New Translation of The Bible – The Old and New Testament

 

Purpose:

Christian Mission Society wants to offer to the contemporary Czech reader a quality study Bible with precise translation from the original languages.

 

The style of translation:

There is a concern about developing a study translation which is concordant and rigorous such that as much as possible every phrase should be translated the same way each time it is used especially if there is no specific reason for a different translation.

Motto:

We would like this new translation to take up again the national tradition of Scripture, according to the qualities and spiritual significance of the Kralicka Bible. It is not an easy challenge, but we believe in the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit.

Board of Trustees

 

 

 


 

The Bible and Its Significance

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The Bible, as other ancient writings, is an inseparable part of human society and culture. But in contrast to other writings we can find its influence throughout the ethical, economic, social and juridical systems of all of Western civilization. The Bible consists of a collection of historical writings written by various authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the 1500 years before 100 AD. The Bible has had great influence on development of many nations, and the scriptures have experienced a rich history of translation in the Czech Republic as well.

 

The Grounds and Purpose of the Project

 

Dan Drapal

A project of great spiritual significance for the Czech Republic today is the effort to produce a new, study-type translation of the Bible. The Christian Mission Society (known as KMS in Czech), which has more than a decade of experience in coordinating various translation and publishing projects decided to publish such a Bible. With translation principles designed to reproduce the Greek and Hebrew thought and expression as closely and faithfully as possible, this Czech translation of the Bible would be similar to the NASB (New American Standard Bible).

 

The Czech Republic has recently emerged from over 50 years of totalitarian rule (1939-1989), which has resulted in spiritual, cultural, and spiritual devastation. One of the results is that (according to UN statistics), the Czech Republic ranks as the second most atheistic nation in the world. 

 

The KMS version of the New Testament has been available for nine years, and the Old Testament should be completed no later than 2009.

Our appeal is for you to support the Czech churches in their effort to bring this project to completion. We thank everyone who shares in this significant and exceptional ministry.

 

Dan Drapal

Former Project Board Chairman


Why a New Translation?

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We have some quality Czech translations of the New Testament, but in the case  of the Old Testament, there are  two translations only: Kralicka and Ecumenical. The limitation of the Bible Kralicka translation lies primarily with its archaic language. On the other hand, the Ecumenical translation, although the translators intended to make  it a study  translation, did not really achieve that objective. 

 

Precise Bible translations which enable not only a general view, but also a deeper study of biblical events, exist  in practically all countries of the western tradition. The most known are New American Standard Bible (1965-1977), New Revised Standard Version (1989) in English, and the Revidierte Elberfelder (1993) and Schlachter version (1951) in German. In the Czech Republic, a similar text unfortunately was  never developed because of previous totalitarian rule. The filling of this gap in the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Czech nation is therefore a task for the current generation.

 

Bible Kralicka translation, 1613

 

More manuscripts and other historical tools are available in the 21st century than in 1613 when the Kralicka Bible translation was completed. Although the Kralicka Bible is memorable for its  precise interpretation of the original biblical text, the Czech  language has changed during the past four centuries and few contemporary readers can truly understand it.

The Ecumenical Bible translation, 1978

 

Its strength is  readability and intelligibility of the text. In the effort to conform to the mind of contemporary person the version paraphrases and overlooks some basic biblical terms. There is no completely concordant translation, but the Ecumenical translation is so free that in some passages  the meaning of some key biblical terms such as “life”; “grace”; and “soul” is either unclear or completely lost.

The Czech Bible Society publishes these two translations.

 

Contribution of the new translation

 

The new translation of the Bible should enable its reader 

to come as close as possible to the original wording, 

the way of thinking and the message, all in  one's native Czech.

The Bible is not a difficult and unintelligible book, 

but is an interesting and logical story of God 

in relationship to man and his thinking.

 

1/ 2/     3/ 

4/  5/ 6/ 7/

 

1/ The New Testament, 1994

2/ The New Testament, 2000

3/ The New Testament, 2007

4/ The Book of Proverbs, 2002

5/ Daniel, 2003

6/ Jeremias, 2004

7/ Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 2006


Classification of Translation

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Public and church support

 

Participation of the leadership of significant Christian denominations and other theological and language experts on classification of translated texts should ensure wider reflection of continuous results.

