum (Jednota Bratrska)

I like the KMS translation. Maybe I could mention three main reasons why. First of all, I like the fact that it's in modern language. It's been nearly 20 years since the last translation and during that time our society has experienced major changes. People's mentality, social conditions, and language have changed, so I'm very glad that this translation speaks in contemporary language to today's person. 

 

The second reason that I appreciate it is that the KMS's translation is very trustworthy. It doesn't want to be cheaply and easily digested. It's ambition is to help in studying the Scriptures for people, who don't know the original languages. I also like the fact that it doesn't offer a simple translation with one meaning, but tries to retain the variety and diversity, and zest of the original. 

 

Thirdly, this translation is a devout translation. That's something that the famous Czech theologian, Jan Karafiat (1846-1929) appreciated from the Kralicka translators of 1613. I'm convinced that those who translate with the KMS are walking in their footsteps. It's obvious that they respect the Scriptures, that the Bible is something more to them than just an ancient text. The translators approach the Bible as the word of God that speaks today to every man and woman as it did in the past. This is not obvious to all translators. That's why I'm mentioning it and I also think these translators are trustworthy followers of the Kralicka brethren.

 

Stanislav Bubik

Preacher of the Apostolic Church (Apostolska cirkev)

I think it's certainly a very good study type translation for Christians in the Czech Republic. I'm very grateful for it. 

 

Jaroslav Kunes

United Methodist Church Chancellor (Evangelicka cirkev metodisticka)

I've had the Nova Smlouva since it was published and I use it for study and comparison with another translations when I need to find out what else can you find behind a text since I don't know the original languages. 

 

Tomas Grulich

Preacher of the Church of the Brethren (Cirkev bratrska)

I can't say that I use KMS's translation every day, but I use it quite often for cross-reference and study. For me personally it's very useful. Since I have a certain knowledge of Greek I can very easily orient myself in the text without looking up the Greek text. I can see what might be behind it. I am very pleased that this translation exists. 

 

Pavel Hosek

Teacher at the Evangelical Theological Seminary

I am very familiar with the Nova Smlouva translation. I've read only a few passages from the Stara Smlouva. I must say that I value this translation very much. As I work through this text which is trying to get as close as it can to the original Greek, new connections start to pop into my head and I see the text in a new light. To a certain extent it's hard to read. You can't read it like a newspaper but that is beneficial. It causes the reader to stop at various Bible passages so he can more easily understand the meaning of the original text. This isn't always the case with smoother, standard translations which favor readability over accuracy.

 

Pavel Kunes

Vicar of St. Wenceslas in Prague - Vrsovice (Rimskokatolicka cirkev)

I must say that it's a very pleasant translation. I've compared several of my favourite passages which I found inaccurate in other translations and am very pleased with the quality of this translation.

 

Petr Pokorny

Professor at Evangelical Theological Faculty of the Charles University - New Testament Department 

I know the Nova Smlouva, however out of the Old Testament (Stara Smlouva), I've read only the book of Proverbs. This translation is interesting. By all means it's a handy addition to the ecumenical translation which I took part in. I really like the way some of the Proverbs are translated. It's especially useful to have not only references here but also relatively wide notes which help the reader without a knowledge of Hebrew to put together a clearer picture of the original text. In that sense it's really a study Bible. The type of this translation responds to a trend, which appeared mainly among evangelical circles, meaning a translation, which is relatively accurate, concordant and readable at the same time. That's not commonplace. It's not a fully ideal translation for liturgical needs but as a study translation for personal reading it's a very good tool. 

 

You mentioned a term "concordant' What does it mean?

 

"Concordant" means that this translation tries to thoroughly translate individual expressions in the original text using the same Czech words. The disadvantage is that the carrier of meaning in a language is the sentence. Nevertheless, if the translation, by keeping the spirit of the Czech, refers to the original terms in the notes, it works. For example,… here is the translation, here are the notes and here are the commentaries to individual words. …If it's referenced in the notes and it doesn't trespass against the Czech by being a bumpy verbatim translation, then it makes sense.

