فارسی / Persian / Parsi Bible History (1)

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**List: Persian Ministry

Holy Bible ( کتب مقدّسه )
"Persian (self-designated Parsi) is spoken by about 16 million
inhabitants of Iran.   More than 6 million Iranians speak Azerbai-
, Kurdish, and Armenian as well.   Afghan, or Dari Persian, is
spoken by a large proportion of the 15 million inhabitants of
Afghanistan, although many speak Pashto, Balochi, Tadjiki, or
Uzbek as a mother tongue.   Iran, known as Persia until 1935, was
the site of some of the earliest communal settlements known to
archaeologists.   The Aryan ancestors of the present-day Iranians

settled there about 2000 B.C. and soon divided into the Medes
and Persians.   The Persian Empire, founded by King Cyrus about
550 B.C., was the short-lived but glorious beginning of Persian
political history.   Thereafter the great arid plateau of Persia fell
successively under the domination of the Greeks, Parthians,
Arabs, Turks, and Mongols.   Iran has been a constitutional
monarchy since 1906.

Old Avestan is the language of Zoroastrian holy writ.   Striking in
its linguistic proximty to Sanskrit, Avestan (improperly known
as ‘Zend’ or ‘Old Bactrian’) gives a picture of the eastern Iranian
tongues before 1000 B.C.   Ancient Persian (Old Persian) and the
related Elamite languages are well known to us from the numer-
ous cuneiform inscriptions of the Achaemenid Period (550-330
B.C.).   Middle Persian, or Pahlavi, represents a considerable
development of the language during the first millennium A.D.,
at the end of which Modern Persian is said to have its beginnings.
Modern Iranian tongues are divided linguistically into two
groups: the Western, comprising Persian, Kurdish, Balochi, and
Tadjiki; and the Eastern, including Pashto, Pamir, Ossete, and
others.   Persian script is an adaptation of 22 Arabic characters,
changed only by the addition of ‘points’ to suit the Arabic
characters phonetically to Persian pronunciation.   Modern
Persian literature is said to begin with the poetry of Firdausi,
although the literary heritage extends back to the period of the

Numerous editions of the Persian Scriptures have been printed in
Hebrew character for Persian Jews.   They are included here,
rather than in a Judaeo-Persian category, for they are simply
transliterations of the standard Persian texts, rather than distinct
translations into the Judaeo-Persian usage."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only]

   "The oldest version existing in the modern Persian language is probably that of the Pentateuch
contained in the London Polyglot.   This Pentateuch is believed to have been translated by Rabbi
Jacob, a Jew, who, on account of his having come from a city called Tus, was surnamed Tusius or
Tawosus.   The period of its execution is unknown, but it certainly was translated subsequently to the
eighth century, for Babel in Gen. 10:10, is rendered Bagdad.   The translation is supposed to have
been made from the Syriac, but it follows the Hebrew pretty closely.   It was first printed at Constan-
tinople in 1546, accompanied with the Hebrew text, the Chaldee Targum of Onkelos, and the Arabic
version of Saadias Gaon."
--The Bible of Every Land. (1860, Second Edition)   Samuel Bagster   [Info only]

Arabic Character unless noted
"1546 Pentateuch (Hebrew character)   Soncino, Constantinople
A polyglot Pentateuch, prepared by the Soncinos, the great family of
Venetian Jewish scholars and printers.   The actual translation was
made by Jacob ben Joseph Tawus.   The version was transliterated to
Persian script for inclusion in the London Polyglot.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
E. B. G. Soncino.]

   "As the style in which the Gospels of the Polyglot are written has long been antiquated at Ispahan,
several efforts have been made during the present century to produce a version in the polished dialect
now spoken by the Persians.   A translation of the four Gospels was made under the superintendence
of Colonel Colebrooke, and printed at Calcutta in 1804.   Our accounts of this work are very meagre,
and it never seems to have obtained much circulation."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

"1805 Matthew Calcutta
Translated by Mirza [Muhammad] Fitrat, under the supervision of R. H. Colebrook."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only]

   "In the meantime another translation of the whole of the New Testament had been progressing at
Dinapore, under the superintendence of Henry Martyn.   The translators were Sabat and Mirza
Fitrut: the former had previously been employed in this translation at Serampore, and the latter by
Colonel Colebrooke.   This version was completed in 1808, but it was found to be so replete with Arabic
and abstruse terms intelligible only to the learned, ...."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

"1809 Matthew BFBS, Serampore
Translated by Nathaniel Sabat, under the direction of Henry Martyn."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only]

