Support the publication of the Altai / Russian New Testament

 

Language: Altai (Turkic language group)

Speakers: 74,238

Location: Repulic of Altai, Kemerovo Region (Russia)

Capital: Gorno-Altaisk

Religion: Orthodox Christians / Shamanism / Tibetan Buddhism / Evangelical Christians

 

Bible publications:

  • 4 Gospels (1910, reprint IBT 1975);

  • Mark (1996);

  • Jesus-Friend of Children (1997);

  • Luke/Acts (1999);

  • Children's Bible (2002);

  • New Testament (2003);

Altai. “Golden Mountains” is a possible word origin for the name Altai. Currently, it seems an appropriate designation since the mining of gold and iron constitutes an important industry for the people who live in the Altai republic, a region in the Russian Federation, which shares borders with China and Mongolia. The mining industry, however, only arose since the 1920s and 30s when the region was collectivized and the nomadic life-style of the people transformed into a settled one.  Historically speaking, the Altais have been engaged in more traditional activities since ancient times such as raising livestock, hunting, fishing, and gathering wood in the nearby forests.

Today, the Altais are nominally Orthodox Christians, but their faith is mixed with elements of Shamanism and awidespread practice of ancestor worship. Many people bring their children to church to be baptized, but most lack any real knowledge of the Christian faith due to the lack of biblical texts in their native language until recent times (87% of Altais regard Altai as their mother tongue).

Bible translation into the Altai language was initiated by the Orthodox Church before the Russian Revolution resulting in the printing of  the Four Gospels  in 1912IBT took up translation work again after perestroika in the early 1990s, utilizing the skills of  a well-known Altai writer as translator. The first ever Altai New Testament was published in 2003 and was well received at its presentation.  Later on, however, under the pretext of fighting cults, all religious literature was confiscated from the public libraries of Altai. The NT was among the books that disappeared without a trace. In distant mountain villages where people did preserve copies of the book, its language appeared too difficult for them to read.

Revision. Then some local Evangelical Christians expressed a desire to revise the language of the published NT into a more colloquial form in order to make it easier for ordinary people to understand, especially those in distant villages. Many modifications  were made as a result of comprehension testing, both among Christians of different denominations and professional scholars. All Christians and scholars interested in the revision of  the Altai NT had a chance to participate in joint work on the most difficult passages and key terms with the IBT team. Consequently, many new translation solutions emerged while old misunderstandings diminished.

In late 2013 Faith comes by Hearing Ministries produced an audio recording of the revised NT, which will be made available in 2014.

IBT needs your support to publish the revised NT as a diglot edition with the Russian Bible text in a parallel column. This publication  will help Altai readers to better understand the Word of God and will help both Altai and Russian church members in mixed congregations to use the book during worship.

Your donation of $12 will allow the preparation for publication and print and deliver 1 copy of the New Testament  in Altai and Russian to the reader

We would be grateful for your support of this project!

IBT Russia/CIS is a non-profit organization financed through contributions from individuals, sponsoring organizations, foundations and to some extent by publishing activities.

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