In an age when fanatical and violent minorities are giving religion a bad name, belief in a loving God is still a key part of billions of people’s lives, said Dr Geraint Tudur, General Secretary of the Union of Welsh Independent Churches, in his New Year’s Message.
“War, hatred and the urge for revenge flies in the face of God’s plan for humanity,” said Dr Geraint Tudur. “In Jesus, God not only reveals his own nature, but shows us what humanity should be like.
“That revelation can be seen in black and white in the Bible. As Welsh Nonconformists we’ll be launching a new campaign to make 2016 The Year of The Living Bible. We’ll be inviting people to read the Bible again, or for the first time, to see how God offers hope for a shattered world.”
This coincides with the publishing of a brand new printed version of the Bible in Welsh – only the third translation ever, the first being in 1588 and the second in 1988. Beibl.net, translated by Arfon Jones, was already available on the web, but there was great demand for copies in print. The first batch of 3,000 sold out before reaching the shops. A second print run will ensure that the new Bible will be available very shortly. Translated into colloquial Welsh, it will appeal in particular to young people and to those learning the language.
“The Bible gives divine guidance on such issues as poverty and peace, fair play and justice, and mankind’s stewardship of our planet – themes which are highly-relevant to our lives today,” said Dr Geraint Tudur. “As well as nurturing a personal belief in God and in Jesus, following its teachings would make the world a much more civilised place. As far as Welsh speakers and learners are concerned, the new version makes the Bible very readable and accessible, both in print and on the web.”