FIRST BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA IN SERBIAN LANGUAGE
Protodeacon Radomir Rakic Bible Encyclopedia, I - II , pp. 600 и 632, Theological Academy in Srbinje (Foca), 2004.
The year of 2004. saw the publication the Bible Encyclopedia in two volumes by Protodeacon Radomir Rakic, lecturer at the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade and Lecturer in the New Testament at the Theological Academy in Srbinje (Foca) as well as the official interpreter of the Holy Synod of Bishops. The first volume includes terms from A to L on a total of 586 pages, and the second volume comprises 632 pages, in encyclopedic format in two columns with four geographic maps on sub- covers and many illustrations, diagrams, etc. This work, the first of its kind in the Serbian language, has been no less than 10 years in preparation by the author, using the best biblical encyclopedias in the world as his model, including the Russian encyclopedia of Archimandrite Nikifor from the end of the 19th century reprinted in Moscow in 1992. German works used included Fritz Rienecker’s Lexikon zur Bibel and the six-volume biblical dictionary published by Brockhaus, Das grosse Bibellexikon. English works of greatest aid to the author were Harper’s Bible Dictionary (San Francisco, 1985), as well as The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Vols. 1-3 (London, 1980).
The structure of the definitions is as follows: the term, then the first parenthesis with the term in Hebrew letters, a second parenthesis with the transliteration – guide to pronunciation in the Roman alphabet, and finally, the translation of the term in Serbian in italics. This translation is very important because all Semitic names and geographic names have a meaning. If the definition relates to a person or concept from the New Testament, the first parenthesis provides the name or concept in Greek and the definition is provided in the next parenthesis. If there are several persons with the same name, they are separately listed with careful citing of the place of appearance in the Holy Scriptures; in some cases, there are several references, e.g., Zachariah has 33. Geographical names include information regarding who conducted archeological excavations at specific locations and when, the results of these investigations, etc. In cases where the location no longer exists, archeological hypotheses regarding its possible location are given. Also defined are persons and locations cited in the Deuterocanonical Books (Apocrypha), e.g., the Books of the Maccabees or Esdras, Tobit, etc. The translation of Bishop Atanasije Jevtic of the Books of the Maccabees was used. Certain important biblical persons, e.g., Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, John the Baptist, Matthew, etc.) are defined in such detail that a complete portrait of them is presented. Also defined are non-biblical persons, events and locations (e.g., Ras Shamra, Elba, Nag Hammadi, etc.), dynasties of the pharaohs, Selevkida, Ptolemians, etc. The Old Testament is cited according to the Danicic translation, and the New Testament according to the translation of the Commission of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is periodically emphasized whether individual verses or concepts were translated by Emilijan Carnic or Vuk Karadzic. Most difficult of all, biblical names are conscientiously listed as used in the Serbian language and not corresponding to the Masoret reading (e.g., Ozilo instead of Uzilo).
The publisher of the Bible Encyclopedia is the St. Basil of Ostrog Theological Academy (now Faculty) in Srbinje. The editor of this important work in the field of modern Serbian biblical theology is Dr. Mirko Tomasovic, professor of the New Testament at the St. Basil of Ostrog Theological Academy in Srbinje. Dr. Ilija Tomic, extraordinary professor at the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, provided expert assistance, especially in Hebrew terminology and its transliteration.