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.
Grounds and Purpose of the Project
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).
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
KMS version of the New Testament has been available for nine
years, and the Old Testament should be completed no later than
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.
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.
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.
Kralicka translation, 1613
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.
Ecumenical Bible translation, 1978
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
Czech Bible Society publishes these two translations.
of the new translation
new translation of the Bible should enable its reader
come as close as possible to the original wording,
way of thinking and the message, all in one's native
Bible is not a difficult and unintelligible book,
is an interesting and logical story of God
relationship to man and his thinking.
The New Testament, 1994
The New Testament, 2000
The New Testament, 2007
The Book of Proverbs, 2002
7/ Joshua, Judges,
and church support
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Project costs and donations
(in thousands of CZK)
recent years the project was supported by:
of Chairman of Senate of CR Government,
International Church of Prague,
a number of private organizations and institutions
would like to thank all contributors
we very much appreciate their contributions to this valuable
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.
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.
of The Bible Translation Endowment Fund
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.