Location/religion: Dagestan. Sunni Muslim.
Language family: Ibero-Caucasian
Bible portions to date: Mark (1996), Luke (2002, 2012), Matthew (2016), Luke+Acts (2019).
Bible portions on IBT website: Matthew, Luke+Acts.
Audio recordings: Matthew (2016)
Long-Term Plans: OT/NT portions
The Laks are one of the indigenous peoples of Dagestan. They were among the first peoples of Dagestan who in the 8th century accepted Islam as their national faith. They still enjoy a unique position of cultural and religious prestige among their neighbors because of this. And it was on their territories that the anti-religious campaigns of the first years of Soviet power were most violent. During World War II the Laks were deported from 43 of their villages in the mountains to the plains. The majority of their villages were either totally or partly destroyed. It was only 50 years later, in 1994 that the repressed people were rehabilitated. There is now a small group of Christian Laks.
The Gospel of Mark was published in 1996 and the Gospel of Luke was prepared in co-operation with SIL and published in 2002. After this, translation work into Lak was interrupted because of the lack of an exegetical advisor living in the area. In 2011 a Russian man moved to Dagestan with his family in order to study Lak and take up the work again. Work on the Gospels has been resumed with him as an exegetical advisor and with a new translator.
The Gospel of Matthew with audio recording was published in 2016, and both the text and audio are now available on the IBT website. There are plans to produce an Android app of this book in the near future. This should help get the text out to a much wider audience than those Laks that would feel comfortable having a hard copy of the book (societal pressure is very strong in Dagestan).
The Gospel of Luke together with Acts is also available on the IBT website. This is the most recent 2019 publication. The illustrated edition of 9 Parables from Luke will also soon be submitted to the publishing department for printing in 2019.
We have a new philological editor who is starting her involvement in the project. Her first work experience was the Book of Revelation. It was difficult but successful, and now the book of Revelation is being prepared for the consultant checking session, which will take place sometime in 2019. (It is not clear exactly when, since the translator recently had a serious operation and it may take some time for him to recover sufficiently. Please pray for his health and for an opportunity for him to resume his work in the project.) Publication of 4 Gospels+Acts+Revelation is planned in 2020.
An additional translator was recruited in 2017 in order to produce a translation of the illustrated Bible Stories edition and has recently completed the first draft. The team is planning to continue work on the Bible Stories in 2019.
We would like to find and train one more exegetical advisor so that we could start translating the Old Testament in parallel with the New, but so far the right person has not materialized.
The team is working hard to achieve the needed level of naturalness and clarity in their translation in order that it would find interested readers in the Lak community.
Your donation will allow IBT to continue the Lak Bible translation in 2019.