Lunchtime Seminar – 30 April – ‘A History of Bible Translation in Mongolian’

April 23rd, 2013 by

A lunchtime seminar will be held on 30 April in the Mond Building Seminar Room, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RF

Bayarjargal Garamtseren,

PhD candidate (in Hebrew studies), University of Cambridge

Abstract

The presentation will give an overview of the history of Bible translation in Mongolian languages, including Buryat and Kalmyk. This interesting history goes back to the time of Khubilai Khan and continues right up to the present time with active endeavours in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Buryatia and Kalmykia. The first and most significant translation of the whole Bible (both the Old and New Testament) was completed in the 1840s in Buryatia and this Mongol script version enjoyed a long legacy in the following decades and century with multiple revisions. Following the transition to Cyrillic script in Buryatia, Kalmykia and Mongolia in the 20th century, new efforts had to be made in Bible translation and continues to meet the needs today. The obvious background for these Bible translation efforts is the spread of Christian faith amongst Mongols, starting with the Eastern (Nestorian) form of Christianity before and during the Mongol Empire, and the Catholic and Protestant missions since the 13th century. An interesting link between Christianity and the Mongols is the traditional Mongol script which ultimately originated from the Syriac script through the travelling Eastern Christans who carried their Bibles in Syriac.