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A History of Turkish Bible Translations

Annotated chronology with historical notes

and suggestions for further research
Bruce G. Privratsky, Ph.D.
With thanks to all who have suggested corrections of previous editions
Please cite: Version !" # $pril %&'(
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)a*le of +ontents
+hapter ': )urkish in $ra*ic -etters ./tto0an )urkish, Osmanlca1
+hapter %: )urkish in 2e*rew -etters .2e*r3o4)urkish1
+hapter 5: )urkish in Greek -etters .Gr3co4)urkish, Karamanlca1
+hapter (: )urkish in $r0enian -etters .$r0eno4)urkish1
+hapter 6: )urkish in -atin -etters .7odern )urkish, Yeni Trke1
+hapter 8: )urkish in +yrillic -etters .Bulgarian )urkish1
+hapter 9: :on4)urkish languages of $natolia and ;u0elia
+hapter <: 2istory of the =oran in )urkish translation: $ Brief >?cursus
$ppendi? ,: A list of all Turkish Bibles and Bible portions in strict chronological order but
without annotations
$ppendi? ,,: Turkish versions of the Lords Prayer
$ppendi? ,,,: Sample comparisons of Ali Beys Bible manuscript with Hakis tet and with
the first printed Turkish Bible
$ppendi? ,V: The life of !o"ciech Bobowski #Ali Bey$% the first successful translator of the
Turkish Bible% as a slave and free man
$ppendi? V: An overview of slavery in the &'th(century )ttoman *mpire% without which
the life of Ali Bey cannot be understood
The Turkish
Bible has a history almost as old as the *nglish% +rench and ,erman Bibles of
the Protestant -eformation. Two Turkish translations of the Bible were completed /01 years
ago. The first was a draft manuscript by 2ahya b. 3shak #known as Haki$% datable to the
period &40'(4&. 5t was followed by the stronger translation of !o"ciech Bobowski #known as
Ali Bey$% who began work in &446 and finished his final manuscript copy in &440. )ne
hundred years earlier the Psalms had been translated by Ahmed b. 7ustafa #known as
Le8l9$% a Sufi scholar. These first
)ttoman Turkish translations are remarkable because they
were intended for 7uslim readers at a time when a Protestant mission had not yet been
contemplated% let alone organi:ed% for )ttoman Turkey or any other 7uslim land.
century and a half after Ali Bey% a Turkish Bible based on his manuscript was printed for the
first time in Paris #;ew Testament &<&=% Bible &<6'$% and this became the basis for further
Turkish translations used by Armenian and ,reek >hristians. Beginning in &<06 revisions
were made to the &<6' version% again in Arabic orthography and intended for 7uslim
readers. The work accelerated when an edict on religious freedom in the )ttoman *mpire
was promulgated in &<04 after the >rimean !ar.
ln Lhls sLudy 1urklsh means Lhe language of Lhe Sel[uk and CLLoman 1urks and Lhelr successors ln Lhe
1urklsh 8epubllc (Ooz or WesLern 1urklsh). 1he 1urklc languages of CenLral Asla and Lhe Colden Porde are
noL deLalled here, buL fragmenLary klpchak LranslaLlons LhaL predaLe Lhe CLLoman 1urklsh 8lble wlll be
menLloned brlefly (an example ls lncluded ln Appendlx ll). SLlll earller LranslaLlons or 8lble fragmenLs ln Cld
1urklc may someday be found. ln Lhe 9Lh cenLury Lhere was a ChrlsLlan khanaLe of Lhe karluk 1urks cenLered ln
1araz (souLhern kazakhsLan and kyrgyzsLan), Lo whom a blshop of Lhe Church of Lhe LasL (nesLorlan) was
appolnLed (Mark ulckens, aLrlarch 1lmoLhy l and Lhe MeLropollLan of Lhe 1urks, Iootool of tbe koyol Aslotlc
5oclety, Serles 3, vol. 20 (2): 117-139 [2010]). 1o daLe Lhe earllesL Lrace of Lhe 8lble ln CenLral Asla ls a Syrlac
llLurgy ln uyghur LransrlpLlon, lnLended for Lhe use of Lhe 1urclc uyghurs parLlclpaLlng ln Lhe Syrlac-language
worshlp of Lhe nesLorlan Church (Mark ulckens, MulLlllngual ChrlsLlan manuscrlpLs from 1urfan, Iootool of
tbe coooJloo 5oclety fot 5ytloc 5toJles 9 [2009], 8lbllcal fragmenLs from Lhe ChrlsLlan llbrary of 1urfan, an
easLern ouLposL of Lhe AnLlochlan LradlLlon, forLhcomlng).
Leli, Pakl and All 8ey have compeLlLors for Lhe flrsL 1urklsh LranslaLlon: (1) A new 1esLamenL LranslaLlon by
rlmus 1ruber ln Lhe 1370s was menLloned by !ean ueny (A propos des LraducLlons en 1urc Csmanll des LexLes
rellgleux chreLlens, ule welt Jes lsloms, n.S. 4 [1]: 30-39 [1933]), buL lf a manuscrlpL of Lhls LranslaLlon ever
exlsLed lL may have been ln CroaLlan raLher Lhan 1urklsh, and ln any case lL would noL predaLe Leli's salms. (2)
1he Crusader colonles lnLeracLed wlLh 1urklsh emlrs and Lhelr armles for Lwo cenLurles, someLlmes on frlendly
Lerms, so lL ls posslble LhaL verses or selecLlons from Lhe 8lble were LranslaLed durlng Lhe Crusades. Powever,
Mark ulckens has noL found any such reference ln hls sLudy of 1be cbtoolcle of Mlcboel tbe 5ytloo, a Syrlan
CrLhodox aLrlarch who had Lheologlcal conversaLlons wlLh kili Arslan, SulLan of Lhe Sel[uk 1urks.
8oman CaLhollc mlsslons, see pages 6-7 and 82 below, also Appendlx lll.
Turkish was the lingua franca of the )ttoman *mpire% which means that Turks were not its
only speakers? Armenians% ,reeks% and @ews also spoke Turkish% many of them as their
mother tongue. But because there was as yet no common educational system in Turkey%
these peoples wrote Turkish in their own alphabets. All the books annotated in this history
were written in the Turkish language of Anadolu #Anatolia$ and Rumeli #Turkey in *urope$%
but the typefaces are variously Arabic% Armenian% Bulgarian >yrillic% ,reek% Hebrew% and
Latin. Almost all of these Bible translations% including those of Haki and Ali Bey% were done
in 5stanbul% reflecting Turkish as spoken there by various ethnic groups at various times. The
first part of the Bible actually printed on an 5stanbul printing press was a Turkish Torah in
Hebrew characters% translated by Aaraite @ews. Turkey was then a multi(ethnic society
united by the Turkish language.
The Bible has a prominent place in Turkish literary history. Todays neo()ttomanist revival
has drawn attention to the old Turkish Bibles and Bible manuscripts% including several by
7uslim scholars that had been forgotten or neglected until recently. Because Ali Bey is a
fascinating figure in the history of Turkish music% his Turkish Bible is regularly mentioned
by music historiansB one of his musical works was a setting of Psalms & through &C in the
style of the )ttoman court. He is memoriali:ed in the Turkish Protestant movement as well
D so much so that there is a tendency in the churches to identify every old Bible as EAli Beys
7uch as the Aing @ames Gersion #&4&&$ remains more or less understandable to *nglish
speakers today% the language of the first Turkish translations is still familiar to todays
Turkish speakers D if it is read to them or transcribed into Latin characters. Though they
know the language% few Turks today can read the Arabic alphabet #Osmanlca% commonly
called eski harfler% old letters$ in which the first Turkish Bibles were written. But when
selections from these manuscripts are read to Turkish speakers% or transcribed for them% the
narrative and poetic sections are understood without serious difficulty% ecepting a few
obsolete words. 5t is also true that some sections of the ;ew Testament epistles are so replete
with Arabic and +arsi phrasings that they seem hopelessly archaic to the average Turkish
reader today. Students of )ttoman Turkish know how to decode the two Arabic and one
Persian root words in sular rad sedasndan itab etdiler #the waters fled from the sound of
your thunder HPsalm &1C?'% Aieffers Bible% &<6'I$% but Turks today prefer purer Turkish% as in
senin grlemenin sesinden katlar #AitabJ 7ukaddes% &=C&$ or g grletince sular hemen ekildi
#Autsal Aitap% 611&$.
The ;ew Testament #ncil$ has been in print in the Latin orthography of modern Turkish
since &=// and the Bible !itab "ukaddes# since &=C&. A contemporary(language version
#!utsal !ita$$ was published in 611&% followed in 611/ by an alternative version that includes
the )ld Testament Apocrypha for the use of the )rthodo and >atholic churches. 5n 6110 the
Syrian #%r&ani$ )rthodo Archdiocese of 5stanbul published a diglot Bible lectionary in
Syriac with Turkish translation. A translation of the Turkish Bible was issued by a 7uslim
publisher for the first time in 611'% and a Turkish translation of the Torah with commentary
was produced by @ewish scholars between 6114 and 61&1.
The initial research on this history was conducted in the course of 61&1% web(published in
Kecember 61&1% and amended since then with new material provided by readers. 5 have
annotated as many versions of the Turkish Bible as 5 have been able to acLuire from digital
libraries% used book stores #via ;$% and individuals. )therwise 5 provide
bibliographic data from university library catalogs% many of them accessible via
!orld> 5n &=1& >ooper produced a table of the &=th(century editions of the Turkish
but no comprehensive listing for the entire history has appeared in print until now.
>an MakJrgil% the translator of the Turkish version of my work% delved into some of the
historical issues 5 raised% and his researches during the translation process persuaded me to
update many items in this *nglish version also.
;oel 7alcolms engaging and detailed articles on the history of the &'th(century Kutch and
*nglish pro"ects supersede previous constructions of this period of Turkish Bible
;eudeckers manuscript studies of Ali Beys grammar%
of a contemporary
A.A. Cooper, 1he sLory of Lhe (Csmanll) 1urklsh verslon, wlLh a brlef accounL of relaLed verslons (London:
8rlLlsh & lorelgn 8lble SocleLy, 1901), prevlously prlnLed ln 8lble noose lopets, no. 1/6 (1899).
LlsLlngs aL hLLp:// and hLLp://www.LranslaLlon- are baslc buL brlef and someLlmes mlsleadlng.
noel Malcolm, Comenlus, 8oyle, Cldenburg, and Lhe 1ranslaLlon of Lhe 8lble lnLo 1urklsh, cbotcb nlstoty ooJ
kellqloos coltote 87 (3):327-362 (2007a), Comenlus, Lhe Converslon of Lhe 1urks, and Lhe Musllm-ChrlsLlan
uebaLe on Lhe CorrupLlon of ScrlpLure, cnkc 87 (3): 477-308 (2007b).
Pannah neudecker, Wo[clech 8obowskl and hls 1urklsh grammar (1666): A dragoman and muslclan aL Lhe
courL of SulLan Mehmed lv, uotcb 5toJles oo Neot osteto looqooqes ooJ lltetototes 2 (2): 169-192 (1996).
collection of letters about Ali Bey%
and of Hakis two manuscripts of & and 6 Samuel%
with +unda Topraks study of the +our ,ospels in Ali Beys draft translation%
give us access
to substantial pieces of the &'th(century manuscript tradition. SadJk 2a:ar has drafted a
helpful guide to ;ew Testament manuscripts by 7uslim scholars in the SNleymaniye
archives in 5stanbul.
These works% along with Schmidts catalog of )riental manuscripts in
and -opers article on early Turkish printing%
have provided substance for my
summaries of the early period. !orks by Turkish scholars include those by Behar
of Ali Beys Psalms and other musical works.
5n addition to >ooper% older articles by -iggs%
and ;ilson
critically eplored% but 5 tried to confirm their statements from other sources. >ooper is the
source of Ali MimPeks brief biography of Ali Bey
that was recently reprinted in the preface
to a Turkish Bible. *ssentially the same version appears in Steers testimonial history of the
Pannah neudecker, lrom lsLanbul Lo London? AlberLus 8obovlus' Appeal Lo lsaac 8aslre, ln 1be kepobllc of
lettets ooJ tbe levoot, ed. A. PamllLon, M. van den 8oogerL, and 8. WesLerweel. lnLersecLlons: ?earbook for
Larly Modern SLudles, vol. 3 (Lelden/8osLon: 8rlll, 2003), pp. 173-196.
P. neudecker, 1be 1otklsb 8lble 1tooslotloo by obyo blo lsbop, olso colleJ nokl (1659) (Lelden: PeL CosLers
lnsLlLuL, 1994). AbsLracL: hLLp:// _ld=40004. 1he LransllLeraLlon ls on
pp. 3-213, and Lhe compleLe facslmlle of Pakl's LexL of 1 and 2 Samuel follows p. 406.
lunda 1oprak, \vll. ozytlo Alt 8lt locll 1etcomesl. loceleme - Metlo - 5ozlok (Ankara: 1urklye ulyaneL vakfi
MaLbaasi, 2006), pp. 117-349, she also shows Lwo facslmlle pages (Lhough reduced ln slze) from each of Lhe
four Cospels on pp. 646-633.
Sadik ?azar, new 1esLamenL LranslaLlons on Lhe CLLoman perlod (xlll - xlx cenLury), manuscrlpL.
!an SchmldL, cotoloqoe of 1otklsb Mooosctlpts lo tbe llbtoty of lelJeo uolvetslty, vol. l (Lelden, 2000).
Ceoffrey 8oper, 1urklsh prlnLlng and publlshlng ln Lngland ln Lhe 17Lh cenLury, a paper presenLed aL Lhe
2oJ lotetootloool 5ymposlom, nlstoty of ltlotloq ooJ lobllsbloq lo tbe looqooqes ooJ cooottles of tbe MlJJle
ost, 8lblloLheque naLlonale de lrance, arls, 2-4 november 2003. u8L: hLLp://pagesperso-
Cem 8ehar, All ufki ve Mezmotlot (lsLanbul: an ?ayincilik, 1990).
5ukru Llln, All ufki, noyott, setl ve Mecmo-l 5z o 5oz (lsLanbul: 1ipki 8asim, 1976).
Charles 1. 8lggs, 1he 1urklsh LranslaLlons of Lhe 8lble, 1be Moslem wotlJ 30: 236-248 (1940). u8L:
l. Lyman MacCallum, klLab-i Mukaddes'ln 1urke Lercumeslne dalr, 1etcome 3 (13): 39-68 (1942).
ueny, op.clt.
aul P. nllson, WesLern 1urklsh verslons of Lhe 8lble, 1be 8lble 1tooslotot 17 (3): 133-138 (!uly 1966).
British Bible Society.
>ooper was entranced by the EromanceF of the Ali Bey story for
confessional reasons% but even now that it has been brought down to earth by further
historical research% Ali Beys life and work reflect a Luintessentially )ttoman spirit that has
attracted the attention of @ewish% >hristian and 7uslim historians% linguists and Bible

A good portion of this study is devoted to the &'th(century translations as a demonstration
of what would be possible for historians of the later centuries applying similar methods.
*ven for the early period much research remains to be done. Kespite Schmidts catalog%
;eudeckers and Topraks studies% and a new website displaying some of the )ttoman
Turkish Bibles%
the &'th(century manuscripts have barely been touched for academic study%
and no critical edition of any Turkish Bible manuscript is anywhere on the hori:on. As
online resources make archives and memoirs more accessible% the &=th(century Protestant
missions in the )ttoman *mpire are being studied with useful results%
but the Bible
translations of this period have received little attention. >omparisons of the Turkish
vocabulary in the various Bible tets would be rewarded with new insights into the
interreligious vitality of the Turkish language. A few eamples of this kind are offered in the
following pages.
All 5lm;ek, kuLsal klLap'in 1urke evlrlsl, L-maneL, Sayi 2 (nlsan-Pazlran 2003), pp. 13-18. Larller verslon:
hLLp://, laLer
adapLed for Atklomolt kotsol kttop (lsLanbul: ?eni ?a;am ?ayinlari, 2010).
8oger SLeer, CooJ News fot tbe wotlJ. 200 yeots of mokloq tbe 8lble beotJ, 1be stoty of tbe 8lble 5oclety
(Cxford: Monarch 8ooks, 2004).
All 5lm;ek, dlrecLor of eol o,om oytolott, has been a helpful correspondenL, along wlLh 8ehnan konuLgan,
former dlrecLor of Lhe 1urklsh 8lble SocleLy (kltobt MokoJJes ltketl), 8od ParboLLle, dlrecLor of Lhe 1ranslaLlon
1rusL, and !.A.n. lrankhulzen of Lhe speclal collecLlons deparLmenL aL Lhe Lelden unlverslLy Llbrary. Can 5akirgll
has provlded access Lo several of Lhe 8lbles prlnLed ln Lhe 19Lh cenLury. CLher sources are menLloned ln Lhe
LexL of Lhls arLlcle for Lhelr academlc works. l Lhank everyone, named or unnamed, who has replled Lo my
Csmanlica kelm: hLLp://www.osmanllcakelam.neL
eLer lkkerL, ltotestoot Mlssloootles to tbe MlJJle ost (PamllLon, CnLarlo: WLC Canada, 2008), 1lmoLhy
Marr, 'urylng up Lhe LuphraLes': Musllms, mlllennlallsm and early Amerlcan mlsslonary experlence,
hLLp://, agri Lrhan, CLLoman offlclal aLLlLudes Loward
Amerlcan mlsslonarles, u8L: hLLp://, All 8iza 8ayzan,
roLesLanL mlsslonary operaLlons on 1urkey (1) (2003),
Armenian and Arab )rthodo >hristians were the focus of -oman >atholic missions in the
)ttoman lands% but their work did not involve Turkish translations of the BibleDwe will
encounter the first >atholic translator of the Turkish Bible only in the &=01s. The early
>atholic work was centered in Syria% where the 7aronite >hurch became the first of several
EQniateF churches.
A >atholic printing press for Arabic type was established in Aleppo in
&'14 #moved to Lebanon in &'61$% and though Eselected books of the BibleF were among its
publications% these were in Arabic and Latin and% as far as we know% did not include a
Turkish translation.
5n &4<1 Hanna MamlJ #@ohn the Syrian$% who may have been a >atholic%
made a manuscript copy of SeamanRs Turkish ;ew Testament% but it was not an original
The Turkish translations are divided below into chapters according to the alphabet in which
they were written. Historical issues are eplored in annotations under each version.
1he unlaLe movemenL ln Syrla and lraq was baslcally abouL Lhe deslre of Creek CrLhodox (MelklLe) and oLher
easLern churches Lo have local blshops of Lhelr own chooslng, ln oLher words, freedom from Lhe heavy hand
of Lhelr dlsLanL and non-Arablc-speaklng paLrlarchs. 8ome was wllllng Lo granL Lhem Lhls local auLhorlLy,
whereas Lhe Creek CrLhodox aLrlarch ln lsLanbul, for example, was noL. When Lhe easLern churches unlLed
wlLh Lhe 8oman CaLhollc (wesLern) Church, Lhe LaLln mass was noL lmposed on Lhem and Lhey were allowed
Lo keep Lhelr anclenL llLurgles and languages of worshlp, such as Creek, Syrlac (Aramalc), and Armenlan. 1hls
seml-lndependence allowed for creaLlve developmenL. ln CaLhollc churches of Creek CrLhodox background,
8yzanLlne Creek was evenLually replaced ln Lhe llLurgy by Arablc. 1he besL hlsLory ln Lngllsh ls 8ruce MasLers,
cbtlstloos ooJ Iews lo tbe Ottomoo Atob wotlJ. 1be toots of sectotloolsm (Cambrldge unlverslLy ress, 2001).
lblJ., chapLer 4
Chapter 1
Turkish in Arabic (Ottoman Turkish, Osmanlca) Characters
At least one Turkish Bible translation by a 7uslim translator preceded the better known
>hristian pro"ects that began in the &'th century. The 7uslim translations tend to be
fragmentary% and often their provenance and dating is unknown% even when the translator
tells us his name. +or eample% a facsimile of a Turkish manuscript of the four ,ospels and a
few chapters of Acts
was transcribed in a doctoral dissertation by 3.*. S:kan.
manuscripts language is archaic and seemingly independent of wordings in later Turkish
translations% which suggests that it may be from an early period. Qnfortunately S:kan
ventured to identify neither the translator nor the historical period to which this manuscript
belongs. 5n one case% however% we know more.
circa '66& # Tercme-i Kasde-i Fatlubni Tecidni #>all on me and you will find me? A draft
translation$. Translated by Le8l9.
Kuring the reign of Suleyman the 7agnificent the )ttoman poet and Aoranic scholar
Ahmed b. 7ustafa also known as Le8l9 #born in Saruhan% died in Amasya% &04/$%
the Psalms into Turkish.
He was an advocate of Turkish composition% as distinct from the
Persian poetry which was cultivated by )ttoman literati. Because of his proclivity for
Turkish verse we have this early treasure of Turkish Bible translation. His manuscript is
found in a number of libraries under titles such as 'ercme(i ba) *&*t mine()(+eb,r
#Translation of a few verses from the Psalms$ and 'ercme(i -u*( +eb,r #Translation of the
prayers of the Psalms$.
1urk ull kurumu, Ankara, manuscrlpL no. ?z. A-19.
lbrahlm LLhem Czkan, 1uk ?z.A-19 numarada kayiLli 1urke lncll 1ercumesl (1ranskrlpslyon-lnceleme-ulzln),
kayserl, Lrclyesl unlverslLesl, Sosyal 8lllmler LnsLlLusu, 2006 (docLoral dlsserLaLlon, ?Ck no: 189372).
8aslc blography: hLLp:// Ceoffrey Lewls, clLlng a 19Lh-
cenLury CLLoman scholar, wrlLes LhaL Leall was a famous poeL, wrlLlng ln 1urklsh as well as erslan, as early as
Lhe relgn of MehmeL Lhe Conqueror, lf so, Leall llved a very long llfe (1be 1otklsb looqooqe kefotm [Cxford
unlverslLy ress, 1999], p.7.
l am graLeful Lo ur. Sadik ?azar for sharlng hls noLes on Leli and Lhe oLher 1urklsh manuscrlpLs of Lhe salms
from a drafL arLlcle Lo be enLlLled, Csmanli unemlnde Zebur 1ercumelerl ve Le'li (Ahmed b. MusLafa)'nln
Le8l9s source tet was an Arabic translation by 5bn Abbas. 5n a heading of the manuscript in
the SNleymaniye Library%
Le8l9 comments on this source? EAs 5bn Abbas recounts% T5 found a
sura in the Psalms sent down to Kavid that resembles the -ahman Sura in the ,lorious
Aoran and repeats some of its verses. This was in the Syriac language and 5 translated it into
>omparing the Bible with the Aoran and searching for biblical prophecies of the coming of
the Prophet motivated 7uslim translations in the early period. This motivation helps us
understand why most of these manuscripts by 7uslim translators featured only small
fragments of the Bible. Le8l9s translation of the Psalms% however% is different. His title% E>all
on me and you will find me%F reflects the kind of biblical language that is atttractive to Sufis.
The spiritual eperience of the presence of ,od and the heavenly "ourney are at the heart of
many of their own writings% which is true also of the Psalms. A study of Le8l9 and his times
in light of his translation of the Psalms awaits its researcher.
)he first co0plete )urkish Bi*le translations
An early proposal for a Turkish translation of the Bible seems to have been made by
*rasmus during the -eformatJon.
As a humanist he was disturbed by the eclusively
military response of >atholic *urope to )ttoman epansion in the Balkans and the
7editerranean region. A hundred years later *rasmus suggestion that 7uslims be
approached with a Bible in their own language inspired @.A. >omenius #@an Amos
Aomensky$% a philosopher and educator of the early *nlightenment% to do something about
)f the two Turkish translations of the Bible and another of the ;ew Testament done in
the &'th century% the two Bibles were promoted by >omenius% and he was consulted about
the additional ;ew Testament pro"ect.
Pa[[l Mahmud Lfendl CollecLlon, ms. 3387.
Malcolm (2007b), p. 493.
lor an analysls of Lhe rellglous moLlvaLlons ln Comenlus' vlslon of unlversal [=publlc] educaLlon, see uanlel
Murphy, comeolos. A ctltlcol keossessmeot of nls llfe ooJ wotk (uublln: lrlsh Academlc ress, 1993). 1he
foundaLlonal sLudy ls Mllada 8lekasLad, comeolos. vetsocb eloes umtlsses voo lebeo, wetk, ooJ 5cblcksol Jes
Ioo Amos komeosky (Cslo: unlverslLeLsforlageL, raha: Academla, 1969), Lhough Murphy crlLlclzes her for
lgnorlng Lhe rellglous values LhaL suffused Comenlus' phllosphy of educaLlon.
Anown as the father of modern education% >omenius was offered the presidency of Harvard
>ollege in its early years but declined% deterred by his duties as a bishop of Qnitas +ratrum
#The Qnity of Brethren$% sometimes called the Bohemian Brethren and later the 7oravians.
5n &404 he had fled from Poland to Amsterdam after his church had suffered a long series of
persecutions under the >atholic monarchy of the Hapsburgs who ruled >entral *urope.

>omenius benefactor% the Kutch merchant Laurens de ,eer% supported the Turkish Bible
pro"ect financially. Academic authority was provided by @acob ,olius #van ,ool$% professor
of Turkish at Leiden Qniversity. ,olius brother Peter% who lived in Aleppo% was the intended
editor before printing. There being no printing presses on )ttoman soil in the &'th century%
the printer was to be @ohann ,eorg ;issel of Leiden.
The point man in >onstantinople
was Levin !arner% the Kutch EresidentF #ambassador$% who recruited the translators.
'88' # 'urkish .ible in manuscri$t% by 2ahya bin 3shak%

who called himself H8ki #Ethe
humbleF% Eman of the soilF$.
Two manuscripts of Hakis translation are preserved in the !arner >ollection of the
Qniversity Library at Leiden. )ne is a draft in four folio volumes #/ )ld Testament% & ;ew
lor a blography of Comenlus and a hlsLory of Lhe Lravalls of Lhe 8ohemlan 8reLhren, see Lhe lnLroducLlon ln
Murphy (1993), cf. Malcolm (2007b), p. 497.
neudecker (1994), p. 377, 1oprak, p. 19.
ln Lhe early CLLoman perlod lsLanbul (wrlLLen SLamboul by Luropeans) meanL Lhe old clLy on Lhe penlnsula
beLween Lhe Colden Porn, Lhe Sea of Marmara and Lhe 1heodoslan Walls. 1he suburbs, CalaLa and era
(where forelgn embassles were locaLed), among oLhers, were noL parL of Lhe clLy proper. lbn 8aLLuLa vlslLed ln
1332 and referred Lo CalaLa as a separaLe clLy (klblo [8elruL, 1964], pp. 330-331, clLed by nadla Marla el-
Chelkh, 8yzootlom vleweJ by tbe Atobs [Parvard unlverslLy ress, 2004], p. 207). AlLhough Lhe CLLoman
census of 1477 lncluded CalaLa lL was recorded separaLely from lsLanbul (!ohn lreely, lstoobol. 1be lmpetlol
clty [enguln, 1998], p. 188). ln CLLoman Llmes all of Lhe above were collecLlvely called ConsLanLlnople (or
CreaLer lsLanbul now ln hlsLorlcal sLudles). ln 1urklsh Lhey were called Oostootlolye (from Lhe Arablc
lnLonaLlon of ConsLanLlnople), whlch was furLher abbrevlaLed Lo OosJloo ln !ewlsh wrlLlngs. As for lstoobol, lL
probably ellded lnLo lLs phoneLlc form from Lhe way 1urks pronounced Lhe accenLed syllables of Lhe Creek koo-
51AN-tloo-lOll. 1he noLlon LhaL lstoobol derlves from Lhe Creek els teo poleo (Lo Lhe clLy) ls asserLed ln many
hlsLorles buL ls subsLanLlaLed raLher weakly ln Lhe semlnal essay by SLeven 8unclman ("ConsLanLlnople-
lsLanbul," kevoe Jes toJes 5oJ-st otopeooes 7: 203-208 [1969]). ln Lhe 17Lh cenLury 1urks began Lo say
LhaL lstoobol means lslom 8ol (full of lslam), whlch was Lrue enough ln splrlL buL noL ln eLymologlcal Lerms. ln
1924 Lhe surroundlng Lowns were lncorporaLed lnLo MeLropollLan lsLanbul (lstoobol 8oyok,eblt 8eleJlyesl),
whereupon leLLers addressed Lo ConsLanLlnople were reLurned Lo sender.
neudecker (1994), pp. 363-382.
Testament$% the other a Efair copyF of ,enesis through & Aings =?= only.
The transcription of
the fair copy was assigned to ;icolas Petri #ibn Butrus$% a >hristian from Aleppo% who had
once worked as a copyist for ,olius in Leiden but was now living in >onstantinople. At least
one other copyist was involved% as revealed by the handwriting.
Since the fair copy ends in
the middle of a chapter% the work of the copyists was obviously interrupted% and neither
manuscript was ever printed or circulated. A third fragment in Hakis hand was later bound
inadvertently with the draft manuscript of Ali Bey.
Based on an inscription in Hakis fair copy at the end of Keuteronomy% ;eudecker dates its
completion to &40=% but this probably signifies the completion of the Pentateuch only #both
the draft manuscript and the fair copy$. 7alcolm has proposed a likely scenario of the
timing of Hakis work% arguing that his draft of the complete Bible was finished in late &44&.
Then% in late &44& or early &446% it appears that Levin !arner evaluated the translation%
apparently with the help of Ali Bey% and re"ected it. This reconstruction of the timing coheres
with the beginning of Ali Beys work on a new translation in +ebruary &446 #see below$.
!hat weighs against it and in favor of ;euckerRs conclusion that Haki finished in &40= is the
observation that it would have been remarkably inattentive of !arner to let Haki keep
working on an unacceptable translation for the full four(or(five(year period from &40' to
&44&. !arner lived in >onstantinople from &40' until his death in &440.
+rom correspondence recorded in a London newsletter by Samuel Hartlib% we know that the
first proposal to !arner that he produce a Turkish translation was made by >omenius in
!arner had been a student of ,olius in )riental languages%
but when he arrived to
take up his diplomatic duties in Turkey he hired out the Bible pro"ect to Haki% neither
translating nor correcting the manuscripts of his translators. !arner was well enough
Lelden unlverslLy Llbrary, Warner CollecLlon: Cod. Cr. 386 (falr copy) and 391a-d (drafL), cf. SchmldL, vol. l, pp.
81-83, 93-97. A Lhlrd fragmenL ln Pakl's hand ls bound wlLh follo Cod. Cr. 390b conslsLlng of Cenesls 1:1-6:21
only wlLh unnumbered verses (SchmldL, vol l, p. 86, neudecker [1994], p. 394).
neudecker (1994), p. 394f. lbn 8uLrus ls noL ldenLlfled here buL neudecker has Lold me LhaL he was one of Lhe
Lwo (or more) copylsLs.
neudecker (1994), p. 367, Malcolm (2007a), p. 332.
Malcolm (2007a), p. 330f.
neudecker (1994), p. 369.
satisfied with Hakis progress in late &40= to announce to >omenius and his Kutch friends
that he would soon deliver a manuscript of the Turkish Bible ready for printing.
This being
the case% !arner must have hired Haki almost immediately on his arrival in >onstantinople
in &40'.
Who Was Haki?
Haki was a @ewish dragoman #tercman/ translator$ and likely a native of >onstantinople%
which was called 0osdina by @ews.
;eudecker has demonstrated that he translated the )ld
Testament from Hebrew. #;o study has yet been made of Hakis ;ew Testament.$ Some of
his marginal glosses are in Ladino% the HebrUo(Spanish language of the Sephardic @ews. A
comment in Latin in another hand appears at the end of Hakis draft manuscript observing
that his Turkish is full of Hebraisms and sounds like the Talmud. This disparaging note was
probably written by Ali Bey.

Haki tells us his name in his manuscript% and Ali Bey mentions him once in a marginal note
in his own draft manuscript of the Book of @udges. Haki is identified as !arners dragoman
in the latters will% which awarded him Eune 1este dra$F D clothing from the masters closet
being a common beLuest to a servant or employee.
)therwise we know nothing of Hakis
life. His name has not surfaced from the )ttoman archives% and ;eudeckers search for the
names 2ahya b. 3shak and Haki in the @ewish cemeteries at HaskVy and Au:guncuk turned
up nothing.

!hen -obert Pinkerton of the British and +oreign Bible Society #B+BS$ discovered Ali Beys
manuscripts in the Leiden archives in &<&C% he missed or ignored Hakis manuscript. A study
of Pinkertons reports in the B+BS archives might shed light on this omission. >oopers
Malcolm (2007a), p. 329f.
ln Lhe early CLLoman perlod lsLanbul meanL Lhe old clLy on Lhe penlnsula beLween Lhe Colden Porn, Lhe Sea
of Marmara and Lhe 1heodoslan Walls. lL populaLlon was prlmarlly Musllm, buL !ews sLlll occupled 8alaL and
Lmlnnu, Lhelr quarLers from Lhe 8yzanLlne perlod, unLll Lhey were expelled from Lmlnnu afLer Lhe CreaL llre
of 1660. unLll Lhe 20Lh cenLury Lhe name ConsLanLlnople was sLlll used Lo descrlbe CreaLer lsLanbul, ln
1urklsh lL was called Oostootlolye (from Lhe Arablc lnLonaLlon of ConsLanLlnople), whlch was furLher
abbrevlaLed Lo OosJloo ln !ewlsh wrlLlngs (hLLp://www.[
neudecker (1994), p. 367.
neudecker (2003), p. 183.
neudecker (1994), p. 366, n. 11.
article on the history of the Turkish Bible #&=1&$ does not mention Haki% nor do Keny #&=04$
or ;ilson #&=44$. Hakis work seems to have been unknown until Barbara +lemming
eamined his manuscripts and published a short article describing them in &=<4.

This was followed in &==C by ;eudeckers ecellent book on Hakis manuscripts% informed
by her knowledge of both Turkish and Hebrew. She describes his translation as Every literalF
and Epseudo(interlinearF because Ethe clause synta is Semitic% whereas the phrase synta is
;eudeckers study is not a critical edition of Haki but does contain two hundred
pages of & and 6 Samuel in strict transliteration%
along with facsimile pages from Hakis
manuscript of these two books. She analy:es Hakis Turkish for what it tells us about &'th(
century )ttoman usage. See Appendi 555 below for an eample of Hakis language.
A five(page manuscript of the first eight Psalms in )ttoman Turkish by another @ewish
figure% 5brahim el(5sraili% is held in the SNleymaniye Archives and has been eamined by
SadJk 2a:ar.
!e do not know who 5brahim was or when he lived. 2a:ar thinks the
manuscript may be from an early period% but further research is needed to determine
whether it predates Haki and Ali Bey.
Background of the >arly )urkish )ranslations
5n &4C< the Thirty 2ears !ar had ended with Protestants having failed to achieve the goal of
religious toleration in >atholic lands. This *uropean dynamic is the backdrop for the early
Turkish Bible translations. 5nterest in Turkey on the part of Bohemian% Kutch and *nglish
Protestants was inspired by a millennial vision that has been intriguingly labeled >alvino(
Turkism% a wishful political alliance between 5slam and Protestantism that would encircle
the >atholic Hapsburgs.
According to the prophecies of >omenius friend% 7ikulWX KrabYk
8. llemmlng, Zwel Lurklsche 8lbelhandschrlfLen ln Lelden als mlLLelosmanlsche Sprachdenkmaler, Wlener
2eltscbtlft fot Jle kooJe Jes MotqeolooJes 76: 111-118 (1986).
neudecker (1994), p. 2.
unforLunaLely, neudecker's useful LransllLeraLlon scheme for CLLoman vowels can no longer be used. Per
characLers were produced by a uCS word processor, and unlcode does noL lnclude Lhem.
Suleymanlye Llbrary, Ls'ad Lfendl CollecLlon, ms. 3. l Lhank Sadik ?azar for sharlng wlLh me hls noLes on Zebr
M.L.P.n. MouL, CalvlnoLurclsmus und Chlllasmus lm 17. !ahrhunderL, lletlsmos ooJ Neozelt. lo Iobtbocb
zot Cescblcbte Jes oeoeteo ltotestootlsmos 14: 72-84 (1988), CalvlnoLurklsme ln de zevenLlende eeuw,
1ljJscbtlft voot CesbleJeols 16: 376-607 (1978). ChrlsLlan alllances wlLh Lhe 1urks had a long Lrack record. 1he
#;icolaus Krabicius$% a Turkish victory over the Hapsburgs would be followed in ,ods plan
by the conversion of the Turks as a prelude to the conversion of the @ews and the union of all
religions into one true church.
#Qnifying the world through spiritual enlightenment and
universal education was a basic theme in the writings of >omenius.$ +or such a purpose a
Turkish translation of the Bible had to be prepared% in >omenius words% Eout of holy :eal
for the conversion of a great nation to >hrist.F
He believed this to be an Eendeavour for
among the peoples of the world. A similar millenarian vision in the mind of Samuel
Hartlib inspired a parallel Turkish translation pro"ect in *ngland #see Seaman &444 below$.
A political overture was made to the Turks during a visit to the grand vi:ier by Krabiks
disciple% @ohann @akob -edlinger.
5n &440#Z$ -edlinger visited the )ttoman army camp in
Hungary% told the grand vi:ier that the Turkish translation of the Bible was ready% and
reLuested that he be invited to come to >onstantinople% learn Turkish% and epound on the
Bible. ;othing came of this% but Krabiks prophecies did not depend on full(blown
missionary endeavor. The key was a military victory by those Eservants of ,od%F the
)ttomans and their *uropean allies% over the Hapsburg EidolatersF #>atholic worship being
viewed as idolatrous by Protestants$. As for the conversion of the Turks% it would occur after
the victory by the miracle of their encounter with the !ord of ,od in their own language.
This was the era of Luthers principle of sola scri$tura2 +or >omenius% the *uropean
lrench klng, lrancls l, made a mlllLary alllance wlLh Suleyman Lhe MagnlflclenL ln 1326, and 1lLlan palnLed a
dual porLralL of Lhe Lwo monarchs ca. 1330. LuLher preached LhaL good ChrlsLlans could accepL Lhe rule of Lhe
1urks, because unllke Lhe ope Lhe 1urks would leL LuLher lnLerpreL Lhe 8lble ln hls own way (8lchard Marlus,
Mottlo lotbet [Parvard unlverslLy ress, 1999], pp. 146, 186, 236). Larller, Lhe Crusader clLles ln Syrla had
made varlous alllances wlLh Musllm emlrs durlng Lhelr 200-year hlsLory on Lhe LevanLlne shores. ln 1182
aLrlarch Mlchael of Lhe Syrlan CrLhodox Church supporLed kili Arslan ll of 8um, Lhe Sel[uk sulLan. Mlchael
soughL Lo afflrm LhaL 1urklsh rule, lncludlng all Lhe sufferlng caused by Lhelr raldlng and plllaglng, was
ulLlmaLely parL of Cod's plan. [1]hey had a Cod-ordalned role Lo play ln human hlsLory, a role LhaL hls Syrlan
CrLhodox readers were noL Lo quesLlon, buL humbly Lo accepL (Mark ulckens, 1he Sons of Magog: 1he 1urks
ln Mlchael's cbtoolcle, ln lotole Je lOtleot 31: 446f. [2006]).
8oper, p. 7
Malcolm (2007a), p. 349.
Malcolm (2007a), p. 360.
Malcolm (2007b), p. 499, clLes Cerman sources on 8edllnger, among Lhem: klaus Schaller, !ohann !akob
8edlnger ln selnem verhalLnls zu !ohann Amos Comenlus, ln MarLln 8lrcher, eL al., eds., 5cbwelzetlscb-
Jeotscbe 8ezlebooqeo lm koofesslooelleo 2eltoltet. 8elttoqe zot koltotqescblcbte 1580-1650 (Wlesbaden,
1984), pp. 139-66.
-eformation had occurred by the spiritual power of Scripture alone% and the same could
now be epected in the friendly Turkish lands as well. Such hopeful idealism predated the
practical realities of the 7uslim(>hristian encounter later eperienced by *uropean and
American Protestants who began their work in )ttoman lands only in &<&=.
The visions of Krabik
had been incubated in the fire of the HapsburgsR persecution of The
Qnity of Brethren >hurch. )ttoman Turkey was already a refuge for *uropean renegades
and victims of religious persecution. Turkey was also the strongest single military power in
*urope% and it was therefore logical for >omenius and Krabik to think of the )ttoman sultan
as a savior. Krabik believed he had heard ,od instructing him to
write to your Assistant Hsc. >omeniusI% that vessel of my grace% and tell him that he
should consider how the Law of my word% and the Psalms and hymns% together
with an outline of the organi:ation of the church Hsc. The Qnity of BrethrenI% may
be translated into the Turkish language and sent to the Sultan.

