The Kumyk people, numbering about 430,000 speakers, are the third largest ethnic group and largest Turkic-language people in Dagestan, a region in the Caucasus area of south Russia where more than 30 different languages are spoken.
IBT first published the New Testament in the Kumyk language in 2007. This was followed in 2009 by the translation of the first Old Testament books – Genesis and Proverbs – in 2016 by the illustrated edition of Parables from the Gospel of Luke and now by the Book of Psalms. “I enjoy reading these wonderful translations, and thank God with my whole heart for them,” commented one of the few Christian Kumyks. These believers have for a long time been awaiting the translation of the Old Testament in their native language, in particular those books that would be of interest to the Islamic Kumyk majority. Kumyks have followed Sunni Islam since the 7th-12th centuries , and especially value the Old Testament, the common root of all three Abrahamic religions. This part of the Bible may provide a natural way to facilitate inter-religious dialogue, which is especially valued in the Caucasus since it better enables the various peoples to learn more about each other instead of fearing one other.
Work in the Kumyk project is continuing with the translation of further books of the Old Testament, as well as plans to audio record the Psalms. The translation of the book of Job is expected to be published in 2017. You can get acquainted with Kumyk publications on the IBT website in the section entitled Bible Translations in electronic formats.