New Translation Shaping Lives of Slovenian Youth

“I can find myself in a story. I can feel that Jesus is talking to me."

Imagine finally getting a copy of the book that everyone says can change your life. You’re excited, but when you open it, you don’t recognize many of the words. It leaves you frustrated and you quickly close the book and move on to something else.

That’s what is happening with young people in Slovenia. They want to hear from God, but they need a modern translation of the Bible, since they struggle to comprehend the Bible their ancestors have used for decades.

To illustrate the problem, think about the first time you read a work by William Shakespeare. It was clearly written in English — but it’s Old English, which can be difficult for many people to understand.

To meet the need, the Bible Society began a new, contemporary Slovenian translation of the New Testament in 2011. Work won’t be completed until 2021, but as books are completed, they are published each year under the title Life with Jesus. Thanks to the generosity of our financial partners, at least 18 New Testament books have been completed to date. Young Slovenians are reading it, and their lives are changing!

Twenty-five-year-old Veronika has read both the Slovenian Standard Version of the Bible and Life with Jesus. “I really like the Life with Jesus because the language is more comprehensible. … It is easier to read something where there are no archaic expressions and phrases that make reading difficult.”

David, 22, uses Life with Jesus when he works with young people. “I lead a youth group, where teenagers are searching for the answers for their lives and I can explain the text easier because [Life with Jesus] is written in a more human and understandable way than the Standard Version,” he says.

With their translation being such a success, the Bible Society took Life with Jesus to the largest Christian youth festival in Slovenia, called Stična, in September 2018. The festival attracted an estimated 7,000 young people.

Thirteen-year-old Jernej was at the festival and picked up the latest copy of Life with Jesus. “I think translators have made very good choices about how the verses will be formed,” he says. “It seems that the verses are specifically meant for me. I can find myself in a story. I can feel that Jesus is talking to me."

Thanks to the generosity of American Bible Society’s financial partners, young people in Slovenia will grow up with a translation that speaks their language. They will know exactly what God wants them to do.

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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