Crucial commentary came during conflict and crises
A year after the Slavic Bible Commentary was launched, the project’s manager Taras N. Dyatlik explains how it came at a pivotal point in Euro-Asian history, and outlines their future plans for the book.
“The Slavic Bible Commentary was written during the deep conflict between Russian and Ukrainian nations and states. The 94 authors represented different evangelical traditions from Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and other countries where the Bible is read and interpreted in Russian. They were all directly influenced by the socio-political challenges between pro-Ukrainians and pro-Russians.
“One of the project’s main objectives was to create an interpretative community of Eastern European theologians, who could respect theological differences. By God’s will, this came in the context of severe conflicts: the huge Kiev protests of 2013; the war in the Donbass region; the Syria-Ukrainian refugee crisis; corruption and economic challenges in Ukraine, and corruption and Western sanctions in Russia.
“The Bible for these 94 authors became the real source of looking for God’s will for contemporary Slavic Christians. They asked: what is God’s mission to nations torn by the war and military conflicts? What is a Christian church leader’s mission to representatives of the nations, which are considered to be enemies?”
Miraculously nearly £60,000 was raised through pre-sales for printing the commentary, despite the corruption and deep economic crises. Just two copies are left in Ukraine, after 6,400 copies were printed in September 2016.
“Around 5,400 copies have been distributed in Ukraine and Ukrainian states so far. This is unbelievable in our context of economic and social-political challenges.
“We had two separate prints in Ukraine and Russia, because it would be extremely difficult to import this large Christian book from Ukraine to Russia as the two countries are in a state of hybrid war”.
Earlier this year, translators came on board to translate the commentary into English and Ukrainian.
“It is extremely important to bring Eastern European theological perspectives on scripture to English-speaking theologians and church leaders. We want to strengthen mutual relationships between Western and Eastern evangelicals, in the context of the Church’s mission and the Kingdom of God.
Witness of unity in Christ
“Translation into Ukrainian will hopefully begin soon. It will be
relevant for ministers, and the next generation of evangelicals, who are asking how God’s Word applies in the current socio-political context.
“This commentary, in the current socio-political challenges of Eastern Europe, is a witness of unity in Christ between Ukrainian and Russian Christians around the Lord and His Word.
“Langham Partnership’s investment wasn’t just into a commentary, but also into strengthening the relationship between evangelicals from countries in a state of hybrid war. The Lord is the architect of history, and we’re thankful to Him for our partnership with Langham during all these years when the commentary was written.”
By Taras N. Dyatlik, Slavic Bible Commentary Project Manager
Tags: Langham Literature, Russia, Slavic Bible Commentary, Taras N. Dyatlik, Ukraine