Adevărulu Prezentu was the first Adventist publication in Romania.
Background and Founding
The first Adventist pastor in Romania was Michał Belina Czechowski, a former Roman Catholic priest who had emigrated to the United States, where he became a Seventh-day Adventist. He returned to Europe as a missionary, first to Switzerland and then to Romania.
Czechowski’s preaching in Piteşti, an important city in the south of Romania, led to the formation of a group of Adventist believers, among whom was the engineer Toma Aslan. It was in his store that the Advent message was first preached.
Convinced of the importance of the biblical truths he had embraced, Toma Aslan wanted to publish a Romanian magazine. The idea came to his mind when reading the magazine Les Signes des Temps, which appeared from July 1876 onwards in Switzerland, edited by John N. Andrews. It seemed that Toma Aslan was fascinated by Andrews’ personality and in 1884, one year after the death of Andrews, he decided to publish an Adventist magazine in Romanian. The magazine was called Adevărulu Prezentu (The Present Truth) in memory of Present Truth, issued in 1849 in the United States of America.
The magazine appeared under the motto: “Cuvântulu teu este Adevăru. Jon.17:17” (“Your Word is truth”) and had the following notes 1 ANU, Basel (Elveția) – Pitești (România). No.1. (first year, Basel, Switzerland – Piteşti, Romania) and explanations:1 Religious quarterly journal. Published through Seventh-day Adventist Society. Dedicated to explaining the biblical prophecies regarding the second coming of Christ and the preparations necessary for this event.2 There are also listed the name and address of Toma Aslan. 2000 copies were printed.3
In Dicționarul presei românești (1731-1918) (The Romanian Press Dictionary), Adevărulu Prezentu is mentioned at page 20: Adevărulu Prezentu, Adventist publication, with the editorial office at Basel (Switzerland), and the printing and the distribution headquarters in Piteşti, appeared in May-June 1884, edited by J. N. Andrews and Uriah Smith. They worked with H. L. Blum, Toma Aslan and others.4
As we do not have a collection to consult, we have no way of knowing how long the magazine lived and how many numbers were published, the only mention of it being that in Curierul Adventist (Adventist Review) of May-June 1980, at page 4: “Fortunately, we have in the Union’s archive the first four numbers published between 1884 and 1888”.5 Unfortunately, these four numbers have disappeared now from the mentioned archive. In 1994, the first number of the magazine Solia Adevărului Prezent6 (The Message of the Present Truth) published the facsimile of the third number, that of July 1884, of the magazine, which means that it is possible for some numbers of this magazine to still exist in private collections.
This publishing pioneering of Romanian Adventism is a reference moment not so much for the intrinsic value of the magazine mentioned, but especially through the permanence it marks in the history of world Adventism as regarding the importance given to the published word in accomplishing the mission entrusted to the early advent movement and then to the Adventist Church.
Curierul Adventist, 1980.
Curierul Adventist, year LXX, no. 8, București, 1993.
“Jurnal religiosu trimestrial. Publicat prin Societatea Adventiștiloru dilei a șaptea. Consacrat Explicațiunei profețiiloru Biblice, privitore venirei a doua a lui Cristos și preparațiuniloru necesare pentru acest eveniment.” [Quarterly religious journal. Published by the Seventh-day Adventist Society. Dedicated to the Explanation of Biblical Prophecy, concerning the Second Coming of Christ, and the preparations necessary for this event.]
Răduică, G. and Răduică, N. Dicționarul presei românești (1731-1918). Bucharest: Editura Ştiințifică, 1995.
Solia Adevărului Prezent. Vol. 1, No. 1, October 1994.
Solia Adevărului Prezent, vol. 1, no. 1, October 1994, 4.↩
“Jurnal religiosu trimestrial. Publicat prin Societatea Adventiștiloru dilei a șaptea. Consacrat Explicațiunei profețiiloru Biblice, privitore venirei a doua a lui Cristos și preparațiuniloru necesare pentru acest eveniment.” ["Quarterly religious journal. Published by the Seventh-day Adventist Society. Dedicated to the Explanation of Biblical Prophecy, concerning the Second Coming of Christ, and the preparations necessary for this event. ]↩
Curierul Adventist, year LXX, no. 8, București, 1993, 15.↩
Georgeta Răduică and Nicolin Răduică, Dicționarul presei românești (1731-1918) (Bucharest: Editura Ştiințifică, 1995), 20.↩
Curierul Adventist, 1980, 4.↩
Solia Adevărului Prezent, vol.1, no. 1, October 1994, 4.↩