First Bible in Central Kurdish Sorani language published

From Anglican Communion News Service

A team of Bible translators in Kurdistan, northern Iraq, working against the backdrop of civil unrest and religious persecution, has completed the first ever translation of the whole Bible into the Central Kurdish Sorani language.

For the last eight years, Church Mission Society mission partners, Joel and Ruth Hammond* have worked alongside indigenous Kurds and other foreign nationals drafting text, checking names, terminology and style, and finally checking both the Old and New Testaments so they could be published together for the first time as the complete Bible.

The whole translation of Old and New Testaments took 28 years to complete, and will enable six million native speakers of the Sorani language to hear and read the Bible in their own language for the first time. As well as physical copies, the new translation is available digitally, both through the YouVersion app and a newly-designed Kurdish app called Pertukekem (‘My Book’).


Photo Credit: CMS cake celebrating publishing of new translation

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  1. David Allen

    It’s always great when a people can read scripture in their own tongue.

    Not knowing any of the translators, one can only hope the translation isn’t filled with fundamentalist bias.

  2. Robert Mentzel

    Very few Germans, if any, knew Martin Luther when he translated the Bible from Hebrew/Greek to German some 500 years ago. I don’t think it made any difference to any of them who the author was. Seems from their response to reading and studying the Bible, they found it quite enlightening and worthy of the time spent reading it.

    Because of Luther’s work, many millions of people now know the Lord! I think that’s what God asked of him, and of these translators, e.g., work with others who know the local language and know Me, and I’ll bless your work! In the end, whether fundamentalist or progressive, God wants people to know Him and will use whatever avenues (books, movies, etc.) are available to reach them and bless them. Amen!

  3. David Allen

    I think that this is a very unenlightened approach to providing scripture to peoples around the world.

    The harm to and possible death of LGBTQ folks among the Kurdish people because of certain verses historically mistranslated due to fundamentalist bias is unimportant, just so long as some Sorani-speaking Kurdish folks, unaffected by the bias, get to know the Lord?

    That is unacceptable. We can do much better than a head-in-the-sand approach in the 21st Century. Honest and accurate translations are possible and the right of the Sorani-speaking Kurdish people.

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