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Newsletter March 2010

2009: The Year of the Bible

When it comes to Bible publications 2009 was a remarkable and
unprecedented year in Czech history. For the past 400 years there have
only been two Czech translations of the Bible available. This year
three new translations have been published.

  1. “Bible21”: a translation in the common Czech language.
  2. “Czech Study Version”: a literal, word-for-word translation
  3. The Czech version of the “Jerusalem Bible”: a Catholic Bible translated from French

In total, more than 110,000 copies of the Bible were sold in the past
year. This is about 400% growth compared to previous years! This is a
remarkable work of God and we feel blessed to have been a part of it.
Our project, Bible21, was released about a year ago and we are honored
to share with you that it was officially the absolute bestseller of the
Czech book market in 2009. Bible21 sold 75,000 copies in a nation of
only 10 million inhabitants and only about 25,000 professing
evangelical Christians. Praise God for how the Word has spread
throughout this nation!

Media Attention

Bible21 has had remarkable media attention throughout the past year. In
the “most atheist nation on earth”, both national and local media
started to talk positively about the Bible like never before. There
were virtually hundreds of articles covering the local public Bible
readings that we organized last Easter in more than 80 cities across
the country. The national TV and Radio cover the publication of Bible21
on the main news programs and Sasha Flek was invited to speak about the
Bible21 project on many television and radio shows.

Bible21 even drew the attention of former President Vaclav Havel. Sasha
Flek got to meet with Havel and give him our illustrated edition for a
Christmas present. The illustrator was a famous Czech artist, Ales
Lamr, who is a long-time friend of Havel’s and had painted the murals
in the president’s office. This meeting was one of the most notable
highlights of our year. You can see more photos on Facebook .

2010: Just Getting Started

Even though the Bible is done being translated and has been so
successfully released, the work is not finished. Something has
definitely changed in the last year in the Czech Republic. There is a
new sense of interest in the Bible as our cultural and spiritual
heritage – which was all but lost before. Most people are disappointed
with 20 years of post communist capitalism, without any moral
foundation and without any sense of absolutes. Many people, including
the media, are now expressing hopes that the Bible contains values that
could help us to live more meaningful lives as individuals and to build
a more just and functional society. Please pray for the Czech Republic
to fully receive the Word of God and turn back to him to find his
abundant life.

We are again planning a National Bible reading event, which will take
place on Easter. Already more than 20 cities have signed up, and we
expect many more will join in the next few weeks before Easter. The
Czech National Library, a network of almost 6,000 local libraries, has
partnered with us this year in supporting this event. They are actively
encouraging the local libraries to take part and organize local Bible
readings. It’s amazing that some of these activists for the Bible
reading are not even believers! God is truly stirring people’s hearts
and drawing them to his life giving Word.

You can see a map of the cities that have already signed up for this year’s public reading here: http://www.cteni.bible21.cz

One of our goals now is to help Czechs read and understand the Bible, so
we are in process of searching and creating the proper tools. There is
really no introductory Bible literature available, so we are looking into
possibilities of translating some volume 1 Bible commentary into Czech,
as well as publishing something like „Bible for beginners“ type

Financial Support

Thank you for to all of you who have made this project possible through
your financial support. If you feel led to continue to support our
ongoing mission, you can give by making your check
out as follows: Vineyard Northwest Church for Czech Bible Project.
Vineyard Northwest will be collecting the donations and will forward
them to us. Please send your check to:

Vineyard Community Church Northwest
9165 Round Top Road
Cincinnati, OH 45251

You can also donate online through Faith & Learning International. Just select our project, „Jan Talafant – Czech Bible Project“, from the „Purpose of Gift“ drop down menu.

Keep Updated

You can continue to find updates on our website and in our newsletters,
but to hear all the little details of what’s going on with Bible21 join
our Facebook group HERE . It’s especially useful if you can read some Czech ;)