The Institute for Bible Translation has published a new edition of the Gospel of Luke in Bashkir, a Turkic language spoken in central Russia. Distribution of the 1,000 copy print-run has already begun among the Bashkir people.
The first edition of Bashkir Luke was published in 1996. The text used for the 2nd edition is the one that was published in the Bashkir New Testament in 2015. Other past publications include the Gospel of John (2000) and the Gospel of Mark (2003). All of these printings are long gone, and IBT has received numerous reprint requests from churches in Bashkortstan and the Moscow area, which took an active part in funding the current edition of Luke.
If we take a look at the history of the Bashkir or Bashkort people (a Turkic people numbering over 1 million native speakers of the language, mostly in central Russia), we can see that what the Bashkirs themselves think about their roots is sometimes contradictory, with a mix of facts and legends. Some Bashkirs are convinced that the first mention of them as a people is found in the records of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who called their ancestors Argippeans, that is, “people who live at the foot of the mountains”. Others are more cautious and say that the ethnonym “Bashkort” first appeared only in Arab-Persian chronicles in the Middle Ages...
The latest New Testament to be published by IBT is in Bashkir, a Turkic language spoken by more than 1 million people in central Russia. IBT began work on this first-ever translation of the full New Testament into Bashkir in the mid-1990s with a view towards producing a clear, accurate and natural text. Positive scholarly reviews of the translated text by the Institute of History, Language and Literature in Ufa, the capital city of Bashkortostan, testify to the fact that this goal has been achieved.