 

Lubos Ondracek

Christian Mission Society Chancellor (KMS)

I think that it's an excellent achievement. There has been one Ecumenical translation into modern Czech but is isn’t useful as a study tool. There's also the Kralicka that is of very good quality, but of course the Czech is very archaic. The KMS translation is an attempt to create a study type Bible in language that is understandable to today's reader. 

    

Dan Drapal

Pastor of Christian Fellowship of Prague (Krestanske spolecenstvi)

We are familiar with the Nova Smlouva. From a language point of view it's not very smooth or easy to read. Nevertheless, from the study point of view it's absolutely super. I think there is nothing better. That was our aim when we started the translation. Out of the Old Testament we have only the book of Proverbs plus a few other selections completed. I believe that the finished effect will be the same and that it will be a very good quality translation. 

 

Do you think it's worth supporting a study type Bible translation?

 

Radim Skaloud

United Methodist Church preacher (Evangelicka cirkev metodisticka)

Absolutely. The only study Bibles I know of are either in English or German. I think a Czech study translation is greatly needed.

 

Jaroslav Pleva

Chairman of the narrow board of Moravian Brothers - Unitas Fratrum (Jednota Bratrska)

It's significant that this translation is ecumenical. It's organized by a non-denominational organization. It's supported by Christians out of wide spectrum of Czech churches and also has co-workers who are members of various denominations. 

 

Pavel Kunes

Vicar of St. Wenceslas in Prague - Vrsovice (Rimskokatolicka cirkev)

If our limited resources aren’t overly stretched then I am for it. I read the Nova Smlouva and I like the translation. It can benefit people a great deal because finding the real meaning in God's word is sometimes very difficult. This work shows us all how rich and deep the Lord's word is, how much greater He is than any of us can imagine.

 

Petr Pokorny

Professor at Evangelical Theological Faculty of the Charles University - New Testament Department 

I think so, because I agree that in every nation there should be more translations of the Bible. First of all it's useful for readers. Secondly it will help people to overcome the idea that the Bible is holy because of its paper. We Christians proclaim God reveals Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.

 

Stanislav Bubik

Preacher of the Apostolic Church (Apostolska cirkev)

Yes, I think so. I myself use other translations more than this one for daily reading. I use the KMS translation more for study purposes, but I certainly think that it's worth supporting. 

 

Jaroslav Kunes

United Methodist Church Chancellor (Evangelicka cirkev metodisticka)

Certainly, because not all people know the original languages. As a translator and interpreter myself I know that to describe what the writer or speaker means is not an easy task especially with ancient languages. So every new translation is meaningful, especially a translation that is supported by prayer and a desire to describe what God wants to communicate.

 

Tomas Grulich

Preacher of the Church of the Brethren (Cirkev bratrska)

I think for Czech readers it's necessary to have a new translation, and personally, I can see the need for a translation of the Old Testament, Stara Smlouva. 

 

Pavel Hosek

Teacher at the Evangelical Theological Seminary

To have the study translation available to those who can't study in the original Greek and Hebrew is very necessary. This is a task for every generation of God's people. 

 

Lubos Ondracek

Christian Mission Society Chancellor (KMS)

I think that it's good to have a study Bible in every language. Of course it's ideal when the readers know the original languages but we need to consider the fact that the majority of Christians won't be able to read the Greek and Hebrew texts.

 

Dan Drapal

Pastor of Christian Fellowship of Prague (Krestanske spolecenstvi)

I'm convinced that the quality of life of a nation is basically determined by its knowledge of God's word. And I would even go so far as to say that knowing God's word is, to a great extent, determined by the quality of the translation. That's why I think that it's important to have a quality translation, not only a readable one but also a translation which will truly serve serious explorers of the Bible. 

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