Bible translations into Persian

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Parts of the Gospels were first translated into Persian in the Persian Diatessaron in the 13th century. Then more sections of the Gospels were translated by the 16th Century Muslim scholar and critic of Christianity Khatun Abadi.[1]

Persian (Persian of Iran)[edit]

The Bible was translated into the local languages early in the Christian period.

Old Persian Version (OPV)[edit]

More recently, Henry Thomas Colebrooke's Four Gospels appeared in Calcutta in 1804.[citation needed] A major figure in this work was Henry Martyn, a contemporary of William Carey. In 1811 he journeyed into Persia (now Iran).[citation needed] Together with Mīrzā Sayyed ʿAlī Khan, he translated the New Testament, completing it in 1812.[2] There he sent a copy of his translation of the New Testament to the Shah.[3] It was published in 1815.[citation needed]

In 1845, translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew by William Glen and Mīrzā Moḥammad Jaʿfar was published in Edinburgh.[2] In 1846, a complete bible consisting of this Old Testament and Martyn's New Testament was published.[2]

This translation was later revised by Robert Bruce to utilise Persian language that was more current. This was published in 1895,[2] although it is also said to have been published in 1896. This is commonly used and known as the Old Persian Version (OPV), Standard Version or Tarjumeh-ye Ghadeem (ترجمه قدیم).

Persian Living Bible (PLB)[edit]

This is possibly a 1979 translation from the Living Bible by Living Bibles International.[4]

Contemporary Translation[edit]

Persian Contemporary Translation, also known as Tarjome-ye Tafsiri (Interpretative Translation, ترجمه تفسیری) was published by the International Bible Society in 1995. It is a thought-for-thought translation.[5] It is another commonly used translation.

Today's Persian Version (TPV)[edit]

A new thought-for-thought New Testament translation, Common Language Translation, was first published in 1976.[2] It is also known in Persian as Injil Sharif (Noble Gospel, انجیل شریف) and Mojdeh Baraye Asre Jadid (Good News for A New Age, مژده برای عصر جدید).[6] It is largely based on Henry Martyn's work.[citation needed] Translation of the Old Testament was not completed until much later. When it was finished, it was published by United Bible Societies in 2007.[7][8] This complete translation is known as Today's Persian Version (TPV) and Today's Farsi.

New Millennium Version (NMV)[edit]

This version is called "New Millennium Version" (NMV) or "Tarjumeh-ye Hezare-ye no" (ترجمه هزارۀ نو). This translation of the Bible in Persian is completed and was published in 22nd of Sep 2014.[9] This translation was made and published by the UK-based Elam Ministries,[10] which is an associate of Wycliffe Bible Translators.[11] This translation is also available on E-sword[12] and a mobile version has also been made.[13]

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures[edit]

A translation of the New Testament in modern Persian was released by Jehovah's Witnesses in 2014.[14] As with all language versions of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures some of the translation choices are seen as unreliable by Trinitarian Christians.

Pirouz Sayyar[edit]

A non-missionary version of New Testament (2008), Old Testament (2014) and Deuterocanonical books (2003) is translated by Iranian translator and researcher, Pirouz Sayyar and published in Tehran.

Dari (Afghan Persian)[edit]

Dari (Persian: دری, Darī, pronounced [dæˈɾi]) refers to the version of Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some western sources.[15][16] As defined in the Constitution of Afghanistan, Dari is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. Spoken by almost half of the population as first language,[15] it also serves as the lingua franca in Afghanistan.[17] The Iranian and Afghan dialects of Persian are mutually intelligible to a relatively high degree. Differences are found primarily in the vocabulary and phonology.

Dari, spoken in Afghanistan, should not be confused with Dari or Gabri of Iran, a language of the Central Iranian sub-group, spoken in some Zoroastrian communities.[18][19]

Scripture portions were published in Dari for the first time in 1974.[20] In 1982 the complete New Testament was published for the first time by the Pakistan Bible Society in Lahore.[20] This translation had been translated by an Afghan convert to Christianity, Zia Nodrat[21] using Iranian Persian, English and German versions. Its third edition was published by the Cambridge University Press in England in 1989.[21] Zia Nodrat was working on a Dari translation of the Old Testament, when he disappeared under mysterious circumstances.[21] The complete Bible in Dari was published for the first time in 2007.[22]

Tajiki (Persian of Tajikistan)[edit]

Versions in the Tajik language have appeared since the breakup of the Soviet Union into the independent republics of Central Asia.

