Undeterred by the limitations of Covid-19, this year a team has been working hard to produce a translation of Can we Trust the Gospels? in Romanian.
We spoke to Tyndale House reader Dr Ovidiu Hanc, who lead the project, to find out how it came about.
Dr Hanc first came across Tyndale House in 2004, meeting Principal Dr Peter J Williams at the European Leadership Forum Theologians Network. “From the beginning I was fascinated by his solid theological thinking, intellectual capacity, and his deep-rooted thinking in Scripture. After that event I had the opportunity to get to know him better and was invited several times to Tyndale House for Bible research and study. This was especially valuable during my doctoral studies at Queen's University Belfast,” he says.
After finishing his studies, Dr Hanc returned to Romania to take up a role as a lecturer in New Testament at Emanuel University in Oradea. While there he heard about the publication of the original English version of Dr Williams’s book Can We Trust the Gospels?
“Knowing Peter's level of expertise, the thought that came to my mind as soon as the book was published was this: We must have this book translated and published in Romanian!”
Dr Hanc decided to personally take on the task of translating the book which was then published by Emanuel University Publishing House. The Romanian translation addresses a need for popular-level literature on the reliability of the Gospels in the language. Dr Hanc says: ‘Before the fall of the communist regime, Christian literature was practically banned in Romania. However, in the last three decades, there were several apologetic resources published, but more is needed in the field of biblical apologetics or the credibility of the Gospels.’
In particular, Dr Hanc shares the value of a book which is addressed to both a Christian and a sceptic. “In Romanian society, we find faith of many kinds and a lot of scepticism. Today's generation is the most informed generation in history. As information has become more accessible and inexpensive, the 21st century has been increasingly marked by the side effect of this reality. Today we discuss more and more about information overload and fake news. And so it becomes more difficult to distinguish between valuable and false information." it is in this context that "Dr Williams's book offers an articulate answer to the subject of the credibility of the Gospels.”
At the end of October 2020, the book was launched as Putem avea încredere în evanghelii? Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the team’s initial plan to have an in-person conference in Romania with Dr Williams as the main speaker was no longer possible. Instead, a webinar attracted an audience of over 2500 online attendees.
“We hope that this book in Romanian will be a resource for today's generation that often takes refuge in either scepticism or the rejection of reason. The truth has always been denied, attacked, or ignored; therefore, it is vital to discern between truth and falsehood. However, discernment implies a rational, objective evaluation. The Christian faith cannot be dissociated from reason. It goes beyond the realm of reason because it transcends natural reality, but nevertheless, faith that is not based on evidence is just a superstition. We hope that this book will strengthen faith in the Gospels but also provoke people to investigate further.”