Mongolian Bible Project
12 November 2019
Mongolia is the eighteenth largest and the most sparsely populated sovereign state in the world, with a population of around three million people. Officially, the capital city Ulaanbaatar has a population of 1.3 million, but unofficial estimates place the number closer to 2 million—a huge percentage of the national population. Ulaanbaatar is located at about 1,350 metres (4,430 feet) above sea level, slightly east of the centre of Mongolia on the Tuul River, in a bowl-like valley surrounded by mountains. It is in this setting that our Mongolian Bible translation project is being carried out.
Since 2009 the Society has partnered with firstBible International to prepare a new edition of the Mongolian Bible translated directly from the Greek Received Text of the New Testament and the Masoretic Hebrew Text of the Old Testament. The first edition of the New Testament was published in 2017. The Old Testament translation work commenced in September 2017, with a team of native translators overseen by a locally based American missionary.
We are grateful to the Lord that the Old Testament translation work has made good progress over the last two years. Currently the following books have all been prepared at first draft level: Genesis to 2 Samuel inclusive, plus Psalms and Jonah. Some parts of these books are now at second draft stage: Genesis 1-4, Exodus, Numbers 1-11 and Psalms 1-105. Joshua and Judges have been looked at by all team members. Ruth and Jonah have been looked at individually by team members and collectively with the Society’s Editorial Consultant who is working on this project, and are thus designated as being at the ‘team draft’ stage.
Local Reading Committees have recently been set up for the project. These should provide valuable feedback on the team’s draft text. In recent days Ruth and Jonah were issued to local Mongolian Christians for them to read and provide feedback. Please pray for the Lord’s blessing on the project and on everyone involved. ‘The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it’ (Psalm 68.11).