>omenius "ustified Krabiks prophecies theologically% believing that 7uslims% by virtue of
their belief that @esus is the 7essiah% are closer to >hristianity than are the @ews% and that
7uslims would therefore embrace the ,ospel before the @ews did. The Turks would
spontaneously Etake up the teaching of the ,ospel% and on their foreheads they will accept
this sign of mine? @esus of ;a:areth% king of the @ews.F
The conversion of the @ews would
then follow at the end of time. 5t is important to note that >omenius never mentioned the
idea of deploying Protestant evangelists in 7uslim lands% though he did epect the Turks to
welcome his Bible(based program of EuniversalF #meaning public$ education.
Comenlus' confldence ln urablk was sadly mlsplaced (Murphy, pp. 40-42). urablk had prevlously prophesled a
Swedlsh vlcLory over Lhe oles whlch would be followed by Swedlsh supporL for Lhe reLurn of 1he unlLy of
8reLhren Lo 8ohemla from Lhelr refuge ln Lhe ollsh clLy of Leszno. 8ellevlng urablk, Comenlus wroLe Lo Lhe
Swedlsh klng, encouraglng an lnvaslon of oland. When Lhe oles unexpecLedly defeaLed Lhe Swedes, Leszno
was desLroyed ln reprlsal by Lhe ollsh army on 29 Aprll 1636, and Lhe 8reLhren were dlspersed agaln.
Comenlus fled Lo Polland. SLlll loyal Lo hls erranL frlend, he Lhen arranged for Lhe publlcaLlon of Lhe prophecles
of urablk and Lwo oLher propheLs of 1he unlLy of 8reLhren. lor Lhls he was roundly crlLlclsed by hls own
followers, accuslng hlm of havlng preclplLaLed Lhe desLrucLlon of Leszno by propagaLlng urablk's predlcLlons
(Murphy, p. 41).
CuoLed ln Malcolm (2007b), p. 493.
Kespite this millenarian background of the first Turkish Bible% +lemmings description of the
&'th(century Turkish Bible translation pro"ects as EmissionarischF
is an anachronism. The
concept of Protestant missionaries was not known until the end of the &<th century% and
none were resident in )ttoman lands until &<&=. At this time EmissionaryF was used
eclusively to describe >atholic priests and religious orders working in the +rench and
Spanish colonies. As a result of the +ranco()ttoman military alliance >atholic missions were
established in Lebanon and Aleppo from the &'th century onwardsB they made converts
from the >hristian churches of the Syrian region but did not interest themselves in 7uslims%
let alone Turks.
The >atholic ambience of the word EmissionaryF made it a concept that did
not flow smoothly into Protestant vocabulary or >omenius interest in the Turks. 7artin
Luther had taunted the Pope to send preachers to the Turks instead of raising >atholic
armies against them% but this was hyperbole? Luther himself never considered such a
program for the new 31angelische !irche. >haplains to the diplomatic and merchant
communities in >onstantinople did not think of their work as a mission to the Turks% and
when they engaged with local people at all it was usually with the )ttoman >hristian
minorities. >omenius was an energetic educator but also a man of his age? he never
conceptuali:ed the sending of missionaries. He simply dreamed of the spiritual
enlightenment of the Turks by means of Bible reading% to which they would devote
themselves in gratitude for the support of their Protestant allies in the conLuest of >atholic
A Hebrew ;ew Testament had been in print in *urope since &0==%
and a Hebrew Bible was
printed in &446 in Leiden. This encouraged >omenius in his commitment to a similar
Turkish translation. He drafted a dedication in which he appealed to the sultan to let the
Turkish Bible be read in his realms% reminding him that ,od Ehas stirred up your spirit[ to
llemmlng, p. 111.
8ruce MasLers, cbtlstloos ooJ Iews lo tbe Ottomoo Atob wotlJ. 1be toots of sectotloolsm (Cambrldge
unlverslLy ress, 2001)
1he flrsL prlnLed porLlon of Lhe new 1esLamenL ln Pebrew was an lmperfecL edlLlon of MaLLhew's Cospel ln
1337. 1he flrsL compleLe new 1esLamenL was LranslaLed by PuLLer and prlnLed ln 1399. u8L:
hLLp://, cf. hLLp://
take charge of restoring the @ewish people% who are dispersed throughout the world% so that
they may once again obey the ,od of their fathers as one people and one kingdom.F

7entioning a kingdom of the @ews appears to have been >omenius way of endorsing of the
messianic claims of his contemporary Sabbatai Sevi% a rabbi of Smyrna% who hoped to be
crowned king of 5srael by the )ttoman sultan.
@ews in *urope had been selling their
property and heading for the ;ear *ast to await the enthronement of this @ewish king. The
fervor had affected >hristians also% as >omenius dedication reveals. As far away as Boston%
5ncrease 7ather was energi:ed by the apocalyptic implications of the restoration of the @ews
to their kingdom. He held a series of lectures on the conversion of the @ews which created
such spiritual distraction in Boston that a council of pastors asked him to stop. There were
no @ews in Boston% but 7athers Puritan following was ecited by the thought of the
conversion of the @ews as a pre(condition of the return of >hrist.

*ventually Sabbatai was arrested in 5stanbul and thrown in "ail% but the fervor did not die
down. @ews began making pilgrimages to his prison castle at Ailitbahir on the ,allipoli
Peninsula% hailing him as the messiah and king of the world% epecting the )ttoman sultan
to surrender his kingdom to their messiah. The Turks had had enough. Sabbatai was
summoned to an audience with Sultan 7ehmet 5G in *dirne in September &444 and
threatened with death% whereupon he converted to 5slam on the spot.
After this episode
Malcolm (2007a), p. 332, Malcolm (2007b), p. 483. 1he compleLe LaLln LexL of Lhe drafL dedlcaLlon and an
Lngllsh LranslaLlon have been publlshed for Lhe flrsL Llme by Malcolm (2007b), pp. 479-483, along wlLh hls
excellenL analysls of lL.
Marc uavld 8aer, noooteJ by tbe Cloty of lslom. coovetsloo ooJ coopoest lo Ottomoo mplte (Cxford
unlverslLy ress, 2008), chapLer 6, ls Lhe besL recenL LreaLmenL of SabbaLal Sevl. !ohn lreely's Lravelogue, 1be
lost Messlob. lo seotcb of tbe mystlcol tobbl 5obbotol 5evl (WoodsLock, n.?.: Cverlook ress, 2001) ls an
engaglng LreaLmenL, for an overvlew see: kaufman kohler and Penry MalLer, "ShabbeLhal Zebl b. Mordechal,"
u8L: hLLp://www.[[sp?arLld=331&leLLer=S.
Mlchael C. Pall, 1be lost Ametlcoo lotltoo. 1be llfe of locteose Motbet, 16J9-172J (Panover, n.P.: unlverslLy
ress of new Lngland, 1988), pp. 76-77, 273-273.
SabbaLal Sevl (Zvl) lefL behlnd an lslamo-!ewlsh communlLy dlsparaglngly called uoome (converL, renegade),
whose adherenLs sLlll belleve he was Lhe messlah and LhaL hls converslon Lo lslam a fulflllmenL of Lhe messlah's
sufferlng as prophesled ln lsalah and Lhe ServanL salms. ln lsLanbul Lhe uoome prefer Lhe name 5eloolkll,
because many of Lhem came Lo 1urkey from Salonlca. cf. !acob M. Landau,1he uoomes: CrypLo-!ews under
1urklsh rule, Iewlsb lolltlcol 5toJles kevlew 19 (1-2) (2007), Marc uavld 8aer, 1be uoome. Iewlsb coovetts,
Mosllm kevolotloootles, ooJ 5ecolot 1otks (SLanford unlverslLy ress, 2009), llhan Zorlu, vet, 8eo 5eloolkllylm.
1otklye 5obetoyctltt (lsLanbul: Zvl-Ceylk ui; 1lc. 8asin ?ayin ve 1urlzm, 2004).
and the collapse of the )ttoman siege of Gienna in &4</% the visionary engine of the >alvino(
Turkish utopia lost steam. The long(term survivor of this millennial period was not a @ewish
kingdom but a Bible in )ttoman Turkish% of which Hakis and Ali Beys manuscripts were
early drafts.
'88%48(, '886 # Turkish Bible in manuscrit, *y $li Bey .$li @fkA1

!o"ciech Bobowski #pronounced 14&(chek ba(b4f(ski$ was also known as Albertus Bobovius, a
pen name% and as Ali Bey to the Turks. He was born in Lw\w in Polish Lithuania #now LvYv%
Qkraine$B his birth date is uncertain but is often cited as Ecirca &4&1.F As a boy or young man
he was captured by Tatar raiders% sold as a slave #esir$ in 5stanbul% circumcised and given the
name Ali. He was eventually enrolled in the sultans palace school #"ekteb(i 3nderun$ and
served for about 61 years at the TopkapJ Palace as a musician and dragoman #tercman/
translator$. 5n the )ttoman classification of slave ranks% this now made him a high(status kul
of the sultan. *vliya ]elebi tells us in his %e&*hatn*me that Sultan 7ehmet 5G once honored
EPolish AliF with the gift of a horse and complimented his Turkish fluency #Eu d)gn
konuan/ a) laf &a$an 5ehli 6*liF$.
He had gained his freedom before &40'% i2e2 at least five
years before Levin !arner hired him to translate the Bible. +or biographical details and
research issues on Ali Beys life% see Appendices 5G and G.
!li Be"#s $anuscrits
Preserved in four folio volumes in Leiden% Ali Beys draft translation is the lineal ancestor of
todays Turkish Bible. +rom the dates he noted when he finished drafting each book of the
Bible% we know he began work in +ebruary &446 and finished in Kecember &44C.
5n &440 he
supervised at least two secretaries #as revealed by the handwriting styles$ who made two
Efair copiesF% known also as the secretarial copies% which were were sent to ,olius along
with the draft. )ne of the secretarial copies is complete and preserved in five folios #>od. )r.
&&1&a(f$% missing only a few pages in the Book of @obB the other contains only 5saiah and
several books of the Apocrypha. The draft in Ali Beys hand and the secretarial copies are
archived in Leiden.
Another fair copyDthis one in Ali Beys handDsurvives in Amsterdam
vllyo elebl 5eyobotoomesl, ed. SeylL All kahraman (lsLanbul, 2010).
SchmldL, op.clt,, vol. 1, pp. 84-90, provldes a llsL of daLes wrlLLen ln All 8eys hand ln hls drafL manuscrlpL.,
Cod. Cr. 390a-d.
with corrections by Mahin Aandi superimposed #see below$.
The Turkish Language Society
#'rk -il !urumu$ in Ankara has microfilm of Ali Beys manuscript in Leiden.

)ne of the secretarial copies #>od. )r. &&1&a(f$ features full vowel pointing% which was
unusual in )ttoman Turkish manuscripts. !e may only speculate about why the points
were added. There were rather few )ttomanists in western *urope at the time% so perhaps
,olius was concerned that a typically unpointed tet might be misunderstood by his editors
or typesettersB he may have reLuested a pointed copy for purposes of clarification.
Presumably there was no intention that the vowel points be included in the printed book.
Like Hakis% Ali Beys translation contains a collection of the )ld Testament Apocrypha. This%
along with his occasional marginal notes in Latin and the fluent Latin of his other writings%
has prompted the suggestion that both he and Haki were translating from the Cth(century
Latin Bible% the Gulgate. Ali Bey versified the Psalms and several other passages according to
the Gulgate tradition #the numbering is different in Protestant Bibles$. However% Ali Bey
follows the Tetus -eceptus
where ;ew Testament tetual variants are involved #in
passages 5 have eamined thus far$% suggesting that his source tet was one of the modern
vernacular versions based on *rasmus ,reek ;ew Testament% perhaps the )liv^tan Bible of
+rench Protestantism and_or the Aing @ames Gersion. A study of Ali Beys spellings of proper
names% e2g2 7etro/ %emun, 8ili$o/ 7ilato% would reveal much about his connections with
>hristian traditions. Several of these are 5talian spellings and suggest a >atholic connection.
Lelden unlverslLy Llbrary, Warner CollecLlon: Cod. Cr. 390a-d ls All 8ey's rough drafL, Cod. Cr. 390e. ls a proof
sheeL prlnLed ln 1662, Cod. Cr. 1101a-f ls Lhe secreLarlal falr copy, and Cod. Cr. 1117a ls Lhe lncompleLe
secreLarlal falr copy, cf. SchmldL, vol 1. pp. 83-92, 416-422, 433-436. SchmldL's pp. 418 and 436 feaLure lmages
of Lwo pages from Lhe secreLarlal coples ln a flner hand and larger characLers Lhan Lhe page of All 8ey's drafL ln
hls own hand shown on p. 83.
AmsLerdam unlverslLy Llbrary: MS ! 69c ls a falr copy and MS vl P 2 ls anoLher falr copy lacklng Lhe
enLaLeuch, Apocrypha, and new 1esLamenL. 8oLh falr coples are ln All 8ey's hand. cf. Malcolm (2007a), pp.
336-37, fn27,28, SchmldL, vol. 4 (forLhcomlng), pp. 10-20.
LlsLed under leLLer k as Mlkrofllm/34 klLab-i Mukaddes (1evraL, Zebur, lncll) All 8ey (ev.):
1exLus 8ecepLus, Lhe 'recelved LexL', ls a LaLln deslgnaLlon used by 8lble scholars for Lhe Creek new
1esLamenL edlLed by Lrasmus and reflecLed ln Luropean LranslaLlons of Lhe 8eformaLlon perlod, lncludlng
LuLher's 8lble and Lhe klng !ames verslon: hLLp:// AnclenL Creek
manuscrlpLs dlscovered slnce Lhe 8eformaLlon have lnfluenced modern LranslaLlons lncludlng Lhe 1urklsh
kltob-t MokoJJes of 1878 and Lhe kotsol kltop of 2001.
The fact that Ali Bey refers to @ohn the Baptist as 9,hann* "amad*n:%
a >hristian
construction of @ohns name in Arabic% suggests that he was in contact with the )riental
churches also% perhaps the Syrian )rthodo >hurch where Syriac #Aramaic$ was the
liturgical and Arabic the vernacular language. Ali Bey could not have consulted an Arabic
Bible% because the first modern #>atholic$ translation was printed in -ome only in &4'&% and
he would not likely have had access to the ancient and medieval Arabic manuscripts copied
primarily in *gypt.
Ali Bey would not have done a Turkish translation of the Apocrypha unless it had been
ordered by his Kutch -eformed sponsors. 5n &4C< the !estminster >onfession had pointedly
denounced the Apocryphal books% but this *nglish -eformed position does not seem to have
influenced >omenius% ,olius and !arner? the )ld Testament with appended Apocrypha
was the Bible they knew. 5n any case they may have felt that a Turkish translation of the
Bible should include all the books in the Bible of the ancient churches of the )ttoman
At the end of Hakis manuscript a critical comment in another hand appears to have been
written by Ali Bey. A likely scenario is that !arner asked Ali Bey for advice on the Luality of
Hakis work% accepted Alis "udgment that it sounded too @ewish% and hired him to produce a
new translation.
Hakis manuscript was available to Ali Bey as he did his own translation.
See Appendi 555 #a$ for a comparison and indications of ways Ali Bey made use of Hakis
Ali Beys draft manuscripts were sent to @acob ,olius in Leiden in four parts as he finished
them. 5saiah% @eremiah% *:ekiel and Kaniel were sent first% and a single page from 5saiah was
printed already in late &446 as a demonstration of what the tet would look like in the
typeface then available.

Ali Bey generally used the 5slamic theonyms Allah 'e*l* or simply Allah to translate 2H!H%
'ar to translate *lohim% and 3fendim# or Rabb or Rabb: to translate Adonai. But he was not
always consistentB for eample in ,enesis &?&(6?C he used ;en*b .*r: #,lorious >reator$% .*r:
1oprak, p. 119, Lranscrlblng Cod. Cr. 390d.
Malcolm (2007a), p. 334
SchmldL, vol. l. p. 92.
'e*l* #7ost High >reator$ and Allah 'e*l* #7ost High ,od$% as well as the )ld Turkic 'ar%
to translate the single Hebrew word *lohim. Then 2H!H *lohim #two words$ in ,en. 6?0 is
written 'ar All*h 'e*l* #three words$. >learly he was contetuali:ing the translation for a
7uslim audience. Peter describes @esus as ha&*t sult*n #sultan of life$ in Acts /?&0% where
the *nglish has Eauthor of lifeF. The )ld Testament patriarchs had both wives #a1rat$ and
concubines #c*ri&e$% again reflecting the language of )ttoman culture. Since Levin !arner
sent Ali Beys translation on to Leiden% we may presume that he approved of this kind of
contetuali:ation% but a controversy erupted over the divine names in the &<61s after his
;ew Testament appeared in print #see below$.
Levin !arner died in Turkey on 66 @une &440. The traditional dating of Ali Beys Bible
manuscript is &444% but this date can be forced to apply only to the fair copies of his
manuscript transcribed during &440 and sent on to Leiden by late &440. 5t was probably one
of these copies with vowel points that was used as the source tet for the first printed
Turkish ;ew Testament in &<&= and Bible in &<6'. !e do not know whether the draft
manuscript% completed in &44C% was consultedB the secretarial copies are more legible% one of
them written in a Luite elegant hand.
The %e&end o' (ultan $ehmet#s Bible
Ali Beys servitude in the sultans entourage seems to have ended before &40'% and he went
to work for the )ttoman government again only in &44=. His translation of the Bible was
done during four years of the intervening period% &446(40. There is no evidence that he
translated the Bible while he was a slave of the sultan or in the sultans service as a
freedman% as claimed by 7ac>allum%
let alone that it was Sultan 7ehmet 5G himself who
disapproved of Hakis translation and ordered Ali Bey to start over. A1c "ehmet #Ethe
hunterF$ was a gha:i warrior who pursued a policy of converting the @ews of 5stanbul and
>hristians in Thrace and the Balkans to 5slam. By no means was he interested in translating
the Bible.

The source of the legend seems to be that two centuries later% in &<04% Sultan AbdNlmecid
accepted a gift of a Turkish Bible from the British ambassador% Sir Stratford >anning% after
MacCallum (1942), p. 61.
8aer, noooteJ by tbe Cloty of lslam, op.clt. ls a flne sLudy of Lhe long relgn of SulLan MehmeL lv.
the promulgation of religious liberty in the )ttoman *mpire. Later Sultan Abdulhamid 55
approved the printing of the !itab( "ukaddes% though initially the government had resisted
its publication and changed its mind only under pressure from the British #see below under
!itab( "ukaddes% &<'<$. 5t is historically groundless for these eLuivocal incidents from the
latter half of the &=th century to be transposed back two centuries to the time of Ali Bey and
Sultan 7ehmet 5G.
;evertheless% both >hristians and 7uslims have circulated the con"ecture that Sultan
7ehmed ordered the translation of the Bible.
The coincidence that Ali Bey who had once
been the Sultans slave was also a Bible translator has seeded an imaginary scenario of
interreligious convergence between 5slam and >hristianity that never occurred. History is
easily constructed in our own image% and in this case the construction has a double source.
)n the one hand% Turkish scholars of the )ttoman heritage naturally try to minimi:e
*uropean influence on )ttoman cultural achievements% and the Turkish Bible was one of
these. )n the other hand% >hristians hope that% if an )ttoman sultan actually ordered the
Turkish Bible% it will now gain legitimacy in a country where 7uslims tend to discredit it.
However captivating% the legend must give way to the historical record% which testifies that
the early translations of the Turkish Bible were inspired% directed and funded from the
;etherlands. Ali Bey did his translation while employed by the Kutch ambassador and did
not begin work on it until four or five years after he was freed from slavery.
The )ualit" o' !li Be"#s Translation and the *e+ision o' his $anuscrits
5n &444 ,olius began reading Ali Beys fair copy. Qntil then ,olius% >omenius and others
had been under the impression that Levin !arner was doing the translation himself% but by
now !arner was dead and they finally learned that Ali Bey was the translator. ,olius
critici:ed Ali Beys work for both style and accuracy and proposed that revisions be done by
Mahin ibn Aandi of Aleppo.
Mahin was an Armenian copyist of )riental manuscripts at
Leiden Qniversity% supervised by ,olius and funded by de ,eer. >orrections in Mahins hand
Akin and 8ayrakLar, ln Lhelr lnLroducLlon Lo komeolk kotsol kltop (see below, 2007), p. 4.
lor 5ahln's role, see !an SchmldL, An osLrlch egg for Collus: 1he Peyman apers preserved ln Lhe Lelden and
ManchesLer unlverslLy Llbrarles... ln hls 1be Ioys of lblloloqy. 5toJles lo Ottomoo lltetotote, blstoty ooJ
Otleotollsm (1500-192J), lsLanbul, 2002, vol. 2, pp. 33-9.
can be seen on Ali Beys fair copy in Amsterdam% where several books of the )ld Testament
written out in Mahins hand are also archived.
The nature of Mahins corrections has not been studied% nor do we know precisely why
,olius felt corrections were needed% so we must rely the evaluations of Ali Beys work by
later scholars. +lemming praised Ali Beys strenuous work% as compared to Hakis heavy
word(for(word translation? EAl9 Beg searches for lofty and learned words to form a Biblical
Turkish style in the spirit of the original.F
But Mahin may have noted that sometimes Ali
Beys spelling of Arabic words is inconsistentB for eample% he occasionally drops the initial
a&in in words beginning with the vowel a2 Ali Bey used words that eventually became
obsolete% were rightly corrected by Aieffer% and never appeared again in any translation%
though these should not have bothered Mahin who was Ali Beys contemporary. )n rare
occasions Ali Beys Turkish synta is ecessively conversational% as in 6 Samuel &&?66 where
he wrote% Em<deci gitti 1e geli$ -*1,da il*m e&ledi cmle ol nesne ki 9o*b onu iin onu
gnderdi idi%F which Aieffer properly corrected to read Ehaberci gitdi 1e geli$ -*1uda cmle
9o*b oa smarladn il*m e&ledi.F )n the other hand% Ali Beys choice of words was often
better than Aieffers% so that two later translators% Selim *fendi and Schauffler% sometimes
re"ected Aieffers version and returned to Ali Beys usage as it had appeared in the Turkish
;ew Testament of &<&=. 7ost notably% Ali Bey constructs narrative sentences in an
uncomplicated and conversational manner. Any criticism of Ali Beys occasionally archaic
vocabulary must be tempered by SadJk 2a:ars observation that Ali Bey was loyal to the
sentence structure of the Turkish of his time. The literary tradition he knew often featured
simple and popular Turkish% 2usuf *mre being the classic eample.
Since he was an )ttoman >hristian% Mahin may have ob"ected to the way Ali Bey delved into
5slamic culture to find eLuivalents of the biblical material. Ali Bey knew that
7uslims% not >hristians% were the target audience for his Bible% but Mahin may not
have grasped or accepted this. 5n 7atthew 4?0(4% for eample% @esus speaks these words in
Ali Beys rendering?
=am*) kld )am*n mr*:ler gibi olma ):r* onlar kenisalarda 1e arllarda adamlara
goo ruu nmek iin nam*)a ik*met etmei se1erler > hakk* derim si)e ki artk ce)*sn
llemmlng , p. 114, my LranslaLlon.
olan .abaa nam*) kl da hal1etde gren Allah saa *ik*re se1*b bala&a
(When you recite the namaz dont be like the hypocrites, because they love to stand up in
the synagogues and at the street junctions for the namaz so as to be seen by men. Truly I
say to you they have received their recompense. But hen you recite the nama! go into your
on room and shut the door and say your namaz to your "ather ho is in halvet and #od
ho sees in halvet ill grant you sevap openly.$
Here we feel the daily eperience of the Turkish street% where men get up from their
work% close their shops% walk to the mosLue% sit down and wait for imam to start%
then stand up for the first cycle of prostrations. !hether this is for love of ,od or Eto
be seen by menF is a regular sub"ect of conversation among 7uslims. Ali Bey knew
that many in the 7uslim community would applaud @esus words. 5n this passage
not only nama) but also hal1et and se1a$ are 5slamic terms. +or the Sufis a hal1et was a
place of seclusion in the presence of ,od% and se1a$ is the merit of good deeds
earning ,ods favor. Protestants will sLuirm at the thought that @esus was talking
about se1a$ in this passage% but it is difficult for 7uslim readers to interpret it in any
other way% regardless of what kind of vocabulary is used. Ali Bey hesitated only at
one point? he could have used a neutral word that would imply EmosLueF but
instead wrote kenisa which can only mean church or synagogue% thus reminding his
7uslim readers that @esus was actually speaking to @ews.
Toprak notes a few instances where Ali Beys draft manuscript shows evidence of having
been translated by a non(native speaker of Turkish. Some of these recur in Aieffers edition
of &<6' and most were corrected in the editons of TNrabi *fendi in the &<01s and by Selim
and Schauffler in the following decade. As shown by Toprak%
Ali Bey also has a habit of
using a plural noun after an ad"ectival number that modifies it% e.g. ol "edi etmekleri +e
balklar al$ kr Vdi$ $areledi/ where &edi etmegi ekmegi# 1e bal would be epected by a
modern native speaker. 5n Ali Beys time the double plural seems to have been under the
influence of Turkish numbers modifying Arabic plural nounsB so it would not have been
incorrect as it is in Turkish today.
1oprak, pp. 32, 36, 34.
!hen Baron von Kie: reported to the Bible Society in &<&C he praised the translation as
accurate and inspiring?
5f 5 find% in the progress of the work% Ali Beys version as correct as hitherto% 5 do
not say too much when 5 assert that it will rank among the very best versions of the
sacred volumeB and in many passages even ecel them. His style is truly classical.
5ndeed% should the Turkish language ever be lost% it might be restored from this
work in all its copiousness and ease. Having made the Turkish language for thirty
years my constant study% and considered it almost a second mother tongue% it is
really a treat to me to sit down in order to hear the !ord of ,od speaking to me in
this language.

This sentiment is felt also by readers today% which is remarkable considering that Turkish
was not Ali Beys native language.
5n August &444 Ali Bey was unaware that Mahin had been asked to revise his work and
hoped that he might be invited to do the "ob himself. Qnder his Latin pen name% Albertus
Bobovius% he wrote to 5saac Basire% an *nglish friend who had introduced him to the *nglish
ambassador. 5n the letter he writes that he would like to work in *ngland and revise his
translation by consulting the Bible commentary of the Swiss scholar Theodore Be:a%
fulfilling a wish !arner had voiced to him.
5n the end% however% Ali Bey did not revise his
work% and Mahin never completed his revisions% which seem not to have been consulted for
any subseLuent translation.
The ,nd o' the -utch .ro/ect
!arner had died in Turkey in &440% before Ali Beys fair copy was finished. Then% crucially%
Laurens de ,eer died in &444. His heirs continued to support >omenius and apparently also
Mahin for a time as he revised Ali Beys Turkish Bible. But then ,olius also died% and in @une
&44' @ohann Heinrich Hottinger% a Swiss )rientalist who would have provided new
epertise for the translation pro"ect% was killed in a boating accident before he could take up
his professorial duties in Leiden. Ke ,eer had been the only money behind the Kutch
ClLed ln Cooper, p. 11, from 1be cbtlstloo Obsetvet cooJocteJ by tbe membets of tbe estobllsbeJ cbotcb fot
tbe yeot 18J2 (London: !. PaLchard & Son, 1832), vol. 32, p. 233. u8L: hLLp://
neudecker (2003), pp. 178ff.
pro"ect% and Hottingers death was felt by >omenius as a "udgment of ,od.
>omenius did
not know that Ali Bey was eager to come to *urope to revise his work further% because Ali
had sent his letter to Basire in *ngland% not to >omenius in Holland.
>omenius died in &4'1. >ontrary to what one writer has said%
he had not abandoned the
Turkish Bible because the translation was not good enoughB rather% the pro"ect had proven to
be too comple for the time. A translation pro"ect involving a document as large as the Bible
reLuires scholarshi% and money% and both had now evaporated. Bible translation also
reLuires a contetuali:ed grasp of cross(cultural communication. 5mmersed in )ttoman
ethnic realities% Ali Bey understood thisB >omenius so(called universal philosophy did not.
5n &4'= a plan to print Ali Beys Bible was revived by >hristian Gladislav ;igrin who had
been hired to go through >omenius unpublished papers% but no )rientalist could be found
to finish the revisions of Mahin. The person who might have revised it% Ali Bey himself% had
also died by this time in Turkey #ca. &4''$.
+ailure to print the Turkish Bible in the &'th century has been attributed to the very small
pool of Turkish linguists in *urope at the time.
Another factor was the pro"ects dependence
on private patronage. There was no church support that might have continued the pro"ect
beyond the lives of individual benefactors. Ali Beys Bible was finally printed only after the
Bible societies were founded in the &=th century.
+unda Toprak has published a word(for(word transcription of the +our ,ospels in Ali Beys
draft translation #Leiden ms. /=1d$B her detailed glossary of his vocabulary is a significant
contribution to &'th(century Turkish linguistics.
A full glossary of Ali Beys vocabulary will
be available when the transcription of his full tet is completed at )
+or a biography of Ali Bey and his times see Appendi 5G. +or an essay on )ttoman slavery
see Appendi G.
Malcolm (2007a), p. 334.
Mlke W. SLroope, 1he legacy of !ohn Amos Comenlus, lotetootloool 8olletlo of Mlssloooty keseotcb 29 (4):
204-208 (2003), for Lhls sLaLemenL, p. 207.
Malcolm (2007a), p. 360ff.
1oprak, op.clL., pp. 331-644.
'886495 # $e0amir #Psalms &(&C$% by Ali Qfk9% in manuscript.
The only known manuscript of Ali Beys "e)amir
was on display at the SabancJ 7useum in
5stanbul in @une(September 61&1. >em Behars study of this manuscript begins with a careful
introduction in Turkish on the life of Ali Qfk9% which he has now updated in another essay
on )ttoman music history.
His study of the "e)amir includes the &C psalms in the
romani:ed transliteration used today by Turkish scholars% as well as staff notation in both
facsimile and modern form.
*ach of Ali Beys musical psalms is longer and more poetic
than the Psalms of his Bible translation. +or eample% the simple language of Psalm < in Ali
Beys Bible finished in &440? E3& 3fendimi) Allah 'e*l*/ cmle &erde ismi ne kadar a)imdir ki
i))etii gkler )erine koduFF #) Lord% our 7aster% how magnificent is your name in all the
earth that you have fied your glory above the skies$ may be compared with the version in
the "e)amir?
3& 7er1erdig*rm) 6akk 'e*l* ) Highest and -ighteous% our Protector
=e kadar mucib a):m al* How gracious and magnificent and ealted
sm(i i))etin bahr berde 5s your glorious name on the face of the sea
%em* stnde hem cemi &erde2 )ver the sky and in all the earth.
>onsiderations of rhyme% meter and the tastes of a 7uslim audience influenced the way Ali
Bey turned the psalm into a hymn.
Ali Bey adapted the tunes from the ,enevan Psalter and set them to the Turkish modal
system. 5t has been speculated that he knew the ,enevan Psalter from his training as a
church musician in Lw\w% but there is no documentary evidence for this. 5t is more likely
that he received a copy from one of his *uropean friends #see Appendi 5G$.
Turkish musicians honor Sant`r9 Ali Qfk9% the master of the santur #:ither$% for his larger and
earlier work% "ecm,a(i %*) %)2
-ecently another of his musical manuscripts has been
8lblloLheque naLlonale de lrance, Suppl. 1urc. 472, cf. 8ehar (1990), p. 47.
Cem 8ehar, Wo[clech 8obowskl (All ufki): PayaLi ve eserlerl (1610?-1673), ln MostklJeo Mozle - Osmoolt
1otk Mozll. Celeoek ve MoJetollk lloJe (lsLanbul: ?api kredl ?ayinlari, 2003), pp. 17-36.
ln 8ehar (1990) Lhe LranscrlpLlons are on pp. 61-83, words and muslc ln modern sLaff noLaLlon on pp. 87-92,
and Lhe manuscrlpL fasclmlle on pp. 93-104.
Llln (1976).
5n its time it was the first collection of )ttoman music written in western staff
notation% datable to the early &401s. "e)amir seems to have been a later work% though its date
is uncertain. Thanks to Turkish music historians% there has been more critical study of the
tets of Ali Bey the musician than those of Ali Bey the Bible translator.
Ali Bey worked on these musical psalms toward the end of his life. The timing is evidence of
his enduring interest in the Bible. He appears to have sustained a commitment to
contetuali:e the religion of his youth in an 5slamic medium even after his Bible translation
was finished. Several >Ks include renditions of his Psalms.
Strikingly% these arrangements
create a spiritual atmosphere similar to &'th(century Puritan hymnody. But "e)amir cannot
have been intended for a >hristian audience. 5t was )ttoman chamber music for an
evenings entertainment in the cultured and mystical ambience of -er %aadet% the ,ate of
Bliss% also known as 5stanbul.
'86B # Ktb- 1klerin Trk2de bir nm3dar- "ah4i5 Kads Yuhanna *es3l6 Trk
0eb1na mtercem olmu4 ris1lesidir 7 (ecimen turcicum (8 (8 (critur95 si+e: tres
eistol9 (8 ;ohannis aostoli turcice reddit9 #A good sample of the holy books in
Turki? Three letters of St. @ohn the Apostle translated in the Turki language$. Translated
by !illiam Seaman. London? @acob +lesher.
'888 # <ncil-i $ukaddes 5 "ani lisan- Trk#"e tercme olunan bi0im *abbimi0 Yes3
$esih#i6 "e6i ahid +e +asi"eti #Holy ,ospel? or the new covenant and testament of our
Lord @esus >hrist translated into Turki$. Translated by !illiam Seaman. )ford? Henry
Hall% Printer to the Qniversity.
Seamans ncil(i "ukaddes% preceded by his booklet of the epistles of @ohn% was the first
Turkish ;ew Testament ever printed% though its circulation was limited and its afterlife
short. +or various reasons it is not accorded the same honor as Ali Beys translation. 5t is the
only Turkish translation that ever used the Aramaic 9es, instead of the Arabic s* as the
name of @esus. An invocation of the Holy Trinity is written in Arabic on the top of the title
page? Z.ismi([ll*h 1e[l(bn 1e[l(R,h[l(!uds el(Allah el(\*hid2]
Cem 8ehar, 5oklt Mecmoo, All ufki 8lbllotbpoe Notlooole Je ltooce'tokl (1otc 292) ozmost (lsLanbul: ?apl
kredl ?aylnlarl, 2008).
All ufkl, by AhmeL kadrl 8lzell (Sony 8MC Muslc LnLerLalnmenL 1urklye 1lcareL A.5., 2009 - u8L:
hLLp:// , also an earller verslon enLlLled All ufkl setletl. CLher Cu's
lnclude Ooe CoJ. 5ooqs ooJ nymos ftom Otleot ooJ OcclJeot, by MehmeL Cemal ?e;llay (Ludl Muslcl), 5octeJ
8tlJqes, by Lhe klng's Slngers and Sarband, 1be lsolms of All ufkl, by uunya Lnsemble and CuesLs, dlrecLed by
MehmeL All 5anlikol.
!illiam Seaman #&414(&4<1$ was an )ford graduate and clergyman who spent a few years
#ca. &46<(/&$ in >onstantinople as chaplain to the *nglish ambassador. He cannot have been
there as late as &4/=% as is sometimes stated.
Seaman was the pioneer of Turkish studies in
*ngland. His first publication was an *nglish translation of a Turkish history of the early
)ttoman period #&406$% and his crowning work was a five(volume grammar% ^rammatica
lingu_ turcic_ #&4'1$. The latter was printed in )ttoman characters% unlike earlier *uropean
grammars of Turkish.
5n &40= Seaman arranged for the printing of his Turkish EsampleF of the Bible from @ohns
epistles% after which he was recruited by -obert Boyle to translate a Puritan catechism%
printed in &44&.
Boyle was a key figure Ein the circle of Samuel Hartlib% whose millenarian
convictions included belief in the imminent conversion to >hristianity of the 7uslims and a
determination to hasten the process. 5n *ngland the plan was fostered by Hartlib himself%
Henry )ldenburg% @ohn Kurie% and above all -obert Boyle[F

Seaman emerged as the best *nglish candidate to translate the ;ew Testament% but this
proved to be a bridge too far for him. 5t is one thing to translate a historical work from a
foreign language into ones mother tongue% which reLuires only a passive knowledge of the
foreign language. 5t is Luite another matter to translate from ones mother tongue into a
second language% which reLuires a high level of idiomatic and cultural fluency. Seaman had
lived in Turkey for only a short time and could not possibly have acLuired this level of
Seaman had already drafted the Acts of the Apostles and one of the ,ospels when he was
forestalled by news from Holland that E!arnersF #aAli Beys$ Turkish Bible was almost
finished. 5n late &44C Seaman resumed his work because the Kutch pro"ect appeared to be
delayed and it was thought in *ngland that it involved only the )ld Testament% though we
now know that Ali Bey had already finished his complete draft of the Bible. !hen this news
reached *ngland% the Hartlib circle decided it would be well in any case to have two draft
Malcolm (2007a), p, 339, AlasLalr PamllLon, Wllllam Seaman, OxfotJ ulctloooty of Notloool 8lopqtopby
(Cxford unlverslLy ress, 2004-2010). u8L: hLLp:// 1he end of Lhe
ambassador's Lenure ln ConsLanLlnople, noL Seaman's was 1639.
Pannah neudecker, 8obowskl's 1urklsh LranslaLlon of Lhe Angllcan caLechlsm (forLhcomlng).
CuoLed ln Malcolm (2007a), p, 339.
translations of the Turkish ;ew Testament to compare.
This seems to have set a precedent?
the Turkish Bible has never been confined to one translation alone% not even in its first
decade in the &441s.
Seaman secured financial backing from *nglish merchants trading in Turkey% and Boyle
decided to make up any shortfall himselfB so the ;ew Testament proceeded to press.
sheets were printed in )ford beginning in ;ovember &44C% after which the presses ran
slowly% a few sheets each week% until @une &444. The long printing process appears to have
been due to a shortage of lead type for )ttoman Turkish? proofs had to be sent to Seaman in
London or his country home before the net sheets could be set in type in )ford.
Henry )ldenburg had been passing news between Holland and *ngland on the progress of
the two translations. 5n +ebruary &444 >omenius proposed to )ldenburg that the printing of
the Bible be coordinated% using Seamans ;ew Testament and Ali Beys )ld Testament.
>ollaboration came to Luick end% however% when the Kutch scholar ,olius% already
uncertain about the Luality of Ali Beys work% eamined Seamans ;ew Testament and
Econsidered its language to be so artificial as to be virtually incomprehensible.F
Armenian employee Mahin Aandi told him that it was worthless and would not be
understood by a Turk.

