Dutch Ambassador joins launch of new Czech language Bible

|PIC1|The Dutch Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jan Lucas van Hoorn, was one of the keynote speakers at the launch last week of a new Czech language Bible.

The launch of ‘Bible: 21st century translation’ at Prague’s historic Bethlehem Chapel drew hundreds of Christians as well as national radio and TV broadcasting stations.

Also present at the launch were Jiri Unger, President of the Europe Evangelical Alliance and Secretary of the Czech Evangelical Alliance, and Arnold van Heusden, Secretary of the Dutch Evangelical Alliance, who was in the Czech Republic for a two-day visit.

Speaking at the launch, Mr van Hoorn said: “It’s a very great honour for me to be here as the Bible presented today was printed in Holland.”

Some 50,000 copies of the Czech language Bible were printed in Heerenween, in The Netherlands.

The Dutch Ambassador spoke of the close cultural and historical connections between The Netherlands and the Czech Republic. He pointed to the Moravian Brethrens, who went to Dutch colonies like Suriname, and paid tribute to two of the most important Czech reformers, John Hus and John Amos Comenius, and their enduring status in The Netherlands.

“Everybody in our country knows John Hus. Another one is John Amos Comenius. Nearly every town or city has street or school called Comenius,” he said.

Mr van Hoorn noted that it had been 30 years since the last translation of the Bible into the Czech language.

“Language has changed and a new Bible is needed. The Czech Republic is the heart, the centre, of the EU. Twenty years ago it was not possible to come here or communicate...,” he said in his address.

‘Bible: 21st century translation’ was produced Czech Bible publishing group and Evangelical Alliance member, Nova Bible Kralicka (www.bible21.cz), while distribution is being assisted by the Czech Bible Society. Translators involved in the project were Alexandr Flek and Jiri Hedanek.