Chukotka, Russia, March 28, 2018
A new edition in an ongoing series of translations of the Gospel of Luke into the languages of the indigenous peoples of Northern and Far Eastern Russia has been released, this time in the Chukchi language. The series presents the Gospel in the indigenous languages with a parallel text of the Russian Synodal translation of the Bible and an accompanying audio recording.
The format of the book is meant to help those who want to deepen their knowledge of Chukchi and those who want to learn the language from scratch, according to the Institute for Bible Translation (IBT), which is responsible for the ongoing series of translations.
Chukchi is a language spoken by the Chukchi people in the easternmost edge of Siberia, mainly in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. As of 2002, about 7,700 of the 15,700 Chukchi people speak Chukchi, and knowledge of the language is decreasing
The series was initiated by the appeals from ruling bishops of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka, Khabarovsk, Anadyr and Chukotka dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church to the IBT. The Gospel was published in 2012 in Koryak and Nanai, in 2013 in Itelmen, and in 2014 in Evenk, and now in Chukchi.
The new Gospel translation features introductory remarks by Archbishop Matthew of Chukotka and Anadyr, which read: “This translation of the Gospel of Luke expands the possibility of perceiving the word of God for the Chukchi people who speak their native language, allowing them to understand it more deeply and expressively… Hopefully this edition will serve the task of enlightening the region with the light of Christ’s truth and will be a good example and continuation of the glorious missionary works in the Chukotka land and will inspire their new followers.”
The translation has already arrived in Chukotka and was presented on Sunday at an exhibition in the public library in honor of the Day of Orthodox Books. The first printing of the book (1,000 copies) will be distributed in churches, libraries, and schools on a charitable basis.
The IBT plans to continue Chuchki editions with the book of the Prophet Jonah.
To read about the fascinating work of a missionary priest in Chukotka, see the article “Surviving as a Christian: A Missionary Priest in Chukotka.”