Doc., Dr., Th.D. Jiří Beneš

* 1961  

  • “After a period of meeting with the Jehovah's Witnesses, I no longer like their arguments. Specifically, I lost trust in him when the claimed one must perceived his own organization as infallible, while all the rest of Christian groups are perceived as actually lying communities that disfigured Christianity. I didn't know why, but I didn't trust it internally, so I went to check it out in those communities. And that gave me a perspective over the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses. At the same time, it introduced me to the environment of the Czech Brethren Evangelical Church."

  • "It's basically a hermeneutic question. That is the question of interpreting the text. Czech Brethren evangelicals actually perceive the Old Testament as a text. The examine it as a text, especially its age. And examine its theological influences, in essence, on the New Testament and on Christian theology. For me, while it was a statement about life, it means a profession of faith that should direct a person somewhere and claim some of his behavior. I felt the urge to adjust my behavior. However, my classmates perceived it as additional information that they obtain and that will not influence their attitude in any way. Which was then practically reflected in my certain attitudes. The first thing that appealed to me there was: Saturday as a day of rest. Yeah. And in that spirit, other elements that are actually alive in the Jewish community. So the practice of the Jewish community influenced me."

  • "I have never been to Israel. And God willing, I never will be." - "What's the reason?" - "I just don't want to. I don't even know if it's a rational decision. If I wanted to say it rationally, I'm afraid I have an idea of what the country looks like, from those texts. And that I would sober up quickly. Because I would encounter what I met here on the way to see you. That I almost didn't cross the Charles Bridge, because everywhere there are only tourists. Yeah, it's not for common people anymore. Here, life in that city is not for people, only for tourists. That's what I was afraid of. But what I need to know about my life, I read from the Old Testament. I don't think I would know anything else there. Or: I'm not interested in the emotions associated with visiting certain places, so I don't care much for them."

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    Praha, 30.09.2019

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What I need for living, I draw from the Old Testament

Jiří Beneš in 2019
Jiří Beneš in 2019
photo: Během natáčení

Jiří Beneš was born on August 5, 1961 in Prague. While studying at a secondary vocational school, he met Jehovah’s Witnesses who opened up the world of religion to him. He became interested in other Christian communities and embraced the evangelical faith. Since 1981, he studied at the Comenius Evangelical Theological Faculty, and even before he began the State Security became interested in him. They tried to get him as an informant about what was happening at the faculty, but Jiří Beneš did not agree to the cooperation. During his university studies, he was fundamentally captured by the Old Testament and practicing Judaism. Under this influence, after graduating from college in 1986, he converted to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and three years later, shortly before the November coup, he became an Adventist preacher. He devoted himself to worship and pastoral care in Kladno, Slaný and Prague until 2002, when he entered the Hussite Theological Faculty of Charles University as an assistant professor. He taught Hebrew and the Old Testament, received his thesis in 2013, and is currently the head of the Department of Biblical Studies and Judaism.