On the 14th of May 2019 a new board was elected: President Supt. Dr. Gerold Lehner since 2016 was confirmed, his representative is Pastor Mag. Esther Handschin. Further board members are: Mag. Renate Knaus, Erzpriester Dipl-theol. Mihailo Smiljanic, Pastor Dietrich Fischer-Dörl MSc (already since 2017) and Fachinspektorin Dipl.-Päd. Andrea Postmann.
50 years combined were the board members active who are now leaving the board, the longest was Dkfm. Werner Strnadt. "His engagement went beyond the work of a honorary post" president Gerold Lehner said in honor of him after 24 years as the treasurer of the Austrian Bible Society. Besides him Brigitte Kohlweg, Harald Schwartz and Ass.-Prof. Dr. Ioan Moga leave the board.
What does the Bible mean to you? And why are you involved with the Bible Society? The Board Members give their personal answers:
Rt. Revd. Dr. Gerold Lehner (Lutheran Church)
First of all, the Bible is a challenge to me. When I read the Gospel or Paul, I’m again and again brushed against the grain. Much of what I read doesn’t confirm my thoughts and life, but challenges me, sets me onto a new track, broadens my horizon. In that, the Bible is a book to me, through which I learn again and again. A book of education: Because I educate myself through it and because it educates and forms me. It paints pictures in my mind that guide me.
Moreover, the Bible is a book that often surprises me. When I read old stories in new situations of my life and with new experience, new views open up to me in the stories. You can’t readout this book! It is the great book of God’s story, that puts my little life story in this big horizon. It makes me happy and upset. It gives courage and strength. This book is God’s gift for my path.
Why am I involved in the Bible Society? Because I was asked to. And because I gladly and wholeheartedly want to support this important work, which is done by the Bible Society in such an impressing and good way.
Pastor Dietrich Fischer-Dörl MSc (Baptist Church)
Being amazed that God speaks!
Martin Buber tells the story of a Jewish preacher who, every time he read the words “And God said” in the Bible, got so excited that he sometimes had to be taken out of the room. What is wrong, if get excited over the thought that God speaks directly to us humans. When it says in Exodus 33, 11 that God speaks “like a man with his friend,” it does not only make me speechless but also makes me very excited about the Holy Scripture.
The Bible is not a perfect book but
...it is perfectly insouled by the fact that God and humans should have a relationship again
...perfect by showing the way to life by faith
...perfect in the way of showing us the wisdom of God
...and by the Spirit of God its message becomes the perfect speech to me.
For my birthday 1975 I received my first own Bible in leather and with golden edges. The same year at New Year I received the verse “Don’t be afraid! I am the first and the last. I am the living one! “(Rev.1:17-18) The Bible could not have spoken better to me on my beginning journey with it.
The Bible Society has a history of Bible colporteurs who distributed Bibles and tracts in Austria. One of them led my Great- Grandparents to faith. Because Bible distribution and Christian missions belong together, I support the goals of the Austrian Bible Society with joy.