Several libraries still catalog Seamans ncil(i "ukaddes erroneously as a ;ogai #Tatar$
translation from the ;orth >aucasus% but the mistake has been deemed understandable
considering how contrived Seamans )ttoman Turkish was.
The Turkish grammar he
published later was also criticised during his lifetime? E5t lacks any form of systematic
approach to Turkish% contains numerous errors% and includes a thoroughly unreliable guide
to the pronunciation of the language.F
Malcolm (2007a), p, 341. Malcolm's arLlcle ls Lhe mosL Lhorough LreaLmenL of Lhe Seaman LranslaLlon.
Malcolm (2007a), p. 342
8oper, p. 4
Malcolm (2007a), p. 330.
8oper, p. 3, 8lggs, p. 237.
PamllLon, op.clt.
5n retrospect Seamans failure seems inevitable. He did his translation in *ngland%
apparently without access to native speakers of Turkish. Bible translation would not be done
this way today. 5t always begins with a draft by a native speaker of the target language and
involves a team approach. Seaman had no team and his knowledge of Turkish was passive.
Ali Bey% by contrast% had lived in Turkey for /1 years when he began his translation% did all
his work in Turkey% had access to Hakis draft translation% which had also been done in
Turkey% and through his eperience as a court translator had learned a plain and fluent style
that tended to conceal evidence of his foreignness. 7alcolm attempts a speculative defense
of Seamans Turkish as merely the simplified language of the people instead of the cultured
Turkish which ,olius and Mahin advocated. This is untenable. 7alcolm does not claim to
have eamined Seamans style or vocabulary. A comparative eamination of the two tets
demonstrates that it is Ali Beys translation that is the simple and conversational one. *ven
Seamans title for the ;ew Testament sounds contrived.
5n both Holland and *ngland financial backing for the Turkish Bible translations was
provided by merchants D men who owned sailing ships% traded in 7editerranean ports and
were familiar with the Turkish coast. Some copies of Seamans ;ew Testament were sent to
Smyrna in &4'6% but Egiven the poor Turkish of the edition% and the general reluctance of
7uslims to accept or read >hristian tets anyway% it is unlikely that many found their way
into the hands or the libraries of Turkish readers.F
Hanna MamlJ% a Syrian >hristian% copied
SeamanRs translation out by hand #see below% &4<1$% so at least one copy arrived somehow at
his doorstep. Kespite the more lasting influence of Ali Beys superior translation% Seamans
;ew Testament was the first printed book of the Turkish Bible to arrive in )ttoman territory%
even if we have no evidence that any Turk ever read it.
The ncil(i "ukaddes is available in microform at a few university libraries in the QSA and the
original book in >ambridge and Leiden. )ne was sold for a high price at auction in &==0.
Selections from Seamans translation were reprinted in ,ermany in the mid(&<th century for
use in a >hristian training program #see below$ but never again since then. Seamans true
legacy in the history of the Turkish Bible is that his publications pioneered the creation of
lead type for )ttoman Turkish. At the time there was no printing press in Turkey.
8oper, p. 8
'8<& = <ncil-i $ukaddes "ani lisan- trk2"e tercme olunan bi0im *abbimi0 Yes3 $esihi6
"e6i ahd-i +es1"eti. ;ew Testament manuscript in two folios, &'& and 666 pages
respectively% in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Copied by Hanna b. ;eta Shamlu
from SeamanRs ;ew Testament #&444$.
Hanna MamlJ #E@ohn the SyrianF$ tells us in a half(page afterword to the +our ,ospels that he
wrote it down between &C August and &< September &4<1% asking >hristians to pray for him
as he worked. 5 conclude that he copied SeamanRs book directly% because the last page of the
,ospel of @ohn which 5 have seen is an eact copy of SeamanRs printed tet of &444B even
SeamanRs strange spellings and oddities are the same. Hanna does not tell us where he was
when he wrote this manuscriptB presumably he acLuired a copy of SeamanRs ;ew Testament
in Syria.
!hy would Hanna have made a manuscript from a printed bookZ Perhaps he had never
seen a Bible in Turkish before and having borrowed it and promised to return it he wanted a
copy to keep so made a manuscript from it. Hanna gives no indication that he knew of Ali
BeyRs manuscript.
Another partial ;ew Testament in the Turkish collection at the BibliotheLue ;ationale has
been dated by Blochet to the &</1Rs on the basis of the handwriting.
'8B% # ,msale-i (le"m1n8 A Turkish manuscript of the Proverbs of Solomon in the hand of
Hanna b. ;eta Shamlu. C1 pp.% /& 6/.0 cm. BibliotheLue ;ationale% Paris.
)he Ger0an /riental ,nstitutes
Though Protestants were disappointed by the >atholic victory over the Turks in &4</% their
engagement with @ews and 7uslims continued. 5n &'6C a Protestant institute for @ewish
studies was founded in Halle. The `nstitutum audaicum was the first of several such schools
that taught >hristian apologetics with the goal of converting @ews. +or the net two centuries
@ewish evangelism was a strong movement in *urope% whose character was transmuted into
programs of interreligious studies only after the ;a:i genocide against the @ews. The first
`nstitutum audaicum also had a 7uslim focus% printing Bibles% Scripture portions% language
manuals and evangelistic tracts in Arabic% Hindustani #Qrdu$% Persian% and Turkish% as well
L. 8locheL, ;atalogue des manuscrits turbues c .ibliothebue =ationale% p. &44f. #available from the library$.
as Hebrew and 2iddish% under the tutelage of @ohann Heinrich >allenberg #&4=C(&'41$. 5t is
unclear whether these tracts were ever distributed to 7uslims or whether the `nstitutum
audaicum ever sent any of its graduates to 7uslim cities.
'956 # %uc9 ,+an&elium Turkice #The ,ospel of Luke in Turkish$. Halle? Typographia
)rientali 5nstituti @udaici et 7uhammedici #)riental Publishing House of the 5nstitute
for @ewish and 7uhammedan Affairs$. &<4 pages.
>allenbergs ,ospel of Luke was a reprint of one book from Seamans Turkish ;ew
Testament. Luke was followed in &'C' by 7auli A$ostoli 3$istola ad Romanos 'urcice
of the Apostle Paul to the -omans in Turkish$% in &'C= by the Acts of the Apostles% and in the
&'01s by the ,ospel of @ohn% the +irst *pistle of @ohn% and Hebrews.

>allenberg also wrote a C<(page booklet entitled? EShort account of an essay% to bring the
@ewish nation to the knowledge and practice of the truth of the ,ospel and his endeavour to
promote the conversion of the 7ahommedans to >hristianityF #&'/6$. The work was
reprinted many timesB the *nglish version first appeared in &'/C.
'95B # )uatuor rima caita >eneseos turcice et latine e? &emino .entateuchi $osaici mss8
@odice Turcico eruit: %atine +ertit: notulasAue adsersit Bicholas >uillelmus
(choederus. #The first four chapters of ,enesis in Turkish and Latin ecerpted from two
Turkish codices of the Pentateuch of 7oses% translated into Latin% with notes added by
;icklaus !ilhelm Schroeder$. LipsiU HLeip:igI? Literis Takkianis. C1 pp.
This booklet comprises a preface by ;.!. Schroeder of 7arburg and 6< pages of Ali Beys
Turkish tet of ,enesis &(C with Latin in parallel columns. Schroeder tells us that his father
had purchased in Amsterdam two handwritten EcodicesF of Ali Beys translation of the five
books of 7oses% one of them with vowel points. Schroeders mention of these EbooksF of Ali
Beys manuscript raises Luestions about how many copies once eisted and in what form.
The only copies known today are the ones mentioned by Ali Bey himself in his letter to 5saac
Basire and preserved in Leiden and Amsterdam. *cept for Schroeders comment there is no
evidence of copies made later. A plausible scenario is that Schroeders father bought parts of
A llbrary llsLlng ln ls evldence LhaL Seaman's new 1esLamenL was Lhe LexL for Callenberg's
eaanxordenrallrerlseLdarohannelnrlhallener 1he reference Lo nogay
1urklsh ls ln error buL Lhe reference Lo Seaman ls probably noL.
Luke may have been preceded by MaLLhew ln 1733 buL l have noL found a llbrary record of Lhls book.
the incomplete secretarial copies of Ali Beys draft manuscript% the ones that had been done
in 5stanbul in &440 and could have been bound later in smaller codices% section by section.

Schroeders introduction reveals a limited knowledge of Ali Beys life based on a version
published in &4=1 by Thomas Hyde #&4/4(&'1/$% an *nglish )rientalist at )ford.
Schroeder repeats Hydes assertion that Ali Bey was first dragoman #chief translator$ under
Sultan 7ehmet 5G. He also leaps to the unwarranted conclusion that Ali Beys desire to move
to *ngland and return to the >hristian faith% as noted by Hyde% had actually taken place.
Schroeder claims that some of Ali Beys works had been suppressed by the TurksDa
statement for which there is no other evidence in the historical record.
However brief% Schroeders booklet is the earliest printing of Ali Beys tet% discounting the
single proof sheet of 5saiah printed in Leiden in &446. Appendi 555#b$ shows a brief
transliterated section of Schroeders tet of Ali Beys ,enesis. But apparently Schroeder
never printed the rest of the manuscripts in his possession. Proimity of time and place with
>allenbergs publication of individual books of the Turkish Bible from Seamans ncil(i
"ukaddes suggests that Schroeder may have had a connection #or been in competition$ with
the printing operation at the `nstitutum audaicum. There is a hint of this in Schroeders
preface where he comments that Ali Bey had lived ELuite constantly among the Turks
themselvesF #a$ud i$sos 'urcas frebuentioribus$. Perhaps this was an obliLue way of criticising
>allenbergs use of the translation of Seaman% who had only briefly inhabited the diplomatic
Luarter in >onstantinople and had never lived ELuite constantly among the Turks.F
!riting in &<60% *bene:er Henderson mentioned a new printing of Ali Beys tet in Berlin
and showed an eample that corresponds eactly to the first part of Schroeders tet of Ali
noLably, MS vl P 2 archlved ln AmsLerdam ls an lncompleLe falr copy of All 8ey's manuscrlpL LhaL lacks Lhe
enLaLeuch, Apocrypha, and new 1esLamenL.
1h. Pyde, ed. 1toctotos Albettl 8obobll Je 1otcotom lltotqlo, peteqtlootlooe meccooo, cltcomclslooe,
oeqtototom vlsltotlooe, &c. (Cxford, 1690). rlnLed ln Lngllsh as AlberLus 8obovlus, A LreaLlse concernlng Lhe
1urklsh llLurgy, ln loot 1teotlses coocetoloq tbe uocttloe, ulsclplloe ooJ wotsblp of tbe Mobometoos (London:
!. uarby for 8. LlnLolL, 1712), pp. 109-130, wlLh Pyde's preface on pp. 103-108. u8L:
Many Lhanks Lo Ashley arroLL, who LranslaLed Schroeder's preface for me.
Beys ,enesis.
Henderson does not provide a reference% but it seems that Schroeders
booklet had been #or was about to be$ reprinted in Berlin. 5 have not been able to locate this
edition% and it is uncertain that it ever eisted.
)he Bi*le !ocieties
The Turkish translation pro"ects of the &'th century had depended on private benefactors. 5n
the &<th century >allenbergs )riental institute had limited resources and managed to print
only Bible selections. A sustainable program of Turkish Bible publication began only with
the Bible societies of the &=th century. The British and +oreign Bible Society #B+BS$ was
founded in London in &<1C.
5t sponsored and funded Turkish Bible translation for the net
two centuries% beginning with the discovery of Ali Beys manuscript in Leiden by -obert
Pinkerton #&'<1(&<0=$.
According to a B+BS report addressed to its patron almost 61 years
later% this happened as follows?
5n the year &<&C 7r. #now Kr.$ Pinkerton% being on a tour of the ;etherlands% sent
information to London% respecting a Turkish translation of the whole Bible in
manuscript% which had been deposited for a century and a half in the archives of
the Qniversity of Leyden. 2our lordship cannot have forgotten the delight with
which this intelligence was received by every biblical scholar and every friend of
religion% more especially when it was stated that by a venerable nobleman% Baron
von Kie:% who had formerly been the HPIrussian
Ambassador at >onstantinople%
and was a competent Turkish scholar% and whose character stood high for piety
and :eal for the propagation of Kivine truth% that Ethe translation was accurate%
and the style most ecellent%F and that he himself would edit the manuscript and
superintend its printing. To convey the whole inspired word of ,od into the very
strongholds of the false prophet% was a prospect that filled with "oy every >hristian
heartB and it seemed% with any desecration of the word% truly $ro1idential that this
manuscript should have been so long prepared% and have survived the vicissitudes
Lbenezer Penderson, 1be 1otklsb New 1estomeot locopoble of uefeoce, ooJ tbe ttoe ptloclples of 8lbllcol
ttooslotloo vloclJoteJ. lo ooswet to ltofessot lees kemotks oo ut. neoJetsoos Appeol to tbe 8lble 5oclety, oo
tbe sobject of tbe 1otklsb vetsloo of tbe New 1estomeot, ptloteJ ot lotls lo 1819. (London: C. & !. 8lvlngLon,
1823), pp. 92f. u8L: hLLp://
SLeer, op.clt.
Cerald P. Anderson, ed., 8loqtopblcol ulctloooty of cbtlstloo Mlssloos (Crand 8aplds, Mlch.: Wllllam 8.
Lerdmans, 1999), pp. 337f.
Pelnz lrledlrch von ulez, uos ozykopoJle Jes lslom,
of years% and the conflagrations and sackings of the late H;apoleonicI war% till the
return of peace% and the institution of Bible Societies afforded facilities for its
printing and circulation.
The B+BS was impressed with Ali Beys translation because it sounded like classical Turkish
but was simple and idiomatic. This shows that it is an error to say that the old translations
were wooden and incomprehensible D a pre"udice of the post()ttoman era. Both Ali Bey in
the &'th century and the Bible Societies in the &=th century recogni:ed the importance of
contemporary vocabulary and style in Bible translation.
5n &<&/ the B+BS spawned a -ussian Bible Society in St. Petersburg% which printed a Turkish
;ew Testament a few years later #see >hapter C below$. The American Bible Society #ABS$
was founded in &<&C but did not begin to interest itself in the )ttoman world until &</4.
The earliest American books in the )ttoman languages were printed at the printing house of
the >hurch 7issionary Society #>7S% Anglican$. This press had been established on 7alta in
&<&0 after Britain occupied the strategic 7editerranean island during the ;apoleonic !ars.
As for the B+BSs first Turkish pro"ect% its investigations led it to the conclusion that the only
printing press for )ttoman Turkish that could handle a large book was in Paris.
'<'B # Kitab l-ahd el-cedid el-mensub ila *abbina <sa el-$esih#The Book of the ;ew
Testament of )ur Lord @esus >hrist$. Ali Beys ;ew Testament in Turkish% edited by
@ean Kaniel Aieffer. Printed at the 5mprim^rie -oyal in Paris by the B+BS. C</ pp. &/ cm
66 cm
This rare book can be found today in Leiden% !eimar% the British Library% the +rench
;ational Library% the -amseyer >ollection at the Qniversity of 7innesota(Kuluth% and in
Turkey at the ;ational Library #"illi !t$hane$% the %e&fetti f)ege .a !ita$lar collection
at AtatNrk Qniversity in *r:urum% and a private collection in Ankara. Another copy was
offered in 61&6 at a very high price by an antiLue bookseller. 5t is printed on rough cream(
colored paper in a fine typeface and mostly without vowel points. As befits a holy book
intended for the use of 7uslims% the titles of this and all the &=th(century Bibles were written
in Arabic% though the rest of the book was in )ttoman Turkish. #After the primary title itself
cbtlstloo Obsetvet, op.clt., pp. 233-39.
eLer !. Wosh, 5pteoJloq tbe wotJ. 1be 8lble bosloess lo oloeteeotb-ceototy Ametlco (Cornell unlverslLy
ress, 1994), cf. hLLp://
the remainder of the title page features Turkish grammar% but almost every word is from
Arabic.$ 5n the 7uslim world holy books are recogni:able as holy by their Arabic titles.
5n &<&C the preparation of Ali Beys manuscript for publication had been assigned by the
new British Bible Society to Baron H.+. von Kie:% but when he died in &<&' @ean Kaniel
Aieffer #&'4'(&<//$ was engaged to continue the pro"ect in @uly of that year. Aieffer was
professor of Turkish at the ;ollgge de 8rance and interpreter to the +rench king. He Lualified
for these positions during his tenure as a diplomatic officer% serving in >onstantinople from
&'=4 to &<1/ and perfecting his Turkish while living for three years in the 2edikule prison
after ;apoleon had annoyed the sultan by invading *gypt in &'=<. AiefferRs Turkish(+rench
dictionary% published in &</0%
was the standard until -edhouses dictionary superseded it
in &<00. As professor of Turkish Aieffer taught two men who became Bible translators%
!ilhelm Schauffler and *lias -iggs.
A native of Strassbourg% Aieffer had trained for the >hristian ministry% but his linguistic
talents led him into the diplomatic service. He was a member of the consistory of the
*vangelical #Lutheran$ >hurch of +rance and served the B+BS as their principal agent in
)ne biographical sketch comments that the ten years spent by Aieffer on Bible
translation was Ethe great work of his life.F

Gon Kie: and Aieffer made changes to the divine names in Ali Beys Leiden manuscript #not
consulting the copy with Mahins corrections% as far as we know$. They standardi:ed Allah
and Rabb as eLuivalents of 3lohim and 96h6% respectively.
7alcolm suggests that
Aieffers revisions
8eprlnLed ln 2010 by nabu ress: ulctloooolte 1otc-ltoools. A l'usoqe Jes Aqeots Jlplomotlpoes et
coosololtes, Jes commetoots, Jes Novlqoteots, et Aottes voyoqeots Joos l e levoot. 822 pp. lS8n:
9781147731361. See also
u8L: hLLp://!ean-uanlel_kleffer, hLLp://
u8L: hLLp://[ean-danlel.hLml
See Lhe dlscusslon below under kleffer's n1 of 1819, also Appendlx ll for a comparlson of All 8ey's and
kleffer's use of Lhe dlvlne names ln Cenesls 1-2. l have compared 1oprak's LranscrlpLlon of All 8ey's drafL
manuscrlpL of Lhe Cospels and Schroeder's 1739 edlLlon of Cenesls 1-4, whlch ls All 8ey's LexL, wlLh kleffer's
8lble of 1827.
were mostly interpretative% based on comparisons with the Hebrew and ,reek and
with other modern translations% not corrections of erroneous Turkish[ HThisI
suggests that the criticisms of ,olius and Shahin Aandi Hhad beenI either too
severe% or also based more on interpretative considerations.

Such a statement is valid as far as the manuscripts of &44C(40 are concerned in their
relationship to the &<&= ;ew Testament. As we will see% however% etensive corrections were
made in the &<6' Turkish Bible% especially in the ;ew Testament% with Aieffer actually
garbling Ali Beys ecellent Turkish% as a result of pressure from British critics. 5n the )ld
Testament Aieffer made relatively fewer corrections to Ali Beys tet.
7istranslations in Aieffers ;ew Testament were alleged by *bene:er Henderson #&'<C(
&<0<$% who accused him of failing to correct Ali Bey on a number of points% most of them
theological in nature. The title of the ,ospel of 7atthew% for eample% is 6a)ret(i sa el(
"esihi ncil(i ierifi "attan !a1lince #The Holy ,ospel of the ,lorious @esus >hrist
according to 7atthew$% where both the honorific 6a)ret and the title ncil(i ierif carry 5slamic
overtones. A raging debate followed between Henderson%
then working for the -ussian
Bible Society% and Samuel Lee #&'</b&<06$%
professor of Arabic at >ambridge. Lee
defended Ali Bey against Hendersons charge that his translation had been denied
publication in the &'th century because it contained Ea mass of unholy matter%F
would naturally occur% according to Henderson% in a translation produced by a 7uslim. Lee
doubted that the Luality of the translation had been to blame for the Kutch failure to bring
the manuscript to press. He reminded Henderson that Ali Bey had Espared no pains in
forwarding the cause of >hristianity as far as his literary labours would allow.F
Malcolm , p. 360, n. 96.
Penderson, op.clt., see pp. 44ff. for hls ob[ecLlons Lo All 8ey's words for Lhe dlvlne names, eLc.
kemotks oo ut. neoJetsoos Appeol to 1be 8lble soclety oo tbe sobject of tbe 1otklsb vetsloo of tbe New
1estomeot ptloteJ ot lotls lo 1819 to wblcb ls oJJeJ, Ao AppeoJlx, cootololoq cettolo Jocomeots oo tbe
cbotoctet of tbot vetsloo. Cambrldge: !. SmlLh, rlnLer Lo Lhe unlverslLy, 1824. u8L:
CuoLed by Lee (1824), p. 6.
Lee (1824), p. 4.
believed that Ali Beys Bible Eehibits uncommon care and fidelity% in the full epression of
every scriptural truth.F

Henderson ob"ected especially to Ali Beys way of handling the divine names. )ften he had
used two or more Arabic words with 5slamic overtones% such as All*h 'eaa laa #,od 7ost
High$ and ;en*b .*r: #,lorious >reator$% where the ,reek had only the one word 'heos. He
had also written 6a)ret(i sa almost every time the name of @esus occurred. Henderson
thought Allah and sa alone were reLuired in a literal translation% but Lee countered that
Allah is followed == times out of a hundred by 'eaa laa in 7uslim speech and literary diction.
This cultural feature of 7uslim diction was not taken as an argument in its favor by
An uproar in the *nglish churches accompanied the debate% and the B+BS suspended
distribution of the &<&= ;ew Testament after &11 copies had been sold. Aieffer patiently
revised the book% consulting Bruntons Aakass #Tatar$ of &<&/% and Henry 7artynRs Persian of
&<&1% making C= corrections of the theological vocabulary #though Henderson had wanted
many more corrections$. !hen the )ld Testament was printed with the ;ew Testament in
&<6'% ;en*b .*r: disappeared from Ali Beys Bible as a translation for 3lohim/ and All*h
'eaa laa was retained only where the Hebrew reads *l *lyon #,od 7ost High$% as in ,enesis
&C?&<. 5n poetic sections 6akk 'eaa laa was retained as a translation of EThe 7ost HighF #e.g.
Psalm '<$% and a variant Arabic form% "te*l/ was widely used as well #e.g. Psalm 04$%
apparently without ob"ection. 5n general% however% 3lohim and 'heos would be translated
henceforth simply as Allah without supplementary honorific titles in all Turkish Bible
Henderson had ob"ected also to 'ar #ETengriF$% the sky(god in the pre(5slamic culture of the
ancient Turks% because #oddly$ it appeared in no dictionary he knewB so Aieffer dutifully
eliminated this word also. Ali Bey had copied Haki in using the theonyms 'ar 'e[aE l*% and
even 'ar Allah 'e[aE l*. As a @ew who knew the Torah% Haki also knew that he needed
multiple words for ,od% but did his solutions to the problem reflect common usage in
)ttoman Turkish among 7uslims and >hristians alsoZ This is doubtful and deserves further
research in 2usuf *mre and Turkish writings up to the time of Haki and Ali Bey. After the
Lee (1824), p. 3.
;ew Testament of &<&= 'anr never appeared as a word for ,od in the Turkish Bible% even in
the !itab "ukaddes of the Turkish republican periodB with lower case t it was reserved for
Tgods. 'anr was revived in the contemporary(language ;ew Testament #"<de$ of &=<' and
the draft booklets in the late &='1s. By this time there were political reasons for its use.
Saying 'anr instead of Allah was a way of appealing to the new secularist audience by
conforming to the de(islami:ing policies of the 'rk -il !urumu. The TKA prefers its
reconstructions of the language of the ancient Turks #f)trke$ to words of Arabic and
Persian origin2
At Hendersons urging Ali Beys 6a)ret was also eliminated from the names of the prophets%
as was !uds( ierif% for which jrial:m #@erusalem$ was substituted. Silvestre de Sacy% the
most celebrated )rientalist of the time #&'0<(&</<$% argued that 9esu should be substituted
for sa% as in some of the )riental churches% but his view was not adopted.
5n &<64 the B+BS
approved Aieffers revised version for publication. 5t also decided to eclude the )ld
Testament Apocrypha #Keuterocanonica$ in Ali Beys manuscript. 5t is unclear whether
Aieffer had prepared these books for press.
Thus% although it cannot be said that Aieffers Bible was fully de(islami:ed #the names that
were accepted% such as Allah% Rabb% and sa % are Arabic words% after all$% some of the elegant
Arabisms that characteri:e the spiritual language of 5slamic devotion were eliminated.
Two etended eamples of Ali Beys usage as compared with Aieffers version are presented
in Appendi 555. They show that in the &<&= version he changed single words or occasional
confusing infleions but seldom tampered with Ali Beys form or style. 5t is therefore
remarkable that% when he edited the &<&= version for inclusion in the Turkish Bible of &<6'%
Aieffer consistently revised Ali Beys synta and grammar in what appear to be deliberate
violations of correct Turkish. 5n place of Ali Beys conversational epressions% Aieffer
substituted heavily literal translations% mimicking ,reek and *uropean synta and grammar
in ways that can only be described as garbled Turkish. +or eample?
&$ The &<6' version almost always introduces direct speech with dedi ki #he said$% even
though Aieffer knew that as a rule dedi should appear at the end of direct speech. Ali Bey
had usually done it correctly in &44C% and Aieffer himself had preserved Ali Beys synta in
Penderson, p. 69.
the &<&= version. This sentence from @ohn &/?60% where @ohn asks @esus which one of the
twelve apostles will betray him% appears in the three versions as follows? Eol dahi Ha:ret(i
3sanJc gVdsNne edilip oca ya rabb kimdir dediF #&44C% &<&=$B Eol dahi 3sanJc gVdsNne edilip
oca dedi ki ya rabb kimdirF #&<6'$. This is a small matter in one sentence but becomes
annoying when the reader encounters it in almost every conversation throughout the entire
6$ 5n @ohn 61?6= @esus says% E;e mutlu gVrmeden inananlaraF #&44C% &<&=$% but Aieffer
changes it to read E;e mutlu onlara ki gVrmediler ve inandJlarF #&<6'$. The former is
natural Turkish% whereas the latter mimicks the *uropean synta of EHow happy are those
who have not seen yet believed.F Aieffer must have known that he was garbling the
translation here.
/$ 5n 7atthew &/?6< Ali Bey% writing natural Turkish% has the farmer who is told about the
tares sown in the wheat field saying EKPman iPidireF #5t is the work of an enemy$. 5n the
&<6' version Aieffer changes it to EBir dNPman bunu etmiPdir.F This is a word(for(word
representation of *uropean diction in the epression% EAn enemy has done this.F
C$ 5n 7atthew &0?/C where @esus asks his disciples% E;e kadar etmedici: varF in &<&=% Aieffer
changes it to E;e kadar etmeklerici: varF in &<6'% thus mimicking the ,reek plural% Eposous
artous echeteF #how many breads have ye$. Turkish reLuires the singular? Ehow much
bread.F But it must also be said in Aieffers defense that it is sometimes he who corrects Ali
Beys own use of the offending plural form.
Such changes occur in almost every verse. !hy would Aieffer have made these un(Turkish
ad"ustments to the correct wordings of the &<&= tetZ +rom his fine(tuning of Ali BeyRs &440
manuscript in the &<&= version we know that Aieffer knew Turkish well% but by &<6' it
appears that he was under such heavy pressure to stick so closely to the ,reek in all matters
that it distorted his "udgment. He seems to have thrown in the towel in order to give his
critics what they wanted and must have known that the &<6' Bible would now be a second(
rate translation.
A comparative study of the vocabulary% grammar and synta of the Ali Bey Bibles of &44C%
&440% &<&= and &<6' awaits its researcher. >learly something was lost when Ali Beys
translation was cleaned up% and not only in stylistic matters. 5n the theological debate that
continues to this day% many would hold that Ali Beys usage reflected a viably contetuali:ed
sense of the appropriate form of the divine names. Accommodating certain 5slamic terms in
the translation of the names of ,od% the prophets% etc.% cannot be avoided in Bible translation
in the languages of the 7uslim world% and it can be argued that these accommodations
should be epanded% not decreased. Today there are translations that are returning to the
contetuali:ing principles of Ali Bey /01 years ago.
At the bottom of the controversy was Hendersons commitment to literalism against Lees
translation theory that privileged the language of the target audience. Henderson protested
that the Bible Society should not have allowed Lees ideas in the door% and the same protest
continues to this day. 5n any case% decisions made in the mid(&<61s% especially in the matter
of the divine names% set a standard for Turkish translations of the Bible.
5t is regrettable that the B+BS did not accept the evaluation of the &<&= ;ew Testament
solicited in Turkey by -obert Pinkerton. Soon after its publication he visited a certain
[ 7r. -uffin in Pera% who is acknowledged% by universal testimony here% to be the
most learned and skilful Turkish scholar in >onstantinople% and to whom 5 had an
introduction from Professor Aieffer[. 5n reference to the translation% he said that
he had read about ten pages of it% and found the style pure and fluentB that it was
not in the pompous style of the Kivan% a miture of Arabic and Persian% but chaste
and elegant 'urkish% which would be read with pleasure by the man of letters% and
understood by the lowest in society.

Pinkerton then sought out another Turkish epert% a -ussian diplomat% 7r. +onton% who
suggested a few changes to the ,ospel of 7atthew but evaluated the book in glowing colors
as Ea version which will be universally understoodB the changes he proposes are few.F
Though it is notable that Pinkerton did not consult native Turkish speakers% these
evaluations raise Luestions in retrospect about the way Aieffer was forced into making
changes of style and synta which Lualified critics agreed were unnecessary.
'<%&4%' # The +our ,ospels in manuscript. Translated by 3smail +erruh. 64= pages.
xttocts ftom tbe 5lxteeotb kepott of tbe 8tltlsb & lotelqo 8lble 5oclety, LxLracLs from Lhe 8ev. ur.
lnkerLon's LeLLers, on hls laLe Lour, underLaken aL Lhe requesL of Lhe [8l8S], 1921, pp. 178f., lLallcs mlne. 1he
relevanL leLLer ls daLed ConsLanLlnople, CcL. 7, 1819. u8L: hLLp://
Located in the Baye:id Library in 5stanbul%
this manuscript translation by a Sufi scholar
seems to have been inspired by wordings in Ali Beys translation% according to brief
comments on it by SadJk 2a:ar. 3smail +erruh was a >rimean Tatar known for his Turkish
translations of a commentary on the Aoran and of the seventh book of -umis "esne1:. He
was )ttoman ambassador in London for a short period #&'=<(&<1&$
and he died in 5stanbul
in &604 A.H. _ &<C& >.*.
5n a note at the end of the manuscript he claims to have translated
from an Arabic version in the year &6/4 A.H. #&<61(6& >.*.$%
but he does not tell us why he
did so.
SadJk 2a:ar identifies several other manuscripts of small parts of the Bible
translated by
7uslim scholars whose motivation was to show how the Bible prophesied the coming of
7uhammad% but this motivation does not appear to have figured in 3smail +erruhs
translation. Some Sufis were interested in @esus as a spiritual guide% and this manuscript
may represent this phenomenon.
5f SadJk 2a:ar is correct that Ali Beys phrasings appear in this manuscript% 3smail +erruh
must have been one of the first Turkish readers of Aieffers ;ew Testament of &<&=. As a
former diplomat in *ngland he would have had early access% no doubt% to the &<&= version.
'<%9 # Kitab l-ahd el-atik
#The Book of the )ld Testament$ and Kitab l-ahd el-cedid el-
mensub ila *abbina <sa el-$esih
#The Book of the ;ew Testament of )ur Lord @esus
>hrist$% also titled as Biblia Turcica in library catalogues. )ne library identifies it as
8ayezld CollecLlon, no. 31.
MehmeL Alaaddln ?alinkaya , "lsmall lerruh Lfendl'nln Londra 8uyukellllgl ve Slyasl laallyeLlerl (1797-
1800)" ln lox-Ottomooo. 5toJles lo Memotlom ltof. ut. Nejot Coyoo, ed. kemal lek (Paarlem / Ankara:
SC1A / ?enl 1urklye ?ayinlari, 2001), pp. 381-407.
1hls lnformaLlon ls from Sadik ?azar, op.clt., who also menLlons a parLlal manuscrlpL of Lhe Cospel of Mark ln
Lhe Suleymanlye Llbrary, uonaLed ManuscrlpLs no. 2318. 1ranslaLor and daLe have noL been deLermlned. ln a
noLe aL Lhe Lop of Lhe manuscrlpL !esus ls referred Lo as feoJlmlz (Cur MasLer), buL lL ls unclear wheLher Lhls
means Lhe LranslaLor was an CLLoman ChrlsLlan: ulem-yi nasrnlyyece Pz. s Lfendlmlz semvLa su'd
buyurduklarindan oLuz sene sonra Pz. Markos Larafindan yazilmi; lncll-l ;erifln Lercumesldlr (1hls ls a
LranslaLlon of Lhe noble Cospel wrlLLen by SL. Mark who, accordlng Lo ChrlsLlan Lheologlans, wroLe 30 years
afLer Cur Clorlous MasLer !esus ascended Lo Lhe heavens).
resumably Lhls was Lhe 8oman CaLhollc LranslaLlon of 1671 by Serglus 8lsl. A roLesLanL LranslaLlon of Lhe
new 1esLamenL ln Arablc was flrsL prlnLed ln 1860 by Lll SmlLh.
Suleymanlye Llbrary, All nlhaL 1arlan collecLlon no. 144, follos 7b-60a, daLed 1203 A.P. / 1790-91 C.L.,
apparenLly by an ALhenlan who embraced lslam, oLher manuscrlpLs ln Lhe Suleymanlye enLlLled 1ercume-l
8a'z-i yL-i Zebr ve 1evraL ve lncll, 1ercume-l 8a'z-i yL-i lncll, and 1ercume-l lncll.
follows? 5n the Arabic character. Translated by Albertus Bobovius or Ali Bey and revised
by H.+. von Kie: and @.K. Aieffer. Printed in two volumes% )ld Testament =<C pp.% ;ew
Testament /&< pp. 6' cm. Paris? British f +oreign Bible Society% at the 5mprim^rie
Print run? 0%111 copies.
This was the first complete Bible printed in Turkish% commonly but incorrectly called Ali
Beys Bible. Aieffer incorporated the first four books of Ali Beys Pentateuch as edited by H.+.
von Kie:% along with a revised version of the &<&= ;ew Testament% into the &<6' Bible. ,iven
the way it distorted Ali Beys work as already discussed #see &<&= above$% the &<6' version
cannot really be called Ali Beys Bible. -eaders in the &=th century called it EAiefferRs BibleF%
but it might also be said that it had become *bene:er Hendersons Bible% reflecting the
flames of criticism he had fanned in the British churches. The most lasting influence of this
Bible is that it standardi:ed the use of Allah for the Hebrew 3lohim and Rabb for 96h6%
using tanr only for the plural gods of the nations% a pattern that went unchanged for the
net &01 yearsB whereas Ali Bey had used 'anr for 3lohim/ Allah 'eaa laa for 96h6% and il*h
for the gods. Ali Beys eLuivalence between 96h6 and Allah 'eaa laa has never been
recovered in any Turkish translation. His insightful contribution to inter(religious
communication deserves reconsideration% because these two theonyms are the most glorious
names of ,od in their respective traditions.
The book has been digitali:ed by the .a&erische %taatsbibliothek in 7unich. A handful of
copies are archived or held in private collections in Turkey and are sold occasionally by used
booksellers in 5stanbul. 7ustafa Aemal AtatNrk owned the Turkish Bible of &<6'% along with
8ayerlsche SLaaLsblblloLhek, ulglLale 8lblloLhek. Cld 1esLamenL (298 M8), u8L: hLLp://www.bsb-muenchen-
dlglu=bsb10224108&plmage=1014&v=100&nav=0&l=de. ueuLeronomy, !oshua, !udges and 8uLh conLaln
lmaglng errors ln Lhe downloadable ul buL can be read correcLly onllne.
8ayerlsche SLaaLsblblloLhek, ulglLale 8lblloLhek. new 1esLamenL (107M8), u8L: hLLp://www.bsb-muenchen-
dlglu=bsb10224109&plmage=336&v=100&nav=0&l=de. 1he end of Lhe 8ook of 8evelaLlon ls mlsslng.
Cn Lhe LlLle page of boLh Lhe Cld and new 1esLamenLs Lhe LlLle ls followed by Lhese words: ki ingilterreni
ve saire rub-i mesknu etraf ve eknafna | kitab- mukaddesleri intiar iin ingiliz memleketinde |
muntazam olan mecma' masrif ile | tab olunmudur (prlnLed wlLh funds from Lhe socleLy organlzed for
Lhe dlsLrlbuLlon of Lhe holy book ln Lngland and oLher reglons of Lhe globe), and aL Lhe boLLom of Lhe page: fi
madinat Pariz el-marusat | bi dar!'l-taba'at el-melkuttat el-mimarat | sene "#$% el-mesii&&a (ln Lhe clLy
of arls Lhe greaL meLropolls aL Lhe royal prlnLlng house of englneerlng, ln Lhe year 1827 C.L.).
two copies of the &<<4 version.
)ne copy of the latter contains marginal notes in his hand.
The father of of the Turkish language reform read the Bible in )ttoman Turkish.
The printing did not include the deutero(canonical books #Apocrypha$ which were part of
Ali Beys manuscript.
5f Aieffer left research notes or a manuscript of his own% these have
not been studied. ;or has there been a thorough comparative eamination of Aieffers Bible
with his ;ew Testament of &<&=% let alone with Ali Beys manuscripts. Aieffer introduced
Arabic spellings of proper nouns #people and places$ from the Arabic% where Ali Bey had
followed the Hebrew and ,reek more closely% probably relying on the *uropean versions.
+or eample% Aieffer wrote ;acele for ,olgotha and ;ilcal for ,ilgal.
His use of the Arabic
form ;elil for ,alilee survives in the Turkish Bible down to the present day% though now
written ;elile.
Aieffers Bible features full vowel pointing D a change from the mostly unpointed ;ew
Testament tet of &<&=. To produce the pointed tet he may have worked from the secretarial
or Efair copyF of Ali Beys translation in the Leiden archives% which is pointed% but there are
indications that he may have compared the secretarial copy with the unpointed original in
Ali Beys hand as well.
;one of the later Turkish Bibles were pointedB so Aieffers Bible is
ALaLurk's personal llbrary ls preserved aL Lhe AniL kablr, hls mausoleum ln Ankara:
hLLp://www.Lsk.Lr/anlLkablr/kuLup/L.hLml. 1he 1827 and 1886 8lbles are llsLed under 1 for 1evraL. lf ALaLurk
owned Lhe new 1esLamenL of 1933 (prlnLed ln Lhe modern 1urklsh alphabeL whlch he creaLed), Lhe book ls noL
caLalogued ln hls llbrary. Pe dled ln 1938 before Lhe new kltobt MokoJJes was publlshed ln 1941.
AL lLs foundlng ln 1804, Lhe 8rlLlsh & lorelgn 8lble SocleLy allowed Lhe prlnLlng of 8lbles wlLh Lhe Cld
1esLamenL Apocrypha. 1heologlcal ob[ecLlons Lo Lhls pollcy led ln 1813 Lo Lhe wlLhdrawal of Lhe ScoLs and Lhe
foundlng of a separaLe ScoLLlsh 8lble SocleLy, and Lhe 8l8S accepLed Lhls crlLlclsm ln 1826 by adopLlng a pollcy
agalnsL Lhe lncluslon of Lhe Apocrypha ln lLs 8lbles (C.P. Anderson, op.clt., p. 338). 1hus, when Lhe 1urklsh
8lble was prlnLed ln 1827, a drafL LranslaLlon and falr copy of Lhe deuLerocanlcal books were avallable for
edlLlng ln All 8ey's manuscrlpL, buL Lhe declslon of 1826 meanL LhaL Lhey were Lo be excluded. 8esearch ln Lhe
8l8S archlves would reveal Lhe conLexL for Lhls concesslon by Lhe 8l8S Lo Lhe ob[ecLlons of Lhe ScoLs.
1he lnlLlal leLLer C ls represenLed lnconslsLenLly ln All 8ey's LranscrlpLlon of Pebrew place names. lollowlng
an Arablc spelllng convenLlon for Pebrew words, he wroLe Cellle for Calllee, Cacele for ColgoLha, buL Lhen
swlLched Lo kerklsln for Lhe Cergesenes (Cadarenes), and CeLsemanl for CeLhsemane. kleffer Lrled Lo
sLralghLen ouL All 8ey, represenLlng C (Pebrew qlmel) conslsLenLly as 1urklsh C (or Pebrew jlmel) Lhus Celll
(buL noL Cellle), Calcala, Cercese and CesemenlyeL, respecLlvely, also ln Lhe Cld 1esLamenL kleffer was rlgorous
ln wrlLlng C as C, e.q. Cllcal for Cllgal, Cll'ad for Cllead, ColyaL for CollaLh. All 8ey's lnconslsLency suggesLs LhaL
he knew lL dld noL really work. Pakl knew hls Pebrew and wroLe llal, ll'ad, and olyas (ColyaL wlLh Arablc
se = Lh), wlLh qoylo.
A noLe ln lrench bound ln fronL of Lhe LlLle page of Lhe compleLe secreLarlal copy reads: 1he 3 8ooks of
Moses. A very neaL copy made of Lhe manuscrlpL of All 8ey, buL Lhe copylsL has someLlmes commlLLed
the easiest to read of them all. An eamination of the B+BS archives or Aieffers papers might
inform us about the decision to include vowel points. !as it done for the sake of easy
readingZ for Turkish readers of minimal educationZ for Armenian or ,reek readers who
were accustomed to reading Turkish in their own alphabets% not in )ttoman Turkish
charactersZ or simply for *uropean scholars who needed the vowel points as a crutchZ
The two books were printed in large format? the height is 6' centimeters or &1.4 inches% only
a little smaller than AC paper today. 5n later Turkish Bibles the unpointed tet helped the
printer reduce the physical si:e of the book. Like the &<&= ;ew Testament% the ;ew
Tesament of &<44 was 66 cm. high% the &<<4 !itab( "ukaddes 6& cm.% and the &=&& ncil only
&= cm. Advances in lead type technology contributed to this condensing process. The later
typefaces are crisper than the typeface of Aieffers Bible but harder to read because the type
is both small and unpointed. Turks who can read the Arabic tet of the Aoran% where vowel
points are generally supplied% sometimes confess that they cannot read )ttoman Turkish
because it was normally written without vowel points.
)ne notable fact about Aieffers &<&= and &<6' versions is that all the translators D
Bobowski% Aieffer% von Kie: D were men who learned their Turkish in government serviceB
they were not missionaries. 5t is also significant that a Turkish Bible was finally brought to
press only when an organi:ed Bible society assumed control of the pro"ect. +unding%
institutional energy% and a board capable of resolving conflicts were essential to the pro"ects
After 60 years a need was felt for a revision of Aieffers ;ew Testament% and an additional 60
years were needed to finish a complete revision of the )ttoman Turkish Bible in &<'< D half
a century after Aieffers Bible. 5n the meantime there appeared Turkish Bibles in ,reek and
Armenian letters that were dependent on Aieffers Bible and% in that sense% revisions of it.
'<6% # Kitab- (i'r-l Halika +e $e0amir-i -a+ud #Book of the >reation Account H,enesisI
and the Psalms of Kavid$. London? B+BS. A revison of Aieffers ,enesis and Psalms by
TNrabi *fendi. &0C pp.
omlsslons or oLher errors (LranslaLed from SchmldL, op.clt., vol 1, p. 417). PandwrlLlng analysls would
deLermlne wheLher kleffer wroLe Lhls noLe and Lherefore wheLher he used Lhe secreLarlal manuscrlpL.
This first attempt at a revision of the Turkish Bible is a rare book D only the copy in the
British Library is mentioned anywhere. *lOin says it is a second printing but seems to mean
that the first edition was Aieffers Bible.

