.- Ecumenical cooperation in Germany has experienced “a bitter setback” after it was made public last Thursday that German Protestants rejected a joint project to revise the standard German translation of the Bible with the Catholic Church, reported Vatican Radio. German Catholics and Protestants produced the current standard German Bible in the 1980s and have since been using it in ecumenical services.
But the Vatican expressed the intention to revise the standard German Bible, issuing directives requiring the revision to conform to the Latin translation of the Bible. The Protestants, instead, prefer translation to conform to the original Hebrew and Greek biblical texts.
"This directive has criteria that the Protestant side cannot accept," said Lutheran Bishop Wolfgang Huber, chairperson of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, according to Reuters.
Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the German Catholic Bishops, admitted that the dispute has placed a "considerable strain" on relations between German Protestants and Catholics, reported Reuters.
The bishop of Mainz reportedly lamented that Protestants did not trust the Catholics to produce an accurate translation.
According to the international news agency, translation problems in the English and German versions of the Bible can pose grave challenges as other countries use them as references when translating the Bible into their own languages.