Jozef Rohacek

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Jozef Rohacek (1877 - 1962), in Slovak "Jozef Roháček", was a Slovak Lutheran theologian and priest, writer and Protestant activist who was the first person to translate the Bible from the original languages into the Slovak language.[1] The 1st edition of the complete Lutheran Slovak Bible was edited by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1936. The revised edition was printed in Kutná Hora (present-day Czech Republic) in 1951, already under the reign of the Communist Party in former Czechoslovakia, what was considered almost a miracle.[2]

Biography of Jozef Rohacek

Jozef Rohacek was born in Stara Tura, Slovakia (at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and due to problems of his own family to make for living he was adopted by his relatives, who were unable to have their own children. His uncle who was running itinerant trade in Vienna got used to take kid with him for business trips and this way small Jozef managed to learn German. In spring of 1894, the young lad came in contact with sisters, who would have a significant impact on his further life. Kristína Royová helped him to find funds for enrolling in missionary school in Neukirchen, Germany. There he studied, among other subjects, Hebrew, Greek, English and French. During the First World War he was among the German-speaking soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian army and military hospitals as field pastor. Since he was also still active as missionary evangelist, he maintained the contacts with Slovak civilians what was the pretext for accusations of Panslavism and arrest just shortly after the war was finished. For more than a year he was illegally kept in prison without any proceeding at court being initiated, while his wife was struggling without any income with their three small children. After his release he enrolled in both the Faculties of Theology and Philosophy in Bratislava, present-day Slovakia. His method for Bible translation was based on adhering to original texts, the usage of precious Hebrew commentaries that he occasionally received from persecuted Jews and the avoidance of other existing translations. He died in 1962 during the communist reign in former Czechoslovakia.[3]


  • 1910, Budapest, BFBS: Translation from original languages of Gospel of Mark
  • August 1912, Budapest, BFBS: Translation from original languages of four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
  • March 1924, Prague, BFBS: Translation from original languages of the New Testament and Psalms.
  • 1936,BFBS: Translation from original languages of the whole Bible
  • 1936, Bratislava, Svetlo: Evolucionizmus vo svetle pravdy alebo čo má každý vzdelaný človek vedieť o evolucionizme (Evolutionism in the light of truth or what should every literate person know about evolutionism)


  1. Beáta Jarošová (18.12.2011). Štefan Markuš: "Bibliu netreba len obdivovať, treba ju čítať" (Stefan Markus: "Biblia should not be just admired, but read") (Slovak). Petit Press.
  2. Holéczy, Daniel E. (1991). Životopisy - Kristína Royová, Jozef Roháček, Ružena Vraná, Viera Roháčková (in Slovak). Cicero, 42. Retrieved on 11.1.2011. 
  3. Daniel E. Holéczy (18.5.2007). Prof. Jozef Roháček (Slovak). Stara Tura, City Hall.