ITMI's Dr. Piotr Zaremba wrote his supporters, “I remain chained to my desk.” His focus was laser-tuned on completing the literary translation of the Bible from its original languages to Polish.
He was translating a chapter a day, no matter how long it took. Some days, he was "chained to his desk" from 4am to 11pm!
Last year, the translation was complete and printed copies of the entire Bible translated into Polish were delivered!
Why such a burning desire and focus on giving the Poles a new translation of the Bible?
1. Piotr’s heart is burning with God’s passion for Poles to know him intimately and experience the freedom and Good News He offers.
The literary translation Piotr completed this year is essential to evangelism in Poland and to the 60 million Poles worldwide. 20 million Poles have left Poland due to war and persecution. Its the 6th biggest diaspora on the planet.
Over one million copies of some form of Piotr's translation - Psalm, New Testament, entire Bible, e-versions - have been distributed!
They can’t do that from the Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew versions, so he has translated directly from those texts to Polish.
“Originals have to be translated. Never replaced,” Piotr says.
Poles also struggled to find this information in older, more confusing translations to Polish, many of which have skewed some important details about the Gospel - salvation by grace alone, for one.
3. The research in the text of the Bible keeps revealing new data, details, inscriptions, historical findings that contribute to our better understanding of those years and times.
Our understanding of the Bible continues growing as more and more research is done. That means our translations can continue improving as our collective knowledge grows.
4. Language and cultures change.
You might be thinking, "But God’s Word should never change!" And you're right! That’s why translators need to go back to originals.
But cultures do change. The way we use certain words changes. A word means something different in one part of the country than it does another. It means one thing at one time and another thing years later.
For example, at one time in history, the word "cool" just meant "slightly cold."
As an outsider observing US culture, Piotr said, “When I came to the US a few years ago, I heard, ‘That’s cool’ all the time. It meant, 'I like that,' or 'good.' I don’t hear that as much any more, but I hear new phrases."
Our translations have to change as the meanings of words change in culture.
5. We need translations for translators.
Translators can benefit from as many translations as possible. Each one contributes to our understanding of the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts and improves on the next one.
So, what's next for Piotr?
Piotr still has a burning desire to reach Poles with the good news, and he's still busily working toward that goal.
- A literal translation for in-depth study with 19,000 notes to be published this year! (2017)
- Study Bibles for targeted audiences.
- Growing K5N Church through discipleship.
Reaching an unreached people group
Piotr has identified a potentially influential "unreached" group of people in Poland.
I don't need to tell you about the impressionable nature of youth, or that they are the future of Poland.
What is important to note is that growing up in the average Polish family will not typically lead to a personal relationship with Jesus, an understanding of His love and pursuit of them, how to obtain eternal life through faith and grace alone or the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins made available through the cross.
Growing up in the typical Polish family will not lead to a personal relationship with Jesus.
It's also important to note that children can be reached with the Biblical story and taught to study, read and understand the Bible before they adopt the popular Polish opinion that evangelicals are a dangerous cult.
Piotr doesn't care whether they call themselves "evangelicals" or not. He just wants them to know, love and follow Jesus. He wants to teach them to understand and study God's Word.
How does Piotr plan to do this?
Piotr wants to open a Christian school in Poznan, Poland. He has already assembled a team. The team believes - with God's provision - the school can be self-sufficient in 3 years time.
God has also led a gracious donor to offer to match any donations for this project up to $20,000! Now, ITMI and Piotr are looking for others who would like to partner with us to reach this important group in Poland.
Is he leading you to partner with Piotr, too?