“My eyes look forward to the night watches when I can meditate on your sayings” (Psalm 119:148 EHV)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We thank God that this year we have anew full translation of the Bible – much anticipated First Edition of Modern Ukrainian Translation of Canonical books of Old and New Testament by Ukrainian Bible Society.
This is joyful news for all Christians of Ukraine. This is also an important event for our Church because the Holy Scripture, according to Lutheran teachings of the faith, is the main authority in the Church. Doctor Martin Luther also emphasized the necessity of translating the Bible to colloquial language of common people.
In the history of mankind classic Bible translations became literary monuments and played an important role in development of local languages. However, the language we are speaking is under constant transformation, and thus requires respective reproduction in translations of the Holy Scriptures, so that the Word of God remains clear and understandable for the modern person.
The Modern Ukrainian Bible Translation that we can already hold in our hands and read, have been translated from Old Hebrew and Ancient Greek. It is the result of the work of many people during a long period of time and, of course, guided by the Holy Spirit.
The Modern Ukrainian Translation gives the reader an opportunity to understand meaning of the text better. In order to achieve this, translators were striving for balance between literal meaning of the text and its adaptation to the Ukrainian literary and cultural context.
The openness of Ukrainian Bible Society to suggestions for the text editing is remarkable.They published preliminary versions of some books of the Old Testament, so that anyone interested could familiarize themselves with the book and make suggestions. This is a good practice that allows the reader to work with the text and make their own impact on creating high-quality translation.
The Modern Ukrainian Translation is also valuable because it is the result of teamwork, that is why we can confidently call it interdenominational and ecumenical. Even though in Ukrainian cultural context these words can sometimes be perceived with hostility and suspicion, in this case we see a wonderful testimony of Christian unity.
I am proud that our small Church is among the members of Ukrainian Bible Society and hope to continue our fruitful cooperation for the glory of our Triune God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Our Church has already had positive experience using the new translation for Bible classes and personal devotions, therefore we have made a decision to start using the translation publicly: during the liturgy and quoting Bible passages in Ukrainian on our web-site and official Facebook page of our Church.
I hope that this translation will give readers the opportunity to discover greatness of God’s word.
+ Pavlo Shvarts, the bishop of German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine