This year has been a very special year for the Christians in the Czech Republic. It so happened that the Bible was finally translated into a contemporary Czech, making it more user-friendly. The last time all the biblical texts were translated was 3o years ago. The translation process took 17 years to complete, having 7-member team of translators on board, but all say the time was well worth it.
Until recently the most used Czech bible translation was the Czech Ecumenical Translation from the 1970’s, although many people still read the 16th century translation known as the Bible of Kralice. “The Bible is not flat. There are different styles in the text; some texts are very simple and straightforward, while others are very poetic. There are songs, the Book of Psalms, and so on. The first chapter of Genesis, that was read here, is really very rhythmical, it’s sort of poetry in prose, and there are many recurring rhythms and patterns, and many words that stand out. It’s as if the authors were playing with words at times, and we tried to communicate it to the readers in the same way. Wherever it’s straightforward, we used straightforward language. Wherever a special word is used, we tried to find a special word in Czech as well”, says Lydia Kucova, a lecturer of Biblical studies at Prague’s International Baptist Theological Seminary.
The opening presentation of the 21st century traslation was held last Thursday in Betlehem Chapel, the well-known preaching spot of Jan Hus (see the picture above).
CZ: Tento rok byl velmi dulezity pro ceske krestany. Ceska bible byla totiz konecne po 30-ti letech nove prelozena. Samotny preklad trval tymu sedmi prekladatelu 17 let, ale zadny z nich toho nelituje. Ceska bible se tak stane uzivatelnou pro mladsi generaci Cechu, kterym starsi preklad ze 70. let (nebo dokonce verze bible Kralicke ze 16. stoleti) jiz nic nerika. “Bible neni pasivni; existuji ruzne druhy prekladu, nektere preklady jsou velmi jednoduche, zatimco jine preklady maji vice poeticky raz. Mate tam Pisne, Knihu Zalmu atd…Prvni kapitola je Genese, je velmi rytmicka, jakasi poezie v proze, s mnoha opakujicimi se rytmy a formaty; nektera slova z toho pak vynikaji. Nekdy je to napsane takovym skoro az hravym zpusobem a my jsme se to snazili prelozit ve stejnem stylu. Jednoduchy text jsme prelozili jednoduse; pro specifictejsi vyrazy jsme pouzili specificke ceske vyrazy”.
Prvni predcitani se odehralo minuly ctvrtek v kapli Betlemske, oblibene kazatelske misto Jana Husa (viz. foto).