5n &=C6 7ac>allum% with the full resources of the Bible Society in Turkey at his disposal% was
unable to find any information on the life of TNrabi *fendi% the translator of this booklet and
subseLuent revisions of AiefferRs work.
)ne thing we do know about him is that he was
the author of the first Turkish cookbooke

'<6546( # Kitab- <ncil-i Ger' el-mensub ila *abbina <sa el-$esih8 !illiam !atts n8m
PahsJc tabh8nesinde tab ve temsil olunmuPdJr fi sene &<0C el(mes9hiyye HLondonI.
The British Library has this book% which was a revision by TNrabi *fendi of Aieffers version.
5t contained the +our ,ospels and Acts of the Apostles only% despite the title which suggests
that it was a complete ;ew Testament.
;otably% all the revisions of the &<01s were published by the B+BS in London. The B+BS did
not yet have a printing operation in Turkey. The American Board had set up a press in
Smyrna% but for some reason it was not used for the B+BSRs translations during this period.
'<66 # ,l-<ncil ila ri+a"et-i $atta #l-!0i0 #The ,ospel according to the story of St.
7atthew$. London% by the B+BS. Translated by @ames !. -edhouse% revising TNrabi
*fendi. Printed in two bilingual versions% Turkish(*nglish and Turkish(5talian.
After Schroeders four chapters of ,enesis in a Turkish(Latin version in &'/=% this was the
first diglot book of the Turkish Bible. 5talian was the lingua franca of the 7editerranean
Llln also menLlons LhaL a manuscrlpL of Lhls book (of Cenesls and salms only?) had been ln Pyde's
possesslon aL Cxford (1976, p. xl). Was Llln mlsLaken, or does a dlfferenL manuscrlpL or copy of All 8ey's
LranslaLlon of Lhese Lwo books of Lhe 8lble exlsL? Llln clLes no source for hls sLaLemenL.
MacCallum (1942), p. 61.
1urabl Lfendl, 1be 1otklsb cookety 8ook. A collectloo of kecelpts, ftom tbe 8est 1otklsb Aotbotltles (1865).
8eprlnLed by kesslnger, 2008.
A llbrary caLalog shows an enLry for a 4Lh prlnLlng of a 1urklsh new 1esLamenL ln 1833 by ParlLon Manasyan
MaLbaasi ln lsLanbul. 8ecause lL was a 4Lh prlnLlng, lL would seem LhaL Lhls cannoL have been Lhe same book as
1urabl Lfendl's new LranslaLlon. 1haL lL ls an erroneous caLalog enLry ls suggesLed by Lhe number of pages, 637,
whlch ls Lhe same as Lhe number of pages ln Lhe 1866 LranslaLlon by Schauffler and Sellm Lfendl (see below).
'<69 # Kitab l-ahd el-cedid el-mensub ila *abbina <sa el-$esih #The Book of the ;ew
Testament of )ur Lord @esus >hrist$. London? !illiam !atts #Z$% by the B+BS. -evised
by TNrabi *fendi and @ames !. -edhouse.
-edhouses involvement in Bible translation began after TNrabi *fendis ,ospels and Acs of
&<0/ sold out during the >rimean !ar.
-edhouse had published his first Turkish(*nglish
dictionary in &<00 and was celebrated later for bigger dictionaries and a grammar of
)ttoman Turkish% written in *nglish. He also translated !illiam Paleys 31idences of
;hristianit& into Turkish on behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the ,ospel #SP,$%
which had begun to interest itself in 7uslims. As a Bible translator% however% his career was
short(lived. He was a *uropean renegade who as a young man had "umped ship in
>onstantinople and gone to work for the )ttoman navy as a draftsman.
Though his
language skills were prodigious% he was not a believer% did not know Hebrew and ,reek%
and his Turkish style was "udged by >hristian critics in 5stanbul to be too much flavored
with )ttomanisms of Arabic and Persian vintage. The Armenian *vangelical >hurch had
been established in &<C0 and its leaders had begun to make known their evaluations of the
translators work.
@ohn &?4 provides an eample of the milder revisions of in this version. 5n Aieffers Bible of
&<6' we read? Allahdan gnderilmi bir adam 1ar idi ki onu ad 9uhanna idi% to whJch TNrabi
and -edhouse make three small changes? Allahdan irs1l olunmu4 bir adam 1ar idi +e onu ad
Yah"a idi. The changes were of three kinds? &$ using 9ah&a in place of 9uhanna acknowledged
the Aoranic name of @ohn the Baptist and distinguished him from @ohn% the writer of the
,ospelB 6$ substituting 1e for ki got rid of one of the annoyances of &'th(century synta with
its freLuent use of this Persian relative particleB and /$ substituting irs*l etmek for gndermek
re(introduced the Arabic word in place of a Turkish one% reverting to the usage of Ali Bey in
his manuscript and the ;ew Testament of &<&=. Arabici:ations of individual words occur in
many verses% e2g2 @ohn <?&1% where TNrabi and -edhouse have @esus speaking to the woman
caught in adultery as follows% with Aieffers version in parentheses? 3& ka1rat ol ul# seni
ith1m edenler ko1ala&anlar# nerededirler kandadr#/ Hale"ka )erie# hi kimse hkm etmedi
mil Here TNrabi and -edhouse help the reader by revising two )ld Turkic forms #ul/ kanda$%
CarLer v. llndley, Slr !ames W. 8edhouse (1811-1892): 1he maklng of a perfecL CrlenLallsL? Iootool of tbe
Ametlcoo Otleotol 5oclety 99: 373-600 (1979), see p. 383 for references Lo hls 8lble LranslaLlon work.
u8L: hLLp://
but they also eliminate the Turkish ko1alamak in favor of Arabic ith*m% and substitute the
Arabic preposition kale&ka for a Turkish one.
5n some passages TNrabi and -edhouses Arabic and Persian phrase synta #called i)afet or
Etacking onF$ is almost incomprehensible to the modern Turkish reader. 5n @ames &?&4(&<% for
eample% they wrote? Z3& se1gmli karndalarm &alma&2 6er bir me1hibe(i ha&ri&e 1e her bir
me1hibe(i k*mile &ukardan olu$ n,rlar babasndan n)ul olur ki onu katnda tena&&r 1e
tahallf *ibesi &okdur2 Ol kendi ir*desinden olarak hakk kel*m ile bi)i te1l:d e&ledi t* ki bi)
mahl,klarn bir ne1(i ne1b*1esi ola&)2] *ven in Ali Beys translation and Aieffers revisions
this sentence was rather strained% but TNrabi and -edhouse engage in heavy and seemingly
gratuitious Arabici:ation of the tet. They were trying to write the high literary )ttoman
Turkish of their time. Their successors% Selim and Schauffler% produced a more tasteful
literary translation by eliminating TNrabi and -edhouses ecessive i)afet phrases and
returning in many cases to Turkish instead of Arabic or Persian epressions.
;evertheless% the Turkish synta of the &<0' ;ew Testament is more natural than that of
Aieffers &<6' version. 5nfluenced by the fashion of the new )ttoman printing industry%
TNrabi *fendi and -edhouse smoothed out the awkward Turkish sentence structure in
verses where Aieffer had followed *uropean diction too closely. ;evertheless% TNrabi and
-edhouse did not start from scratch on a new translation but copied every sentence from
Aieffers ;ew Testament. Though they made many appropriate ad"ustments to synta and
many vocabulary substitutions% their dependence on Aieffer is evident. 5t was Schaufflers
work in the &<41s #see below$ that moved definitely in the direction of the elegant )ttoman
style of the mid(&=th(century neo(classical revival.
The Turkish ;ew Testament of &<0' has been digitali:ed. An ecerpt from it posted on the
includes an appended note that misstates historical events when it says% gThis
edition seems to be the product of the much needed criticisms of Scholar *bene:er
Henderson Habout shortcomings of the earlier version of A. BeyI.F Hendersons corrections
had been addressed in Aieffers Bible of &<6'. The work of TNrabi *fendi and -edhouse in
the &<01s was unrelated to the controversy of the &<61s.
>arly ,nfluence of the Bi*le a0ong )urkish 7usli0s
5n &<04 the 6att( 6im*&un #*dict of Protection$ proclaimed freedom of religion in the
)ttoman lands% or so it was thought at the time. The decree was celebrated by the British
ambassador with a presentation of a copy of the Turkish Bible to Sultan AbdNlmecid.
this was a complete Bible it must have been the first edition of &<6'B if not% then TNrabi
*fendis ,ospels and Acts of &<0/.$ The elation over this event in *uropean circles was short(
The alliance of Britain and +rance with Turkey in the >rimean !ar had given them
opportunity to force the issue of religious freedom. Though the intention was primarily to
protect the )ttoman >hristian minorities% the edict also opened the way for 7uslim outreach
in small house meetings. AB>+7% SP, and >7S #>hurch 7issionary Society$ workers
encouraged this work.
EBy &<4C% there was a wave of 7uslim inLuirers and converts HandI
more than 01 Turkish men% women and children were bapti:ed #&<0'(&<''$[)n one
occasion% ten adults were bapti:ed and prospects of a convert church seemed hopeful.F
&<41 two Turks began their studies at St. Augustines 7issionary >ollege% >anterbury?
7ahmoud *fendi% who later worked on a Turkish grammar but died in &<40 at 7alta% and
Selim *fendi% who became a key figure in Turkish Bible translation.

)n &' @uly &<4C a wave of arrests of Turkish converts began. They were imprisoned or
disappeared% and the )ttoman government instructed the British ambassador that no further
evangeli:ation of 7uslims would be allowed. >learly the *uropean and >hristian
interpretation of the provisions on religious freedom in the 6att( 6im*&un had been too
hopeful. The lasting result of this period of 7uslim outreach was not a Turkish church but
the revision of the )ttoman Turkish Bible. Led by AB>+7 translators% financially supported
by the B+BS% and staffed by native speakers of Turkish #Turkish 7uslims and Armenian
Cooper, p. 22.
Wllllam C. Schauffler, Aotobloqtopby. fot fotty-oloe yeots o mlssloooty lo tbe Otleot (new ?ork: A.u.l.
8andolph, 1887), p. 203f. u8L: hLLp://
Lyle van der Werff, cbtlstloo Mlssloo to Mosllms. 1be tecotJ. Aoqllcoo ooJ kefotmeJ opptoocbes lo loJlo ooJ
tbe Neot ost, 1800-19J8 (SouLh asadena, Cal.: Wllllam Carey Llbrary, 1977 [1942], p. 162.
Schauffler (1887), p. 199, 232. A phoLo of Mahmoud and Sellm can be seen wlLh Lhelr semlnary class ln
CanLerbury aL: hLLp:// Sellm Look
a ChrlsLlan name and was ordalned 8ev. Ldward Wllllams.
>hristians$% the revision built on translations that had already been done in ,rco(Turkish
and Armeno(Turkish #see >hapters / and C below$.
'<8% # <ncil-i Ger'i6 tercmesini6 &3nesi olmak 0ere ol kitab- mukaddesi6 i4bu cild-i
e++eli Har3t3n n1m tab126 matba asnda tab +e temsil klnm4dr - CIJK 'i sene-i
mil1di"e H3stanbulI #This first volume of a translated version of the ;oble ,ospel
printed and reproduced Hin 5stanbulI at the press of Harutun the printer$. Translated by
!illiam ,. Schauffler% !illiam ,oodell and Selim *fendi.
This was the first part of the Turkish Bible in Arabic characters printed on Turkish soil%
preceded only by +irkowit:Rs Torah of &</0 in Hebraeo(Turkish and the early Armeno(
Turkish and ,raeco(Turkish translations. Like TNrabi *fendiRs version of &<0/(0C it contains
only the +our ,ospels and Acts.
)f all the &=th(century translators% !ilhelm
,ottlieb Schauffler #&'=<(&<</$ had perhaps
the most fascinating background.
A E-ussian ,ermanF from )dessa where his father led a
,erman peasant colony% he traveled to Smyrna in &<64 where he met one of the two original
AB>+7 missionaries in the ;ear *ast% @onas Aing. Aing encouraged him on his way to
Andover Seminary in 7assachusetts% and after completing the theological curriculum there
he proceeded to Paris to study Arabic with de Sacy and Turkish with Aieffer% who had
recently finished editing Ali Beys Bible manuscript. Schauffler arrived back in
>onstantinople in &</6.
!illiam ,oodell was the first AB>+7 worker in >onstantinople%
arriving in &</&% followed by Schauffler. Both were graduates of Andover% the new
evangelical alternative to Harvard Kivinity School% which had fallen under Qnitarian
Schauffler led the AB>+7s )ttoman @ewish outreach for 60 years%
producing an )ld
Testament in Ladino% the HebrUo(Spanish language of the Sephardic @ews of the )ttoman
Pls name ls always prlnLed Wllllam ln Lngllsh-language sources and llbrary caLalogs. l have noL found a
Cerman source on Schauffler.
Schauffler (1887), op.clt., C.P. Anderson, op.clt., pp. 393f.
!oseph k. Creene, leoveoloq tbe levoot (8osLon: llgrlm ress, 1916), p. 71. u8L: hLLp://
8ufus Anderson, nlstoty of tbe Mlssloos of tbe Ametlcoo 8ootJ of commlsslooets fot lotelqo Mlssloos to tbe
Otleotol cbotcbes (8osLon: CongregaLlonal ubllshlng SocleLy, 1872), vol. 1, chapLer 30.
Then toward the end of the &<01s Schauffler turned his attention to )ttoman
Turkish translation.
He was charged with transcribing ,oodells Armeno(Turkish into the
Arabic characters of )ttoman Turkish but soon felt this was a hopeless task% because the
Turkish spoken by the Armenians and ,reeks was Etoo coarse and degraded to be[
acceptable to )smanlis%F and because Ethe same terms were freLuently employed by the
different nationalities in widely different senses.F
This suggests that a conflict was
brewing about whether the approach to 7uslims should involve different methods and
language than those used in outreach to Armenians and other >hristian minorities D a
problem of contetuali:ation that remains a matter of controversy among >hristians to this
Schaufflers first effort% in collaboration with Selim *fendi% a convert from 5slam% was the
,ospels and Acts% which appeared at the height of the spiritual awakening after the >rimean
!ar. 5t was well received both by 7uslim converts and by )ttoman >hristians who could
read Turkish in Arabic script.
'<86C <ncil-i Geri' ile Te'siri8 3stanbul? *r:incanlJ Artin 7inasyan ve Mirketi 7atbaasJ. C11
This book is listed in the collection of 7r. Talat SncN as EBKA ( Sh*,*B =&/1F. 5 have not yet
eamined the translation or commentary.
'<88 # Kitab-l-ahd el-cedid el-mens3b il1 *abbina <sa el-$esih #The Book of the ;ew
Testament of our Lord @esus >hrist$. Translated by Schauffler and Selim *fendi.
3stanbul? Hariton 7atasyan 7atbaasJ% 4/' pp.
This version was Etranslated afresh from the ,reek ... HandI the ,ospels and Acts #&<46$ were
corrected afresh for this edition.F
Here the ;ew Testament begins to sound like 7odern
Ladlno was Lo CLLoman !ews whaL ?lddlsh was Lo Luropean !ews: colloqulal Pebrew mlxed respecLlvely wlLh
Spanlsh and 1urklsh, and ollsh and Cerman. 8oLh are now dylng languages, buL Lhey were sLrong, llvlng
languages ln Lhe 19Lh cenLury. lreely concludes hls book on SabbaLal Sevl wlLh a personal accounL of
overhearlng a cleanlng lady aL Lhe Ldlrne Lraln sLaLlon slnglng ln Ladlno ln Lhe 1990s.
Creene, p. 22, glves Lhe daLe 1836. Cooper, p. 23f, and nllson p. 134, say 1838. Schauffler hlmself does noL
glve a daLe.
Cooper, p. 23.
1homas P. uarlow and Porace l. Moule, eds., nlstotlcol cotoloqoe of tbe ltloteJ Jltloos of noly 5ctlptote lo
tbe llbtoty of tbe 8tltlsb ooJ lotelqo 8lble 5oclety, 2 vols. (London: 8lble Pouse, 1963 [1903-11] and new ?ork:
kraus, 1963). uarlow and Moule are quoLed ln a noLe ln llbrary records. 1helr sLaLemenL LhaL Lhe
Turkish% because the relative clauses were now arranged according to Turkish rules of
synta% re"ecting the freLuent use in Aieffers Bible of the Persian particle ki to connect
relative clauses% returning to Ali Beys style in this respect and often preferring his choice of
words to Aieffers.
The &<44 version circulated among 7uslim inLuirers during the new openness after the
>rimean !ar and the 6att( 6im*&un. Schauffler and Selim adopted a definite 7uslim focus%
contetuali:ing the translation to the neo(classical Turkish style of the mid(&=th century.
They were accused of using too many Arabic words and phrases% though in fact they used
simple Turkish words more freLuently than either Aieffer or TNrabi and -edhouse had
done.. The difficulty had been Eto create the style of language which would be intelligible to
the less literary HTurkish or Armenian readerI while at the same time being attractive to the
educated H7uslimI.F
Schaufflers and Selims work did not fulfill the hopes of the
missionary community% where the preference leaned heavily toward a translation in the
simple Turkish of the )ttoman >hristian minorities. A related aim was that 7uslims%
reading the )ttoman Turkish Bible in Arabic characters% and >hristians% reading the
)ttoman Turkish in Armenian or ,reek characters% might read the same Bible tet in their
different scripts. !hile the &<'< and &<<4 !itab(i "ukaddes relied on the &<44 ;ew Testament
for its precise sentence synta% its vocabulary was simplified and its range reduced.
>oincidentally% EThe Bible House in >onstantinopleF was established in &<4' as a "oint
venture of the American Bible Society and the British and +oreign Bible Society.
The first of
the several buildings in Sirkeci% up the hill from the ,alata Bridge% was finished in &<'6.
whole [was] revlsed by !.W. 8edhouse seems Lo be a confuslon wlLh Lhe new 1esLamenL of 1837.
nllson, p. 133
Wosh, p. 244.
WrlLlng ln 1913, Creene provlded flnely Luned deLalls on mlsslon hlsLory ln 1urkey: ln 1872, ln splLe of all
obsLacles, ur. 8llss had Lhe saLlsfacLlon of seelng Lhe flrsL of Lhe 8lble Pouse bulldlngs flnlshed. lL ls a handsome
bulldlng, of yellowlsh sLone, flve sLorles hlgh and flre-proof. 1he shops on Lhe ground floor are renLed, and on
Lhe floors above are Lhe offlces of Lhe agenL of Lhe Amerlcan 8lble SocleLy and of Lhe Lreasurer of Lhe Amerlcan
mlsslons [A8ClM], wlLh large sLore-rooms for 8lbles and mlsslon books and rooms for edlLors and LranslaLors of
mlsslon books and perlodlcals, and on Lhe Lop floor Lhe resldence of Lhe agenL of Lhe 8lble SocleLy. A second
bulldlng, subsequenLly erecLed ln Lhe rear, ls renLed for a large prlnLlng esLabllshmenL, wlLh faclllLles for
elecLroLyplng and llLhographlng. A Lhlrd bulldlng, on anoLher parL of Lhe loL, ls used, on Lhe ground floor, as a
chapel, seaLlng 230. A fourLh bulldlng ls renLed for shops. 1he LoLal cosL of Lhe land and bulldlngs has been
over 100,000, of whlch 60,000 was ralsed by subscrlpLlon, and Lhe balance has come from renLs. 1he lncome
The organi:er of this pro"ect was 5saac Bliss% ABS EagentF for the Levant since &<04. He
reported in &<</ that almost 6 million Bibles and portions had been printed in /1 languages
since the first press was established in 7alta in &<&0%
#it moved to Beirut and Smyrna in
&<// and after Smyrna to 5stanbul$. )f course the 6 million Bibles included not only )ttoman
Turkish but other languages of the ethnic groups of the )ttoman *mpire% as well as some
*uropean languages.
'<8< # $e0amir-i -a+ud #Psalms of Kavid$. 5stanbul? 7inasiyan (=Hariton 7atasyan?)
7atbaasJ. Translated by !ilhelm ,. Schauffler.
Schauffler produced in this book a true book of neo(classical )ttoman Turkish poetry%
presumably in collaboration again with Selim *fendi. Almost every noun in these Psalms is
from Arabic or +arsi% and many verbs are as well% because a Turkish verb can be formed by
adding the Turkish verb Eto beF etmek/ e&lemek or olmak# to nouns. >learly this translation
was intended not for the new Protestant churches but for the )ttoman literati. Schaufflers
commitment to make the Bible meaningful to classically educated Turkish 7uslims is
evident in this translation above all others.
7any in the )ttoman >hristian community felt that Schauffler had strayed into more and
more ornate Turkish with each book of the Bible he produced. Both of the principal
advocates of the two approaches to translation had long eperience in Turkey. Schauffler
was opposed by Kr. A.T. Pratt% who was summoned from Anatolia in &<4< to work on Bible
translation. Pratts revision of ,oodells Armeno(Turkish ;ew Testament was successful #see
>hapter C below$% but he died in &<'6 before the issue with the )ttoman Turkish Bible was
5n @uly &<'/ a revision committee met in 5stanbul% encouraged by both the ABS and the B+BS
to make a firm decision on translation policy.
The issue was whether the Armeno(Turkish
should serve as the basis of an )ttoman Turkish translation. The committee included
from renLs amounLs Lo abouL 4,000 annually, and ls used for Laxes and lnsurance, repalrs, and enlargemenL of
Lhe properLy, and for Lhe supporL, ln parL, of evangellsLlc servlces ln Lhe chapel ln Lhe Creek and 1urklsh
languages. 1he 8lble Pouse properLy ls admlnlsLered by a self-perpeLuaLlng board of LrusLees ln new ?ork,
organlzed under Lhe laws of Lhe SLaLe of new ?ork, wlLh a local advlsory commlLLee, selecLed annually by Lhe
board of LrusLees (op.clt., pp. 129f.).
C.P. Anderson, op.clt., p. 69, Cooper, p. 18.
Cooper, p, 28.
AB>+7 personnel? Schauffler% *lias -iggs% and ,eorge +. Herrick% the latter an associate of
the late A.H. Pratt. The British member was -.H. !eakley of the >7S% who had been one of
the translators of the "i)an ul(6abb of Aarl ,ottlieb Pfander #&<1/(&<40$% a defense of the
>hristian faith written specifically for 7uslims. This committee first drafted ,enesis as a
trial run to establish procedures% then turned to the ;ew Testament.
At this point% in Kecember &<'/% Schauffler resigned from the committee due to ill health
and Eirreconcilable differences of opinion.F The others on the committee favored the
Armeno(Turkish Bible as the basis for the )ttoman Turkish.
Schauffler resigned also from
the AB>+7 over the Boards decision not to set up a separate 7uslim outreach division.
He moved to 7oldova% saw his Turkish translation of the Pentateuch and 5saiah to print in
Gienna #funded by the ABS% though it is often termed an Eindependent versionF$% then
retired to the QSA. His autobiography was published posthumously in &<<'.

'<9% C (i'r- Tek+in el-$ahl3k1t L Bereshit. 7iciOde tab olunmuP fi sene &<'6 el(
mesihiyye #Book of ,enesis% printed at 7iciO in &<'6 AK$. << pp.
This is a diglot ,enesis with Hebrew on the right(hand pages and Turkish on the left. 5t may
be Schaufflers Turkish version of ,enesis% but 5 have seen only the title page%
where a
printers notation in Latin characters says ETurk. f Hebr. ,en.F The Hebrew title page says
the book was printed in Gienna by 7r. A. -eichard f >o.% so 7iciO in )ttoman characters
means Gienna.

'<95 C *a+i (adk "ani Ktb-l-ahd el-atik +e ahd el-cedidin ha+i olduMu hik1"1tn
mecmuasdr #A loyal friends message% or a collection of the story contained in the
books of the )ld Testament and ;ew Testament$. 5stanbul? Papasyan Artin 7atbaasJ.
/4/ pp.
Cooper, p. 37.
Schauffler (1887), p. 233.
Schauffler (1887), u8L: hLLp://
u8L: hLLp://
SLrangely, Lhe year of publlcaLlon prlnLed ln Arablc numbers, 1872, does noL agree wlLh Lhe Pebrew 3,602 as
of CreaLlon," whlch corresponds Lo 1841-1842.
This book is not mentioned by >ooper. A used bookstore in 5stanbul advertises one copy for
a high price. 5f there was a publisher other than the printer% this is not stated in the online
'<9( # ,ospels and Acts. Printed in 5stanbul by the Bible Societies. -evised by a A7M
committee from Schauffler and Selims version of &<46.
The ,ospels and Acts were the first fruit of the revision committees work% marking the end
of a 01(year tradition of the single missionary translator and a single native collaborator. A
first draft was done by ,eorge Herrick and Avedis >onstantin% an Armenian pastor% then
revised by MNkri *fendi and Memsi *fendi #replaced soon by Ahmet *fendi$. >ooper reports
that Eimmediate use was made by the distribution of several thousand copies amongst the
Turkish soldiers at the seat of war.F
This was the -ussian(Turkish !ar of &<''('<% which
followed the Bulgarian -evolution of &<'4. 5t is intriguing to imagine how the distribution of
the ;ew Testament to )ttoman soldiers fighting against >hristian armies was allowed. 5n
Turkeys secular army today% no religious books of any kind are distributed% even in peace
>ooper describes the working method of the revision committee. After the draft had been
compared with the ,reek and% in cases of obscure language% with *uropean translations%
the literary form of the sentence and its eact intention were submitted to the
Turkish co(assessors and discussed with them. That done% the whole passage was
read aloud in its revised form% finally corrected and passed by agreement of the
responsible members% or% in the very rare instances of disagreement% by a

'<96 # !hd-i cedid: "ani: <ncil-i Geri'5 5isan( asl 9unaninden bir tercmedir #;ew Testament%
or the Holy 5n"il. A translation from ,reek% the original language$. 5stanbul? Boyaciyan
Agop 7atbaasJ. -eprinted in &<''.
This ;ew Testament includes the ,ospels and Acts printed the previous year. A library
record indicates that the -evision >ommittee included Schauffler% -iggs% Herrick and othersB
so Schaufflers contribution was still being recogni:ed though he was no longer a member of
the committee at the time of publication. +or the first time a pocket edition was printed as
Cooper, p. 33.
Cooper, p. 33.
Sufficient interest was taken in the publication of the Testament% at once by the
native Turkish assessors of the >ommittee and by their 7oslem friends% to dictate a
reLuest that it might be printed #for one edition$ with fine type in a small form% so
as to be carried about and read% without attracting the unwelcome attention of
fanatical neighbours.

A similar reLuest was voiced by the Turkish churches for a pocket edition of the ncil in 611&B
in &<'0% however% the source of the reLuest included 7uslim readers.
'<98 # $e0amir5 %isan- asli <braniden bi2t-tercme8 BoyacJyan Agop 7atbaasJ% 3stanbul%
3ngili: ve Amerikan Bibl Mirketleri. &<' pages. #Apparently a trial run for the Aitab(J
7ukaddes of &<'<$
'<98 #saya e"&ambere na0il olan +ah"idir #The revelation that descended to 5saiah the
prophet$. Gienna? Adolf Holshaus. EAn independent version by !.,. Schauffler.F
'<99 # Te+rat: "ani: $usa e"&ambere +ah"i tarikile na0il olan 4eriat l-l1hik kitabdr
#Torah% or the book of the guiding Sharia that descended to 7oses the prophet by
means of revelation$. Gienna? Adolf Holshaus. Translated by !ilhelm ,. Schauffler.
After resigning from the American Board and the Translation >ommittee and leaving
Turkey% Schauffler arranged for the printing of his final translations in Gienna. He was still
funded by the ABS and the B+BS.
Because its intended audience was Turkish 7uslims of the mid(&=th century% and because
this kind of contetuali:ed language remains an issue today% Schaufflers and Selim *fendis
work deserves critical eamination by a student of )ttoman Turkish and Bible translation
theory. Qnfortunately% copies of their books do not surface in 5stanbuls used book stores%
probably because the older versions went out of fashion when the new Turkish Bible of &<'<
and &<<0(<4 appeared. They can% however% be found in a few libraries in *urope.
'<99 # ,ospel of 7atthew. &6& pp. Apparently a revision of 7atthew in the ;ew Testament
of &<'0 and a foretaste of the !itab( "ukaddes printed the net year.
'<9< # !hd-i @edid "ani <ncil-i Geri' 5 $atta +e $arkos +e %uka +e Yuhanna +e !m1l-i
*s3l #The +our ,ospels and Acts of the Apostles$. -er %aadet H3stanbulI? .o&ac&an
Ago$ "atbaasnda tab olunmutur. Apparently a foretaste of the !itab( "ukaddes printed
later in same year.
Cooper, p, 33
uarlow and Moule, op.clt., are quoLed ln a noLe on Lhls verslon ln llbrary records.
Schauffler (1887), p. 233.
'<9< # Kitab- $ukaddes: "ani !hd-i !tik +e !hd-i @edid5 opAC?IDqTCQQ@QrqIqAJqKqsrQCAP
1e !eldani 1e 9unani lisanlarndan bit(tercmet 1e ngili) 1e Amerikan .ibel irketleri
mas*rifi&le #The Holy Book% or the )ld >ovenant and ;ew >ovenant? A translation from
the original tets in the Hebrew% >haldean #Aramaic$ and ,reek languages[ with
funds of the British and American Bible Societies$. "a[*rif umumi&e ne)aret(i cel:lesini
ruhsat&la #with the permission of the High 7inistry of Public 5nformation$. -er %aadet
H3stanbulI? .o&ac&an Ago$ "atbaasnda tab olunmutur. </6 )T i 601 ;T pages.
5n Kecember &<'< this first complete )ttoman Turkish Bible since Aieffer was published
concurrently with the Armeno(Turkish revision #see >hapter C below$. 5t is the first use of
the title !itab( "ukaddes for an )ttoman Turkish Bible. The place of publication% -er %aadet
#,ate of Bliss$% is an Arabic honorific for 5stanbul. Aieffers )ld Testament having been
previously revised only in TNrabi *fendis ,enesis and Psalms% and Schaufflers ,enesis%
Psalms and 5saiah% the &<'< Bible was the first complete Turkish translation of the )ld
Testament in half a century% combined with the ;ew Testament of &<'0.
The title pages carried a notice that the book was published with the permission of the
Kepartment of Public 5nformation. Sultan Abdul Hamid 55 had revoked the )ttoman
>onstitution of &<'4 and taken repressive measures against reformersB so his stamp of
approval on the &<'< Bible came as a surprise. The Bible House had not asked for a royal
imprimatur% only for permission to proceed with printing under the terms of the 6att(
6im*&un. 5t would seem that this appeal for approval was made at this time #and not earlier
when the ;ew Testament was printed$ because of the serious implications of the revocation
of the >onstitution. The application was re"ected initially on the grounds that the Bible was
not needed in the language of the Sultans 7uslim sub"ects. Qpon appeal by the British
ambassador this decision was reversed% but what appeared to be a serendipitous
endorsement of the Bible by the Sultan became also a restrictive precedent. Henceforward all
books published in the )ttoman *mpire reLuired government permission. The publication
of the Bible had been promoted by *uropean diplomatic influence% but the reLuested
certification was subseLuently eploited by the government as a rationale for official
Again ,eorge Herrick and Avedis >onstantian were the lead translators% and again the
Turkish translators were 7uslims? MNkri *fendi and Ahmed *fendi% who were #retiredZ$
government clerks% and Aeyfi *fendi% a Aurdish scholar of Turkish and Arabic literature.
Aeyfi *fendis Estudy of the Bible finally led him to confess >hrist%F
but he was never
bapti:ed and remained a 7uslim in the employ of the Bible House. He had been hired
initially as a copyist because of his beautiful penmanship #a reminder that photocopy
machines were still a century away$ and because of his interest in the ,ospel% to which he
had been introduced by a 2e:idi in 5raL. Aeyfi *fendi was honored by the committee with
the task of doing the final revisions of Turkish grammar and wordingB so this Bible that
formed the new basis of all future editions of the !itab( "ukaddes reflects the language of
Aeyfi *fendi. He went to his reward in &<<6.
Some phrasings from earlier versions were retained in the &<'< versionB for eample% the
*pistles of @ohn repeat the &<0' translation by TNrabi *fendi and -edhouse in many verses.
Later &=th(century printings modified the &<'< version only slightly. 5n the HacJ 7ahmud
*fendi >ollection in the SNleymaniye archives% a printed but undated Bible seems to be the
&<'< version.
The first verses of ,enesis in this version show differences in two small
details from the &<<4 version.
The &<'< version contained no footnotes.
'<<64'<<8 # Kitab- $ukaddes: "ani !hd-i !tik +e !hd-i @edid5 HAn asl muharrer bulundugg u
brani 1e !eldani 1e 9unani lisanlarndan bit(tercmet 1e ngili) 1e Amerikan .ibel irketleri
mas*rifi&le #The Holy Book% or the )ld >ovenant and ;ew >ovenant? A translation from
the original tets in the Hebrew% >haldean #Aramaic$ and ,reek languages[ with
funds of the British and American Bible Societies$2 "a[*rif umumi&e ne)aret(i cel:lesini
Yu "uharrem el(6ar*m YvdY 1e v 'er:n(i %*n: YwXX tar:hli 1e xyw n,mar,li ruhsatn*mesi&le
#with certificate of permission no. '06 of the High 7inistry of Public 5nformation dated
the &Cth day of 7uharrem% &/1& A.H. and the /rd day of TePrin 55% &6== A.H.$ stanbulda
.o&ac&an Ago$ "atbaasnda tab olunmutur2 &<<0 version? &%C66 pages with footnotes.
&<<4 version? &%16/ pages without footnotes.
5n response to growing Turkish literacy and a new emphasis on Turkish popular culture% this
Bible revision eliminated still more Arabic and Persian features and made minor
ad"ustments to Turkish grammar in the AitabJ 7ukaddes of &<'<. >ooper tells us that new
members were added to the committee to replace older Turkish scholars Ewho could not
Cooper, p. 31, quoLlng from lsaac C. 8llss, 1weoty-flve eots lo tbe levoot (1883), MacCallum (1942), p. 62.
no. 4797-001 and 4797-002.
l Lhank Sadik ?azar for sharlng wlLh me Lhls LranscrlpLlon from Lhe Suleymanlye documenL: Allb lbtlJJo
semvt o zemiol bolk eyleJl ve zemio tebi o bli ve locce ozetloe zolmet olop solotoo ozetloJe Jobl tbollb
boteket eJetJl. 1he 1886 verslon shows solot noL solotoo, and eJet lJl noL eJetJl.
make a complete break from the )smanli HsicI tradition of style with its unnecessary
borrowing of Arabic and Persian vocabulary and synta.F

Qpon the death of Sultan AbdNla:i: in &<'4 and in response to the liberal reputation of the
new Sultan 7urat% a large number of Turkish newspapers and "ournals had emerged
suddenly. They were allowed to function freely for a few years% even under the censorship
policy of Sultan AbdNlhamid. As a result a public language emerged that populari:ed the
written style of )ttoman Turkish. According to the >7S translator% -.H. !eakley% this social
process influenced the &<<0 revision of the Bible.
;ilsons description of the development
of )ttoman Turkish style over several centuries deserves special note?
Ali Beys relatively simple Turkish of the seventeenth century was unacceptable to
the educated 7uslim )smanli whose language had become highly styli:ed and
remote from the conversational language of the people. Kuring the course of the
H&=thI century[ this was successfully simplified as the educated classes began
advocating a simplified and purer Turkish literature.

