The Project of Translation of the Old Testament

The aim of the project is to complete a new translation of the Bible by adding a new translation of the Old Testament to the previously translated New Testament.  It is designed for everyday study as well as for interpretation of the Scripture throughthe Scripture itself. Readability will not compromise quality. 


The project should be finished no later than 2009.



We would be most appreciative if you would consider investing in this important project on a regular basis.


Project Results


The translating methodology makes it possible to publish both the printed and electronic versions of  the Old and New Testaments, including electronic version of the concordance immediately after the translation is completed.


Complete edition of the KMS translation of Old and New Testaments


- a unique publishing enterprise, the first Czech Bible translation of its kind ever to be published.


Electronic version of the KMS translation


- the text, complete KMS Translation Concordance,will be available in the user software of Bible Logos, Theofilos and Bible Works.


Printed KMS translation Concordance


- After editorial revision, a printed KMS Translation Concordance will be also be ready to be  published,. The Kralicka Bible concordance of 1967 was the most recent concordance published in the Czech language.  A concordance for the ecumenical translation is not currently available.




- The special translation software used for this project will be made available for other study and translating purposes. 


  1/  2/ 

 3/  4/ 5/ 6/


1/ The New Testament, 3rd  edition from 2000

2/ The New Testament, 4th  edition from 2007

3/ The book of Proverbs, 2002             

4/ Daniel, 2003                                       

5/ Jeremias, 2004           

6/ Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 2006                       

Fundamentals and Method of Translation


It is our intention to produce a concordant study translation, written in intelligible and literary Czech, which is professionally translated and edited. The text will be accompanied by comprehensive translators´ notes and references.


The target group includes those who have already gained certain biblical knowledge but  have little or no knowledge of the original language or their knowledge is somewhat limited. However, thanks to the nature of this specific translation, it will also be suitable for first-time readers of  the Scriptures.  However, the translation is not designed  for superficial reading, nor is it exclusively for intellectuals. It is likely to be welcomed by translators of Christian literature and others who  engage inbiblical studies. 


Text model


Based on the newly discovered transcripts of the original texts, a recognized revised edition of the Hebrew text was drawn up, which is now mostly used as a standard text for Old Testament translations: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (4th or 5th revised version). The project follows the recently published Qumran findings, which contribute to the fidelity of the text.


Method of translation


The method of literal translation was adopted because it best corresponds to the intention and objective of the KMS translation project. On a scale, between  literal translation of interlinear type (word for word) and the a  very loose translation, the KMS translation leans toward  the literal translation unless of course it violates Czech grammar. 


At the same time as much as possible, we want to  translate the Hebrew words or expressions and prevent these from being too varied and ensure that a certain expression is always translated in the same way in the same context,  as much as possible.

Idioms will be translated literally as long as they are understandable in Czech. Should this literal translation become incomprehensible or linguistically unacceptable, it will be  noted in footnotes.


Literal translation is understood to be adhering to the words and expressions of the original languages (Hebrew and Aramaic) as accurately as possible. This literal translation must not distort or blur the meaning, but will add some special nuances different from the Czech.

This type of translation method seeks to retain any existing differences between the original language and Czech, (i.e. differences in terms of vocabulary, grammar or idiomatic expressions, as well as in terms of culture and history).


If the given principles are kept, the works should result in a precise, comprehensible and "natural-sounding" translation with parentheses as needed. The notes should provide interesting equivalents and literal translations which, although important, could not be included in the text.


Translation principles


(1)     If a literal translation is accurate, comprehensible and sounds natural, a direct equivalent or a standard equivalent will be used. If there is a loose, yet correct translation (which is able, for example, to convey the fine nuances of the original passage, or meaning and emotional connotations), it will be included in the auxiliary framework of reference.

(2)     Should the literal translation be unintelligible and/or unnatural, it will be explained in the form of parentheses or a different font. Should this not be possible or appropriate, the method will be used as in (3) below.

(3)     Should the literal translation be misleading, (i.e. it could be easily misunderstood), a loose translation will be used. However, if such a text includes terms that have to be retained for study or quoting purposes, the literal translation and/or an explanatory note and/or a dictionary index will be included in the auxiliary framework of reference.


The auxiliary framework of reference will contain the following types of notes:

*     literal wording (in case important terms have to be kept) 

*     loose wording (if an emotional or a meaning shade is to be interpreted, or as an explanation) 

*     other translation possibilities (especially relevant for study and quoting purposes) 

*     important significant manuscript variants 

*     (possible) dictionary index references (if available) 

*     (possible) chain of references (tracing relevant words throughout the Bible) 

*     (possible) thematic references (commonly included as part of the Bible; although suitable, they are not essential) 

*     commentaries (explanatory and additional information) 


Translation program


In order to best accomplish the objective of the project, the development of a BTR translation program – a specialized Bible translation support tool – became a key element of the project methodology. The software has been developed in such a way to allow both the literal method to be applied and also to observe any deviations forced by the nature of  the Czech language. 


This software environment works on the basis of interconnection of the original and translated text in terms of words and elementary lexical structures of the Hebrew language. This program provides translators with a list of Czech equivalents which had been previously used to translate particular Hebrew words and a concordance of the use of Czech words divided according to the original Hebrew words. The places to which these digests refer can be easily browsed.



The accomplishment of the objective of the project assumes a basic attitude of reverence of all the co-workers for the original text of the Old Testament in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages as an authentic record of God's interaction with people as well as respect for its veracity and authority. Translators´ professional and human identification with the focus and type of the translation to be created and their ability to undertake such work are also an important part of the selection process.


Approximately 1/2 to 2/3 of the working time is dedicated to the primary translations as well as  inclusion of studies and notes.  The remainder  of the time is spent  in revision of other translators´ work and  in entering the corrections/revision made by the team into the databases.


The expert team of translators includes Antonin Zelina (the team leader), and translators Michal Krchnak, Karel Drizal, Jiri Hedanek and Dan Drapal .


Antonin Zelina




Michal Krchnak

Karel Drizal




Jiri Hedanek

Dan Drapal




Timetable and Financial plans


Actual Results

By the end of  2006 we completed 85 percent of the translation of the Hebrew text, which includes more than 33 of the 39 Old Testament books. 

The book of Proverbs was published in 2002, Daniel 2003, Jeremias 2004 and Joshua, Judges and Ruth 2006.


Completion of translation and final works 2009.



Project costs and donations

(in thousands of CZK)




We would be most appreciative, if you would decide to make a long-term investment in this important project. Monthly costs for the work of one translator amount to 766 USD.