The Tsakhur people are indigenous to the Caucasus region, historically residing in southern Dagestan and northern Azerbaijan (about 25,000 people in all, according to censuses taken in 2009 and 2010). They profess Sunni Islam. Their language belongs to the Lezgic family of the Nakh-Dagestanian group of North Caucasian languages.
The three new publications -- “The Wisdom of Solomon,” “The First People,” and “Noah and the Tower of Babel” -- each consist of selected passages from the Bible about Old Testament prophets who are well known in the Koranic tradition and are equally revered in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. “The Wisdom of Solomon” contains one and a half chapters from First Kings and selections from the book of Proverbs. It is illustrated with black and white drawings by M. Levashova. “The First People” includes the first four chapters of Genesis, as well as Psalm 8 as a commentary on God’s creation. “Noah and the Tower of Babel” includes Genesis chs. 6-9 and the first half of ch. 11. These two books were illustrated by R. Sergeyev.
In 2018 and 2019, IBT worked with a partner organization to publish these three booklets in the Roman script, which is used by Tsakhurs in Azerbaijan. In 2020, IBT decided to publish these books for Tsakhurs living in Dagestan as well. The Tsakhur text was transliterated into the Cyrillic alphabet and underwent some minor adaptations for the Dagestanian dialect of Tsakhur. Comprehension checking was carried out in Makhachkala.
The Stories of the Prophets series in Tsakhur is continuing with the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, and Jonah. Preparations are also underway for the publication of the Gospel of Matthew in Tsakhur.
The Gospel of Luke, excerpts from the Gospel of John, Proverbs, and a book of Christ’s Parables are already available in the Tsakhur language in various electronic formats on the IBT website. As of this year, a mobile app with the Gospel of Luke and the Proverbs is also available on Google Play.