Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Polemika v komentářích aneb Kdo měl číst Bibli svatováclavskou


Abstract: This article deals with the intended readership and function of the St Wenceslas Bible, published between 1677 and 1715, primarily thanks to the St Wenceslas Legacy Foundation. In compliance with Council of Trent decrees and Jesuit practice over the translation of the text of the Bible, this new Czech version contained a commentary. By and large, however, its aim was not to clarify the context and meaning of the text. It was primarily given a missionary and recatholicizing purpose, as a polemical commentary with which the priest and ultimately the layman was to oppose the objections of non-Catholics and lead them to the only denomination permitted by the temporal state.

The preferred addressees were new priests in Czech-language parishes. One of the most important reasons behind the implementation of the St Wenceslas Bible project was the felt absence of a Catholic Bible translation and the usage of non-Catholic versions (particularly the Melantrich and Kralice translations) by Catholic parish priests and missionaries. However, our findings indicate that throughout the entire period in which the St Wenceslas Bible was distributed this problem persisted. This is primarily demonstrated by the patents with which the Prague Consistory attempted to get round this practice.

The secondary addressee of the St Wenceslas Bible was the lay reader. From the standpoint of the donors and the actual publishers, however, this was more a given fact arising from Czech conditions rather than an original intention.

Keywords: Bible in Czech; St Wenceslas Bible; Matthias Steyer SI; Joannes Barner SI; reception of biblical translations; lay Bible reading 

PhDr. Jiří M. Havlík, Ph.D., vyučuje český jazyk, literaturu a dějepis na Gymnáziu prof. Jana Patočky v Praze. Věnuje se především církevním a literárním dějinám raného novověku (havlikjiri@seznam.cz).