The book of the prophet Jonah in Kalmyk
November 20, 2019

The Institute for Bible Translation continues to publish Old Testament books in the Kalmyk language. It was decided that the book of the Prophet Jonah would appear as a stand-alone illustrated publication. Since the vast majority of Kalmyks are bilingual, it was thought best to provide the Russian Synodal text in parallel with the Kalmyk translation.

The book of Jonah has profound symbolic meaning. This short dramatic story of an Old Testament prophet who spent three days inside a large fish relates essential truths about human existence before God. This story applies equally to the prophet Jonah, individually to every human being, and collectively to the entire human race, and it raises such important issues as disobedience to God, repentance, and God's mercy. In the New Testament Jesus Christ recalls Jonah when announcing His impending death and resurrection. Jesus also mentions the Ninevites as an example of unconditional repentance. We hope that having read this small Old Testament book, Kalmyk readers will become more interested in the rest of the Bible.

The experienced translation team that worked on this book included the Kalmyk poetess, writer, journalist, playwright and translator Vera Shugrayeva, exegetical checker Alexander Kondakov, consultant Alexey Somov, comprehension checker Nina Avyashkiyeva, and others. The text was checked with native speakers in Kalmykia.

The Institute's earlier publications in Kalmyk include the Gospel of Luke (1996), the Children's Bible (1998), the New Testament (2002), Genesis and Ruth (2005), Psalms (2006), Proverbs (2013), Bible Stories (2016), Job, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs (2018). Translation plans for the near future include Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua.

September saw the publication of an Android application titled Библин келврмуд (Bible Stories), which contains the Kalmyk text, its audio recording, illustrations, and a parallel Russian text. The link to this resource, as well as other PDF versions of the book of Jonah and other Kalmyk publications can be found in the electronic resources section of IBT's website.