STUTTGART, Germany (CNS) — Five centuries after the start of the Protestant Reformation, leaders of the Catholic and Lutheran churches came together in a demonstration of unity to release new Bible translations.
At an ecumenical service at St. Eberhard’s Catholic Cathedral, clergy from both churches gathered to release revised German translations of the Catholic and Lutheran Bibles.
The release came as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation neared. It began in 1517 when theologian Martin Luther developed his 95 Theses challenging long-held Catholic practices.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, president of the German bishops’ conference, emphasized the sacred Scriptures as a strong bond shared by Catholics and Protestants.
“It is an effervescent fountain,” Cardinal Marx said of the Bible. “The water drawn from it does not decrease, but increases. The more we debate the holy Scriptures, the more we experience the mystery of Christ.”
During the last year, the Catholic and Lutheran translations of the Bible were subjected to thorough review and revision. A group of 200 people from both churches participated in the revision process.
“With the new translations, we remember our shared foundation — the sacred Scriptures — and together express our appreciation for each other’s translation,” said Lutheran Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany.
The Reformation, which sparked a religious war, left deep divides between Protestant and Catholics for centuries. In recent years both churches have come closer together. The release of the Bible translation is one of several ecumenical services being promoted by both churches throughout the year.
“I am very pleased that we are placing God’s word in our midst in such an ecumenically meaningful year as 2017, in which we together recall the events of the Reformation 500 years ago and celebrate them today as a celebration of Christ, to place God’s word in our midst,” Cardinal Marx said.
Bishop Bedford-Strohm also stressed the importance of the Bible as a shared foundation of Christian life, saying it is full of human stories of faith.
“Christian faith today means engaging in these stories, writing these stories into one’s own biography and letting one’s own life be reversed in unity with the great history of God with men and interpreting one’s life in the light of this history,” he said.
Leaders of both churches announced they will use the new Bible translations in future ecumenical services.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103