Friday, July 3, 2009

Yearbook Experiences - language translation & printing

(photo on pg 245 / 2009 Yearbook)

Bible Translation (pg 230)
"For years the translation teams in Yugoslavia worked closely together at one location in Zagreb, Croatia. After the war each translation group moved to its respective country, but, at the same time, maintained contact with the translation team in Zagreb. This proved to be particularly useful when the Serbian team began translating the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. The goal was to have it released at the 1999 convention of Jehovah's Witnesses. However, while the translators were completing the Bible translation, the country was preparing for war. Bombing would no doubt render telephone communications unreliable, making it difficult for the translators to send material from Belgrade to the printery in Germany. On Tuesday, March 23, with air attacks looming, the brothers worked all night and were able to send the electronic files to Germany early in the morning. A few hours later, the bombing began and the translation team fled to a shelter, rejoicing! Their joy was made complete when the printed Bible was released four months later at the Belgrade convention. During the bombing and the many electrical outages, the brothers continued to translate other publications. Often, though, they had to stop and run to a safe area. True, it was a stressful time, but all were happy to share in producing the much needed spiritual food."

Legal Recognition in Croatia (pg 218)
"In 1991 when Croatia gained independence, its administration held to the previous laws on religion until new laws could be passed. The newly formed State was nearly 90 percent Catholic. Hence, the clergy had considerable influence with the government. Yet because of the legal status enjoyed by Jehovah's Witnesses in the past and because of our brothers' impeccable reputation, on October 13, 2003, the Ministry of Justice decreed that Jehovah's Witnesses were now registered as a religious community in Croatia. In the early 1990's, all the lands of the former Yugoslavia had but one Pioneer School; now Croatia alone has several classes each year."

Modern History of Macedonia (pg 219)
"Step over into Macedonia and help us," said the man who appeared to the apostle Paul in a vision in the first century. (Acts 16:8-10) Concluding that God was directing them to declare the good news of God's Kingdom in this unworked territory, Paul and his preaching companions willingly accepted the invitation, and soon Christianity was flourishing there. How has modern-day Macedonia, a smaller region to the north of ancient Macedonia, experienced a similar growth in true worship? After the second world war, Macedonia became the southernmost republic of Yugoslavia. It gained independence in 1991. Two years later, in 1993, Jehovah's Witnesses rejoiced to be officially registered in the newly formed state. As a result, an office could be established in Macedonia under the oversight of the Austria Branch Committee...and the Macedonian translation team moved from Zagreb, Croatia, to this newly aquired Bethel."

Literature Restrictions (pgs 219 & 220)
"Though Jehovah's Witnesses were officially registered, it was difficult to import literature. From 1994 to 1998, the government limited imported magazines to one copy per publisher. Consequently, the brothers had to make copies of Watchtower study articles for their Bible students. The brothers were also able to obtain magazines mailed to them from other countries, and visitors to Macedonia were permitted to bring in small supplies of magazines. Eventually, after several years of legal proceedings, the supreme court ruled in favor of the Witnesses, who were then permitted to import as much literature as they wanted."

New World Translation (pg 221 & 222)
"Meanwhile, another small group of dedicated men and women were occupied with a different task -translating the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures into Macedonian. Their hard work had Jehovah's blessing; and in just five years, they translated the complete New World Translation. How delighted the delegates were at the 2006 "Deliverance at Hand!" District Convention in Skopje when Governing Body member Gerrit Losch announced the release of this fine new Bible translation. The applause was enthusiastic and prolonged, and many could not hold back their tears. Some who obtained a copy during the lunch break sat down immediately to enjoy this outstanding translation of God's Word in their mother tongue.

Many Macedonians have a deep respect for the Bible. Orhan, for example, began studying the Bible six years ago. Though he was illiterate, he learned to read and write with the help of the brother who studied with him. Since his baptism three years ago, he has read the Bible six times! For a time, Orhan was the only Witness in the town of Resen. Many, though, spoke favorably of the formerly illiterate man, and some parents asked the brothers to study with their children, whom they wanted to become like Orhan ... who now serves as a regular pioneer and ministerial servant."

*PS -I just posted an article to my Nakido download page, which a sister passed along to me, about the Watchtower's printing branches and all the language translations, etc, which was featured in a commercial magazine.