By Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
On June 21 the Ukrainian Home of the Bible opened in Kyiv and the fourth complete edition of the Ukrainian translation of the Bible was launched. The event is timed to the 20th anniversary of the Ukrainian Bible Association (UBT), an interdenominational organization (organizations of this kind exist in 149 countries, which aims to translate, publish and distribute the Old and New Testaments). Ukrainian leading Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches are members of the UBT.
“Opening the Ukrainian Home of the Bible will be for the good of everyone,” says Mytrofan, the Archbishop of Bila Tserkva and Bohuslav, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate. “For anyone can attend the events here or come without any special reason. Our purpose is to draw the attention of the public to the Holy Writ, encourage people to implement the values it professes in their everyday lives, thus assisting in the spiritual growth of our society.”
The UBT head Hryhorii Komendant calls the completion and publishing of the fourth complete translation of the Bible into modern Ukrainian the key event in the organization’s 20-year-long activity. He thinks it meets the demands of the time. The work on the translation has lasted for nearly 20 years. The translation was done by doctor of theology, renowned Biblical scholar Rev. Rafail Turkoniak. Incidentally, several years ago he translated the famous Ostroh Bible at the former request of Greek Catholic Church Patriarch Josyf Slipyj. The working group also included specialists in ancient languages, philologists and theologists, representatives of various Christian denominations. The task was set to reach balance between euphony, perspicuity of the texts, and their authenticity. The consulting and material assistance was provided by the organization of the United Associations of the Bible, so that the work was accepted by the world community.
“The fourth complete translation of the Old Testament and Gospels is the complete Slavic canon,” Rev. Rafail Turkoniak admitted, “The previous translations belong to the Jewish canon or the canon of the Roman Catholic Church. So, for the first time it embraces all the books that pertain to the Slavic Scripture.”
This is a blessed event. However, it is unclear, why VR Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn and officials from the mayor’s office were invited to the presentation. Neither state, nor city authorities gave money to build the Home of the Bible and publish the book. It seemed that Komendant understood the unnaturalness of the situation, as he mentioned that the Holy Writ had been distributed among all the MPs, and that each Thursday representatives of different churches hold a prayer at the VR. Apparently, most of the people present were concordant with me: those prayers are not enough.