Comparisons table[edit]

Translation John 3:16
Persian Diatessaron 13th Century « همچنین خدا خلق را دوست داشت که پسر یگانه خود جهت خلق فدی کرد بهر آنک هرک بدو ایمان بیاورد هلاک مشود بلی زندگانی جاوید پذیرد
Tarjumeh-ye Khatun Abadi 16th century « و خدا دوست داشته عالم را به حدی که بخشیده پسر یگانه خود را تا هلاک نشود کسی که ایمان آورد به او، بلکه بوده باشد او را حیات ابدی.
Tarjumeh-ye Henry Martyn 1876 « زیرا که خدا آن قدر جهان را دوست داشت که فرزند یگانه خود را ارزانی فرمود که تا هر کس که بر او ایمان آورد هلاک نشود بلکه زندگانی جاوید یابند.
Tarjumeh-ye Ghadeem 1896 زیرا خدا جهان را اینقدر محبت نمود که پسر یگانه خود را داد تا هر‌که بر او ایمان آورد هلاک نگردد بلکه حیات جاودانی یابد.
Today's Persian Version (TPV) زیرا خدا جهانیان را آن‌قدر محبّت نمود كه پسر یگانهٔ خود را داد تا هرکه به او ایمان بیاورد هلاک نگردد، بلكه صاحب حیات جاودان شود.
Tarjumeh-ye Hezare Noh (NMV) «زیرا خدا جهان را آنقدر محبت کرد که پسر یگانة خود را داد تا هر که به او ایمان آوَرَد هلاک نگردد، بلکه حیات جاویدان یابد.
Tarjumeh-ye Tafsiri (FCB) « زیرا خدا بقدری مردم جهان را دوست دارد که یگانه فرزند خود را فرستاده است، تا هر که به او ایمان آورد، هلاک نشود بلکه زندگی جاوید بیابد.
Tarjumeh-ye Pirouz Sayar « چه خدا چندان جهان را دوست داشته است که پسر خویش، آن پسر یگانه، را بداده تا ان کس که بر او ایمان آوَرد هلاک نگردد. بلکه حیات جاودان یابد.
Dari (Afghan dialect) زیرا خدا به دنیا آنقدر محبت داشت که پسر یگانۀ خود را داد تا هر که به او ایمان بیاورد هلاک نگردد، بلکه صاحب زندگی ابدی شود.
Institute for Bible Translation, 1997 (Tajiki) «Зеро Худо ҷаҳонро чунон дӯст дошт, ки Писари ягонаи Худро дод, то ҳар кӣ ба Ӯ имон оварад, талаф нашавад, балки ҳаёти ҷовидонӣ ёбад.
Institute for Bible Translation, 2010 (Tajiki) «Зеро Худо ҷаҳонро чунон дӯст дошт, ки Писари ягонаи Худро дод, то ҳар кӣ ба Ӯ имон оварад, намирад, балки ҳаёти абадӣ дошта бошад.


  1. ^ Ometto, Franco, «Khatun Abadi, the Ayatollah who Translated the Gospels», Islamochristiana, 28 (2002), págs
  2. ^ a b c d e Persian Bible Translations - Encyclopaedia Iranica
  3. ^ Henry Martyn, the Bible, and the Christianity in Asia, archived from the original on 2009-03-03, retrieved 2013-11-10 
  4. ^ BIBLE iii. Chronology of Translations, Encyclopaedia Iranica
  5. ^ Persian Bible, Biblica
  6. ^ سرگذشت ترجمه‌های کتاب‌مقدس به فارسی‌(از آغاز تا امروز)
  7. ^ Persian Bible translation hailed as a huge leap forward, Ekklesia
  8. ^ Today's Farsi,
  9. ^ The Persian New Millennium Version
  10. ^ Kathryn Spellman -Religion and Nation: Iranian Local and Transnational Networks in Britain 2005 1571815775 "The Iranian Christian Fellowship is directly associated to Elam Ministries, and many members of the congregation are either employed by them or in training to become pastors at their headquarters, which is located near Shackleford, Sussex."
  11. ^ Kenneth J. Thomas -A Restless Search: A History of Persian Translations of the Bible 2015 1944092021 "10.2.4a Elam Ministries. The New Millennium New Testament (A.9.7) is the first Persian translation to be sponsored, translated, and published by an established independent Iranian Christian organization.58 The organization, Elam Ministries, ..."
  12. ^ انجیل عیسی مسیح – هزارۀ نو
  13. ^ ترجمۀ هزارۀ نو/برای تلفن همراه
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b CIA - The World Factbook, "Afghanistan", Updated on 8 July 2010
  16. ^ Documentation for ISO 639 identifier: prs
  17. ^ Dari, UCLA Language Materials Project
  18. ^ "Parsi-Dari" Ethnologue
  19. ^ "Dari, Zoroastrian" Ethnologue
  20. ^ a b retrieved 26 Sept. 2010
  21. ^ a b c retrieved 16 Sept 2010
  22. ^ retrieved 26 Sept 2010

Relevant literature[edit]

  • Thomas, Kenneth with Ali-Ashghar Aghbar. 2015. A Restless Search: A History of Persian Translations of the Bible. (History of Bible Translation, 3.) American Bible Society.

External links[edit]