   "..., that the Rev. Henry Martyn determined upon visiting
Persia in person, that he might there obtain the means of producing a clear and idiomatic version.   In
1811 he reached Shiraz, the seat of Persian literature, and remained there nearly a year.   He was
received with much friendship by some of the principal men of the city, who expressed the warmest
sympathy for the man of God, as they habitually designated our my.   When the weather became
too intense for his enfeebled frame to bear the extreme heat of the city, Jaflier Ali Khan, a Persian
noble, pitched a tent for him in a delightful garden beyond the wall, and here he executed from the
original Greek a translation of the New Testament, remarkable not only for its strict fidelity to the
text, but for its astonishing conformity to the niceties of the Persian idiom.
  By the Persians themselves
this work has been designated "a masterpiece of perfection;" and while other Oriental versions have
been superseded by more accurate translations, the Persian and Hindustani Testaments of this accom-
plished scholar are at this day in higher repute than ever.   On the accomplishment of his object, he
found that his constitution had been completely shattered by the effects of the climate and extreme
exertion, and he attempted to return to England, but expired during his journey homewards, at Tokat,
a commercial city of Asia Minor, in 1812.   Copies of the work which had caused the sacrifice
of his valuable life were deposited with Sir Gore Ouseley, the English ambassador in Persia.   One copy
was presented to the King of Persia, who in a letter written on the occasion, expressed his approbation
of the work.   On returning to England by way of St. Petersburg, Sir Gore Ouseley met with Prince
Galitzin, and it was suggested that the Prince, who was at the head of the Russian Bible Society, should
cause an edition of Martyn's Testament to be printed at St. Petersburg, for circulation in the provinces
of Western Persia.   The impression was completed in less than six months, and consisted of 5000
   In 1813 a communication was received by the Corresponding Committee at Calcutta from Meer
Seid Ali, the learned native employed by the Rev. Henry Martyn at Shiraz, in which, with many
expressions of regret for the loss of his excellent master, he informed the Committee that the MS. of
the Persian New Testament and of the Psalms (which had likewise been translated at Shiraz) was in
his possession, and that he waited their orders as to its disposal.   He was directed by the Committee
first to take four correct copies of the MS., that no risk might be incurred in the transmission of so
great a treasure, and then to forward the MS. to Calcutta, whither he was invited himself for the
purpose of superintending the publication.   The Psalter and New Testament passed through the press
at Calcutta in 1816.   The Psalter was reprinted in London, under the editorship of Dr. Lee, in 1824;
and the New Testament, edited by the same distinguished scholar, was published in London in 1827.
This Testament was reprinted in London in 1837; and an edition of 3000 copies was printed at
Edinburgh in 1847
, at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in order to accompany
an edition of the Old Testament, which, as we shall presently have occasion to mention, was then
passing through the press in that city."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

PERSIAN.   Henry Martyn, BFBS.--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only: "1846" John 1-14 unknown.]

       "New Testament, Russian
    Bible Society, St. Petersburg, 1815; tr. by Henry Martyn and Mirza
    Saiyad Ali Khan.
      The Psalms, BFBS, Calcutta, 1816."--1000 Tongues, 1939   [Info only]

PERSIAN   Henry Martyn’s Version, 1815--1000 Tongues, 1939   [Info only: Persian characters   "1816" John 3:12-21 unknown.]

"1815 New Testament [Tenative--CHM] Russian BS, St. Petersburg
Translated by Henry Martyn.   It immediately became popular and has
remained the basis of all other Persian versions of note.   Often reprinted
and revised.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
1816 (2nd), 1827 (3rd), 1837 (4th), 1847 editions were more definitive.]

   "Of all these editions of Martyn's Testament, the most incorrect seems to have been that printed at
St. Petersburg in 1815.   This impression was so defaced with errors that the mies. deemed it
useless, and at their request the issue was stopped by the Russian Bible Society."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only:
CHM note: spiritual warfare had been going on from 1812 to 1826 against the RBS.]

"In the meanwhile, Mirza Jaflier had been engaged by the
same Society to produce a version of the historical books of the Old Testament at St. Petersburg,
under the eye of Dr. Pinkerton, and according to specific directions sent out for the purpose by
Dr. Lee.
  The only portion of Mirza Jaflier's version which appears to have been published is the
book of Genesis, printed in London in 1827, under the care of Dr. Lee."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

"A Persian version of the prophecy of Isaiah was purchased
by the British and Foreign Bible Society, for the sum of £100, in 1833.   This version had been
executed by the Mirza Ibraham, of the East India College at Haileybury, and revised by Mr. Johnson,
one of the professors of that College.   The translator took the English Authorised Version for a basis,
and adhered to it as far as it expresses faithfully the sense of the original.
  Being well acquainted
with both Hebrew and Arabic, he made it a rule to use in his translation an Arabic word of the same
root with the original, where such a word had been adopted into Persian; and in rendering the sense
of difficult passages, he first consulted our English version, then turned to the original Hebrew
compared it with the Arabic, and finally discussed the question with some of the members of the
College, besides referring to several commentators.   In 1834 an edition of this book was published
by the Society, under the care of Mr. Johnson."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

"1827 Genesis   1834 Isaiah   BFBS, London
Translated by Mirza Jafer and Mirza Ibrahim."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only]