5n other words% the !itab( "ukaddes of &<<0(<4 returns us to simple Turkish like that of Ali
Bey% ecept that two centuries of language development had now occurred. 5n Lualification it
must also be said that the neo(classical )ttoman Turkish of the mid(&=th was not entirely
eliminated from the new Bible% as many of the fine epressions of !ilhelm Schauffler and
Selim *fendi were accepted by its editors.
*ven in the 6&st century the Turkish language is still replete with Arabic and Persian words.
5t was not so much Arabic and Persian vocabulary as Arabic synta and phrasings that were
progressively edited out of the &<'< and &<<0(<4 versions of the Turkish Bible. Persian i)afet
#Arabic and Persian nouns connected by means of the Persian particle bic( or the Arabic
u(c($ is seldom encountered in these new versions. The Turkification of Turkish writing is
an ongoing social process that began in the &<'1s.
The &<<0 version featured an etensive set of cross(references% which made it a very large
book. These cross(references were eliminated in the &<<4 printing% which therefore is almost
nllson, p. 133, MacCallum (1942), p. 62.
Cooper, pp. 33ff.
nllson, p. 133
the same si:e as the un(footnoted version of &<'<. The only footnotes in the &<'< and &<<4
versions are a few variant readings and alternate translations.
'B&' # Kitab- $ukaddes: "ani !hd-i !tik +e !hd-i @edid5 HAn asl muharrer bulundugg u
brani 1e !eldani 1e 9unani lisanlarndan bi[t(tercmet Amerikan !itab( "ukaddes iirketi
mas*rifi&le #The Holy Book% or the )ld >ovenant and ;ew >ovenant? A translation from
the original tets in the Hebrew% >haldean #Aramaic$ and ,reek languages[ with
funds of the American Bible Society$2 -er %aadet H3stanbulIz .o&ac&an Ago$ "atbaasnda
tab olunmutur2 Printed also by Agop 7atyosyan. &&6C i //C pages.
This was the last ma"or revision of the )ttoman Turkish BibleB so later dates of publication
on some Bibles and ;ew Testaments reflect reprints from this version. The last printing 5
have found in library records was in &=66% the year before the proclamation of the Turkish
-epublic. ;ew Testament reprints from the years &=1/% &=14% &=1<% &=&&% &=&6% &=61% and &=66
have appeared for sale recently on Turkish websites% along with a ;ew Testament dated
&<=4 and Proverbs #3msal(i %le&man$ dated &<=<B apparently these were trial runs for the
&=1& Bible. +unding this time was from the American Bible Society elusivelyB the B+BS is
not mentioned on the title page of the these books.
+inally with this version the Turkish tet was successfully harmoni:ed% so that the Bibles in
)ttoman Turkish% Armeno(Turkish and ,rUco(Turkish typefaces used the same Turkish tet.
The revision committee was led by ,eorge Herrick with members -.H. !eakley% Avedis
>onstantian% H.). Kwight% *lias -iggs% his son *dward -iggs% Prof. Be:d"ian of 7arash% and
Prof. Ter:ian of Aintab. 7uslims were notably absent from this committee. After this point%
whenever 7uslim scholars have been employed or consulted in Bible translation pro"ects%
their involvement has been viewed with suspicion in the >hristian churches in Turkey%
though missionary translators have often valued the linguistic contributions of 7uslim
'B%% C !itab "ukaddes. Translated by 3:mirli 3smail HakkJ.
This is a printed version of #parts ofZ$ the Bible in )ttoman Turkish by 3smail HakkJ #&<4=(
&=C4$% a progressive 7uslim scholar who later became chairman of the +aculty of Theology
at 5stanbul Qniversity. He had been a member of the >ommittee of Qnion and Progress and
was interested in the history of religions. 3smail HakkJs book is archived at the SNleymaniye
in 5stanbul%
along with his earlier Arabic #not Turkish$ printings of the Bible.
A study of
3smail HakkJs life and work
and a comparison of his translation with the &=1& version
would be a significant contribution to the history of the Turkish Bible. 5 have found no
mention of any influence of this work on the !itab "ukaddes of &=C&. !as the Bible House
aware of this translation of the Bible by a 7uslimZ
%&'' D Osmanlca Kel1m. 5mages of the original pages of )ttoman Turkish Bibles% with
transcription in 7odern Turkish characters.
This website at displays images from the &'th(century Turkish
Bible manuscripts and the several printed Bibles that followed. >urrently the site features
many of the books from Ali Beys manuscript of &440% his ;ew Testament printed in &<&= as
edited by Aieffer% Aieffers Bible of &<6'% ,enesis and Psalms as revised in &<06 by TNrabi
*fendi% the ;ew Testament revised in &<0' by TNrabi and -edhouse% the &<44 ;ew
Testament newly translated by Selim and Schauffler and their Psalms of &<4<% and the !itab(
"ukaddes published in &<<4. Schoeders Turkish(Latin diglot of ,enesis &(C published in
&'/= with a few chapters of Ali Beys tet is included as well #Turkish and Latin on facing
pages$. Supplementing the Turkish transcription% glosses on obsolete words and eplanatory
notes are shown as pop(ups. )nly books of the Bible for which transcription is available are
displayed% but additional chapters and books are added to the site as the transcription work
lzmlrll lsmall Pakki, klLab-i Mukaddes, Csmanlica, no. 4426-001.
lzmlrll lsmall Pakki, klLab-i Mukaddes, Arapa (1910) no. 0038, klLab-i Mukaddes, Arapa (1913), no. 4449-
u8L: hLLp://
Chapter 2
Turkish in Hebrew etters (Hebr!o"Turkish)
The Aaraite @ews are geographically diverse and their origin is ancient. -e"ecting the Talmud
and all other sources of religious authority ecept the Hebrew )ld Testament #Tanakh$% their
theology is sometimes traced to Philo of Aleandria% though the view that they can be traced
to the Sadducees derives from a mistranslation of the Aaraite history of Avraham +irkowic:
A key figure in Bible translation% he was the chief proponent of the idea that
*uropean @ews% including the Aaraites% are descendents of the Aha:ars% a medieval Turkic
kingdom of the Golga(Kon basin which adopted @udaism in the <th century% and from there
back to the @ewish diaspora among the 7edes in ancient times.
The early Aaraites spoke Aaraim #!ara&ca$% a Aipchak(Turkic language% which survived in
some communities into the 61th century.
Because of the peculiarity of a @ewish people
speaking a Turkic language% even those histories that doubt Aha:ar ancestry for the Aaraites
trace their origins to the breakup the ,olden Horde #a Turkic(Aipchak kingdom on the
-ussian steppe$ in the &Cth century. At this time Aaraites settled in several towns of Poland
and Lithuania% others in the Tatar towns of the >rimean Peninsula #where they became the
@ewish ma"ority in relation to the -abbanite @ews #EmainlineF @ews$. The older Aaraite center
in By:antine >onstantinople% where the Aaraites spoke ,reek% had pride of place. They fled
the city after )rtakVy burned in &61/% fearing further anti(@ewish pogroms by the >atholic
>rusaders who captured >onstantinople in &61C. These Aaraites settled in *dirne% but 601
years later were resettled in )rtakVy by Sultan 7ehmet the >onLueror. By the &=th century
the Aaraites spoke the Turkic Aaraim language in the Slavic and Lithuanian cities% but Tatar
or E>rimean TurkishF in the Black Sea region% and% increasingly% )ttoman Turkish in
uan Shaplra, Avtobom lltkowlcz lo lstoobol (18J0-18J2). lovloq tbe woy fot 1otklc ootlooollsm (Ankara:
karaM, 2003a), Abraham 8aer CoLLlober and Abraham llrkowlcz, 8lkkotetb letolJotb bokkotolm, oJet,
ktluscbeuotetsocbooqeoobetJleCescblcbtekotoet (vllno: Sh.?.lln, 1863) (LexL ln Pebrew, blbllographlcal
noLes ln ?lddlsh by A. llrkowlcz).
uan Shaplra, 1he 1urklc languages and llLeraLures of Lhe easLern Luropean karalLes, ln kotolte IoJolsm. A
ColJe to lts nlstoty ooJ lltetoty 5ootces, ed. Melra ollack, arL l, vol. 73, pp. 637-707 (Lelden: 8rlll, 2003b).
Hebrew scrolls of the )ld Testament with partial translations and commentary in Aaraim
had circulated for centuries in beautifully illuminated manuscripts% but the Aaraites had
never printed a Aaraim translation of the Bible.
5n fact% the first printed Aaraite Bible was a
'urkish #not a Aaraim or Tatar$ translation of the Torah. !hen ,reece fought a successful
war of independence against the )ttoman *mpire in the &<61s% ,reek speakers came under
suspicion in Turkey. Aaraite @ews were identified by the Turks with the ,reek heritage. By
now% however% many Aaraites spoke Turkish and their leaders were pursuing a new identity
for the small Aaraite community. EThe choice of Turkish Hfor a translation of the TorahI[
revealed[allegiance to the )ttoman state% particularly after the establishment of the ,reek
5n general the Aaraites had fared well under 5slamic rule% especially during the moderni:ing
reforms of the last khan of the >rimean Tatars% Mahin ,iray #&'C0(&'<'$% who had also
inspired the 'an)imat reforms of Sultan 7ahmud 55 #&'<0(&</=$ in the )ttoman *mpire. The
domains of these friendly 7uslim sovereigns were a refuge for the @ews when they were
persecuted by >hristian princes. 5t was under these circumstances that a movement to teach
Turkish to the Aaraite children of )rtakVy was promoted by +irkowic:% the controversial
rabbi who had moved from >rimea to )rtakVy in &</1. He prepared a diglot Torah as a
teaching aid.
'<5%456 C Torah #Pentateuch$% Turkish in Hebrew characters. Translated by Avraham
+irkowic:% 2itshaL b. Samuel ha(Aohen% and Simha b. 2osef *di:. Printed in
installments as a diglot book with Hebrew and HebrUo(Turkish on facing pages% by
Arab()dlu Bolus #Paulus$% an Armenian printer in )rtakVy% ,reater 5stanbul.
This Torah is the first Bible in )ttoman Turkish written in Hebrew script.
The date and
title are uncertain because all surviving copies are lacking the first pageB one copy is held at
the Ben(hvi 5nstitute in @erusalem. 5ts vocabulary is the vernacular Turkish spoken in
5stanbul #Ethe language of 5smailF$% but the synta follows Aaraim or Hebrew. The foreign
ordering of the phrases means that it is not a good translation in Turkish terms% but this
Shaplra (2003a), p. 29.
lblJ., p. 39f.
Shaplra (2003a), pp. 29-41, also hls "Mlscellanea !udo-1urklca. lour !udo-1urklc noLes: !udo-1urklca lv,"
Ietosolem 5toJles lo Atoblc ooJ lslom 27: 473-496 (2002), here pp. 486ff., karalLe prlnLlng ln Lhe CLLoman
Lmplre (2003), p. 13, u8L: hLLp://
feature made it useful to the Aaraite boys to whom +irkowic: was teaching both Hebrew
and Turkish.
Shapira provides some eamples of the translation.
At Keuteronomy /&?64 it reads?
Ealma&a ktabn bu ol('orah(nin
1e bo&asn) onu tarafndan art sandn 6'anrini)in 1e olsun
orada sana ahadla%F which in the !itab "ukaddes of &=<' reads? EBu Periat kitabJnJ alJn% ve
onu AllahJnJ: -ABB3; ahit sandJdJnJn yanJna% sana karPJ orada Pahit olsun diye koyunF
(Take this book of the la and put it beside of the ark of the covenant of %&W& your #od,
that it may be there a itness for you$. This kind of 'uasi(interlinear &ebraic synta)
occurred also in &akis manuscript of the Turkish Bible, as noted by *eudecker (see above$.
+eish translators seem to have been reluctant to deviate from the arrangement of the
&ebre phrases.
+irkowic: himself was a native Aaraim speaker who learned Tatar and then E>rimean
TurkishF for strategic reasonsB so the Turkish vocabulary of his translation of the Pentateuch
was edited and no doubt improved by the other translators% 2Jt:haL >ohen and Simha *di:.
They were native to the Aaraite community in )rtakVy and good Turkish speakers.
>onsidering the animosity between +irkowic: and >ohen over control of the Aaraite
synagogue there #described in painful detail by Shapira$% it is surprising that the Turkish
translation of the Torah was ever completed.
+or +irkowic:% printing a Turkish Bible in Hebrew letters was a forward(looking way for the
Aaraites to distinguish themselves not only from the ,reeks% but also from the E-abbaniteF
@ews% the main and larger body of @ews% who spoke Ladino in Turkey.
+irkowic: gloried in
the idea of Turkic @udaism and Turkish(speaking Aaraite @ews. He hoped to make 5stanbul
the spiritual center of this movement% including the larger communities of Aaraites in
-ussian cities. Qnfortunately for him% his grand plan was re"ected by the Aaraite @ews of
)rtakVy. They were a small community and felt +irkowic:s pro"ect would overwhelm them
Shaplra (2003), p. 33
1hls LranslaLlon used Lhe 1urklc pronoun ol- Lo LranslaLe Lhe Pebrew deflnlLe arLlcle ha- excepL LhaL for
Lheonyns Lhe Pebrew ha- was preserved llLerally. Where Lhey needed Lhe 1urklsh pronoun Lhey used o as
ln modern 1urklsh (Shaplra 2003a, p. 33, n. 36).
1he 8abbanlLe !ews of 1urkey, along wlLh Lhe unme secL, spoke Ladlno, also called !udezmo or Pebro-
Spanlsh. 1herefore Lhey dld noL suffer under Lhe same pollLlcal llablllLles as Lhe LradlLlonally Creek-speaklng
karalLes. Schauffler began work on a Ladlno LranslaLlon of Lhe 8lble abouL Lhe same Llme as Lhe karalLes were
produclng Lhelr 1urklsh LranslaLlon (see Lhe chapLer below on 8elaLed Languages).
with linguistic and cultural influences from elsewhere in the Aaraite world. His vision of
Turkic @udaism also threatened the Aaraites pecuniary links with the ,reek )rthodo
>hurch% which was served as a financial conduit with their benefactors in Aaraite
communities elsewhere.
Though the printing of the Torah went forward% it appears that some of the @ews of )rtakVy
preferred Aieffers )ttoman Turkish Bible of &<6'. Schauffler noted in &<0& that Aieffers
Bible was being read by @ewish scholars%
and these may have included Aaraites. A
>hristian translation of the Turkish Bible intended for a 7uslim audience did not preclude
its use by other Turkish speakers who could read Arabic script.
The shelf life of the HebrUo(Turkish Torah was short. Plans to translate a complete Hebro(
Turkish Bible #)ld Testament$ were abandoned% because the Torah failed also to impress the
Aaraites in >rimea% where Tatar% not Turkish% was the lingua franca. +irkowic: had returned
to >rimea in &</6 before the printing was finished. *ventually all copies unsold in )rtakVy
were sent to >rimea% but +irkowic: was unsuccessful in promoting their use there.
5n &<C& at ,V:leve #*upatoria$ in >rimea an )ld Testament was printed in a Tatari:ed
Aaraim translation% sponsored by the merchant 7ordechai TJrJPLan. This Bible attracted the
loyalty of Aaraite @ews in >rimea and -ussia. The HebrUo(Turkish Torah no longer had an
audience and was assigned to oblivion% but% as Shapira notes% it Ecould provide much
material about vernacular Turkish as spoken in the )ttoman capital in the first half of the
&=th century% especially by non(7uslims.F

The HebrUo(Turkish Torah was the first piece of the Bible ever printed in 5stanbul. 5t was
also an original translation. 7ac>allums suggestion%
repeated by Toprak%
that it was
Wllllam C. Schauffler, ShabbaLhal Zevl and hls followers, Iootool of tbe Ametlcoo Otleotol 5oclety 2: 1-26
(1831), p. 26.
Shaplra (2002), p. 487. 1he hlsLory of !ewlsh prlnLlng also lncludes a 1urklsh dlcLlonary ln Pebrew characLers
by All b. nasr b. uaud, daLed Lo 1676, whlch makes lL a resource for sLudenLs of 17Lh-cenLury 1urklsh. 1he copy
ln Lhe 8lblloLheque naLlonale de lrance was dlsplayed aL Lhe Sabanci Museum, lsLanbul, AugusL-SepLember
MacCallum (1942), p. 60.
1oprak, op.clt., p. 7.
based on a &Cth(century Aaraim translation has been refuted by Shapira.
5t was the
TJrJPLan Bible in Tatari:ed Aaraim that was adapted from earlier Aaraim material% not the
HebrUo(Turkish Torah.
The Ede("udificationF of the Aaraites in favor of their ETurkicnessF became a personal pro"ect
of +irkowic:% which he pursued for the rest of his long life. He meant this only in the
political% not the religious% sense. He believed the Aaraites were the true @ews and persuaded
the -ussian government that they should not be persecuted with the main body of
-abbanite @ews. Aaraite ethnic origins% he believed% were distinct from those of other @ewsB
therefore the Aaraites could not be blamed for the killing of @esus and the persecution of the
early church. Shapira proposes that this argument was an early eample of Turkic
nationalism. AtatNrk himself was impressed by it as an eample of a long(standing
*uropean sub(culture with a Turkic identity and idiom. 5smail ,aspralJ #,asprinsky% &<0&(
&=&C$% the Tatar nationalist and famous advocate of Pan(Turkism% grew up in BahOe(Saray%
>rimea% and may have been influenced as a child by the famous patriarch% Avraham
+irkowic:% who lived nearby.
+or +irkowic: himself% the Turkish Pentateuch had been an
early pro"ect in his lifelong ambition to make the Aaraite @ews embrace Turkishness.
Shaplra (2003), p. 13, p. 14 n.33, p. 12, n.27.
Shaplra (2003a), pp. 60-94.
Chapter #
Turkish in $reek etters ($r!co"Turkish, %aramanlca)
7any ,reeks of )ttoman Asia 7inor learned Turkish as their mother tongue but wrote it in
,reek characters. This was called the !aramanl Turkish culture% because of the large ,reek
>hristian population in the Aaraman and >appadocia regions of Anatolia. ,enerally
speaking% the ,reeks of the Anatolian plateau spoke only Turkish% "ust as 7uslims in >rete
spoke ,reek as their mother tongue but wrote it in )ttoman Arabic characters. Turkish was
spoken also by ,reeks in >onstantinople and other coastal cities% where bilingualism was
normal. The need for a Turkish Bible in ,reek characters was deeply felt especially in the
,reek communities in Anatolia.
'9<% # The Psalms in ,rUco(Turkish. Translator unknown. #Acts and the *pistles also
appeared in Genice in &<&<.$
'<%% # The Psalms. -evised by Henry K. Leeves.
Henry K. Leeves #d. &<C0$
was an Anglican clergyman who had been appointed principal
agent for the B+BS in >onstantinople in &<61. -obert Pinkerton #mentioned above in
connection with Aieffers Bible$ also visited >onstantinople and Earranged for the
transcribing of the Turkish Scriptures into the ,reek character% for the use of the numerous
,reeks% who could only read and understand the Scriptures in that form% since called the
Pinkerton also signed contracts for the production of a Bible in 7odern
,reek% which eventually became Leeves pro"ect in addition to the ,rUco(Turkish.
'<%8 # !hdi @edid "ani Bea -iathNkN #;ew Testament$? Ra$$(i {isa el("esihin Ahdi ')edidinin
^ionani 5isanindan 'ourk 5isanina 'ert)oumesi #-abb 3sa el(7esihin Ahd(i >edidinin
2unani lisanJndan TNrk lisanJna tercNmesi$. `stam$olda/ -e !as$onoun 7asmahanesinde.
Transcribed by Henry K. Leeves.
lor Leeves' daLe of deaLh see: hLLp://webslLe.llneone.neL/aldosllema/rl.hLm.
Ceorge 8rowne, 1be nlstoty of tbe 8tltlsb ooJ lotelqo 8lble 5oclety, ftom lts lostltotloo lo 1804, to tbe close
of lts jobllee lo 1854 (London: 8lble SocleLy Pouse, 8lackfrlars, 1839), vol. 2, p. 29. 8rowne's wordlng remlnds
us LhaL Lhe Lerms Crco-1urklsh, Armeno-1urklsh, eLc. were creaLlons of Lhe LranslaLors and noL lndlgeous ln
Lhe 1urklsh language lLself.
lnkerLon also conLracLed wlLh an Albanlan LranslaLor and lnlLlaLed plans for a Ladlno (!udezmo) LranslaLlon.
See Lhe chapLer below on 8elaLed Languages.
The title of this Turkish ;ew Testament is written in both Arabic and ,reek characters% and
we are also told on the title page that it is for the use of >hristians in Anatolia who do not
know ,reek #,iounani lisani pilmegeen Anadoloudaki Hristianlerin tanigiet #acaniyet$
menfaatleri itoun tap olounmouP dour$. >ooper reported it to be a Etranscription of
Aieffers Turkish Testament #&<&=$ in ,reek characters%F
i.e. of Aieffers controversial
edition of Ali Bey% the distribution of which was suspended because it featured too much
5slamic vocabulary. A study of how Leeves dealt with these epressions% especially
considering that he was writing for ,reek >hristians% would be revealing.
Significantly% a Bible in ,reek characters was printed in Turkey at the same time that the
B+BS decided it could find facilities to print the )ttoman Turkish Bible only in Paris. The
Turkish Psalms in ,reek characters were published in &<6' at the same printing house.
The ,reek spelling 5stampol on the title page reflects the ,reek $olis for city% which is the
source of the syllable |bul in the Turkish word 3stanbul.
'<56 # >enesis "ani $ahlukatin "aratilicinin kitabi #,enesis% the book of the creation of
created things$... Ea Protestant translation.F

The ,reek alphabet is familiar to more *uropeans than are the Arabic characters of )ttoman
Turkish% but one discovers in transcribing the ,raeco(Turkish into Latin characters that
,reek did not have the / % or and used other consonants differently than the 7odern
Turkish reader would epect. Thus $es is written for be/ $iutun for btn% and tagilmasi for
dalmas in the following title?
'<58 # Ha0reti $usann es kitalari hem tahi Ba+i OMlu Oesunun kitai: ki <n&ilterranin
+e iutun dun"ann sair her tara'larna mukattes kitalarin ta&ilmasi it0un <n&ili0
memleketinte munta0im olan *e'ikatin mari'eti ile !t0ik Turkt0e lisana tert0ime
olunu T0e0irei ("rata !merikali O8O8 *obertsonun .asmasinta ta olunmus tur
#Ha:reti 7usanJn beP kitabJ hem dahi ;avi )dlu 2esunun kitabJ% ki 3ngilterranJn ve
bNtNn dNnyanJn sair her taraflarJna mukaddes kitaplarJn dadJlmasJ iOin 3ngili:
memleketinde munta:im olan -efikatJn marifeti ile AOJk TNrkOe lisana tercNme olunup
>e:ire(i Surata AmerikalJ 5.5. -obertsonun basmasJnda tap olunmuP dur$.
Cooper. p. 41, cf. nllson, p. 133, 8lggs, p. 240.
Shaplra (2003), p. 29f., n. 31
This is the Pentateuch and @oshua% translated into the EPlain TurkishF of the )ttoman
Translated by Leeves and >hristo ;icolaides% it anticipated their ,rUco(Turkish
Bible of &</=. The title tells us that the book was funded by the British and +oreign Bible
Society and published by the AB>+7 at their 5.5. -obertson Press% established in &<6< on the
island of Syros #;e)ire(i %&ra$ in the Aegean >yclades. The !aramanlca translation of ,enesis
mentioned above may have been printed in the same place. The long(winded Turkish
representation of the name of the British and +oreign Bible Society #E>ommittee formed to
Kistribute the Holy Hooks in *ngland and in all other parts of the !hole !orldF$ follows
the wording in Aieffers Bible of &<6'.
The translation is characteri:ed as a rendering into Ak 'rke. This means EPlain TurkishF%
the language of the people as differentiated from the elegant Turkish of the sultans court
and the )ttoman elite. >learly the ,reeks spoke simpler #some would say inferior$ Turkish
when compared with educated Turks% but it is also true that ,reek influenced Turkish. 5n the
)ttoman Turkish translations from Ali Bey onwards one discovers occasional words of
,reek derivation% usually having to do with agriculture #angaria for corv^e labor% defne for
the laurel bush H,k. daphn^I% rgad for a field hand H,k. ergates j erga:omai% to workI% nadas
for a fallow fJeld H,k. neatos j neos a newI% etc.$B and now and then an 5talian word as well
#manca for a non(helal meal% i.e. not properly prepared in the 7uslim fashion H5ta. mangiaI$.
'<5B # The ,rUco(Turkish Bible. Translated by Leeves and >hristo ;icolaides. Printed in
Athens and Beirut.
5n the &<61s the ,reek war of independence against the )ttoman *mpire precipitated
pogroms against ,reeks in >onstantinople. Leeves had begun his work there but moved to
>orfu% the Adriatic island. He worked there with ;icolaides% a native of Philadelphia #now
AlaPehir$. They later moved on to Athens where the printing was completed. 7ac>allum
tells us that the ,rUco(Turkish Bible they produced was essentially identical to Ali Beys
translationB in other words% a transliteration of Aieffers Bible of &<6' into ,reek characters.
;ilson% however% says that Leeves simplified the Turkish to conform to the vernacular of the
)ttoman ,reeks% moving away from the Arabic and Persian phrasings in Ali Beys
lblJ. l have copled Lhe LlLle from Shaplra.
MacCallum (1942), p. 62.
manuscripts and Aieffers Bible.
This difference of views deserves further investigation%
revealing how little we know about the ,rUco(Turkish translations.
'<(( # Oob: .araoimia (olomontos: ,kklisiastis "ani Oobun: ,msali (olomonun +e Pai0in
Kitai ki Halia $e"t0etten !t0ik tirkt0e&e ter0ume olunu[. #Same printing data as
for the Pentateuch and @oshua$.
'<68 # The ,rUco(Turkish )ld Testament. -evised by !illiam ,oodell #AB>+7$ and
>onstantinides Philadelpheus. -evised again in &<4/. Printed in 5stanbul.
The ,reek Protestant movement was never widespread in the )ttoman periodB so the
impact of the ,rUco(Turkish Bible was limited. Because the )ld Testament did not include
the Apocrypha% it did not conform to the tet of the ,reek )rthodo >hurch. +or more on
!illiam ,oodell% see the Armeno(Turkish Bible below.
'<8B # =ita*D 7ukaddes. *dited by *lias -iggs. Printed in 5stanbul.

By now ,oodell had retired. *lias -iggs #&<&1(&=1&$ was his American contemporary%
schooled at Andover like ,oodell and Schauffler% serving initially in Athens and Smyrna
until he moved to >onstantinople in &<CC% where he lived for more than half a century until
his death at the age of =1 in &=1&. Kuring his career he worked on Bible translations in four
languages? this revision of ,oodells ,raeco(Turkish% the 7odern ,reek% the Armeno(
Turkish and the )ttoman Turkish #see >hapters /% C and ' below and >hapter & above$.
'<<( # =ita*D 7ukaddes. -evised by *lias -iggs with Aleander Thompson #B+BS$% ,eorge
Aa:akos% a ,reek evangelical pastor% and Avedis Assadourian of the Armenian
*vangelical >hurch.
The ,rUco(Turkish Bible used Allah for ,od% as in Turkish% but 7eder for +ather and `}sous
;hristos% as in ,reekB otherwise it sounds Luite Turkish when read aloud. !ritten in the
colloLuial !aramanlca dialect% it used no Arabic and Persian phrases and fewer Arabic and
Persian words than the )ttoman Turkish Bible of &<'<. +or this reason the ,rUco(Turkish
sounds more like modern Turkish in some ways than the )ttoman Turkish does.

'<BB C !hdi @edid "ani Bea -iathNkN: kAn asl muharrir bulunduu 9unani lisanndan bit
ter<eme2 `ngilterrede 1e memalik(i sairede mukaddes kita$larn neri iin tekil edilen irketin
mesarifi&le2 `stanboldaz A262 .o&acian "atbaasnda ta$ olunmu tur #Ahd(i >edid% in other
nllson, p. 134.
Cooper, p. 27n glves Lhe daLe as 1871. 1he prlnLlng may have spanned several years.
My Lhanks Lo 8od ParboLLle for Lhls lnslghL (personal correspondence).
words the ;ew >ovenant? A translation from the original tets in the ,reek language.
!ith funding from the Bible Society established for the distribution of the holy books in
*ngland and other countries. Printed at the A.H. Boya"ian printing house in 5stanbul$.
This appears to be a reprint of the ;ew Testament from the ,rUco(Turkish Bible of &<<C. As
in Leeves translation of &<64% the main title shown in boldface above was written in both
Arabic and ,reek and the sub(title in Turkish% but all in ,reek letters. The title reveals some
of the peculiarities of )ttoman usage? bir #one$ is assimilated to bit when followed by a word
beginning with t~ and the Arabic plural memalik #countries$ is used in place of todays
memleketler. The ,reek spelling of `stanbol reflects the ,reek $olis for city% but the printer was
an Armenian.
Both the bilingualism of the coastal cities and the Ereverse monolingualF cultures of the
Anatolian and ,reek hinterlands were lost after the echange of Turkish and ,reek
populations in &=6/. ;ew public school systems assimilated these )ttoman cultural groups
into the nationalist monocultures of ,reece and Turkey. As a result% the ,rUco(Turkish Bible
is a mere curiosity today.
Chapter &
Turkish in Armenian etters (Armeno"Turkish)
The Armenian Bible translated by St. 7esrob 7ashtots and his disciples in C/C AK was one
of the earliest Bible translations in any language% the proud legacy of the Armenian
Apostolic #)rthodo$ >hurch. )ne of the treasures of )ttoman bookmaking is an
illuminated vellum manuscript of the Armenian Bible made in 5stanbul in &46/ by the scribe
Hakop at the behest of an Armenian community in Persia.
The \enice 7salter of &040 was
the first printed Bible portion in the Armenian language.
The full Armenian Bible was
printed for the first time in Amsterdam in &444% then revised in >onstantinople in &'10.
The Armenian Bible of &'// was the work of the 7echitarist +athers of San La::aro% Genice.
The first pro"ect of the -ussian Bible Society% founded in &<&/% was to reprint '%111 copies of
this Armenian Bible% but these were bought primarily by the clergy of the Armenian
Apostolic >hurch. 7any Armenians no longer understood the Armenian language.

By the &=th century% a Bible in the vernacular language of the Armenian people was needed%
and this was no longer Armenian but Turkish% written in Armenian characters. Pliny +isk%
the first American missionary in the ;ear *ast% recommended that a Bible translation be
done in Armeno(Turkish to support the vision of reforming the Armenian >hurch D it being
a Protestant principle that a reformation reLuires the proclamation of the !ord of ,od in the
language of the people.
Though +isk died young% his challenge became a focus of the
AB>+7 and B+BS initiatives in Turkey.
1hls 8lble ls ln Lhe rare books collecLlon of Lhe CalousLe Culbenklan Museum ln Llsbon:
hLLp://www.museu.gulbenklan.pL/obra.asp?num=la132&nuc=a3&lang=en. lL was on dlsplay aL Lhe Sabanci
Museum, lsLanbul, ln AugusL-SepLember 2010.
u8L: hLLp:// glves Lhe daLa as 1363, buL
hLLp:// says 1387.
See lllusLraLlons aL: hLLp://
8ooks/6834426_xbClC. lor a hlsLory see: hLLp://
!ullus 8lchLer, A nlstoty of ltotestoot Mlssloos lo tbe Neot ost (new ?ork: 8lbllo8azaar, 2009 [llemlng P.
8evell, 1910]), p. 98.
Cooper, p. 18.
'<'B C ;ew Testament in Armeno(Turkish% by Seraphim Aho"ent:i. Printed by the Bible
Society of St. Petersburg% <64 pages.
Aho"ent:i means a man from Aho"and% >entral Asia #now Ta"ikistan$. He was an
archimandrite #abbot$ in the Armenian Apostolic >hurch% but one source says he was a
translator for the -ussian government.
7andated by the Armenian Patriarch #in
>onstantinopleZ$% his ;ew Testament was published with support from the B+BS and was
followed in &<66 by a revision #Z$ by a certain Aeghamian of *rivan.
Another revision was
begun by Henry K. Leeves in &<6/% but he soon decided to focus on the 7odern ,reek and
,rUco(Turkish translations% handing off the Armeno(Turkish work to ,oodell. >omparison
of this version with ,oodells revision below might reveal why the AB>+7 and B+BS felt a
new version was needed% especially since the &<&= version was widely circulated as late as
5t was on sale for k6%111.11 on a rare books website in 61&1.

'<5' C ;ew Testament in Armeno(Turkish% by !illiam ,oodell with Bishop Kionysius and
Gartabed ,regory. Printed at the >7S press established at 7alta for this purpose% with
funding from B+BS.
The bishop and the 1artabed #church teacher$ were Armenian )rthodo scholars of
evangelical persuasion. #The Armenian *vangelical >hurch was not established until &<C0.$
!ork on an Armeno(Turkish ;ew Testament had begun in &<6/ in Beirut when !illiam
,oodell #&'=6(&<'<$ first arrived on the field and met these men.
!hen he moved from
7alta to >onstantinople in &</& D the first Protestant missionary to reside there D he
brought with him this Armeno(Turkish ;ew Testament and tells us that it was welcomed by
the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic >hurch. 5n light of the opposition of the Patriarch
that emerged within a few years% it may be surmised that he was as interested in ,oodells
plan to set up schools for >hristian children as he was in ,oodells ;ew Testament.

hLLp://, clLlng uarlow & Moule, op. clt. # 9434.
ueny, p. 39n, 8lggs, p. 241.
8lggs, p. 240.
C.P. Anderson, op.clt., pp. 230f., L.u.C. rlme, ed., lotty eots lo tbe 1otklsb mplte, ot Memolts of kev.
wllllom CooJell, u.u., lote Mlssloooty of tbe A. 8. c. l. M. ot coostootloople (new ?ork: 8oberL CarLer & 8ros.,
1876). u8L: hLLp://
Coodell ln rlme, op.clt., p.128, 132ff. Coodell had learned Lhe pedagogy of Lhe LancasLrlan school model
LhaL was popular ln Lhe early years of Amerlcan publlc educaLlon. lew Leachers were needed because good
sLudenLs were asslgned Lo Leach Lhe ones who lagged behlnd. Coodell carrled a full currlculum wlLh hlm when
,oodell had a fervent evangelical spirit% believing that the Armenian )rthodo church could
be reformed from within. 2oung Armenian men came to him for Bible study% the results of
which eceeded his epectations? they rebelled against the conservative priests of the
Armenian Apostolic >hurch. !hen they were then epelled #some were also imprisoned by
the Armenian Patriarch$% ,oodell felt forced by circumstances to help them establish their
own church. The +irst Armenian *vangelical >hurch of >onstantinople was founded in
&<C0% and a few years later the )ttoman government gave it legal covering by appointing an
Armenian layman as the titular head of the Armenian Protestant millet2 ;ow there were
three Armenian communities in the )ttoman lands? the Protestants% the >atholics
#+ranciscan and @esuit missions to the Armenians had born fruit in the &<th century
$% and
the ancient Armenian Apostolic >hurch.
,oodells ;ew Testament was the foundation of the Armenian evangelical revival% but the
Aho"ent:i version continued in circulation among the Armenian )rthodo. -ival Armeno(
Turkish Bibles seem to have circulated along confessional lines.
'<(5 C Armeno(Turkish )ld Testament% by !illiam ,oodell and Panayotes >onstantinides.
Printed at the AB>+7 press in Smyrna.

A partial draft of the )ld Testament had been done by Bishop Kionysius% but half the
manuscript was lost in the fire that destroyed Pera in ;ovember &</&. Kionysius then
translated parts of the )ld Testament again% and this was used by ,oodell and Panayotes%
who finished their )ld Testament in manuscript on 4 ;ovember &<C&.

he arrlved ln ConsLanLlnople ln 1831.
8ruce MasLers, cbtlstloos ooJ Iews lo tbe Ottomoo Atob wotlJ. 1be toots of sectotloolsm (Cambrldge
unlverslLy ress, 2001), chapLer 4
rlme, p. 128.
Cooper (p. 19) glves 1833 as Lhe daLe of Lhe flre ln era. lrom Coodell hlmself we know lL occurred Lwo
monLhs afLer hls arrlval ln 1831. ln a leLLer wrlLLen ln 1841 Coodell wroLe, ulonyslus, Lhe Armenlan blshop,
formerly ln my employ, flrsL LranslaLed Lhe work wlLh Lhe help of Lhe Arablc and AnclenL Armenlan 8lbles,
LogeLher wlLh kelffer [slc]. nearly or qulLe half of Lhls LranslaLlon was burnL aL Lhe Llme of Lhe greaL flre here
Len years ago, and Lhe blshop had Lo LranslaLe lL agaln. My presenL LranslaLor, Mr. anayoLes ConsLanLlnldes,
had Lhe advanLage of Lhls LranslaLlon. (rlme, 269, cf. p. 24, 114ff., 478). Coodell menLlons flres also ln 1839
(p. 238f.), 1848 (p. 343), 1849 (p. 348), and Schauffler, ln a memorlal Lo Coodell on hls reLlremenL, menLlons a
flre ln 1833, whlch may be Lhe source of Cooper's confuslon (rlme, p. 478). llres were frequenL on Lhe sLreeLs
of old wooden houses of ConsLanLlnople. 1he greaL flre of 1660 desLroyed Lhe !ewlsh quarLer aL Lmlnnu and
large secLions of Musllm lsLanbul.
,oodell wrote in his "ournal
that the task had been difficult because there was no previous
)ld Testament translation in Armeno(Turkish and because Armeno(Turkish had no history
as a written language. He was also sensitive to the scrutiny it would receive from the
Armenian clergy. !e were% he wrote% Epreparing the Scriptures for those who are
comparatively enlightened% and the learned and influential of whom have [ become great
pedants in criticism.F A proud graduate of Andover Theological Seminary% ,oodell added
that the translation was done from the Hebrew. Though he was himself employed by the
AB>+7% funding for the pro"ect came from the American Bible Society.
'<8% C Kitab- Geri' "ani !hd-i !tik +e !hd-i @edidz Asl brani 1e 9unancadan 'rke&e
tercme olunu$ stanbulda iirket(i iarki&e .asmhanesinde tab olundu. &611 pp.
This is the Armeno(Turkish Bible revised and printed in one volume. ,oodell and Panayotes
were tireless revisers of their own work. A revision of his &</& ;ew Testament had been
published in &<0'. ,oodell was the grand old man of the Protestant pro"ect in
>onstantinopleB he retired in &<40 after C/ years in the ;ear *ast% /C of them in
>onstantinople% and died in Philadelphia% Pennsylvania% in &<'<.

'<9& C !ht ee @hee tit: eani 5 Onchil i (hee ri' lisanee asli i eunanitee n it# t#ee rchiQmee #Ahd(
i ;edid/ &aniz ncil(i ierif | lisan( asl 9unaniden bir tercme$. !orld> shows this
imprint? 5sta npo lta? A.H. Po yachean%
This free(style revision of ,oodells ;ew Testament was done by A.T. Pratt% a physician who
worked in Aleppo% Aintab and 7araP and learned the Anatolian Turkish of the Armenian
evangelical communities there.
His grammar of )ttoman Turkish recommended him for
translation work. 5n &<4< he was assigned to >onstantinople to work on the Bible because he
was committed to the principle that the )ttoman Turkish% Armeno(Turkish% and ,rUco(
Turkish Bibles should reflect a single Turkish tet in their respective alphabets. Pratts ;ew
Testament is the version found in Armeno(Turkish Bibles of the late )ttoman period and
Coodell ln rlme, op.clt., p. 270f.
lo Memotlom. wllllom CooJell (Chlcago: CullberL & Wlnchell, 1879). u8L:
hLLp:// Cooper (p. 27) erroneously
glves Coodell's daLe of deaLh as 1867.
Cooper, p. 20f.
may still be bought in used book stores in 5stanbul. He died in &<'6 while revising the
Armeno(Turkish )ld Testament.
'<9< C Kitab- $ukaddes. -evised by a committee after the death of A.H. Pratt% including
his Armeno(Turkish ;ew Testament. Printed concurrently with the )ttoman Turkish
version in Arabic characters.
'<<< C Kitab- $ukaddes: reflecting the &<<0(<4 revision of the )ttoman Turkish Bible.

