‘CEEBC speaks into conflicts in our region’

Central Eastern European Bible Commentary (CEEBC) editor Marcel Măcelaru says his work on 1 & 2 Samuel is relevant to Balkan conflicts.

The CEEBC coordinator, Katharina Penner, reflects on Marcel’s work. She says the Bible speaks into the conflicts faced by Central Eastern European believers today:

Marcel Măcelaru, an editor of the CEEBC, is Romanian but lives in Croatia (pictured) and has Croatian citizenship.

“Marcel Valentin Măcelaru is Romanian but also has Croatian citizenship. He lives in Osijek, Croatia together with his wife, Mirela (who is Croatian). So Marcel has good insights into Romanian politics and church life. He also has insight into the never ending ethnic conflicts in the Balkans.

“These conflicts became irreconcilable, especially after Yugoslavia – which had comprised eight entities – fell apart, followed by bloody wars (in the 90s), ethnic cleansing and economic collapse. These entities – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia, Vojvodina and Kosovo – are constantly in the headlines.


“There is actually a term – balkanisation, to balkanise – which was coined even before the 90s. It describes the fragmentation/division of something whole into hostile and uncooperative parts.
The Church is not exempt from these tensions and there are quite varied approaches on how to deal with it.

“Some Christian leader figures are also effected by ‘balkanisation’. It is difficult to work together, even though this would help lead to a more effective use of resources, human and financial. And it would be a much brighter witness to the Gospel. But that is not easy when sometimes identity is defined against each other, not with honour and respect for the differences of the other.

Montenegro conflicts

Balkan conflicts became irreconcilable after the fall of Yugoslavia, which comprised of eight entities including Montenegro (pictured).

“The Bible has many things to say about the calling of the Church. We are to work hard to counter divisions and tensions with a message of unity. This includes loving “the other”, being the body of Christ where the “dividing wall of hostility” has been smashed.

“While we usually remember the New Testament message on these issues, there is much in the books of Samuel which Marcel will bring out. He will apply 1 and 2 Samuel to Romanian and Balkan realities, for the Church to receive some guidance in everyday questions of ethnic conflict and godly leadership.”

The Central Eastern European Bible Commentary

The cost of the CEEBC is around £400,000.  Can you help us raise £6,100 to cover the cost of the book of Romans? The General Editor of the project, Corneliu Constantineanu, is writing this part of the commentary. He says that Romans deals with “extremely important issues for people living in this part of the world”.

Will you partner with us to ensure believers in Central and Eastern Europe can study the Bible? Give either a one-off or regular gift now, and we’ll send you regular project updates and prayer requests.


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