The books of Samuel and Kings in the Avar language
September 4, 2021

The Institute of Bible Translation continues to publish Scripture portions from the Old Testament in the Avar language. The Avars are the largest ethnic group in Dagestan, and also live in eastern Georgia and northern Azerbaijan. In Russia there are more than 900,000 Avars, acc. to the 2010 census. Most speak the Avar language, which belongs to the Nakh-Dagestanian group of the North Caucasus language family, as their mother-tongue.

The translation of the four books of Kingdoms (or 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings in the English tradition) was carried out by an IBT team that included experts in the Avar language as well as biblical scholars who checked the accuracy of the translation against the Hebrew original. The publication underwent scholarly review and was published with the stamp of approval of the Tsadasa Institute of Language, Literature and Art in Dagestan. Other Scripture portions translated into Avar by IBT include the Proverbs of Solomon (2005, 2007); the New Testament (2008); Genesis (2011); and Ruth, Esther and Jonah (2017).

The books of Samuel and Kings are part of the historical section of the Old Testament. These books recount the life of the people of Israel in the Promised Land from the time of Shamuel (Samuel), God's prophet and the last judge of Israel, to the final years of the Kingdom of Judah and the captivity of the Israelites in Babylon. These books show that the history of Israel depended on their faithfulness to their covenant with God, and explain the reasons that lead up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and the forced resettlement of the Jewish people. The Avars may be particularly interested to read about the reigns of the prophets Dawud (King David) and Suleiman (King Solomon), whom they know from the Koranic tradition.

This and other Scripture portions in the Avar language can be found in the electronic publications section of the IBT website.