March 22, 2018

In 2014 the Institute for Bible Translation published the first translation of King Solomon's proverbs in the Dungan language. This book, compiled more than 2,500 years ago in Israel and now known to many peoples as part of the Holy Scriptures, teaches a proper attitude towards God and other people.

Whenever translators work on the book of Proverbs, they quite often discover parallels between the ancient proverbs and those in their own language. The Dungan language was no exception. F. Mashinkhayeva, who was involved in the IBT Dungan Bible translation project, spent many years collecting language material in her home village of Irdyk in the Issyk-Kul Oblast...

March 12, 2018

IBT has published an illustrated book of stories from the Holy Scriptures in the Lamunkhin dialect of the Even language. The Lamunkhin dialect is spoken by 800 people (out of a total of about 5,600 Even speakers), making it the largest of the dialects of Even. It is also the dialect that has maintained the greatest number of vocabulary items having to do with the traditional Even culture.

The book contains 25 stories that cover key Scriptural passages, from the creation of the world to the second coming of Christ as described in Revelation. The 41 color pictures were produced by an Even artist and take an overtly “domesticating” approach to illustrating the text, i.e. they show the world of the Bible as it might be seen through the eyes of an average Even...

March 7, 2018

IBT has published the translation of the Old Testament book of Job in Kumyk, a Turkic language spoken by more than 400,000 people, primarily in the Dagestan region of southern Russia. 

The book of Job has a special place both in the Bible and among the masterpieces of world literature, offering deep theological reflection on why suffering afflicts even good people in this life. It is one of the most difficult books of the Bible to translate due to numerous difficulties having to do with rare words and ambiguous expressions in the Hebrew original. This is the first time that IBT has published the book of Job by itself in any of our projects.  The Hebrew poetic form of the central portion of the book was rendered as poetry in Kumyk, and footnotes deal with translation issues that were difficult to get across in the text...

Spring 2018 Newsletter

“To tell you the truth, I’m not a professional ‘man of letters’. But one day I got an ardent feeling, which turned into a burning question in my mind: why doesn’t my native people have its own writing system?”

This is how Elisha (we’ll use this Biblical pseudonym for him) started the story of how he joined one of the Bible translation projects in the Caucasus. In our conversation, Elisha struck me as very eager to help, but equally reluctant to talk. His affability struggled with his firm determination to remain incognito, and only after my assurance that his name would not be revealed did Elisha start speaking at ease. His words proved to be a heartfelt testimony to the sense of responsibility and generosity so typical of the Caucasian cultures. During our half-hour interview, I was a total stranger who needed Elisha’s help, and he showed himself to be a most hospitable host who introduced me to the very best of his culture...

January 30, 2018

IBT has published another translation of Scripture portions in the Avar language, spoken as a mother tongue by over 700,000 people primarily in Dagestan. The new publication contains the books of Ruth, Esther and Jonah from the Old Testament. The Avar New Testament was published in 2008, and previously published OT portions include the book of Proverbs (2005, 2007) and Genesis (2011).

The present translation was prepared by a new translation team consisting  of an independent translator (working directly from the Hebrew original), a philological editor, a field tester, and a translation consultant. Further work is in progress on the historical books of the OT.