A solemn reception on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the Synodal translation of the Bible has opened the program of the jubilee events dedicated to the importance of this translation for the Russian history and culture. A meeting of representatives of state authorities of the Russian Federation, various religious organizations, religious scholars, journalists was held yesterday in the capital “President hotel”, according to “Blagovest-info”.
As you know, the KJV was initiated and performed in the Russian Orthodox Church. However, they actively use representatives of all Christian confessions in Russia. The initiator of the anniversary events was an Interfaith coordinating Council on the celebration of the 140th anniversary of the Synodal translation of the Bible, which is composed of representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, Roman Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Churches, the Russian United Union of Christians of Evangelical faith (Pentecostals), the Union of churches of Evangelical Christians. Direct organizer became the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (ECB RS), which in 2015 won the competition for grants non-profit non-governmental organizations held in accordance with the decree of the President of the Russian Federation in the field of “Development of traditional spiritual values”. About this, opening the meeting, Chairman of the Department for external Church relations of the Russian Baptist Union Vitaly Vlasenko.
Government officials spoke about the significance of the Synodal translation to Russian spirituality and culture. So, the employee of presidential Administration of the Russian Federation Evgeny Eremin called the KJV a “Grand event”, which played a role not only for contemporaries, but in the twentieth century, after the Soviet atheism, when in the years of religious freedom, many people turned to the Word of God. He linked the anniversary of the Synodal translation with “the promotion of patriotism, family values, fraternal relations to each other”.
About the actual perception of the Bible spoke the Chairman of Committee of the RF Public chamber Joseph Diskin. According to him, as 140 years ago, Holy Scripture underlies conceptions of morality, “and without a solid moral any laws do not work”. Without moral revival in Russia is a “national defeat”, sure speakers. “Without the Word of God is indispensable to the existence of civilization”, – summarized the representative of the Federation of Jewish communities of Russia (FJCR) Andrei Glotser.
Greeting of the Chairman of Committee of the state Duma of Yaroslav Nilova was read by his assistant, Alexander Baranov, adding with regret that nowadays few read the Bible. “A hundred years ago was the desire to read the Bible, but it was not possible. And now there are all possibilities, but no desire,” he said, stressing that a person cannot be considered educated unless he is familiar with the fundamental texts of world religions.
Scripture is not read not only secular but also religious people, said the Secretary-General of the Conference of Catholic bishops of Russia, priest Igor Kovalevsky, calling the level of knowledge of the Bible among believers “catastrophic”. He expressed hope that the celebration of the 140th anniversary of the Synodal Bible translation will help “updating interest” in Scripture and religious education of his flock. Igor Kowalewski also emphasized that the Bible should be seen not only as a monument of ancient culture, but as “the inspired Word of God that has saving power internal”.
On the importance of the Bible in the life of every Christian and all Christian denominations, the need for new translations of the Bible, said at the meeting, the Chairman of Russian Baptist Union Alexey Smirnov, the Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of European Russia Dietrich Brauer, President of the Union of churches of Evangelical Christians of Alexander Semchenko, the representatives of Roshi, the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical faith, the Church of seventh-day Adventists and others.
The Secretary of the Department for external Church relations of Moscow Patriarchate (DECR MP) for inter-Christian relations hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov) made a presentation on the Synodal translation of the Bible. He provided a brief historical excursus on the text, which lasted more than a decade, underlining the leading role of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (Drozdov). Speakers described the main sources relied on translators. Speaking about the significance of the Synodal translation in the modern life of the Russian Orthodox Church, hieromonk Stefan noted that, although the Liturgy is used in Church Slavonic language, the Synodal translation is indispensable in sermons, catechesis, education. However, in the Russian Church believe that it is necessary to support the work on the new translation of the Holy Scriptures. The representative of the DECR MP also stressed that today the Bible is the Foundation for understanding Christian denominations, it enables Christians to speak the same language, as demonstrated at a recent meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis in Havana.
In concluding the meeting, the representatives of the RS ECB announced a program of commemorative events dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the Synodal translation of the Bible. As part of these celebrations will be held on March 17, historical-theological conference; in April, will open the exhibition “the Bible: from Sinai to Moscow”. The theme of the Synodal translation will sound especially during the celebration of Day of Slavic writing and culture on may 22 at a gala concert on may 25.