This article was originally published in the February 2024 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Przemek stared at the comment he’d just read during a discussion on social media...
Przemek stared at the comment he’d just read during a discussion on social media. It was a challenge directed at him. The commenter was challenging him to look into the doctrines of his religion.
Like 85% of Polish people, Przemek identified himself as Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholic faith is deeply entrenched in Polish society. For many Poles, to be Polish is to be Catholic. It is part of their very identity.
Przemek took the challenge to heart. As he began to investigate Roman Catholic doctrine, he realized that he needed to read the Bible for himself. He wanted something as close to the original documents as possible, so he searched for a literal translation of the Bible into Polish. He found the version of God’s Word translated by ITMI’s Dr. Piotr Zaremba and his team at the Evangelical Bible Institute.
Przemek was joined on his quest for truth by his then-girlfriend, Justyna, and his friend and neighbor, Marcin.
Finding Piotr’s translation led Przemek to learn who the Bible translator and pastor was. Although Piotr ministers in Poznan and Przemek lives in a different city, he could subscribe to Piotr’s Facebook group, where Piotr answers Biblical questions live every week. Przemek also followed Piotr’s YouTube channel, where Piotr posts Biblical resources regularly.
ITMI’s visionary supporters provided the funding for the decades-long project of translating the Bible from its original languages into Polish, which Piotr led his team to accomplish, all while planting and pastoring churches.
Your partnership with Piotr produced two widely beloved versions of the Bible in Polish - a literal translation and a literary translation.
Though both translations are complete, Piotr’s ministry as a Bible translator continues to grow, thrive, and point Polish-speaking people to Christ by creating Biblical resources that build on the translations.
Piotr and his team of scholars continue to do Biblical research, producing Biblical material that is faithful to the Bible’s original translations.
When the King James Bible was published in 1611, it influenced and enhanced the emergence of Protestant Christianity and, beyond that, shaped the English-speaking world's culture.
One author writes, “The new Bible indeed shaped the emerging English language, and spread those patterns of speech, thought, and meter throughout the world. And the fact that this Bible, of course, proclaimed the core Judeo-Christian message and worldview meant that those were the irreducible, foundational ideas of the English-speaking world.” (Baylor Magazine).
Multiple examples of the influence of the King James Bible on science, literature, and politics are easy to find. The language of the King James Bible was “inextricably bound up with the evolving political discourse on freedom” of the day, both in Britain and the American colonies.
God’s Word gained vast influence in sectors of society simply by being translated into language that was readable and understandable for those of that day.
Piotr’s vision is that the investments they are making today will pioneer the creation of Biblical materials that will shape Polish culture as the King James translation did for English speakers in the 17th century.
Translators and publishers have continued to build on that influence to this day so that English speakers have a plethora of material, allowing them to dig deeper into the themes of God’s Word and grow in their faith.
The continued Biblical research of Piotr and his team provides resources that continue to get God’s Word into the hands of Polish speakers and illuminate the themes and truths for them in new ways.
As Przemek, Justyna, and Marcin continued to grow in understanding of the Lord through their study of the Bible, all three found a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Przemek and Justyna also understood the Biblical importance of marriage and how their relationship wasn’t separate from their religious practices but something in which their Lord wanted to be intimately involved. Their understanding of what a wedding is for was also turned upside down by their study of the Bible.
They realized their wedding could be a Christ-centered event where they could faithfully point to Jesus and what He had done for them rather than an expensive show that glorified them as a couple.
Piotr Zaremba married Justyna and Przemek last August (2023). It was a moving, Christ-centered ceremony, declaring the Gospel to their friends and family.
After the ceremony, Przemek turned to the audience and, as calmly and matter-of-factly as if he were explaining where they could find the refreshment table, shared the couple’s story of coming to know Jesus, why they were getting married and what Jesus means to them.
Their friends and family were astonished by the event, which seemed very unusual to them in its simplicity and lack of production.
A week or so after the wedding, Przemek felt the Spirit nudge him to read his Bible on a bench beside the main pathway leading to a row of high-rise, ex-communist housing flats. Nothing special happened after a few days of this.
Then, while reading his Bible, he heard a loud domestic dispute coming from the open window of one of the apartments. He knocked on their door and told the arguing residents he was there to share how he met Jesus and pray for them.
They allowed him to come in and do just that! When he left, a calm had come over the apartment, reminding Przemek of the story of Jesus calming the storm, and gifting Przemek with a deeper understanding of the meaning of that story.
This is just one of the many stories of the impact of partnering with a Bible translator and pastor to put copies of God’s Word faithful to the original languages in the hands of more Polish speakers, as well as discipleship materials that build on the messages of the Bible.
The Lord has already used it to bring seekers like Przemek, Justyna, and Marcin to a saving relationship with Himself! Our prayer is that He would continue to take our humble contributions and use them to make His name great among the nations - Poland, in particular.
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About the Authors
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.
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