Biblical Scholar dr Aleksandar Birvis dies

Bible translator and former Vice President of the Bible Society

Aleksandar Birvis was born in Nis, Serbia, in 1928. It was in this city that he finished primary school and high school (gym). He graduated from the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade in 1953 as well as from the Philological Faculty – Department of Oriental languages – in 1961.

He was employed at the Institute for natural resources, and later he was a member of the editorial board of the weekly “Illustrated Politika” and of the fortnightly “Interview”.

He wrote articles for a weekly “NIN”, “Kultura”, “Pravoslavlje” (Orthodoxy), “Glasnik” (Herald),  “Bible Translator”, etc.

Bitrvis performed a contemporary translation into Serbian of the Four-Gospel-Book and a rhythmic translation of the Psalms 0 observing the classic Serbian epic poetry. He translated the First Book of Moses, Isaiah, Lamentation of Jeremiah and the Letter to the Hebrews. All these translations were qualified as a modern and fluent, understandable approach to the biblical books and were highly estimated by biblical scholars and Bible readers.

He was very active in the work of the then Bible Society of Yugoslavia (now of Serbia), participated in the biblical courses organized by the United Bible Societies in cooperation with the Yugoslav Bible Society for Bible translators in various languages spoken in former Yugoslavia, where he gave lectures on contemporary methods of translating biblical books. With this aim, Prof. Birvis composed a study on the Modern Methods of  Bible Translation, that used to prove very substantial and useful for Serbian, and not only Serbian, Bible translators. With his works on the Bible and by his own translations he greatly contributed in enabling the contemporary Bible reader to understand the Word of God as a Word directed to him personally. In a word, he was a man who was committed to the Bible mission, especially in those times of Communist rule.

Aleksandar Birvis died in Novi Sad, Serbia, on 1st February 2015, and will  be burried in  the Novi Sad cemetery on the 4th February, 2015.