This Bible marked the end of the Armeno(Turkish translation pro"ect D a matter which
deserves reflection. The Armenian people were geographically dispersed across the )ttoman
*mpire. They had originated in eastern Anatolia and the >aucasus but had gained a strong
presence across the empire% especially in the coastal cities% over its last two centuries or so.
!here the Armenian *vangelical >hurch was established% Armenians were active in
distributing the Bible in the various translations. After the pogroms of &<=0(=4 this
distribution network was adversely affected by fear. Then% after the terrible massacres and
forced emigration of &=&0(&4 #commonly called genocide in Armenian and !estern
historiography$% Anatolia and Thrace were essentially emptied of Armenian men% and many
Armenian women were absorbed into 7uslim communities% often under duress% in
marriages to Aurdish and Turkish men. !hen Turkey ecised most of its Armenian
population% the distribution of the Armeno(Turkish and )ttoman Turkish Bibles came to an
abrupt end in many places.
)nly in 5stanbul% where the Armenians survived in reduced
numbers as a >hristian community% did these Bibles still have a substantial readership. 5n the
late 61th

century it was also in 5stanbul where the first Turkish evangelical churches were
born% often as multi(ethnic churches that included Armenians.
'B%8 C Armeno(Turkish -eference Bible. Gienna? >hristoph -eissers Sons.
A copy of this book is held by the 5ndiana Qniversity Library. ;otably it was not printed in
Turkey. After !orld !ar 5 most of the surviving Armenians now lived elsewhere% and books
in the Armenian alphabet could no longer be printed in Turkey.
nllson, p. 133
l Lhank !urg Peusser for Lhls hlsLorlcal lnslghL ln hls essay, ule CeschlchLe des Lurklschen 8lbels, whlch
seems no longer Lo be avallable aL: hLLp://
-esearch on the Armeno(Turkish Bible awaits the attention of a scholar who can read both
Armenian and Turkish. There has been more research on the &4th( and &'th(century
Armeno(Aipchak Psalms
#the Aipchak Turkish of >rimea and the >aucasus written in
Armenian characters$ than on the Armeno(Turkish Bible of the &=th century.
1wo compleLe manuscrlpLs of Lhe Armeno-klpchak salms survlve among 112 wrlLLen monumenLs ln
Armeno-Cypchaq from 1321-1669 . amounLlng Lo abouL 23-30 Lhousand pages (Alexander CarkaveLz,
Armeno-Cypchaq language and wrlLLen monumenLs, u8L:
hLLp://, cf. lbrahlm Arikan, Lrmenl Parfll
kipak 1urkesl, u8L: hLLp:// A
LranscrlpLlon of flve salms collecLlons has been done by Z. uublnska buL remalns unpubllshed (cf. Ldward
1ry[arskl, A fragmenL of Lhe Apocryphal salm 31 [131] ln lLs Armeno-klpchak verslon, Iootool of 5emltlc
5toJles 28: 297-302 [1983]). An Armeno-klpchak prayer book has been edlLed by nade[da Chlrll, Alqts 8ltll.
tmeol klpcoko uoolot kltobt (Paarlem: SC1A 8esearch CenLre for Azerbal[an and 1urkesLan, 2003).
Chapter ' (
Turkish in atin Characters ()odern Turkish)
The Turkish -evolution was symboli:ed by the adoption of a Latin alphabet inaugurated in
&=6<. This event ended the )ttoman phenomenon of Bibles in multiple Turkish scripts. 5t not
only overturned the orthographies of the Turkish Bible% it also sLuee:ed its rich oriental
vocabulary into a modern mold.

However% pride of place for the first translation of any part of the Bible in a Latin(based
Turkic alphabet goes not to the ncil of &=// but to the ;ode ;umanicus in the Aipchak
The original manuscript% later epanded% is usually dated to &/1/ >.*. and
written in Latin letters% because 5talian merchants and friars were its reading audience.
Aipchak was the Turkic language of the ,olden Horde to the north and east of the Black Sea
during and after the 7ongol period. The 7ongol armies had included more Turks than
7ongols% and among these were the Aipchaks #also called >umans$% who were the ancestors
of the Tatars and other Turkic peoples in -ussia and the >aucasus.
The ;ode ;umanicus includes a small selection of Bible verses in Aipchak% including the Ten
>ommandments and the Lords Prayer #the latter is shown in Appendi 55$. The translators
were +ranciscan and Kominican friars who lived at Aaffa on the >rimean Peninsula and
itinerated in the Aipchak lands. Gerses such as Z'engrini se1gil barca stnde] #Love your ,od
above everything$ and Z%e1gil seni barindasin seni kibi] #Love your brother as yourself$ are
still recogni:able to Turkish speakers.
Z!hanligi bolsun] #thy khanate come$ from the
Ceoffrey L. Lewls, 1be 1otklsb looqooqe kefotm. A cotosttopblc soccess (Cxford unlverslLy ress, 1999).
eLer Colden, 1he Codex Cumanlcus, u8L: hLLp:// or
lrom Lhe 9Lh cenLury C.L. and as laLe as Lhe 12Lh cenLury Lhe khazars, a !ewlsh khanaLe, occupled roughly
Lhe same reglon as Lhe laLer klpchaks. 1he khazars seem Lo have spoken a Punnlc language relaLed Lo
8ulgarlan, wlLh some 1urklc elemenLs, buL Lhelr wrlLLen and scrlpLural language was Pebrew. 8eclLlng Lhe
salms was Lhe core of khazar worshlp, buL Lhere ls no evldence of a 8lble LranslaLlon ln Lhelr naLlve language.
lor a summary of khazar sLudles see Schlomo Sand, 1be loveotloo of tbe Iewlsb leople, Lrans. ?ael LoLan
(London/new ?ork: verso, 2009), pp. 210-249.
1he -qll sufflx reflecLs Lhe 1urklsh verb ktlmok. 8ot and botco (all Lhlngs) are sLlll used ln 1aLar and kazak and
are noL unknown ln AnaLollan 1urklsh. u8L: hLLp://
Lords Prayer is a reminder that the contetuali:ation of the ,ospel was being practiced long
before the innovations of the 61th century.
The ;ode was largely a travel guide for *uropean merchants doing business in the northern
Black Sea ports. The brief ecerpts from the Bible found in it constitute a kind of catechism
for the use of 5talian priests working among the Aipchaks% but the ;ode was not a
translation of the complete Bible or of any book of the Bible. A Turkish Bible in Latin
characters was delayed many centuries% awaiting the language reform of AtatNrk% and then it
inherited the tradition of )ttoman Turkish translation% not the Aipchak Turkish of the ;ode
'B%< C Proverbs. A di(script version in Arabic #Osmanlca$ and Latin characters.

'B%< C The Psalms. Translated by +red +ield ,oodsell and a ETurkish philosopher and
This translation lacked EaccuracyF and EuniformityF D in other wods it was a free
translation D and was never printed. +ollowing this eperiment +rederick !. 7ac>allum of
the AB>+7 was appointed in September &=6< to lead a "oint committee of the ABS and B+BS
to produce a Turkish Bible in conformity with AtatNrks language reform. He was a
>anadian scholar who Ehad taught Hebrew and ,reek during the first 61 years of his
missionary career% was as familiar with Turkish as any foreigner may hope to be% and could
use the *nglish% +rench% ,erman and Armenian versions to check their Turkish efforts.F
He chose a 7uslim% identified cryptically as EBay >amiF to be his assistant.
This man was
a Turkish soldier and diplomat living then in retirement% who% in addition to a deep
scholarly knowledge of his native Turkish% had acLuired thorough mastery of
Arabic during fifteen years of service in ;orth Africa% and of +rench during his
diplomatic career in *urope. He had% besides% a reading knowledge of ,erman%
*nglish% and Persian.F
MenLloned by nllson, p. 136. l have noL found Lhls bookleL ln llbrary caLalogs.
8lggs, p. 247.
MacCallum, p. 62.
8lggs, p. 247. l am ldenLlfylng Lhe 8ay Caml menLloned by MacCallum wlLh Lhe reLlred soldler descrlbed by
7ac>allum and EBay >amiF would produce a draft% pass it to another Turkish reader for
purely literary review% and then to a revision committee who checked it against the ,reek
and Hebrew.
'B5& C <ncil $atta"a >Rre 5 3ski 9unanca aslna tatbik olunarak 'rkesi tashih edilmitir.
3stanbul? 3ngili: ve *cnebi AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi ve Amerikan AitabJ 7ukaddes
Mirketi. =C pp.
5n &=/1 and &=/& the ,ospel of 7atthew% followed by 7ark and Luke% were printed
separately in the new Latin characters. The reviewers were >.+. ,ates and +.+. ,oodsell.
These Bible portions in the modern Turkish alphabet are still referred to as E)smanliF in
some foreign library catalogs D a designation left over from the days when there was more
than one Turkish writing system.
'B5% C $e0murlar 5 3ski branice aslna tatbik olunarak 'rkesi tashih edilmistir. 3stanbul?
3ngili: ve *cnebi AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi ve Amerikan AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi. 6C0
A copy of this modern edition of the Turkish Psalms is held by the Pamukkale Qniversity
Library in Keni:li% as well as several *uropean and American libraries.
'B55 C $ukaddes Kitabn <kinci Ksm 5 Yeni !hit8 <ncil +e -iMer Kitalar. 3ski 9unanca
aslna gre 'rkesi &eniden tashih edilmitir. Publication page? E;ew Testament in Turkish
-evised *dition.F ;ePredenler Amerikan AitabJmukaddes Mirketi ve 3ngili: ve *cnebi
AitabJmukaddes Mirketi. Printed at Sel8met 7atbaasJ% 3stanbul. 4&4 pp.
This was the first ;ew Testament in the new Turkish alphabet% translated by 7ac>allum and
EBay >amiF and reviewed by @.A. Birge% >.+. ,ates% *.T. Perry% and >harles T. -iggs. Printed
on thin glossy paper% the typeface is sharper and blacker #more readable by tired eyes$ than
any Turkish Bible printed since then. 5t perpetuated the habit of the late )ttoman ;ew
Testaments that used the word ncil to mean the four ,ospels% hence the words E1e -ier
!ita$larF #and )ther Books$ on the title pageB nevertheless% ncil is embossed on the cover as
the sole name of the volume. )n the title page !itabmukaddes appears as one word in the
names of the Bible societiesB this conflation was not repeated in later translations% but !itab
"ukaddes iirketi #A7M$ became the legal name of the agency in Turkey.
'B5545< C Several )ld Testament books and 7atthew. Trial publications. 5stanbul? A7M
,enesis and 5saiah #&=//$% 7atthew% revised with style simplified #&=/4$% @ob #&=/<$% as well
as the Psalms and Proverbs were printed separately as trial translations of the )ld Testament
books in the &=/1s.
'B(' # Kitab $ukaddes: ,ski +e Yeni !hit STe+rat +e <ncilT ? brani/ !ildani 1e 9unani
dillerinden son tashih edilmi tercmedir2 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi% C<= 3stiklal
>addesi. Printed by Aenan BasJmevi.
The new Turkish Bible was edited and prepared for press by +.!. 7ac>allum and Ea
Turkish savant%F
presumably meaning EBay >amiF again. Library records sometimes carry
this notice? E-evised and corrected translation by +.!. 7ac>allum et al.%F the names of
Turkish assistants obviously concealed for security reasons.
An article by 7ac>allums son% +. Lyman 7ac>allum% in the Turkish language "ournal%
introduced the Turkish Bible to the language reformers. 5t was praised as Ethe
first truly Turkish publication since the language reform%F
reflecting the feelings of a new
generation of Turks% who were proud of their new secular alphabet. +or the first time a new
version of the Bible had been produced without the assistance of translators from Turkeys
>hristian communities% whose numbers had been decimated during the +irst !orld !ar and
its aftermath. The Armenian and ,reek churches of Anatolia no longer eisted% and in
5stanbul the churches had been overwhelmed by secularist nationalism.
Since &=C& there have been a series of minor revisions of this Bible with initial corrections
published in &=C<% and the &=<' edition is still in print. ;evertheless% the !itab "ukaddes has
been critici:ed since the &=01s for its archaic vocabulary. The Turkish language reform had
been rigorously applied to the &=C& edition% but the difficulties were insurmountable% as later
eplained by ;ielson? Ethe militantly secular government[ HwasI trying to throw out
everything Arabic% but there was no attempt to provide a substitute for Arabic religious
terms. Therefore the committee had no choice but to continue using many Arabic terms in its
new translation.F

Aooool kepott of tbe Ametlcoo 8lble 5oclety, vol. 139 (1933), p. 238.
MacCallum (1942), op. clt.
nllson, p. 137
nllson, p. 136.
5t is notable that the !itab "ukaddes bears the same Arabic title as the late(&=th(century
translations #the deletion of the hyphen in the Arabic i)afet phrase E!itab( 222] made the title
look more Turkish$. This Bible also retains the usage of Aieffers Bible of &<6' for the divine
names? Allah for elohim and theosB -AB for 96h6% and -ab for adonai and kurios #shortening
the Arabic Rabb to Rab% conforming to the rules of the language reform$. Perhaps for this
reason the !itab "ukaddes is still recommended at the +aculties of 5slamic Studies at Turkish
universities% but it is seldom read in >hristian churches in Turkey today.
)n the one hand% a good deal was gained in the Latini:ed version% including punctuation%
which Arabic and )ttoman Turkish lackedB on the other hand% much of the colorful
vocabulary of )ttoman Turkish was lost.
After *nglish% )ttoman Turkish had the richest vocabulary of any language in world historyB
whereas 7odern Turkish% having thrown out many #but by no means all$ Arabic and Persian
words% often restricts itself to a single word to convey a range of meanings. +or eample% the
&=C& and later translations repeat the word sknt endlessly to describe the troubles of lifeB
whereas )ttoman Turkish Bibles had featured a range of colorful words? gamm/ ibtil*/ )dr*b/
mu)darib/ meakkat/ m)*&aka/ etc. Such words are still shown in Turkish dictionaries% but the
tendency of modern translators is to avoid them in favor of sknt% a supposedly Epure
TurkishF word which% however% was unknown before the language reforme Simplified
vocabulary has been a double(edged sword% both widening the readership by making
Turkish easy enough for minimally literate readers% but weakening a strong literary
tradition. The reformers Ehacked away at picturesLue% overgrown )ttoman Turkish%F
the Bible translators felt obliged to follow suit.
'B69 C <4te !dam 5 <ncilden (emeler #Behold the 7an? Selections from the ,ospel$.
6a)rl&an #prepared by$ 32;2 .lake2 stanbulz Amerikan .ord =esri&at -airesi. /=pp.
*verett >. E@ackF Blake #&=1&(&==1$ was the son(in(law of +red +ield ,oodsell% one of the
members of the committee that produced the first post(language(reform ncil in &=//. By
&=00 there was very little left of the ,reek community of 3:mir% where Blake worked. The
>hristian era in biblical Smyrna appeared to have come to an end% but Blake now dared to
envision a @esus movement among the Turks% selecting tets from the ;ew Testament in the
hope that 7uslims would read a sample. His title% EBehold the 7an%F hints that% in his view%
ChrlsLopher de 8ellalgue, kebel looJ. Amooq 1otkey's fotqotteo peoples (8loomsbury, 2009), p. 134.
the humanity of @esus as emphasi:ed in liberal theology was the best way to appeal to
7uslims. A copy is held by !idener Library at Harvard Qniversity.
EBehold the 7anF was not printed by the A7M but by the AB>+7 as an outreach to
7uslims. Amerikan .ord =eri&at #AB>+7s legal name in Turkey at that time$ produced
other Bible literature during this period% such as a C1(page survey of the books of the Bible
entitled !itab "ukaddesteki !itablar 1e her biri hakknda bir &a)z %eilmi !itab "ukaddes
a&etleri&le beraber #3stanbul? Amerikan Bord ;ePriyatJ% &=0C$. They also published a series of
childrens books entitled ocuklar iin ncil[den f&kler #3stanbul? Amerikan Bord ;ePriyatJ
Kairesi% &=04$.
'B6< # $e0murlar 5 !slna &Rre son tashih edilmi4 tercmedir8 Unc bas48 stanbulz !itab
"ukaddes iirketi. Small format paperback.
This is a revision of the Psalms from the &=C& !itab "ukaddes. 5t is identified as the /rd
printing but the date of the first is not given. Probably the Psalms of &=/6 and the !itab
"ukaddes of &=C& are meant.
'B6B # <ncili Geri' 5 "ahut <sa $esihin Yeni !hit Kitab% translated by @ean !endel.
Apud Basilicam S. Antonii. !ith imprimatur. 0// pages. Paperback.
@ean !endel was a @esuit priest from Hungary who prepared a Turkish translation of the
;ew Testament during a period of new thinking in the -oman >atholic >hurch that led up
to the liturgical reforms of the Second Gatican >ouncil #&=46(40$. He used simple language
and circulated his `ncil(i ierif to a >hristian audience in 5stanbul for testing. The response
was positive% and a committee of the B+BS was formed in &=4/ to revise the ,ospel of 7ark
from !endels ;ew Testament. The pro"ect included !endel% Paul ;ilson% two Americans%
two Turkish 7uslims who were Esincerely dedicatedF
to Bible translation% and a Turkish(
speaking ,reek )rthodo professor. This was the first effort to apply new vocabulary now
felt to be more acceptable in secular% republican Turkey than the Arabic religious vocabulary
of all previous Turkish translations.
:ew )ranslations for :ew 7ove0ents and 7ethods
Spelled vendel by nllson, p. 137, buL Wendel ln llbrary records. nllson's spelllng reflecLs 1urklsh
nllson, p. 138.
5n the &=41s the first missionaries of )peration 7obili:ation #)7$% a new evangelical agency%
arrived in Turkey. They saw little prospect that a Turkish church would ever result from the
work of the AB>+7% because the latter had been influenced by theological liberalism since
the late &=th century. After the Turkish -evolution the AB>+7 had decided to continue its
work even though Turkeys secular republic treated evangeli:ing 7uslims as severely as the
)ttomans ever had. A few schools and medical facilities that had not been destroyed during
the wars of &=&6(66 were revived% and the AB>+7 was encouraged by the Turkish
government to continue its social work in conformity with secular principles.
Kespite this policy% one Turkish group committed to follow @esus emerged during the period
of radical secularism after the Turkish -evolution. >alling themselves .alklar #+ishermen$%
these 7uslim(background families were led by Kr. *min AJlJOkale% a Turkish Sufi% who
accepted the +our ,ospels only and re"ected the rest of the ;ew Testament. He had studied
medicine at 2ale Qniversity and imbibed the liberal spirit% including the view that the pure
historical @esus was different from the constructed >hrist of >hristianity. 7errill 5sely%
director of the American Hospital #AB>+7$ and long(term resident of ,a:iantep from &=61
t1 &=41% met with the +ishermen for many years% coining the term E@esusistsF to distinguish
them from >hristians. 5n the &=41s 5selys successor% ,eorge Privratsky% persuaded the
@esusists to study the Acts of the Apostles% but his counsel that they also read Pauls Letter to
the -omans was not accepted. The influence of the +ishermen was limited to Kr. *mins
immediate circle in ,a:iantep and a few nearby towns% also later in Ankara under the
leadership of one of his sons. The significance of this small movement was its affirmation of
@esus as a kind of Sufi master and its embrace of the ethics of @esus in a 7uslim city.
)7 workers felt the +ishermen were rigid% sterile and unsusceptible to evangelical influence%
and they critici:ed the AB>+7s abandonment of specifically >hristian evangelism. They
were young and mobile% learned Turkish well% worked at secular "obs or came in and out of
the country as tourists% passed out >hristian literature% shared their faith% and were generally
brash% brave% and lovable. 5nevitably some were arrested% deported and blacklisted. Though
they rightly invoked Turkeys commitment to freedom of religion as specified in the
Qniversal Keclaration of Human -ights% they were violating the old gentlemens agreement
between AtatNrk and the AB>+7% disturbing the confluence of secular Turkish and liberal
>hristian views that had prevailed since the Turkish revolution.
Today this first evangelical wave since the time of !illiam ,oodell% !illiam Schauffer and
*lias -iggs is remembered as heroic in the Turkish Protestant churches. These small
fellowships are the fruit of the work of )7 and other evangelical groups that followed% or
they were successors of the Armenian and Syriac #%r&ani$ Protestant churches of the &=th
century. This revival of the evangelical spirit in Turkey significantly influenced the course of
Bible translation.
'B9% # <ncil $arkos5 !slndan cc a&g da4 Tuu rkcc e2"e "alan "eni tercuu me% by @ean !endel
and Gedat Srs. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi. 01 pp.
The A7M #Turkish Bible Society$ had previously reprinted booklets of the ,ospels% Psalms%
Proverbs and @ob from the !itab "ukaddes of &=C&% but this version of the ,ospel of 7ark
was the first new translation they had attempted for a Luarter(century. Gedat Srs was
professor of linguistics at Ankara Qniversity% retired and in his <1s by this time. His
competence in multiple languages was valued at the A7M and admired by young
evangelical Bible scholars newly arrived in Turkey. A Turkish 7uslim but distinctly secular
in his philosophical perspective% Professor Srs began doing Bible translation in his old age
because of his deep respect for @esus.
;otably% A7M continued its policy of using 7uslim translators who were sympathetic to the
Bible% but the new evangelicals were suspicious of this translation which they saw as as the
work of a >atholic priest revised by a 7uslim skeptic. 5t was unpopular also in 5stanbuls
conservative Armenian and Syriac #SNryani$ Protestant communities. By now they were
accustomed to the !itab "ukaddes% and elderly >hristians were still reading the )ttoman
Turkish and Armeno(Turkish versions in the Eold letters.F
'B9( # $arkos <ncili5 !slndan cc a&g dass Trkcc e2"e "alan "eni tashih. 3stanbul? AitabJ
7ukaddes Mirketi. -evised again and reprinted in &='<.
A7M kept trying to germinate a new translation% so the team was epanded. The lead
translator of this second attempt at the ,ospel of 7ark was again Prof. Srs% but there was
new blood. Pamela -ichardson% a >ambridge graduate% was the eegete% and ,raham
>larke% an )ford graduate in Turkish with epertise also in ;ew Testament ,reek% was a
reviewer. They were among the new wave of evangelicals working in Turkey% and their
training in Aoin^ ,reek was valued at the A7M% but Eadverse commentsF were cited by the
A7M as the reason for abandoning the pro"ect. BNnyamin >andemir% a SNryani Protestant%
argued that a 7uslim could not understand the spiritual realities of the Bible% however good
a linguist he might be% and this view was accepted by the A7M director% Ameniel Bagdas%
also a SNryani.
'B9<C H08 <sa#nn VMreti4leri and H08 <sa#nn $uci0eleri8 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi
#copyright% Ankara? )rtadodu 2ayJnevi$. Paperback. &1C pages each.
7odelled on the Living Bible Paraphrase by Aen Taylor% these booklets with black(and(white
illustrations featured selections from the +our ,ospels. They were translated by Kr. ;ev:at
Baban of the 5stanbul Qniversity 7edical School% who became one of Turkeys most famous
scientists% assisted by Aenan Ara:% whose confessional biography was an early product of
the new evangelical movement in Turkey.
5n this translation 'anr was used as the word for
,od and Allah was ecluded% reflecting the spirit of Turkish secularism.
The A7M is listed as the publisher of the H:. 3sa booklets% also as the steme Adresi #E-eLuest
from this addressF$ on the back of the title page% though these booklets were unrelated to the
A7Ms work on the ,ospel of 7ark mentioned above. The copyright holder% Ortadou
9a&ne1i/ was a euphemism for the informal translation team.
'B9<.E1 C H08 <sa5 <ncil2den %uka ba4lkl bRlm. 3steme adresi? BNyNklanga% Aksaray%
AJ:JltaP Sk. /&_&% 3stanbul. ;o date or publisher is given.
This ,ospel of Luke in Turkish was adapted from the Living Bible translation of Kr. Baban
for the soundtrack of the @esus +ilm. The booklet was printed for distribution with the video
cassette and during screenings of the film in churches and theaters.
5n the end the idea of a Turkish paraphrase was "udged to be inappropriate and the pro"ect
was abandoned% although the ,ospels of 7atthew and @ohn from this series were reprinted
in &==C. The Turkish sound track of the @esus +ilm% still widely distributed in Turkey today%
was later edited in light of subseLuent translations. The process that led to the publication of
"<de #,ood ;ews% ;ew Testament$ in &=<' was already underway% initially in competition
with the Living Bible pro"ect but eventually superseding it.
8ruce larnham, My 8lq lotbet. 1be stoty of keooo Atoz, o cootoqeoos wltoess (8romley: S1L 8ooks, 1983,
reprlnLed by aLernosLer, 1992).
'B<5 C <ncil. Translated by HakkJ Kemirel. Ankara? AfParodlu 7atbaasJ.
The publication of this ;ew Testament is mentioned in the >atholic translation of 611= as a
basis for the latter. 5t was reprinted in &=<4.
'B<9 # Kitab $ukaddes#in -euterokanonik S!okri'T Kitalar8 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes
+or the first time since Haki and Ali Bey% the )ld Testament Apocrypha was translated into
Turkish. The translator was a >atholic who is not identified. The introduction was written by
+ather Luigi 5annitto of %ent Antuan !ilisesi #St. Anthony -oman >atholic >hurch$. By now
the A7M was an ecumenical agency cooperating with the Qnited Bible Societies #an
international and interdenominational consortium$% so the A7M printed the Apocrypha on
behalf of the >atholic churches in Turkey.
$ new )urkish Bi*le pu*lishing co0pany
+rustrated by the slow progress towards a modern translation% a committee of evangelicals
was formed in &='' under the initial leadership of Peter Hopkins% intent on producing a
;ew Testament in contemporary Turkish. !hen approached for support% the A7M replied
that they had no current translation pro"ect underway. At a meeting on 6' )ctober &='= the
new committee decided to proceed independently% the ,ospel of @ohn and several of PaulRs
letters being almost ready for publication. Ali MimPek% one of the new wave of Turkish
>hristians% was hired as translator% ,raham >larke and Pamela -ichardson were the
eegetes% and Trevor Penrose was the tireless organi:er. Mimsek had received training in
Bible translation at seminars organi:ed by !illiam -eyburn of the A7M.
Some time later the A7M revived their own ;ew Testament pro"ect with Thomas >osmades
as lead translator. He had already done a version of the ,ospel of @ohn entitled %u% 3kmek%
9aam #!ater% Bread% Life$.
The independent committee was now asked to "oin this pro"ect
but declined. They felt >osmades style was idiosyncratic and his use of Turkish neologisms
ecessive. The new committee was committed to the principle that first drafts should be
produced by a native speaker and that% under the political circumstances of modern Turkey%
this lead translator should be a Turk. !hile >osmades was bilingual and wrote ecellent
Turkish% he was a ,reek.
8ecenLly reprlnLed under a Cerman LlLle, uos Iobt Jes wossets. loe Neoe kteotot.
After this parting of the ways% work on two ;ew Testament translations went forward. At
Penroses initiative the Translation Trust was incorporated in the QA in &=<C to raise funds
for 9eni 9aam 9a&nlar #;ew Life Publications$. 222 was incorporated in Turkey% which
now had two Bible publishers% though it is traditional to refer to the A7M as 'he Bible

'B<9 # $/de 5 <ncil2in aMda4 Trke e+irisi #,ood ;ews? A >ontemporary Turkish
Translation of the ;ew Testament$. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ and The Translation
Trust. Paperback.
Ali MimPek was the lead translator of this landmark translation% in association with ,raham
>larke% Trevor Penrose and others. "<de opened a new period in Bible distribution in
Turkey. 5ts contemporary language and paperback format were suited to a new generation of
rapidly urbani:ing Turks. Beginning in the &='1s small >hristian fellowships of Turks
#mostly of Alevi background$ and descendants of )ttoman >hristians
had begun
gathering in 5stanbul% 5:mir% Ankara and Antalya. Though the Turkish >hristian movement
was small% the growth of these churches accelerated after the publication of "<de. 5t was
revised in &==C and incorporated into the !utsal !ita$ in 611& with a few modifications of
"<de abandoned the divine name Allah which had appeared prominently in Turkish
translations for centuries% substituting 'anr to render the ,reek 'heos. Haki and Ali Bey
had also used 'anr% but it had been edited out in Aieffers Bible of &<6'% ecept for tarlar
#Ethe godsF$. 5n the !itab "ukaddes of &=C& neither 'anr nor tanrlar were used. The
translators of 7N"de revived 'anr because they felt that the language was developing in the
direction of the S:tNrkOe #pure Turkish$ as advocated by the language reformers% and
because the anticipated readership were the Esecular modernsF who had already re"ected
1hls reflecLs Lhe paLLern ln 8rlLaln where 1he 8lble SocleLy means Lhe 8rlLlsh and lorelgn 8lble SocleLy, Lhe
flrsL one, as dlsLlncL from laLer offshooLs such as Lhe 1rlnlLarlan 8lble SocleLy.
Many of Lhese people were Musllms and 1urks who happened Lo have a ChrlsLlan grandmoLher or greaL-
grandmoLher. Armenlan women were Laken by and/or chose Lo marry 1urklsh men Lo avold massacre or forced
exlle from 1urkey durlng World War l. As Lhelr grandchlldren explored Lhelr famlly hlsLory, some of Lhem were
aLLracLed Lo Lhe new 1urklsh churches.
Though much beloved of Turkish(speaking >hristians% the ,od of the "<de translation has
become anathema in the Turkish 5slamic revival% where 'anr is viewed as the pagan god of
the pre(5slamic Turks and of non(7uslims in general. Because the !utsal !ita$ removes Allah
from the vocabulary of the Bible% 7uslim teachers refer to it disparagingly as 'anrnn kitab
#the book of TanrJ$. This 5slamic re"oinder is a new development in the interreligious culture
of Turkey and can be specifically attributed to the publication of the "<de2 The de(
islami:ing vocabulary of the "<de became popular with >hristians% but this contributed to
theological polari:ation of >hristians and 7uslims% stamping the new Turkish Bible with the
view of some >hristians that >hristians and 7uslims worship two different deities.
'B<< # <ncil5 (e+in >etirici Haber L <ncil#in Yunanca#dan aMda4 Trke#"e e+irisi.
3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
This is the >ontemporary Turkish ;ew Testament of the A7M and a rival to 222s "<de2
The translator was Thomas >osmades #d. 61&1$. 5t can be read online%
in the Bible!orks
program% and in revisions printed in Turkey in &==< and ,ermany in 61&1. 5t is preferred by
some >hristians in Turkey and in some Turkish churches in ,ermany.
'B<< C Webur -$e0murlar #Psalms$. 5stanbul? )han BasJmevi.
The foreword #ns)$ of this ecellent new translation of the Psalms is signed by lavier ;uss
and HakkJ Kemirel% with a -oman >atholic imprimatur by 7ons. Pierre Kubois% Gicar
Apostolic. ;o publisher is indicated other than the printing house. 5n &==4 it was lightly
edited and reprinted by the Turkish Bible Society #!itab "ukaddes iirketi$ as part of the )ld
Testament translation pro"ect that led to the publication of the Autsal Aitap in 611&.
'BB' C Bir Hekimin Kaleminden5 %uka +e ,lilerin <4leri 7 ! -octor2s (tor"5 %uke and !cts8
3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ.
A diglot Turkish and *nglish version from the "<de for language learners. Still in print.
'BB' C Xocuklar <in Kutsal Kita #The Bible for >hildren$. >openhagen? Scandinavian
Publishing House. Printed in Poland. 5SB;? <'('6C'(646(4
+eaturing condensed Bible stories in large type and attractive color illustrations on every
page% this imported book is still for sale in Turkey. !kler iin Resimli !itab "ukaddes was
an earlier childrens Bible based on Aenneth ;. Taylors 'he .ible in 7ictures for 5ittle 3&es
u8L: hLLp://lncll .,lnfo, hLLp://www.kuLsalklLap.gen.Lr/lncll/lncll-Lhomas-cosmades, hLLp://www.lncll.blz/lncll-
2/, hLLp://
with old(fashioned Sunday School pictures #7oody Press% &=04$% published in a Turkish(
*nglish diglot version in the &=41s #eact date unknown$. 5t was re(issued in a Turkish(only
version entitled !kler iin Resimli !utsal !ita$/ with a new translation by 7emduh Qysal
#3stanbul? A7M% &==1$.
'BB5 C <ncil#in $atta BRlm #The 7atthew SectJon of the ,ospel$. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam
2ayJnlarJ. 6. BasJm. 5SB;? ='0('01=(1<(4.
This appears to be a revision or reprint of 7atthew from the &=<' "<de in preparation for
the revised "<de of &==C.
'BB( C >Rksel (R05 <ncil#den Yuhanna bRlmnn aMda4 Trke"e "eni e+irisi8
7ecdiyekVy_3stanbul? Autsal Aitap AraPtJrma 7erke:i. Printed by AurtiP 7atbaasJ%
Sultanahmet_3stanbul. 5SB;? ='0('<<=(1=(&.
This distinctive translation of the ,ospel of @ohn was matched by a companion translation of
7atthew entitled ^ksel !ral% both based on the Living Bible and reprinted from early work
on a Turkish Bible paraphrase in the &='1s #see above? &='< D 6)2 sann fretileri$. The
publisher% Autsal Aitap AraPtJrma 7erke:i #AAA7$% is the Turkish Bible >orrespondence
>ourse that began by advertising the ncil in Turkish newspapers in the &=<1s and now has
an epanding ministry via its internet webpage.
'BB( C $/de% <ncil2in aMda4 Trke e+irisi #,ood ;ews? A >ontemporary Turkish
Translation of the ;ew Testament$. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ and The Translation
Trust. Paperback.
This is a revision of the first edition of &=<'.
'BB&4B8 C *ut #-uth$% 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi% &==1 #5SB; ='0 C46 1&= =$. Ye4u
#@oshua$% 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ% &==6. Yaratl45 <branice V0&n $etinden
Yalm4 Yeni Xe+iri STek+inT #,enesis$% 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ% &==4 #5SB;? ='0
C46 160 /$. (le"mann V0de"i4leri #Proverbs$% 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ% &==4
#5SB; ='0 '01= 41 C$.
These are draft booklets of the >ontemporary Turkish )ld Testament% initiated as a "oint
pro"ect of the A7M and 222 in &=<=.
'BB64B8 C Fe*ur # 7eG0urlar #Psalms$. 3stanbul? 7N"de 2ayJncJlJk Mirketi% &==0 #5SB; ='0
'<<= 6& 1$. Te+rat #,enesis$% 3stanbul? 7N"de 2ayJncJlJk Mirketi% 6. baskJ% &==4 #5SB; ='0
'<<= &4 C$% trans. Kr. @ur. HakkJ Kemirel.
These two books in rough newsprint were published by 7N"de 2ayJncJlJk% a -oman >atholic
publishing effort% not to be confused with the ;ew Testament translation entitled "<de
#&=<' above$. HakkJ Kemirel also translated the ,ospels and Acts of the Apostles. Both
booklets listed here use Allah as one of the divine names. 5n the case of ,enesis the
publication page tells us that it was translated from +rench% and that it was a second
printingB the title ETevratF is confusing% because the book actually consists of selections from
the )ld Testament% not the Torah only. +irst printings of several of the booklets appeared in
the &=<1s% but 5 have no further information on the earlier period. As the >ontemporary
Turkish )ld Testament pro"ect of A7M and 222 proceeded the >atholics abandoned their
translation effort and endorsed the !utsal !ita$% which was printed in a >atholic and
)rthodo version in 611/ #see below$.
'BB8 C Webur S$e0murlarT5 <branice R0&n metinden "alm4 "eni e+iri #Psalms$. 5stanbul?
AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi. 5SB;? ='0(C46(16=(4. &<1 pages.
A revision of the Turkish Psalms of &=<<% now incorporated into the >ontemporary Turkish
)ld Testament pro"ect% with a new introduction and a useful glossary #s)lke$ of Hebrew
terms in the Psalms.
'BB8 D ,ideons ;ew Testament in Turkish #"<de$ and *nglish #;A@G$. 2eni 2aPam
2ayJnlarJ. -eprinted in 6111. 5SB;? ='< ='0 '01 =0< 0.
'BB< C <ncil S(e+indirici HaberT5 <ncil#in Yunanca aslndan aMda4 Trke#"e e+irisi8
3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi and the Qnited Bible Societies. 5SB;? ='0(C46(1C&(0.
Pocket version? ='0(C46(1&/(l.
A revision of the %e1in ^etirici 6aber of &=<<% >osmades translation of the ;ew Testament%
revised by Behnan Aonutgan and 3hsan S:bek.
'BBB C <ncil5 BeQ Testament Trke7<n&ili0ce Turkish7,n&lish8 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes
Mirketi. 6nd edition% 611C. 5SB; ='0 C46 1CC6 /.
This diglot version shows the ;ew 5nternational Gersion in parallel columns with Tomas
>osmades Turkish translation of the ;ew Testament
%&&' C Kutsal Kita5 ,ski +e Yeni !ntla4ma STe+rat: Webur: <ncilT. 3stanbul? AitabJ
7ukaddes Mirketi ve 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ_The Translation Trust. 5SB; ='0 C46 1C4 4.
!itab "ukaddes iirketi #A7M$ is the Turkish Bible Society that inherited the work of the ABS
and B+BS. 9eni 9aam 9a&nlar #222$ continued the work of a committee of evangelical
translators that had begun work in &='' #see above$. 222 adapted the revised "<de of &==C
to harmoni:e with the >ontemporary Turkish )ld Testament it had produced in cooperation
with A7M% and the two books were printed together under the title !utsal !ita$ #AA$2 The
translators for the >ontemporary Turkish )ld Testament included Ali MimPek% Behnan
Aonutgan% and 7ahmud Solgun. Paul Lawrence and Aen !iest were the Hebrew eegetes%
,raham >larke the ;ew Testament eegete.
A decision was made to use the 222s "<de instead of A7Ms %e1in ^etirici 6aber #the
>osmades translation$ as the ;ew Testament tet for the Protestant version of the !utsal
!ita$. A consultant from the Qnited Bible Societies% Ari"n van de @agt% was entrusted with the
decision. 5n choosing the "<de he insisted that several words be changed? !uds became
9erualim #@erusalem$% rahi$ became k*hin #priest$% and to$luluk became kilise #church$. These
decisions were protested by some members of the translation team and remain controversial
to this day. +or eample% kilise is an undisguised adaptation of the ,reek word ekklesia and
thus commits the Bible to the Turkish pre"udice that EchurchF means a religious building of
Turkeys enemies% the Armenians and ,reeks.
The AA Luickly became the Bible of most of the Protestant churches in Turkey. 5t is well
phrased in contemporary Turkish diction% making it an eminently readable and honored
piece of Turkish literature. 5ts style% however% is sometimes too formal for easy reading by
Turks with limited education% especially in the theological passages of the ;ew Testament
5n the Bibles title the Arabic word mukaddes #Tholy% Tsanctified$ was replaced by the
neologism kutsal #Tholy% from the Turco(7ongolian root kut% Tgood fortune$% a word which
had first appeared in writing only in &=/0.
The !utsal !ita$ thus announced even on its
cover that it was committed to AtatNrks Turkish language reform.
The theonyms of the "<de were now applied to the )ld Testament% where the Hebrew
96h6 #2ahweh$ is translated as RA.% TAdonai as Rab% and T*lohim as 'anr. 5n the ;ew
u8L: hLLp://
Testament 'anr is used consistently as a translation for the ,reek Ttheos/ and Rab for
At the time of publication it was decided that 222 and Translation Trust would hold the
copyright to the ;ew Testament% and A7M would hold the copyright to the )ld Testament%
even though 222 translators were co(workers in the )ld Testament pro"ect. Kifficulties
resulting from copyright issues persist especially for 222% which does not have its own
translation of the )ld Testament. A7M holds copyright to the &=<< >osmades translation of
the ;ew Testament and to the >ontemporary Turkish )ld Testament as printed in the !utsal
%&&' C <ncil - $/de5 <ncil#in aMda4 Trke e+irisi8 3stanbul? hirve 2ayJncJlJk ve KadJtJm
and 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ _ The Translation Trust. 0th printing% 6110. 0/< pages. 5SB;
='0 </&/ C/ <.
A small red paperback% this is the ;ew Testament #"<de$ from the !utsal !ita$ distributed
free of charge by hirve. The E+our Spiritual LawsF #'anr& !iisel Olarak 'anmak ster
"isini)l$ are appended at the end of the book. This is the ncil that Turkish readers receive if
they ask for one at a church or via evangelistic web sites.
%&&% C Te+rat5 Tora: Be+iim: Ketu+im #Torah% Prophets% Books$. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes
Mirketi. 5SB; ='0(C46(101(C.
Printed at the reLuest of the @ewish community in Turkey% this is the >ontemporary TurkJsh
)ld Testament from the !utsal !ita$. Tevrat% a Turkish intonation of Torah% is used here as a
title for the Hebrew )ld Testament as a whole.
%&&% C <ncil 7 -as Beue Testament5 Ho''nun& 'r !lle8 Trke7!lmanca Trkisch7-eutsch8
5nternational Bible Society and AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi. Paperback. 5SB; ='0 C46 10&6.
A diglot printed for Turkish emigr^s in ,ermany% this ;ew Testament features the Turkish
translation by >osmades.
%&&5 C Kutsal <ncil: by BNnyamin >andemir. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
Having been involved in Bible translation since the &='1s% >andemir% a SNryani Protestant%
believed that the "<de and !utsal !ita$ had abandoned too many positive features of a
literal translation% but he recogni:ed that the !itab "ukaddes was outdated.
!urg Peusser, ule CeschlchLe des Lurklschen 8lbels, Lhe llnk for whlch aL
hLLp:// seems no longer Lo work.
compromise version restored Allah to the ;ew Testament as the translation of 'heos2 5t
followed the Aing @ames Gersion in many respects% even to the point of italici:ing words
itali:ed in the A@GB for eample% compare 5 >or. C?'. >andemirs ;ew Testament can be read
online at http? or downloaded from? http?__presbiteryen.org_.
%&&5 C Kutsal Kita +e -euterokanonik S!okri'T Kitalar. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes
Mirketi. 5SB;? ='0(C46(101(1.
This edition of the !utsal !ita$ including the )ld Testament Apocrypha was printed for the
>atholic and )rthodo churches in Turkey% thus returning to the tradition of Haki and Ali
Bey who had done draft translations of these deutero(canonical books under Kutch
-eformed sponsorship in the &'th century. Behnan Aonutgan revised the &=<' version of the
Turkish Apocrypha to conform its vocabulary to that of the !utsal !ita$.
The ;ew Testament in this Bible is the %e1in ^etirici 6aber of &===% a revision of >osmades
translation of the ;ew Testament. 222 and The Translation Trust refused permission for
their ;ew Testament to be printed in a Bible that would include the Apocrypha. Though
Luther himself had translated some of the )ld Testament apocryphal books% Protestants
today do not accept them as holy writ. Be that as it may% this way of epressing a principle in
the case of the !utsal !ita$ was an unfortunate sign of the >hristian disunity that still
surrounds the Bible. 5n the 6&st century it is Luite evident from the array of Turkish
translations in print that >hristians disagree about which books belong in the Bible.
The deutero(canonical books can be read in Turkish at the !utsal !ita$ website along with
the rest of the Bible.
The internet has fostered an accommodation that had been re"ected
during disagreements over print publication.
%&&5 C >i0lenen Kitalar S!okri'lerT5 Kutsal Kita#tan -4lanan (akl Kutsal V"kler8
Translated by Aadir AkJn% published by HakkJ Bayraktar. 3stanbul? Haktan 2ayJncJlJk
;o. /% Hak9kat 2ayJnlarJ ;o. &. 5SB; ='0(6<<(C61(6.
This is a 7odern Turkish translation of the folio in Ali Beys )ttoman Turkish manuscript of
&44C that contains the deutero(canonical books #the so(called TApocrypha$. The translator%
Aadir AkJn #b. &=0C$ believes these books are important to include in the Turkish Bible for
three reasons? because they were part of Ali Beys BibleB because they include proverbs that
ring true in the Turkish literary traditionB and because he feels this complete Bible rooted
u8L: hLLp://kuLsal-klLap.neL/blble/Lr/lndex.php?mc=3
deeply in the Turkish translation tradition will appeal to students in the 5slamic theological
faculties of Turkish universities.
EApocryphaF in ,reek means Ehidden thingsF in the sense of secret wisdom% so E^i)lenen
!ita$larF in the title of AkJns book is a literal Turkish translation of the ,reek word.
Qnfortunately% however% the idea of hidden secrets feeds the perception of 7uslims that
>hristians are withholding pieces of the Bible that would tend to confirm 5slam.
Aadir AkJn is a Turkish >hristian from Adapa:arJ who emigrated to ,ermany in &=<4 and
became a ,erman citi:en. HakkJ Bayraktar is a 7uslim publisher in 5stanbul. Biographies
and photos of both men appear on the frontispiece. AkJn approached Bayraktar about
publishing his work when A7M proceeded with a different translation of the Apocrypha.
AkJn was the only translator and Bayraktars contribution was limited to editorial
presentation. According to AkJn this collaboration of a >hristian translator and a 7uslim
publisher involved various diagreements% but it continued with the publication of a
complete Bible in 611' #see below$.
Akin did his translation between &=<4 and &=<=% but it was published only in 611/. He also
produced a valuable% but still unpublished% letter(for(letter transliteration of the Apocrypha
folio in Ali Beys manuscript. Thus far he has published only his translations% not the
Ali Beys manuscript of the )ld Testament Apocrypha was not printed with the Turkish
Bible of &<6'% and all the later )ttoman Turkish translations followed suit. The B+BS had
decided in &<64 to eclude the Apocrypha from any translation under its sponsorshipB
clearly this decision was prompted by the upcoming publication of Aieffers version of Ali
Beys Bible. This decision influenced the future course of Bible translation in many
languages. As mentioned above% the Translation Trust took the same conservative Protestant
position in 611/% refusing permission for its version of the Turkish ;ew Testament #"<de$ to
be printed in the Turkish Bible with Apocrypha that was being prepared by the A7M for the
>atholics and )rthodo. The eclusion that had been in force since &<64 had been reversed
by the ABS in &=4C and by the B+BS two years later% but 222 and the Translation Trust did
not follow suit.