A special leaflet displaying the translated text is produced every year including publication in various Christian magazines. Interviews with translators Michal Krchnak and Antonin Zelina were conducted by Zivot viry, which is read by members of the majority of churches in the Czech Republic.

 

Experts’ classification

 

“It is a translation of the New Testament from Greek into common Czech, translation of New Evangelical Translation style. Translations of this type are a real balance to such translations like Common Language Translation (CLT) and especially The Living Bible (these are indeed the paraphrases of the original text). This is hopefully  the translation which provides the most accurate information about the Greek model without a loss of readability. It also provided notes showing the differences between Czech and Greek idioms.

Until now, only the Czech Ecumenical translation used  the common Czech. The New Testament (Nova Smlouva) is our first translation on the market, and the new translation of Proverbs in 2000 shows how good cooperation is possible.

The citation of classification of the New Testament is from the KMS translation (Revised version 2000) by Petr Pokorny, the director of the Center of Biblical Studies in Charles University.

 

Opinions from the Czech church leaders

 

Responses to the questions “What do you think about the Christian Mission Society’s translation of the Old and New Testament?” and “Is there a sense to support a rise of study translation of Bible?” were shared by: Tomas Dittrich, general editor of Zivot viry; Jaroslav Pleva, chairman of council of Moravian Church of Brethren; Stanislav Bubik, pastor of Pentecostal Church; Jaroslav Kunes, secretary of United Methodist Church; Tomas Grulich, pastor of Church of Brethren; Pavel Hosek, teacher at the Evangelical Theological Seminary; Pavel Kunes, vicar of St. Vaclav in Prague-Vrsovice; Petr Pokorny, professor at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of Charles University; Lubomir Ondracek, secretary of KMS, Dan Drapal, pastor of Christian Fellowship Prague and Radomir Skaloud, pastor of United Methodist Church. more >>> Here


Project development

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KMS became a guarantor and a coordinator of works on a new Bible translation following a call for development of a precise and concordant Bible in common Czech by various Christian churches.

 

On September 1994, KMS published the translation of the New Testament, and by all accounts, the KMS translation is of excellent  quality. Confirmation is also proved by 9 years of use by  churches and many individual believers. In the fall of 2000 KMS published the second, revised edition in pocket format with expanded notes.

 

The KMS Planning Committee  decided during its session on November 26, 1994 that KMS will also coordinate  the translation of the Old Testament. This  project, which goes beyond the  regular mission of KMS, should be finished no later than 2009.

 

 

> Detailed information about translating process of the Old Testament is provided HERE.


Finances

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The Bible translation could not take place without the support of the people to whom it is dedicated – ALL Czech readers. Because it is a work of extraordinary cultural and spiritual importance, without the narrow focus of any single theological tradition, it therefore seeks the support of various denominations of the Christian church and their members.

 

Financial Figures

 

Project costs and donations

(in thousands of CZK)

 

             

 

 

Donors

In recent years the project was supported by:

 

Office of Chairman of Senate of CR Government,

Euronisa Endowment,

The International Church of Prague,

many individuals, 

various churches

and a number of private organizations and institutions

 

We would like to thank all contributors 

and we very much appreciate their contributions to this valuable project.

  


The Project Founder 

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The Christian Mission Society (Krestanska misijni spolecnost, KMS) is a body uniting five dozen evangelical churches of different denominations. Its mission is ministry toward revival and practical unity of the Church as recognized in relationships. KMS is the member of the Czech Evangelical Alliance. 

 

The KMS translation is only the second joint Bible translation in the history of the Czech people. The New Testament was published in 1994, and was revised in 2000. The Old Testament translation has been underway since 1999. The intention of KMS is to provide a version of the Bible which is designed to fill a gap in the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Czech nation.

 

Formation of The Bible Translation Endowment Fund

 

With regard to difficulty of the project and also to increase  the ministry of KMS, a separate division for coordination of Old Testament translation was established. Since 1995 this activity has been undertaken by KMS - The Bible Translation Fund and Mission Fund. After 2000 because of fewer endowments and lower  income, the Endowment Fund of Bible Translation,  became a coordinator of the project.

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