   "In consequence of a grant by the British and Foreign Bible Society in aid of the translation
department of Bishop's College, Calcutta, the Rev. T. Robinson (then chaplain at Poonah, but after-
wards archdeacon) applied for the sanction of the Bishop of Calcutta to a projected version of the Old
Testament in Persian; and on its being ascertained that the design fell within the terms of the grant,
the translation was commenced in 1824.   The Pentateuch was completed and printed at Calcutta in
1830, and in 1838 the entire Old Testament was finished; the translation is from the original text,
and is accounted faithful and accurate."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

       "Old Testa-
    ment, 1828-38; tr. by Thomas Robinson.
    --1000 Tongues, 1939   [Info only]

"1828 Pentateuch   1836 Isaiah- Malachi
1838 Joshua-Song of Solomon   Calcutta Auxiliary BS
Translated by Thomas Robinson, a chaplain and scholar in India."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only]

"The Rev. William
Glen, of the Scottish Mission at Astrakhan, was in consequence led to undertake a version of the
Psalms in Persian, for the benefit of the numerous individuals speaking that language who resort for
purposes of trade to Astrakhan and the south of Russia.   In preparing his version, Mr. Glen first
made a literal translation of the Hebrew text, which he submitted, with due explanations, to his
teacher; it was then the office of the latter to give as exact a representation of the sense as possible in
classical Persian: his production was then revised and compared with the original by Mr. Glen.   In
1826, the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society made arrangements wth the Scottish
My. Society for the services of Mr. Glen at Astrakhan, in making a translation of the poetical and
prophetical books of the Old Testament.   ....   Mr. Glen's version of the
Psalms and Proverbs was revised by Mr. Greenfield, assisted by Mr. Seddon, and published in London
in 1830-31; the edition consisted of 1000 copies, and another edition appeared in 1836.   The entire
Old Testament, translated by Mr. Glen, was eventually printed at Edinburgh, under the auspices of
the Committee of Foreign Missions connected with the United Associate Synod of Scotland, and the
British and Foreign Bible Society contributed £500 towards its publication; the edition left the press
in 1847."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

       "Glen Version: the Psalter, BFBS, London 1830;
    tr. by W. Glen, of the Scottish Mission: Old Testament, published with
    aid from the BFBS by the Committee on Missions of the United Associate
    Synod in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1845.
    --1000 Tongues, 1939   [Info only]

"1830-1831 Psalms   Proverbs   BFBS, London
1845 Old Testament Edinburgh
Translated by W. Glen, Scottish my."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only]

"In 1841 the attention of the Calcutta Committee
was occupied in lithographing an edition of the Scriptures in the Persian character, a method deemed
preferable to the former system of Arabic type printing.   In 1842, 5000 lithographed New Testaments
of Martyn's version left the Calcutta press;
and in 1844, 5000 copies of Genesis and part of Exodus,
of Archdeacon Robinson's translation, were also lithographed."
--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

"1847 Gospels (Hebrew character)   BFBS, London
The Martyn text, transliterated."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only
See Judaeo-Persian.]

"1873 Mark   1882 New Testament   1891 Psalms
1895 Bible   BFBS, London
A revision prepared by Robert Bruce, Church MS.   The Bible contains
a fresh revision of the N.T.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: some CT;
1895 Mark 1:2 incorrect (Isaiah), Has Acts 8:37, correct 1 Timothy 3:16 (God), incorrect 1 John 5:7.
The NT is a revision of the 2nd edition translated by My. H. Martyn in 1837. per the Word]

"1883 Psalms (Hebrew character)   Vienna
Translated by Baba Nuriel."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]

"1895 Psalms   1899 Pentateuch   1905 Isaiah-Malachi
1907 Hagiographa   1909 New Testament (all in Hebrew
character)   BFBS, London
Bruce’s text, transliterated."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]

PERSIAN--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: HEBREW CHARACTER   "1913" Mark 1:2 unknown.]

PERSIAN   Bruce’s Version, 1932--1000 Tongues, 1939   [Info only: Persian characters   "1932" John 3:5-25 unknown.]

PERSIAN--1000 Tongues, 1939   [Info only: Hebrew characters   n.d. Book ch:v unknown.]

"1932-1934 Luke   Acts   Intermission Literature Committee,
Translated with commentary by W. M. Miller."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]
       "Miller Version: the Acts, Intermission Literature Committee,
    (Leipzig printed), 1932; tr. by W. M. Miller and Ahmed
    Nahastin; St. Luke’s Gospel, 1934
    --1000 Tongues, 1939   [Info only]

"1965 Genesis (Roman character)   Copenhagen
The Judaeo-Persian text from a Ms., transliterated into Roman
character and edited by Herbert H. Paper.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]

**File: Persian Critical Text History

"Pooyan Mehrshahi, an Iranian-born Irish Presbyterian is
working with the Trinitarian Bible Society to produce a
Received Text Farsi Bible.   Currently they have published the
Gospel of John."

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