u8L: hLLp://
5n Turkey A7M had already published a >atholic translation of the Apocrypha in &=<' #see
above$. Later a revised version by Behnan Aonutgan was included in the ecumenical version
of the !utsal !ita$ #AA611/$% which went to press at about the same time as AkJns
translation of Ali Beys Apocrypha #see above$. So there were now three versions of the
Apocrypha in Turkish #the first two are cited in AkJns bibliography% items C and &6$. AkJn
has told me that the A7M versions do not honor the Turkish translation tradition% because
they neither followed the tet of Ali Bey nor used the same list of Apocryphal books which
he translated. This elevation of Ali Bey as the arbiter of Bible contents reflects the romantic
attachment to him felt by some Protestants in Turkey.
!hile the -oman >atholic% Anglican and )rthodo >hurches have always included the
deutero(canonical books% they disagree about which books to include. 'he Apocrypha% so
called% is a misnomer% because it is a fluid collection% with some books included by one
church that are re"ected by another. ,iven this baffling controversy% it is not surprising that
the source tets for the Aonutgan and AkJn translations were different% and that the books
they included are #only slightly$ different. Aonutgan followed the ,reek Septuagint of the
third century B.>.% which was the )ld Testament of the early >hristians #often cited in the
;ew Testament$ and of the )rthodo churches ever sinceB whereas AkJn translated from Ali
Beys &'th(century Turkish manuscript% which had followed the Latin Gulgate. Though both
the content and the order of the books varied% the differences in the end turned out to be
minor? fifteen books are included in both the AA611/ and AkJn translations% but AA611/
additionally includes Psalm &0& and 5G 7accabbes #which Ali Bey had ecluded$ and
ecludes the Prayer of 7anassah #which Ali Bey had included$.
)n the title pages of the AkJn_Bayraktar Apocrypha it is asserted that this version is Ethe
final tet with omissions correctedF #Eeksikleri giderilmi son metinF$. This seems to be
intended as a claim that Ali Beys tet is the correct version% when in fact the whole issue of
EcorrectnessF is disputed among the churches. See below #611'$ for further discussion of the
AkJn_Bayraktar version of the )ttoman Turkish Bible of &<<0% to which this tet of the
Apocrypha was appended.
The frontispiece and introduction repeat the widespread claim that Sultan 7ehmet 5G
ordered Ali Beys translation of the Bible. !e know that Ali Beys translation was sponsored
and paid for by a -eformed group in the ;etherlands% not by the Sultan% and that Ali Bey
was a free man and no longer in the Sultans service when he did his Bible translation #see
the section on Ali Bey above$.
%&&( C )ehli0 #Psalms$. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi. 5SB; ='0(C46(16=(4.
Printed at the reLuest of the @ewish community in Turkey% this is the hebur of &==4 with a
new cover.
%&&6 C Kutsal <ncil5 .a0ar +e Ba"ram >nlerinde <ncil#den Okunan BRlmler.
5n Syriac
#%r&anice$ with a Turkish translation by Abune #+ather$ Hanna Aykurt. Beyodlu%
3stanbul? SNryani Aadim )rtodoks Patrik Gekillidi. )ut of print.
This is a diglot lectionary of readings for Sundays and festivals in the Syrian )rthodo
Archdiocese of 5stanbul. 5t is a reminder that the minority languages of the )ttoman *mpire
are still in ritual use in the ancient churches% but that the mother tongue of the laity is
The Syriac #Aramaic$ ;ew Testament is called the Peshitta and is claimed by this church as
the original ;ew Testament in the language spoken by @esus. !hile it is true that @esus
spoke both Hebrew and Aramaic and that Syriac is the modern descendent of Aramaic%
!estern scholars have produced documentary evidence that the Peshitta was a 0th(century
translation from the ,reek ;ew Testament.
%&&6 C Kutsal Kita5 Yeni -n"a Xe+irisi8 @ehovahs !itnesses% &<11 pages. The ;ew
Testament was also published as Kutsal $etinler = <ncil8
The @ehovahs !itnesses #9aho1a iahitleri$ operate in a few Turkish cities. Giewed as heretical
by the )rthodo% >atholic and Protestant churches alike% they distribute their Bible and
other literature in public places such as ba:aars and recreation areas.
%&&84%&'& C Trke Xe+iri +e !klamalar"la Tora +e !'tara. Tora BerePit &% Tora Memot 6%
Tora Gayikra /% Tora ve Aftara C% Tora ve Aftara_Kevarim D Tevrat Tefsiri. 0 volumes% &'
60 cm. 3stanbul? ,V:lem ,a:etecilik BasJn ve 2ayJn A.M.
This fresh Turkish translation of the Torah by 7oPe +arsi features etensive rabbinic
commentary in Turkish according to E@udaic method% perspective and tradition.F ,enesis%
u8L: hLLp://www.reyono.neL/defaulL.aspx?s=9&b=19.
vol. 1, 338 pp., lS8n : 9737304638. vol. 2, 860 pp., lS8n: 9737304794. vol. 3. 903 pp., lS8n: 9944994022.
vol. 4, 823 pp., lS8n: 9944994132. vol. 3, 1073 pp., lS8n: 9944994347.
*odus% Leviticus% ;umbers and Keuteronomy were printed separately in very large
volumes. The top of the left(hand pages displays the Turkish translation with the Hebrew at
the top of right(hand pages% and most of both pages is filled with the commentary. The
translation team for the commentary included Kiani 2anni% Selin Saylad and Baruh Beni
Kanon. +arsi has also produced a book of ritual for the @ewish festival of Purim that includes
a translation of *sther% again with commentary.
>learly Protestant >hristians no longer monopoli:e Turkish Bible translation. Both @ewish
and 7uslim publishers have now produced Turkish Bibles #for a 7uslim publisher see the
net entry below $% and the @ehovahs !itnesses as well #see above$. This complements the
historic tradition of Turkish Bible translation in which both 7uslims and @ews were active%
as discussed in >hapters & and 6 above.
This Turkish Torah is advertised on the internet
where the publisher claims it as the first
direct translation from Hebrew into Turkish. This fails to acknowledge the Turkish
translation from Hebrew by Avraham +irkowic: in &</0 #see the section above on Turkish in
Hebrew characters$. 7oPe +arsi has apologi:ed saying that he did not know about the
+irkowic: translation. >hristian translators have always insisted that they followed the
original Hebrew% Aramic and ,reek sources D a claim asserted on the title pages of the
AitabJ 7ukaddes from the &=th century onward.
Today translation teams usually produce a first draft based on an *nglish Bible #or another
modern language known to the translator$ and then compare it with the Hebrew% Aramaic
and ,reek tets% making ad"ustments as needed. 5n this sense it is probably true that +arsis
work is the first modern translation of the Torah drafted from the Hebrew% making it a
uniLue contribution by a bilingual Turkish and Hebrew speaker. 5t is also% according to +arsi%
Ethe only translation that follows the traditional Talmudic @ewish sources and
+arsi is now working on @oshua and plans to translate the historical books of the )ld
Testament. He is uncertain whether he will then move on to the Psalms and other poetic
books% noting that they may not lend themselves to the 7odern Turkish diction of which he
is capable. This is a prescient comment. As compared with the rich vocabulary of )ttoman
u8L: hLLp://
Turkish% the Turkish of the modern language reform has been impoverished by the eclusion
of many words of Arabic and Persian origin. 7odern Turkish translations of 5saiah and
Hosea% for eample% display a rather repetitive and unnuanced vocabulary as compared with
*nglish translations% let alone the Hebrew.
7oPe +arsi is a @ew born and educated in 5stanbul and his mother tongue is Turkish. He is a
Turkish citi:en now living in 5srael.
611' D $li BeyHin /s0anlDca .'88%4'8881 Ievirisine GJre K>kL0enikH =utsal =itap:
)evrat4Fe*ur4Mnciller Ve )L0 Deuterokanonik N $pokrif >kleri. Translated by Aadir
AkJn% published by HakkJ Bayraktar. 3stanbul? Haktan 2ayJncJlJk. 5SB; ='< ='0 1&<<< 1
This is a translation into 7odern Turkish of the !itab "ukaddes of &<<0% supplemented with
a moderni:ed version of the )ld Testament Apocrypha in Ali Beys draft manuscript of &446(
&44C%. The translator is Aadir AkJn% a Turkish >hristian and ,erman citi:en #see above? 611/%
E,i:lenen AitaplarF$. The thorough set of cross(references that were published in the &<<0
version are included in this translation D a useful feature for Bible students.
The cover and introduction to the book contain a number of statements by the publisher
intended to appeal to 7uslim readers in the faculties of 5slamic studies in Turkish
universities% where neo()ttomanist sentiment is strong. +or eample% the &<<0 version of the
!itab "ukaddes is asserted to be the only EofficialF Turkish Bible because it was published
with the permission of Sultan AbdNlhamid 55 and the )ttoman 7inistry of Public
5nstruction. The cover also claims that the whole book is from the translation of Ali Bey%
reflecting the popular view that any )ttoman Turkish Bible must have come ultimately from
Ali Bey. 5n fact% however% the &'th(century tet of Ali Beys Bible is a distant ancestor of the
&<<0 version D not unlike the soup of the soup of the soup that ;asreddin Ho"a served to
the friend of a friend of a friende *ven Aieffers Bible of &<6' was reflected Luite weakly in
the &<'<_&<<0 version% a new translation in its own right.
5n the AkJn_Bayraktar Bible the Apocryphal books are interleaved with other )ld Testament
books as in the Septuagint of the )rthodo churches D the pattern also approved by the
Qnited Bible Societies. Ali Bey% however% had followed Luthers Bible and the A@G in putting
1he cross-references ln Lhe kotsol kltop of 2001 are mlnlmal. 1he lnLerpreLlve noLes ln Lhe Atklomolt kotsol
kltop are Lhe besL avallable ln 1urklsh.

the Apocryphal books in a separate folioB
the order of the books in this folio is preserved in
AkJns earlier book #see above$.
A polemical argument from AkJnRs Turkish Apocrypha as published in 611/ is repeated here.
;ow we read that these books have been Edeliberately hiddenF #adeta gi)lenen$ from the
Turkish reading public% presumably by the Protestant translators. Again the title page asserts
that this is the Efinal tet with omissions recoveredF #eksikleri giderilmi son metin$. The
charge that there are books missing from the Turkish Bible is true in the limited sense that
Ali Beys translation of the Apocrypha was ecluded from the &=th(century Turkish Bibles.
Qnfortunately it also feeds the perception of 7uslims that the tet of the Bible has been
EchangedF #deitirilmi$ with an assertion that does not apply to the >atholic and )rthodo
version of the !utsal !ita$.
Aadir AkJn is a serious scholar of Ali Beys translation of the deutero(canonical books. His
energy as an independent translator is evident also in his letter(for(letter transliterated tet
of the entire !itab "ukaddes of &<<0. >ompleted 60 years ago% this typescript has not yet
been prepared for publication.
%&&< C -as Beue Testament -eutsch-Trkisch <ncil Yeni !ntla4ma !lmanca-Trke8
Killenburg? >hristliche Gerlagsgesellschaft. ,erman *lberfelder version of 6114 with the
revised "<de of &==C. 5SB;? &1? /C&'604/<1 and &/? ='</C&'604/</.
%&&B C Mncil. Translated by Kominik PJnar. 3steme Adresi? Sent Antuan Ailisesi% Beyodlu
3stanbul% printed by BaskJ Sak )fset Ltd. Mti. 5SB; ='<(410(<=C='(6(1.
The publication page of this translation of the ;ew Testament tells us that it was based on
!endels Turkish ,ospels of &=0= and HakkJ Kemirels ;ew Testament of &=</. Kominik
PJnar is identified as the translator and P. @acob lavier as commentator and theological
evaluator. The introduction was signed by Luigi Padovese% the late -oman >atholic bishop
for Anatolia% then resident in 3skenderun.
%&&B C Kutsal Kita5 ,ski +e Yeni !ntla4ma STe+rat: Webur: <ncilT. 3stanbul? AitabJ
7ukaddes Mirketi ve 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ. 5SB; ='< ='0 C46 14= 4.
This is a minor revision of the !utsal !ita$ of 611& on high(Luality thin paper with attractive
imitation leather binding. A few minor corrections were made to the tet.
Leiden Qniversity Library% >od. )r. /=1c #&44C$ and &&1&e #&440$.
%&'& C !klamal Kutsal Kita #AAA5T$. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ and The
Translation Trust. 5SB; ='< ='0 =146 4= =
AAA5T is the first Study Bible in the Turkish language% initiated by Trevor Penrose before his
death. The editorial team was led by Ali MimPek% assisted by ;eslihan 2angJn% and included
Turkish Bible scholars% reflecting the growing maturity of the Protestant movement in
Turkey. Among other Bible helps promised when the !utsal !ita$ appeared in 611&% this one
is among the most useful. The =`\ %tud& .ible was the basis for the commentary% but
ad"ustments were made and new notes written for the Turkish contet. >ommentary is well
presented from an evangelical perspective and includes several #including >atholic%
)rthodo and Pentecostal$ perspectives on disputed issues% such as sacraments% women in
leadership% Arminian vs. Pentecostal vs. -eformed interpretations% etc. The introduction
includes an outdated biography of Ali Bey adapted from >ooper #&=1&$.
%&'& C Yeni Ya4am !klamal Kutsal Kita #2AAA$. Springfield% 7issouri% QSA? Life
Publishers 5nternational. Printed in South Aorea. 5mported to Turkey by 2eni 2aPam
2ayJnlarJ. 5SB;? ='< 1 '/4& 1C&0 =
Launched a month after AAA5T% 2AAA is a Pentecostal Study Bible printed by the
Assemblies of ,od and based on 'he 8ull 5ife %tud& .ible =`\#z An `nternational %tud& .ible
for 7entecostal and ;harismatic ;hristians #hondervan% &==6$% which is also called the 5ife in the
%$irit %tud& .ible and the 8ire .ible in other editions. The eplanatory notes in 2AAA were
translated from this Bible% and the Turkish Bible tet is a new literal translation based on the
;5G. Ali MimPek was the pro"ect director and Alper S:harar the lead translator of the notes.
Though a Study Bible in Turkish had been long awaited% it was a surprise when two of them
appeared in the same year. )ne hopes that the Turkish churches will benefit from the
opportunity to eamine the sectarian process suggested by two differently annotated Bibles.
222 signed separate contracts for the two pro"ects with different funding sources.
Publication of >hristian books in Turkey is often dependent on foreign funds% which can
influence publishing decisions.
%&'& C <ncil5 (e+in >etirici Haber L <ncil#in Yunanca#dan aMda4 Trke#"e e+irisi2
Siegen? 7ission fNr SNd()st(*uropa. 5stanbul? ,erOede Kodru AitaplarJ.
A revision by Thomas >osmades and Hayrettin Piligir of the same title of &=<<% based on
online testing. Kownloadable in a red(letter version from http?__presbiteryen.org_. >osmades
died in September 61&1 shortly after the publication of this revision.
%&'& C Ba4lan&ta Kel1m Pard5 <ncil#in Yuhanna BRlm L Yuhanna5 Kola" !nla4lr
<ncil8 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ. &14 pp.
This was a trial edition of the ,ospel of @ohn for the 6A- ;ew Testament published in
61&6. 7any of the criticisms of the secular vocabulary of the "<de and !utsal !ita$ have
been addressed in this new translation. See below.
%&'& C (le"man#n $eselleri #Proverbs$. TNrk Standart Gersiyonu #TSG$.
TSG is a personal pro"ect of 3lhan AeskinV: based on translations he makes during sermon
preparation. Thus far only the Proverbs of Solomon are posted on the internet?
http? http?__www.hristiyanforum.com_forum_suleymanino:deyisleri(f4==_ .
%&'' C <ncil-i Geri'2in Yce !nlam - Ha+ari $atta2nn Kaleminden - Ori/inal $etin +e
Kelime Kelime Trke Xe+irisi ile birlikte. 3stanbul? Sabeel 7edia. 5SB;? ='<(='0(604(
/C1('. &<= pages.
This paraphrase of the ,ospel of 7atthew features contetuali:ed vocabulary and
eplanatory footnotes for 7uslim readers% following the pattern of E7uslim 5diom
TranslationsF #75T$ that had appeared recently in other languages of the 7uslim world. )n
facing pages there is a Turkish interlinear translation under the ,reek ;ew Testament tet in
romani:ed characters C the first time the original ,reek tet has been printed in a Turkish
A Turkish 7uslim drafted the paraphrase from a contemporary Arabic ;ew Testament% and
this was corrected by 7uslim and >hristian consultants. The 5slamic theonym "e1la is used
for +ather and \ekil for Son of ,od. However controversial% these terms were intended to
counteract the perception of many 7uslims that >hristians proclaim 7ary as ,odRs consort
who bore him a son. Because the ,ospels do not say such a thing% it can be argued that the
literal terms +ather #.aba$ and Son #Oul$ miscommunicate the intended meaning. .aba and
Allah[n Olu are shown on the interlinear pages and eplained also in the footnotes% but the
less literal wordings are used in the main tet% an 75T paraphrase.
This pro"ect revived the )ttoman tradition of >hristian editors collaborating with 7uslim
translators% and of the early Turkish translations of Ali Bey and Aieffer% when 7uslims were
the anticipated audience. 7ost Turkish >hristian leaders opposed this translation% as did
some churches in the !est. 5n the early months of 61&6 the 7atthew paraphrase was
attacked in an internet petition campaign on the #*nglish(language$ website of .iblical
"issiolog&% an American entity. 5n an inLuiry arranged by the !orld *vangelical Alliance in
early 61&/% a committee of theologians concluded that the Edivine familial namesF #a new
term sparked by this controversy$ should be translated with a near eLuivalent familial term
in the target language.
%&'% C Halk -ilinde <ncil5 (adele4tirilmi4 <ncil Tercmesi SH!-<T - HThe ,ospel in Popular
Language? A simplified translation of the ,ospelI. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ.
After a trial publicaion of the ,ospel of @ohn in 61&&% 6A- was released in ;ovember 61&6
with a grand ceremony at an 5stanbul hotel. 222 has a contract with the !orld Bible
Translation >enter and Bible League to publish a Turkish *asy(To(-ead Bible for minimally
literate readers. The vocabulary is simple% the sentences are short% and the print is large.
Some 5slamic terms from Ali Bey and the !itab "ukaddes are restored to the tet% such as
Allah for ,od% !el*m for the !ord% and !uds for @erusalem. The footnotes give brief
eplanations of key terms% including two different eplanations of Allahn Olu #Son of ,od$
contetuali:ed for 7uslim audiences. !hen @esus calls ,od his +ather% this is translated
%ema1i .aba/ meaning Heavenly +ather but with an 5slamic nuance in the word for heaven
#7uslims often refer to 5slam% >hristianity and @udaism as the sema1i dinler$. Similarly%
Allahn 6kmr*nl translates @esus term Ekingdom of ,odF with an Arabic flavor%
replacing the de(islami:ed epression 'anrnn 3gemenlii in the !utsal !ita$. The traditional
Arabic term mrit for EdiscipleF has resulted in controversy among Turkish >hristians of
secularist leaning% who associate the term with 5slamic sects in conservative 7uslim
The lead translator is Ali MimPek% who was also the translator of the "<de and one of the
translators of the !utsal !ita$. After he had spent 60 years of his life on one translation% his
commitment to take on the HAK3 pro"ect is evidence of his desire to see the Bible made
available to both secularist and conservative audiences in the Turkish reading public.
Chapter *
Turkish in C+rillic etters (,ul-arian Turkish)
Turkish as spoken in Bulgaria is essentially the same language spoken in Turkey but with
some Bulgarian vocabulary. Turkish is not taught in Bulgarian schools% so many Turkish
speakers cannot read or write Turkish.
'BB% # $/de. Transliterated into >yrillic characters. Printed at !*> Press% QA
!hen a >hristian movement began among the Turkish(speaking "illet and Roma ethnic
groups in Bulgaria% the "<de of &=<' was printed for them in >yrillic characters.
'BB8 # 7eG0urlar .Fe*ur1. Kownloadable in either Turkish or >yrillic characters?
%&&( # Ond/il: Yeni !hit: Yeni !ntla4ma8 Bul&aristan Trkesi. Sevda ))K% Plovdiv.
Kownloadable in either Turkish or >yrillic characters? http?__www.incilbg.com_.
Thomas )tto and a team of native speakers of Bulgarian Turkish produced these Psalms and
;ew Testament in the Bulgarian dialect. A note to 'rki&eliler #Turks of Turkey$ appears on
the website asking them to be tolerant of the Bulgarian words that do not conform to
5stanbul Turkish #stanbul trkesine u&gun olma&an/ hatta kimi bulgarca s)lere rastladn)
)aman onu hogr ile karla&n$.
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Chapter .
/elated an-ua-es
Kiscounting Bible ecerpts in Aipchak in the ;ode ;umanicus% Bible translations in Turkic
languages outside the )ttoman *mpire began with Henry Bruntons Aarass #;ogai Tatar$
;ew Testament in &<&/ as revised by Kickson? `I ncil(i mukaddes/ &ani/ `I sa "asihin &eni
1asi&eti nopqrstsuv wxyzsuu{ 7itc il% &<&<$.
5n &<61 this translation was modified by
>harles +raser for distribution among the Aa:akhs% and then revised a number of times as
late as &=&1% but it still sounded more like Tatar than Aa:akh. +or many of the Turkic
languages #A:erbai"ani% Ayrgy:% Tatar% Qyghur% Q:bek% etc.$% short chronologies of variable
historical Luality can be read online.
The shadow of -ussia% >hina% and 5ran D not Turkey
D hovered over these translation efforts. They remind us that Turkic languages in some
places are still printed in Arabic characters #Qyghur in >hinaB A:eri in 5ran$ and in >yrillic
letters #Aa:ak% Ayrgy:% Tatar% Q:bekB also Qyghur in the former Soviet lands$.
The Bible in Aurman"i Aurdish% !itba 7:ro)z 7e&hama !e1in , 7e&mana =,% was published in
Latin characters in ,ermany by ,BG(Killenburg in 611C and can be read online.
!hen the
Turkish government liberali:ed its Aurdish policy and allowed publications in Aurdish% the
Turkish >hristian publisher% ^eree -oru% printed a Aurman"i ;ew Testament entitled
7e&mana =, nc:lz "i)g:n:&a sa "esih in 6114. The ,ospel of Luke in the ha:a dialect has
been translated for use as the soundtrack in the film% aesus. +or 5raLi Aurds the Sorani
Aurdish Bible in the Arabic alphabet was published in &==< and can be read at the Aurdish
>hristian website above. Aurdish is written also in >yrillic characters in the former Soviet
countries. 5n the )ttoman period the American Bible Society had printed 5saac ,. Blisss
Aurman"i Aurdish ;ew Testament in Armenian script #5stanbul? A.H. Boya"ian% &<'6B
preceded by the ,ospels in &<0'$.
Translations in the non(Turkish languages of the )ttoman *mpire were done by several of
the same &=th(century translators we have encountered in connection with the Turkish Bible.
Pakan kirimli, Crlmean 1aLars, nogays, and ScoLLlsh mlsslonarles, coblets Jo mooJe tosse 43: 61-108. u8L:
u8L: hLLp://
u8L: hLLp://
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Their competency in multiple *uropean and )riental languages reminds us of Ali Bey. +or
*lias -iggs was the translator of both the Bulgarian and 7odern $r0enian Bibles #the latter
not to be confused with the Armeno(Turkish Bible$. His work was so influential that he is
considered one of the heroes of the Bulgarian revolutionB correspondingly he is also viewed
as a missionary meddler in Turkish politics during the late )ttoman period.

Henry K. Leeves revised the 7odern Greek ;ew Testament #not to be confused with his
,rUco(Turkish ;ew Testament$% which had been commissioned initially by the B+BS agent%
-obert Pinkerton% from Archimandrite Hilarion% a Lebanese ,reek. Leeves also translated
the )ld Testament into 7odern ,reek. >omplicating the pro"ect was the ,reek revolt
against )ttoman rule in the &<61s that led to Leeves withdrawal from >onstantinople to
>orfu and later to Athens.
Bible translation influenced the revolutionary politics of the
)ttoman >hristian minorities.
5n the &=th century around 011%111 @ews lived in the )ttoman lands%
with substantial
communities in Salonica% Smyrna and >onstantinople. Accepting responsibility for a pro"ect
first envisioned by -obert Pinkerton%
!illiam Schauffler and -abbi Shemtob translated the
)ld Testament into -adino% the language of the Sephardic @ews% which is written in Hebrew
characters and is also called OudeG0o and 2e*r3o4!panish. Schaufflers Ladino Bible was
printed in Gienna in &<C6 by the ABS. The ;ew Testament revised by Schauffler from the
&'C' version
was reprinted as late as &=66. Today there are still &11%111 Ladino speakers in
Bulgaria% ,reece% 5srael% and Turkey. A new online Ladino ;ew Testament in Latin characters
appeared in &===.

u8L: hLLp://
8rowne, op.clt., pp. 47ff.
Creene, p. 22.
8rowne, op.clt., p. 47.
u8L: hLLp://
u8L: hLLp://!n-ladlno.hLml , hLLp:// ladLexLs/o[bx_ldn.pd f.
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Chapter 0
A ,rie1 Comparison( Turkish Translations o1 the %oran
The Aoran was not widely available in Turkish during the )ttoman period.
manuscript tradition consisted mostly of commentaries under a Turkish rendering #meal/
EmeaningF$ of the Arabic Aoran. Such translations were often fragmentary and remained% in
any case% in manuscript. The earliest Turkish meal of the complete Aoran% usually dated to
&C6C >.*. #<61 A.H.$% was done by 7uhammed b. Ham:a% a Sel"uk Turkish preacher in
Half a millenium later this was transcribed into Latin #modern Turkish$
characters by Ahmet Topalodlu #&='4('<$% who also produced a valuable companion
dictionary of its &0th(century Turkish vocabulary.

The earliest printing of any book containing the Aoran in )ttoman Turkish was the
commentary of Ahmed Salih b. Abdullah% +bdet[[l(asar el(me1ahib 1ekl(en1ar #A work of
conclusions? >ontributions and enlightenings$. 5t was translated in manuscript in &4<0 and is
said to have been printed in 5stanbul in &<'0. The academic authority on the history of the
Turkish Aoran% 7uhammed Hamidullah% tells us the location of the &'th(century manuscript
of the +bdet[l(asar in the 5stanbul Qniversity Library% but fails to mention the editor or
publisher of the printed volume.
)nline lists of Turkish mealler of the Aoran
always to be based on Hamidullahs description. 5 am not aware of an academic study of the
The conservative Sultan Abdul Hamid 55 had opposed the translation of the Aoran. !hen
the 2oung Turks overthrew him in &=1= an 5slamic "ournal in 5stanbul% %irat( "stakim%
immediately printed some Turkish verses of the Aoran with commentary. The first complete
M. 8reLL Wllson, 1he flrsL LranslaLlons of Lhe Cur'an ln modern 1urkey (192438), lotetootloool Iootool of
MlJJle ost 5toJles 41: 419-433 (2009), l. Lyman MacCallum, 1urkey dlscovers Lhe koran, 1be Moslem wotlJ
23: 24-28 (1933), 1he koran ln 1urklsh, 1be New otk 1lmes, Aprll 12, 1914, LlsL of LranslaLlons of Lhe
Cur'an, hLLp:// Lhe_Cur27an#1urklsh.
1urk lslam Muzesl, manuscrlpL no: 40.
AhmeL 1opaloglu, MobommeJ blo nomzo \v. ozytl bo,lottoJo yoptlmt, 5ottt-Atost kotoo 1etcomesl, 1.
cllL (glrl; ve meLln), 2. cllL (szluk). (lsLanbul: 1.C. kulLur 8akanligi, 1976).
Azlz kotoo. evltl ve Atklomo (lsLanbul: 8eyan ?ayinlari, 2000), pp. 131-142 (a llsL of 1urklsh LranslaLlons),
here p. 133, kotoo-t ketlm 1otlbl ve 1otke 1efsltlet 8lblloqtoflyost (lsLanbul: ?agmur ?ayinlari, 1963).
lor example, hLLp://
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)ttoman Turkish translation of the Aoran alone% i2e2 without commentary% was entitled
'er<umat el(!uran and was printed in &=&/. The publisher% 3brahim Hilmi *fendi% promoted it
as an anonymous translation% but controversy erupted immediately.
The attempt to hide the identity of the author% a Syrian >atholic named heki
7egami:% precipitated a scandal about providing 7uslims with a translation by a
>hristian. A "ournal article warned the Sheikh Nl(5slams office about the danger%
and the authorities prevented the distribution of this book.

>onservative 7uslims feared >hristian translators% "ust as conservative >hristians have been
suspicious of 7uslim translators for /01 years.
5mmediately after the Turkish -evolution three Turkish versions of the Aoran appeared in
the space of one year #&=6C(60$. This was before AtatNrks language reform% so all three were
)ttoman Turkish in Arabic characters. The three were HNseyin A8:Jm Aadris =urul(.e&an
#The light of clarification$% again by the printer 3brahim HilmiB and two translations both
entitled !uran( !erim 'ercmesi by SNleyman Tevfik and >emil Sait #Kikel$. All three were
re"ected by 7uslim scholars? Aadiris because he had only informal training in Arabic%
Tevfiks because he was considered a literary rogue% and Kikels because his source tet was
a +rench version% not the Aoran in Arabic.
!hat these incidents reveal is that the Turkish reading public had become impatient with
the conservative commentary tradition that resisted the EinnovationsF of the then C01(year(
old *uropean print culture. Turkish printers were modern men and responded to popular
demand for the holy book% but their initial efforts failed because they were idiosyncratic and
did not consult the ulema scholars.
!orried about religious chaos% the Parliament #"eclis$ of the Turkish -epublic demanded an
official Turkish version of the Aoran% and the Kirectorate of -eligious Affairs #-i&anet$
assigned the task eventually to 7. Hamdi 2a:Jr *lmalJlJ. The result was not a Aoran for the
people but a Turkish tet of the Aoran embedded in a nine(volume commentary entitled 6ak
-ini !uran -ili #&=/0(/<$.
This erudite work is still used in Turkish theological training%
and the translation itself is still in print and widely respected% but at the time it did not meet
the popular demand that had inspired the three earlier printings of the Aoran in Turkish. 5n
Wllson (2009), p. 422, referrlng Lo AhmeL 5lranl, kur'an-i kerlm 1ercumesl Pakkinda, noytol-kelom 1 (17):
136 (1914).
u8L: hLLp://www.kuran.gen.Lr/?x=s_maln&kld=3
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&=00 a new translation was published by AbdNlbaki ,VlpJnarlJ% emeritus professor of
Turkish Sufism at 5stanbul Qniversity% and circulated widely. 7ore recently% translations
have proliferated. *ach of the 7uslim brotherhoods #tarikat$ has its favorite translation.
2aPar ;uri S:tNrks !ur[an( !erim 1e 'rke "eali% first published in &==/% is said to be the
most printed book in Turkish history.

