Chukchi is an endangered language spoken by about 5,000 people on the eastern fringe of the Russian Federation. 2018 is a special year for the Chukchi Bible translation project because it has seen not one, but two Scripture portions within months of each other. The first was the revised translation of Luke’s Gospel, published as a diglot with Russian earlier this year. Now IBT has printed an edition of the book of the prophet Jonah, the first Old Testament book translated into Chukchi.
For many centuries, the Chukchi people have led a lifestyle that is inextricably tied to the sea, since their homeland is on the northeastern Pacific coast of Russia. They are consummate sailors, fishermen, and whalers. This is why we hope that the book of Jonah, which involves a sea voyage and an encounter with a very large sea creature, will be of special interest to Chukchi readers.