Head of the UGCC sets up a coordination group to translate the Holy Scriptures into Ukrainian

November 29, 2023, 21:31 185

At its 95th session on November 17–18, 2023, the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in Ukraine blessed the start of work on a new official translation of the UGCC Holy Scriptures into Ukrainian called the Kyiv Bible. In accordance with Resolution No. 6 of this Synod, the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, by his Decree of November 28, established a coordination group to work on this translation.

Head of the UGCC sets up a coordination group to translate the Holy Scriptures into Ukrainian

His Beatitude Sviatoslav appointed Mr. Vasile Babota as the chief scientific coordinator of the project and, at the same time, the scientific coordinator for the Old Testament/Greek Bible (Septuagint), Mr. Oleh Pravets as the scientific coordinator for the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, and Fr. Roman Ostrovsky as the scientific coordinator for the New Testament.

The coordination group is tasked with translating the Holy Scriptures into Ukrainian from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek in 10 years.

In the Decree, His Beatitude Sviatoslav quoted the document of the Second Vatican Council, “Dei Verbum,” which reads: “It is necessary that the faithful have broad access to the Holy Scriptures. For this reason, from the beginning, the Church made its own ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint. It has always valued other Eastern and Latin versions, particularly the Vulgate. However, since the Word of God must be accessible to everyone at all times, the Church takes maternal care to ensure that appropriate and correct translations are made into various languages, preferably starting from the original texts of the sacred books” (par 22).

Therefore, according to the Decree, the Word of God should be expressed in modern literary language so that readers and listeners can best understand it and respond to it with their faith. The Patriarch added that this translation of the Bible “is being undertaken at a time when a brutal invasive war is going on in our lands, which was started by the Russian aggressor, with great hope that the Lord will grant us victory and a just peace,” and gave his blessing.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also called on the faithful of the Church to accompany the group’s work with their prayers.

According to the members of the coordination group in Ukraine, as well as abroad, various translations of the Holy Scriptures into Ukrainian have been published over the centuries. Some were partial, and others were complete. In the UGCC, the most famous is the translation by Fr. Ivan Khomenko (1963, amended in 1983 and 2004), which is considered official. Also, in 2020 and 2023, translations by Fr. Rafail Turkoniak, published by the Ukrainian Bible Society, were presented.

One biblical translator, often a highly qualified philologist specializing in Semitic languages, alongside a biblical reviewer and a philologist versed in biblical languages, will be assigned to translate each biblical book. The final text will undergo review by two specialists in the Ukrainian language.

The UGCC Department for Information

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