The proliferation of translations has resulted in an outcry against scholars who are said to be
EchangingF the Aoran. Gernacular versions of the Aoran are called meal/ which means
EmeaningF rather than EtranslationF% because the words of ,od are felt to be so holy that
they cannot be translated accurately. 5n practice 7uslim scholars simply paraphrase the
Aoran based on the tefsir #commentary$ tradition in which they were trained% and then print
their paraphrase net to or under the Arabic original. This results in variable Turkish
representations of the meaning of the Arabic tet. Accusations of scholars making EerrorsF
have arisen among devout but unlettered 7uslims% who wonder why the various meal do
not agree. 5n effect% Turkish 7uslims are now being eposed to the same kind of confusing
mi of translations that *nglish(speaking >hristians have eperienced since the first revision
of the Aing @ames Gersion in &<<<. 7any and widely varying translations of the sacred tet
now compete for the book(buying dollar and lira.
The 5slamic idea of the Aoran as an eternal and immutable tet that came down from heaven
complicates the 7uslim translators work. )ver the centuries >hristian translators have
aspired to produce a EfaithfulF rendering of the Hebrew and ,reek Testaments% but to them
EfaithfulF has never meant EeactF. Translation necessarily involves a contetuali:ation of
the message of the holy book in a literary form that reflects the modern culture to which it is
Studying the Aoran online is a normal feature of 7uslim life today. Anyone with one
Turkish lira to pay for one hour at an internet caf^ can listen to Arabic oral recital of the
Aoran while reading the Turkish transliteration simultaneously. 7ultiple Turkish
translations are viewable at and The website of the
governments 7inistry of -eligious Affairs #-i&anet leri .akanl$ features many resources
including its own Turkish translation% downloadable as a PK+ or K)> file?
u8L: hLLp://www.kuran.gen.Lr/?x=s_maln&kld=2, hLLp://
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A22345I6 I ( TH3 T7/%I8H ,I,3 93/8IO48 I4 8T/ICT
CH/O4OO$ICA O/53/ (without annotations)
This list shows all the Turkish Bibles and Bible portions 5 know of% but it is not annotated.
!here the eact title is known it appears in italics. >orrected or additional publication data
may be sent to bruce.p| Please provide a scan of the title and back(title
pages if possible.
CLLoman 1urklsh (Arablc) and Modern 1urklsh (LaLln) LranslaLlons are shown ln black,
1urklsh ln Pebrew characLers ln purple,
1urklsh ln Creek characLers ln blue,
1urklsh ln Armenlan characLers ln brown,
1urklsh ln 8ulgarlan Cyrllllc characLers ln green.
circa &001 # Tercme-i Kasde-i Fatlubni Tecidni8 Translated by Ahmed b. 7ustafa% a.k.a
&40= D Ktb- 1klerin Trkde bir nm3dar- "ah4i5 Kadis Yuhanna *es3ln Trk
0eb1na mtercem olmu4 risalesidir 7 %$ecimen 'urcicum %2 %2 %cri$tur_z si1e/ tres
e$istol_ %2 aohannis a$ostoli turcice reddit_. Translated by !illiam Seaman. London? @acob
&44& b 'urkish .ible in manuscri$t, by Yahya bin shak, a.k.a. Hki.
&446(4C b 'urkish .ible in manuscri$t, by !o"ciech Bobowski% a.k.a. Ali Bey. This draft was
followed by a Efair copyF in &440.
&440('/ b $e0amir, #Psalms &(&C$% by Ali Qfk9% a.k.a. Ali Bey
&444 b <ncil-i $ukaddes 5 "ani lisan- Trk#"e tercme olunan bi0im *abbimi0 Yes3
$esih#i6 "e6i ahid +e +asi"eti c -omini =ostri `esu ;hristi 'estamentum =o1um 'urcice
Redditum. Translated by !illiam Seaman. )ford? Henry Hall.
&4<1 <ncil-i $ukaddes "ani lisan- trk2"e tercme olunan bi0im *abbimi0 Yes3 $esihi6
"e6i ahd-i +es1"eti. ;ew Testament manuscript in two folios in the Bibliotheque
Nationale, Paris. Copied by Hanna b. ;eta Shamlu from SeamanRs ;ew Testament
&4=6 b ,msale -i (le"m1n8 A Turkish manuscript of the Proverbs of Solomon in the hand of
Hanna b. ;eta Shamlu. BibliotheLue ;ationale% Paris.
&'/0 b %uc9 ,+an&elium Turkice. *dited by @ohann Heinrich >allenberg from Seamans ;ew
Testament. Halle? Typographia )rientali 5nstituti @udaici et 7uhammedici. +ollowed in
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&'C' by 7auli A$ostoli 3$istola ad Romanos 'urcice% in &'C= by Acts% and in the &'01s by
the ,ospel of @ohn% the +irst *pistle of @ohn% and Hebrews.
&'/= b )uatuor rima caita >eneseos turcice et latine e? &emino .entateuchi $osaici mss8
@odice Turcico eruit: %atine +ertit: notulasLue adspersit ;icolaus ,uillelmus
Schoederus. LipsiU HLeip:igI? Literis Takkianis.
&'<6 b The Psalms in ,rUco(Turkish. Printed in Genice.
&<&< b Acts f *pistles in ,rUco(Turkish. Printed in Genice.
&<&= b Kitab l-ahd el-cedid el-mensub ila *abbina <sa el-$esih8 *dited by @ean Kaniel
Aieffer. Paris? 5mprim^rie -oyale on behalf of the British and +oreign Bible Society.
&<&= D ;ew Testament in Armeno(Turkish. Translated by Seraphim Aho"ent:i. Printed by
the Bible Society of St. Petersburg.
&<61(6& b The +our ,ospels in manuscript. Translated by 3smail +erruh.
&<66 b The Psalms in ,rUco(Turkish. -evised by Henry K. Leeves.
&<66 D ;ew Testament in Armeno(Turkish. Translated by Aeghamian of *rivan.
'<%8 # !hdi @edid "ani Bea -iathNkN: *a-i Yisa el-$esihin !hdi T0edidinin >ionani
%isanindan Tourk %isanina Tert0oumesi. `stam$olda/ -e !as$onoun 7asmahanesinde.
Transcribed by Henry K. Leeves from Aieffers ;ew Testament of &<&=.
&<6' b Kitab l-ahd el-atik HandI Kitab l-ahd el-cedid el-mensub ila *abbina <sa el-$esih
#Biblia Turcica1. *dited from Ali Beys manuscript by H.+. von Kie: and @.K. Aieffer
#called Ali Beys Bible or Aieffers Bible$. Two volumes. Paris? Kar el(Tabaat el(7elkuttat
el(7imarat #5mprim^rie -oyale$% on behalf of the B+BS.
&</& D The ;ew Testament in Armeno(Turkish. Translated by !illiam ,oodell with Bishop
Kionysius and Gartabed ,regory. 7alta? >7S Press.
&</6(/0 D Torah% Turkish in Hebrew characters. Translated by Avraham +irkowic:% 2itshaL
b. Samuel ha(Aohen% and Simha b. 2osef *di:. Printed as a di(glot book with Hebrew
and Turkish #HebrUo(Turkish$ on facing pages% by Arab()dlu Bolus #Paulus$% )rtakVy%
,reater 5stanbul.
&</0 b >enesis "ani $ahlukatin "aratilicinin kitabi..
&</4 b Ha0reti $usann es kitalari hem tahi Ba+i OMlu Oesunun kitai, ki Mngilterranin
ve piutun dunyanDn sair her taraflarDna 0ukattes kitaplarin tagil0asi itGun MngiliG
0e0leketinte 0untaGi0 olan ;efikatin 0arifeti ile $tGik )urktGe lisana tertGi0e
olunup )GeGirei !yrata $0erikali ,.,. ;o*ertsonun Pas0asinta tap olun0us tur.
&</= b The ,rUco(Turkish Bible. Translated by Leeves and >hristo ;icolaides. Printed in
Athens and Beirut.
&<C/ D )ld Testament in Armeno(Turkish. Translated by !illiam ,oodell and Panayotes
>onstantinides. Smyrna? AB>+7 Press.
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&<CC b Oob: .araoimia (olomontos: ,kklisiastis "ani Oobun: ,msali (olomonun +e Pai0in
Kitai ki 2alia 7eytGetten $tGik tirktGege terGu0e olunupP. #same printing data as
the &</4 Pentateuch and @oshua$.
&<06 b Kitab- (i'r-l Halika +e $e0amir-i -a+ud. -evised by TNrabi *fendi from Aieffers
version. London? B+BS.
&<0/(0C b Kitab- <ncil-i Ger' el-mensub ila *abbina <sa el-$esih8 !illiam !atts n8m
PahsJc tabh8nesinde tab ve temsil olunmuPdJr fi sene &<0C el(mes9hiyye HLondonI.
&<00 b ,l-<ncil ila ri+a"et-i $atta el-!0i0. *dited by @ames !. -edhouse% revising TNrabi
*fendi. Two bilingual versions% Turkish(*nglish and Turkish(5talian. London? B+BS.
&<04 b )ld Testament in ,rUco(Turkish. -evised by ,oodell and >onstantinides
Philadelpheus. Printed in 5stanbul.
&<0' b Kitab l-ahd el-cedid el-mensub ila *abbina <s1 el-$esih. -evised by TNrabi *fendi
by @.!. -edhouse% checked by ,oodell and !illiam ,. Schauffler. London? B+BS.
&<46 b <ncil-i Ger'i6 tercmesini6 &3nesi olmak 0ere ol kitab- mukaddesi6 i4bu cild-i
e++eli Har3t3n n1m tab126 matba asnda tab +e temsil klnm4dr - CIJK 'i sene-i
mil1di"e QMstan*ulR8 >ontaining the +our ,ospels and Acts only. Translated by !illiam
,. Schauffler% !illiam ,oodell and Selim *fendi.
&<46 D Kitab- Geri' "ani !hd-i !tik +e !hd-i @edidz Asl brani 1e 9unancadan 'rke&e
tercme olunu$ stanbulda iirket(i iarki&e .asmhanesinde tab olundu. &611 pp. Translated
by ,oodell and Panayotes.
&<4/ b )ld Testament in ,rUco(Turkish. -evised again by ,oodell and >onstantinides.
&<40D <ncil-i Geri' ile Te'siri8 3stanbul? *r:incanlJ Artin 7inasyan ve Mirketi 7atbaasJ.
&<44 b Kitab l-!hd el-cedd el-mensub ila *abbina <sa el-$esih. Translated by Schauffler
and Selim *fendi. 3stanbul? Hariton 7atasyan 7atbaasJ%
&<4< b $e0amir-i -a+ud. Translated by Schauffler. 5stanbul? 7inasiyan (=Hariton
7atasyan?) 7atbaasJ.
&<4= b Kitab- $ukaddes8 *dited by *lias -iggs. Printed in 5stanbul.
&<'1 D Z[\^_[^\`\abcd`efdg[`h`i[^j`kh`lcdmclh``bndcd`\^do`\p\p^jg[`qr^ #Ahd(i ;edid/
&aniz ncil(i ierif | lisan( asl 9unaniden bir tercme}~pq{uqsvo~~sysu
#BoyacJyan$% &<'0.
&<'6 C (i'r- Tek+in el-$ahl3k1t L Bereshit. 7iciOde tab olunmuP fi sene &<'6 el(
&<'/ D *a+i (adk "ani Ktb-i !hd l-atik +e !hd l-ceddin ha+i olduMu hik1"1tn
mecmuasdr #Tevrat ve 3ncilden seOmeler$. 5stanbul? Papasyan Artin 7atbaasJ.
&<'C b ,ospels and Acts. -evised from Schauffler and Selims version of &<46. Printed in
5stanbul by the Bible Societies.
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&<'0 b !hd-i cedid: "ani <ncil-i Geri' 5 5isan( asl 9unaninden bir tercmedir. 5stanbul?
Boyaciyan Agop 7atbaasJ.
&<'4 b $e0amir5 %isan- asli <braniden bi-t-tercme. BoyacJyan Agop 7atbaasJ% 3stanbul%
3ngili: ve Amerikan Bibl Mirketleri. &<' pages.
&<'4 b 4a"a e"&ambere na0il olan +ah"idir. Translated by Schauffler. Gienna? Adolf
&<'' b Te+rat: "ani: $usa e"&ambere +ah"i tarikile na0il olan 4eriat l-l1hik kitabdr.
Translated by Schauffler. Gienna? Adolf Holshaus.
&<'' b ,ospel of 7atthew. Apparently a revision of 7atthew in the ;ew Testament of &<'0.
&<'< b !hd-i @edid "ani <ncil-i Geri' 5 $atta +e $arkos +e %uka +e Yuhanna +e !m1l-i
*s3l #The +our ,ospels and Acts of the Apostles$. -er %aadet H3stanbulI? .o&ac&an
Ago$ "atbaasnda tab olunmutur.
&<'< b Kitab- $ukaddes: "ani !hd-i !tik +e !hd-i @edid5 HAn asl muharrer bulundugg u
brani 1e !eldani 1e 9unani lisanlarndan bir tercme2 -er %aadet stanbul#z .o&ac&an Ago$
&<'< D Kitab- $ukaddes #Armeno(Turkish$. Printed concurrently with the )ttoman
Turkish version.
&<<C b Kitab- $ukaddes8 -evised by *lias -iggs with Aleander Thompson% ,eorge
Aa:akos and Avedis Assadourian.
&<<0(<4 D Kitab- $ukaddes 5 "ani: !hd-i !tik +e !hd-i @edid8 stanbulz .o&ac&an Ago$
&<<< D Kitab- $ukaddes8 The Armeno(Turkish reflects the &<<0(<4 revision of the )ttoman
Turkish Bible.
&<== D !hd-i @edid "ani Bea -iathNkN: kAn asl muharrir bulunduu 9unani lisanndan bit(
ter<eme2 `ngilterrede 1e memalik(i sairede mukaddes kita$larn neri iin tekil edilen irketin
mesarifi&le2 `stanboldaz A262 .o&acian "atbaasnda ta$ olunmu tur2
&=1& b =ita*4D 7ukaddes : "ani: !hd-i !tik +e !hd-i @edid8 stanbulz .o&ac&an Ago$
"atbaas. The ;ew Testament was reprinted in &=1< and &=&&.
&=64 D Armeno(Turkish -eference Bible. Gienna? >hristoph -eissers Sons.
A+T*- TH* TQ-A5SH LA;,QA,* -*+)-7 #&=6'$
&=6'_6< D Proverbs in a di(script version% Arabic and -oman characters.
&=6< D Psalms. Translated by +red +ield ,oodsell and an unnamed Turkish poet.
&=/1 D <ncil $atta"a &Rre5 3ski 9unanca aslna tatbik olunarak 'rkesi tashih edilmitir.
3stanbul? 3ngili: ve *cnebi AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi ve Amerikan AitabJ 7ukaddes
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Mirketi. +ollowed by the ,ospels of 7atthew% 7ark% Luke% printed separately% &=/1(&=/&.
Translated by >.+. ,ates% ,oodsell and +rederick !. 7ac>allum.
&=/6 D $e0murlar5 3ski branice aslna tatbik olunarak 'rkesi tashih edilmistir% by ,ates%
,oodsell and 7ac>allum. 3stanbul? 3ngili: ve *cnebi AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi ve
Amerikan AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
&=// D $ukaddes Kitabn <kinci Ksm 5 Yeni !hit8 <ncil +e -iMer Kitalar. 3ski 9unanca
aslna gre 'rkesi &eniden tashih edilmitir. ;ePresedenler Amerikan AitabJmukaddes
Mirketi ve 3ngili: ve *cnebi AitabJmukaddes Mirketi% 3stanbul. Translators included @.A.
Birge% >.+. ,ates% +.!. 7ac>allum% *.T. Perry% and >harles T. -iggs.
&=/4 D 7atthew. -evised in simplified style. Also in the late &=/1s% Psalms% Proverbs% @ob%
and ,enesis were printed separately.
&=C& D Kitab $ukaddes: ,ski +e Yeni !hit STe+rat +e <ncilT z brani/ !ildani 1e 9unani
dillerinden son tashih edilmi tercmedir. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi. *dited and
prepared for press by +rederick !. 7ac>allum and Ea Turkish savantF.
&=0' D <4te !dam 5 <ncilden (emeler. Ha:JrlJyan *.>. Blake. 3stanbul? Amerikan Bord
;esriyat Kairesi.
&=0< b $e0murlar5 !slna &Rre son tashih edilmi4 tercmedir8 Unc bas48 3stanbul? AitabJ
7ukaddes Mirketi.
&=0= D <ncili Geri'5 "ahut <sa $esihin Yeni !hit Kitab.. Translated by @ean !endel. Padua?
Apud Basilicam S. Antonii.
&='6 D <ncil $arkos5 Aslndan cc agg das 'uu rkcc e[&e &a$lan &eni tercuu me. Translated by @ean
!endel% Gedat Srs and others. 5I stanbul ? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi. 01 pp.
&='C D $arkos <ncili5 Aslndan cc agg dass 'rkcc e[&e &a$lan &eni tashih. Translated by Gedat
Srs. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
&='< D (u: ,kmek: Ya4am #,ospel of @ohn$. Translated by Thomas >osmades.
&='<D H08 <sa#nn VMreti4leri and H08 <sa#nn $uci0eleri. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
Translated by ;ev:at Baban.
&=<' D Kitab $ukaddes#in -euterokanonik S!okri'T Kitalar. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes
&=<' D $/de5 <ncil2in aMda4 Trke e+irisi. Translated by Ali MimPek et al. 3stanbul? 2eni
2aPam 2ayJnlarJ and The Translation Trust.
&=<< b <ncil5 (e+in >etirici Haber5 ncilin 9unancadan ada 'rke&e e1irisi2 Translated by
Thomas >osmades. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
&=<< D Webur -$e0murlar. 5stanbul? )han BasJmevi.
&==1 D *ut. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi..
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&==& D Bir Hekimin Kaleminden5 %uka +e ,lilerin <4leri 7 ! -octor2s (tor"5 %uke and !cts8
3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJlarJ.
&==& C Xocuklar <in Kutsal Kita #The Bible for >hildren$. >openhagen? Scandinavian
Publishing House. Printed in Poland.
&==6 D Ye4u #@oshua$. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ.
&==6 D $/de. Transliterated into Bulgarian >yrillic characters. !*> Press% Q.A.
&==/ D <ncil#in $atta BRlm. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ. 6. BasJm. 5SB;? ='0('01=(1<(
&==C D $/de.: <ncil2in aMda4 Trke e+irisi -evised version. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam
&==C C >Rksel (R05 <ncil#den Yuhanna bRlmnn aMda4 Trke"e "eni e+irisi8
7ecdiyekVy_3stanbul? Autsal Aitap AraPtJrma 7erke:i. Translated in the late &='1s by
;ev:at Baban.
'BB6 C Fe*ur # 7eG0urlar, trans. Kr. @ur. HakkJ Kemirel. 3stanbul? 7N"de 2ayJncJlJk Mirketi
#5SB; ='0 '<<= 6& 1$.
'BB8 C Te+rat% trans. Kr. @ur. HakkJ Kemirel% 6. baskJ% 3stanbul? 7N"de 2ayJncJlJk Mirketi
#5SB; ='0 '<<= &4 C$.
&==4 D Yaratl45 <branice V0&n $etinden Yalm4 Yeni Xe+iri STek+inT. D Webur
S$e0murlarT5 <branice R0&n metinden "alm4 "eni e+iri. D (le"mann V0de"i4leri
#/ booklets$. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi ve 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ.
&==4D 7e:murlar #hebur$. Kownloadable in either Turkish or Bulgarian >yrillic characters.
&==4 D ,ideons ;ew Testament in Turkish #"<de$ and *nglish #;A@G$. 2eni 2aPam
2ayJnlarJ. -eprinted in 6111.
&==4 D $e0murlar SWeburT8 Kownloadable in both Turkish and Bulgarian >yrillic characters.
&==< C <ncil S(e+indirici HaberT5 <ncil#in Yunanca aslndan aMda4 Trke#"e e+irisi8
3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi and the Qnited Bible Societies.
&=== D <ncil5 BeQ Testament Trke7<n&ili0ce Turkish7,n&lish8 AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
6nd edition% 611C. ;ew 5nternational Gersion in parallel columns with the !itab
611& D Kutsal Kita5 ,ski +e Yeni !ntla4ma STe+rat: Webur: <ncilT. 3stanbul? AitabJ
7ukaddes Mirketi in cooperation with 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ.
611& D <ncil = $/de5 <ncil#in aMda4 Trke e+irisi8 3stanbul? hirve 2ayJncJlJk ve KadJtJm
and 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ _ The Translation Trust. 0th printing% 6110.
6116 D <ncil 7 -as Beue Testament5 Ho''nun& 'r !lle8 Trke7!lmanca Trkisch7-eutsch8
5nternational Bible Society and AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
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611/ D Kutsal <ncil8 Translated by BNnyamin >andemir. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
611/ D Kutsal Kita +e -euterokanonik S!okri'T Kitalar. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes
611/ C >i0lenen Kitalar S!okri'lerT5 Kutsal Kita#tan -4lanan (akl Kutsal V"kler8
Translated by Aadir AkJn% edited by HakkJ Bayraktar. 3stanbul? Haktan 2ayJncJlJk ;o. /%
Hak9kat 2ayJnlarJ ;o. &.
611C D Ond/il: Yeni !hit: Yeni !ntla4ma5 Bul&aristan Trkesi. Plovdiv? Sevda ))K.
611C D Tehlim #The @ewish Psalms$. 3stanbul? AitabJ 7ukaddes Mirketi.
6110 D Kutsal <ncil5 .a0ar +e Ba"ram >nlerinde <ncil#den Okunan BRlmler. 5n Syriac
with Turkish translation by Abune #+ather$ Hanna Aykurt. Beyodlu% 3stanbul? SNryani
Aadim )rtodoks Patrik Gekillidi.
6110 D Kutsal Kita5 Yeni -n"a Xe+irisi8 The ;ew Testament was also published in 6110
as Kutsal $etinler = <ncil8

By the @ehovahs !itnesses.
6114(61&1 > Tora Bere4it C: Tora Gemot K: Tora Pa"ikra D: Tora +e !'tara E: Tora +e
!'tara7-e+arim L Te+rat Te'siri8 0 volumes. ,V:lem ,a:etecilik BasJn ve 2ayJn A.M.
611' D !li Be"#in Osmanlca SCJJK-CJJJT Xe+irisine >Rre H,kmenik# Kutsal Kita5 'e1rat(
+ebur(nciller \e 'm -euterokanonik c A$okrif 3kleri. Translated by Aadir AkJn and HakkJ
Bayraktar. 3stanbul? Haktan 2ayJncJlJk.
611< D -as Beue Testament -eutsch-Trkisch <ncil Yeni !ntla4ma !lmanca-Trke8
Killenburg? >hristliche Gerlagsgesellschaft. ,erman *lberfelder version of 6114 with the
revised "<de of &==C.
611= D Kutsal Kita5 ,ski +e Yeni !ntla4ma STe+rat: Webur: <ncilT. 3stanbul? AitabJ
7ukaddes Mirketi ve 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ. A minor revision of the 611& version.
61&1 D !klamal Kutsal Kita. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ and The Translation Trust.
61&1 D Yeni Ya4am !klamal Kutsal Kita. Springfield% 7issouri% QSA? Life Publishers
5nternational. Printed in South Aorea. 5mported to Turkey by 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ.
61&1 D <ncil5 (e+in >etirici Haber5 ncilin 9unancadan ada 'rke&e e1irisi2 Siegen?
7ission fNr SNd()st(*uropa. A revision by Thomas >osmades of his first edition of
61&1 D Ba4lan&ta Kel1m Pard5 <ncil#in Yuhanna BRlm L Yuhanna5 Kola" !nla4lr
<ncil8 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam 2ayJnlarJ.
61&1 D (le"man#n $eselleri #Proverbs$. TNrk Standart Gersiyonu% by 3lhan AeskinV:.
61&& D <ncil-i Geri'2in Yce !nlam - Ha+ari $atta2nn Kaleminden - Ori/inal $etin +e
Kelime Kelime Trke Xe+irisi ile birlikte. 3stanbul? Sabeel 7edia.
61&& D OsmanlicaKelam8net. A website of )ttoman Turkish Bibles with transcription and
eplanatory notes.
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61&6 D Halk -ilinde <ncil5 (adele4tirilmi4 <ncil Tercmesi SH!-<T. 3stanbul? 2eni 2aPam
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A22345I6 II( TH3 O/5:8 2/A;3/ I4 TH3 T7/%I8H 93/8IO48
*dited from the original sources and a list by +. Lyman 7ac>allum% EAitab(J 7ukaddesin
TNrkOe TercNmesine Kair%F 'ercme / #&/$? 0=(4< #&=C6$.
'. (raft )anuscri*t b& +li ,e& -"..$-./01 adapted Irom the transcription by Funda Toprak:
2mdi b3&le namz kl* de&i
4& g3klerde olan babamz
ismi5 mukaddes olsun
melektu gelsin
murad nice g3kde ise &erde dai b3&le olsun
er g!nki etme6imizi55 bize bug!n ver
ve bize sularmz ba7la1 nice ki biz dai bize sulu olanlara ba7larz
ve bizi i7va&a555 salma ill bizi abisden555 kurtar
!n m!lk555 ve kuvvet ve izzet555 senidir. +min.
5ott oef represenLed by / / wlLh a Lall was pronounced llke Lngllsh oq as ln AnaLaollan dlalecLs
Loday. kmek spelled etmek ln Cld 1urklc was sLlll common ln Lhe 19Lh c. 8y Lhe Llme Lhe 1827
verslon was prlnLed Lhese words had been edlLed as follows: lmtlboo for lgva, ,ettlt for habls,
melekt for mulk, and ebeJeo afLer lzzeL.
''. +rmeno-8urkis 2ncil "#"9 (Turkish in Armenian characters, St. Petersburg), translated
by Seraphim Khojentzi. These Armeno-Turkish versions were printed in MacCallum (1942).
+tamz ki semadasn1
kaddis olsun ismin senin1
gelsin senin melektun1
mei&etin olsun senin1 nice ki semavatta ve arzda.
:evme&e etme7imizi ver bize bug!n.
;e afv e&le bize de&nimizi1 nice ki biz afv ederiz bize med&un olarlere.
;e eletme bizi tecr!be&e1 amma als e&ele bizi erirden1
<ira senindir melekt ve kuvvet ve mecdu m!ebbet. +min.
'''. +rmeno-8urkis ,ible "#.= (Turkish in Armenian characters, Istanbul), translated by
William Goodell and Panayotes Constantinides
:a g3klerde olan Pederimiz1
ismin mukaddes olsun1
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*adial7n gelsin1
iradetin g3kteki gibi &er !zerinde dai olsun.
>er g!nk! ekme7imizi bize bug!n ver.
;e bize borlarmz ba7la1 nice ki biz dai borlularmz ba7larz.
;e bizi imtiana getirme1 illa bizi &aramazdan kurtar1
zira *adialk ve kudret ve amt ebed-!l abat senindir. +min.
';. Kitab ul-ahd el-jedid el-mensub ila Rabbina sa el-es!" -8e ?e@ 8estament of
Aur Bord Cesus Drist01 "#.., translated by William SchauIIler and Selim EIendi a.k.a.
Rev. Edward Williams. Transcription by Nur Hanim oI Moda Kilisesi, Istanbul.
4& semavatta olan Pederimiz1
senin ismi mukaddes olsun.
Eeni melektu gelsin
Eemada nice ise &er !zerinde de seni iraden icra olunsun.
Fzkmz bize bug!n ver.
;e bize sulu olanlar ba7lad7mz gibi bizim sularmz ba7la.
;e bizi i7va&a idal etme ama bizi erirden kurtar1
zira melekt ve !k!met ve izzet ebed-!l abat senidir. +min
;. #$%&'(*+,&--./ "##G (Osmanlca, Arabic characters), translated by George Herrick, R.H.
Weakley, KeyIi EIendi et al.
4& semavatta olan Pederimiz1
ismi mukaddes olsun1
melektu gelsin1
iradetin semavatta5 oldu7u gibi &er !zerinde dai icra olunsun.
:evme etme7imizi bize bug!n ver.
;e bize sulu olanlara ba7ladmz misilli bizim sularmz ba7la.
;e bizi i7va&a getirme1 lakin bizi erirden kurtar1
zira melekt ve kudret ve izzet ilelebet senidir. +min.
changed Lo semada ln Lhe locll-l etlf, 1911
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;'. 01-2$3.-$-4&5$6.&7$&%18,8"#99 (Karamanlica, Turkish in Greek characters),
translated by Elias Riggs, George Kazakis, Avedis Assadourian et al.
4& g3klerde olan Pederimiz1
ismin mukaddes olsun
*adialgn gelsin1
iradetin g3klerde oldu7u gibi1 &er !zerinde dai icra olunsun.
>er g!nki ekme7imizi bize bu g!n ver.
;e bize sulu olanlara bagladgmz gibi1 bizim sularmz bagla.
;e bizi i7va&a getirme1 lakin bizi &aramazdan kurtar1
zira *adialk ve kudret ve izzet ebed !l-ebd senin dir. +min.
;''. #$%&'(*+,&--./ "9/" (Latin characters), translated by Frederick W. MacCallum, 'Bay
Cami,' et al.
4& g3klerde olan ,abamz1
ismin mukaddes olsunH
melektun gelsinH
g3kte oldu7u gibi &erde de senin iraden olsun.
I!ndelik ekme7imizi bize bug!n ver.
;e bize borlu olanlara ba7lad7mz gibi1 bizim borlarmz bize ba7la.
;e bizi i7va&a g3t!rme1 fakat bizi erirden kurtar1
J!nk!5 melekt ve kudret ve izzet ebedlere kadar55 senindir. +min.
ln Lhe locll of 1933 Lhese Osmooltco words had been used: zlra, llelebeL.
;'''. 59$:; <.=$5>?.%$@$9$A&'.@ "9##1 rev. $K"K1 translated by Thomas Cosmades.
I3klerdeki ,abamzL
+dn kutsansn.
>!k!mranl7n gelsin.
I3kte oldu7u gibi1 &erde de iste7in u&gulansn.
I!ndelik ekme7imizi bize bug!n ver
;e bize kar su ile&enlerin suunu ba7lad7mz gibi
sen de bizleri ba7la.
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I!nala snanmamza olanak brakma. ,izleri k3t!den kurtar.
J!nk! !k!mranlk da1 g!l!l!k de1 &!celik de a7lar bo&u senindir. +min.
'M. #+%/&:#$%&B $KK"1 Irom *CD-. "9#%, by Ali Simsek et al.
I3klerdeki ,abamz1
adn kutsal klnsn.
4gemenli7in gelsin.
I3kte oldu7u gibi1 &er &!z!nde de Eenin istedi7in olsun.
,ug!n bize g!ndelik ekme7imizi ver.
,ize kar su ile&enleri ba7lad7mz gibi1
Een de bizim sularmz ba7la.
+&artlmamza izin verme. ,izi k3t! olandan kurtar.
J!nk! egemenlik1 g! ve &!celik sonsuzlara dek senindirL +min.
Eu**lementN 3E-.F3+G&5$9+/1"=K= (Latin characters), trans. by Franciscan Iriars in
1hls ls klpchak (kipak, Cipchaq) 1urklsh, oot Lhe WesLern or Cguz 1urklsh of Lhe Seluk, Csmanli and
modern 1urks. vowels have been supplled where Lhey are mlsslng ln Lhe orlglnal.
+tamz kim5 k3kte sen1
algsl bolsun seni at1
gelsin anlg1
bolsun seni tilemegi5 necik kim5 k3kte1 ala&5 &erde
k!ndegi etmek5imizni bizge bug!n bergil5
da ki &azklarmzn bizge bosatgl
necik kim5 biz bosatrbz bizge &aman etkenlerge
da ki &eknin5 snamagna kurmagl1
bizni barca5 &amandan kutkalgl. +min.
klm = kl Lllemegl = dllemegln dllegln oeclk klm = olce kl alay = olay yle etmek =
ekmek bergll = vere kil yekolo = yelo (?) > o,ttt bar(ca) = Lum. noLe LhaL -nl ls Lhe accusaLlve
and ge ls Lhe daLlve endlng ln Lhe kipak languages.
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A22345I6 III (a)( 1 8A)73 2(1"1< in HA%= and A= ,3;
This is the Song of Hannah in Hakis manuscript of &40= #or &44&$ compared with Ali Beys
finished translation of &440. Ali Bey has used Hakis wording in some places but he shows a
better sense of Turkish synta and rhythm% and his vocabulary is more fluent. 5 have
ad"usted ;eudeckers transliteration of Haki to conform the vowel system to 7odern
Turkish% as in the transcription tables shown on )
Haki, 1659 (adapted from Neudecker 1994)
2:1b - evlndlureglakk1ellle
agzim elendl du;manlarim uzerlnde
zlra senl halsi lle sevlndlm
zlra senden ayrl yokdur
ve 1anrimiz glbl yey yokdur
2:3 okluk syleme
yuce yuce ikmasin pek agziizdan
ve oa l;ler yaka;ir
2:4 cebbarlari yaylari kirilmi; ve sirildi
kuvveL ku;aklandilar
2:3 Loklular eLmege klralandilar (ekmek)
ve a olanlar men oldular
La aklre olan ok dogurdu
ve ogullari ok olunan kirildi
2:6 Pakk ldurucu ve dlrldlcl
mezara lndlren ve ikaran
lndlren ve kaldiran
2:8 Loprakdan kaldiran
faklrl kenlfden kaldiran
dllenclyl anllerle oLurLmak lln
ve lzzeL eskemnlyl (?) mlras eder onlara
ve Lemel eLdl uzerlerlne dunyanin
2:9 lyllerl ayaklarini saklar
ve kemler karalikda kirilir
zlra kuvveL adam buyumez
uzerlerlne gkden guruldur
ve pad;ahina kuvveL verlr
ve meslhl boynuzu kaldirir
Ali Bey, 1665 (from Osmalica!elam"et)
9 mukaddeslerlnl ayaklarini saklar
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A22345I6 III (b)( $3438I8 1"2
in A= ,3; and %I3>>3/
This comparison shows that Aieffer
corrected Ali Beys translations of the divine
names but otherwise did not edit his
language ecept in small details. Henderson
displayed a similar comparison #&<60% pp
=6f.$ in his critiLue of the &<&= )ttoman
Turkish ;ew Testament.

#$roeder, Quatuor, 1%&9 (Ali Bey's ori(ial)
8evrat- )s ale&i es-selam
1:1 btidada OPQRTUPVP gkleri ve yeri
1:2 yer tah ve hl idi
lcceni dahi st yaninda karalik idi
sulari st yaninda 8arn Fuu deprenir
1:3 bu kez WVVXYTUPVP aydinlik olsun dedi de
aydinlik oldu
1:4 hem Denb ,rZ aydinligi gzel oldugunu
grd de
Denb ,rZ aydinligi karaliklardan ayirdi
1:5 ve Denb ,rZ aydinligi gndz ve karaligi
gece tesmiye eyledi
ve ahsam ve sabah olunca evvelki gn oldu
1:6 ve dahi Denb ,rZ dedi ki
sulari ortasinda bir raki` olsun ki sulari
sulardan ayira
1:7 pes TX[Q\TUPVP bir raki`i yapdi ve raki`ni
altinda olan sulari raki`ni stnde olan
sulardan ayirdi ve byle oldu.....
2:4 gkleri ve yeri halk olduklari zaman asillari
bu idi
TX[Q\TUPVPyeri ve kk yaratigi gnde
2:5 ve henz yerde olmayan sahrani cmle
Iidanlarini hem bitmezden evvel tarlani cemi`
(zira TX[Q\WVVXYTUPVPyer zerine yagmur
ve yeri nats etmek iin adam yok idi
2:6 bu kez yerden buhar ikib cmle rviy zemini
!ieffer, Ahd-i Atik , 1)*% (editi( Ali Bey)
Eifr-! 8ekvin el-)alukat
1:1 btidada +lla gkleri ve yeri
1:2 ve yer tah ve hl idi
lcceni dahi zerinde karalik idi
ve sulari zerinde +lla Fuu deprenir idi
1:3 ve +lla aydinlik olsun dedi ve aydinlik oldu
1:4 hem +lla aydinligi gzel oldugunu grd
+lla aydinligi karaliklardan ayirdi
1:5 ve +lla aydinligini gn ve karaligini gece
tesmiye eyledi
ve ahsam ve sabah olunca evvelki gn oldu
1:6 ve dahi +lla dedi ki
sulari ortasinda bir raki` olsun ki sulari
sulardan ayira
1:7 pes +lla raki`i yapdi ve raki`i altinda olan
sulari raki`i stunde olan sulardan ayirdi ve
byle oldu.....
2:4 gkleri ve yeri halk olduklari zaman asillari
bu idi
Fabb +lla yeri ve gkleri yaratdigi gnde
2:5 ve henz yerde olmayan sahrani cmle
Iidanlarini hem bitmezden evvel tarlani cemi`
(zira Fabb +lla dahi yer zerine yagmur
ve yeri nats etmek iin adam yok idi
2:6 ve yerden buhar ikip cmle rviy zemini
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A22345I6 III (c)( )ATTH3? 22(#1"&* in A= ,3; and %I3>>3/
This comparison shows that Aieffer made more ad"ustments to Ali Beys vocabulary in the
;T than in the )T eample above% but only minor ad"ustments of his style. 5 have ad"usted
Topraks transliteration of Ali Beys draft manuscrJpt to conform the vowel system to
7odern Turkish% as in my transcription from Aieffers Bible.
+li ,e&1 "../ -transcr. ]unda 8o*rak1 $KK.0
22:31velleriikametini hususunda Allah
TUPVPnisizedediginiokumadiizmiki +lla
32 ben brahimi il ve shaki il ve Yakubu
AllahTellleriildegildirill dirileridir
33 cemi`etler dahi bunu iidi* onu ta`limine
34 ve feriziler isidip ki zndiklariagizinikapadi
bile cem` oldular
35 ondan fuakadan birisi oa su sual etdi ve
imtihan edip dedi ki
36 ey mu`allim 8evratiebykemrikangisidir
37 >azreti d2sa oa dedi ki
38 evvelki embykemir bu dur
39 ikinci budur bua manend
kendi karibii kendii gibi sev
40 ve bu iki emirlerde cemgi seri`atler ve
41 ve ferizilermctemi`iken>azreti d2sa onlara
sual edip 42 dedi ki
onlar dahi oa Davudu dur derler
43 ve onlara dedi ki
*es Davud oa ruhda niin rabb di&e ad ko&u* dedi
45 *es !n Davud oa rabb deronuoglunice ola
46 ve kimse oa cevap veremedi emolgnden
soraartikoakimsesualetmegec!rget etmedi
+li ,e&1 as edited b& hieffer1 "#$%
22:31vellerik&ameti hususunda +llai size
32 ben brahimi +lla ve shaki +lla ve
Yakubu +lla im
33 cem`iyyetler dahi bunu iitmekle onu ta`limine
bile cem` oldular
35 ve onlardan biri ki bir faki idi
oa sual edip ve imtihan edip dedi ki
36 ey mu`allim erigatiebykvasiyeti
37 ve d2sa oa dedi ki
Fabb +llaiibtnkalbidenvebtncanidan
38evvelkivebykvasi&&et bu dur
39 ve bua beze&en bu dur
seni kosuu kendi gibi sevesin
40 bu iki vasi&&etlerde f`i`^ seri`at ve
41veIerisilermctemi`ikend2sa onlara su`al edip
42dedi ki
onlar dahi oa dediler ki Davudu dur
43 ve onlara dedi ki
_jVUkVlX Davud oa ruhda niin rabb der
m`^ dedi ki
45 anbaUcUQ Davud oa rabb derseniinonuoglu
ola bilir
46 ve kimse oa cevap veremedi veolgndensora
artikoakimsesu`aletmegeceragat etmedi
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A22345I6 I9( TH3 I>3 O> ?O@CI3CH ,O,O?8%I (A= ,3;)
The best biographical information about Ali Bey comes from his own writings and from
several items datable to the period &444(4< in the Thomas Smith >ollection% Bodleian
Library% )ford.
The collection contains a letter from Ali Bey asking for employment in
*ngland% written in Latin and in his own hand% as well as supprting testmonials written by
his *nglish friends. Before ;eudeckers study of the Thomas Smith papers% Ali Beys
biography had been based largely on a promotional introduction to one of his works by
Thomas Hyde% written in &4=1.
The +rench encyclopedia .iogra$hie ni1erselle #&<&&$
included a biography of EAli(Bey ou Ali Beigh%F
essentially repeating Hydes story% as did
subseLuent accounts. Ali Bey is mentioned a few times in the )ttoman imperial archives #see
*lOins note on He:8rfen HNseyin below$.
!e also have comments about him in the travel
diaries of his *uropean friends.

Though !o"ciech Bobowskis birth date is unknown% the date of his capture by the Tatars is
reported to have occurred about /0 years before the composition of one of the papers in the
Thomas Smith >ollection. This seems to mean he was captured in >rimean Tatar raids along
the Bug and Poltava -ivers in &4/6% or during the Polish()ttoman !ar of &4//(/C that
Bobowski himself tells us that Lw\w #LvYv in Qkrainian% Lemberg in ,erman$
was the city of his birth. 5t lay near the border between the Polish(Lithuanian
8odlelan Llbrary, Cxford, 1homas SmlLh CollecLlon, mss. no. 98 and 104, neudecker (2003), neudecker
(1996), p. 169.
Pyde, op.clt.
8loqtopble uolvetselle, Aocleooe et MoJetoe (arls: Chez Mlchaud lreres, 1811), 1ome remler (AA-AL), p.
374 , clLed ln Lee (1824), p. 4-3n. u8L : hLLp://!ACAAlAA!&oLs=n?C99L0-
Llln (1976), p. v.
ArLlcles clLed here by 8ehar, Llln, Malcolm and neudecker provlde deLalls of Lhese sources. 8ehar (1990), p.
22f. shows a llsL of All 8ey's Luropean frlends.
Cf. hLLp:// ln Lhe
early 17Lh cenLury a surrogaLe war occurred beLween Cossacks who were nomlnally sub[ecL Lo Lhe ollsh-
LlLhuanlan CommonwealLh and 1aLars sub[ecL Lo Lhe CLLoman SulLan. Cenerally Lhe 1aLars were Lhe sLronger
parLy, buL Lhe ouLsklrLs of lsLanbul were aLLacked by Cossacks ln 1613 and agaln ln 1623, cf.
hLLp:// 1here were also 1aLar ralds lnLo ollsh LerrlLory ln 1624
and 1644: hLLp:// 1he ralders of Lhe early 1630s were
1aLars of Lhe 8ud[ak horde.
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>ommonwealth and the Tatar lands to the north of the Black Sea. 5f he was born in &4&1 #the
traditional though undocumented date$% he would have been a young man in his twenties
when he was taken prisoner. ;eudecker offers an alternative timeline% accepting that he was
a boy of &1 years old when he was captured in &4/6%
which would reLuire that his
birthdate be moved forward to the early &461s.
5t is hard to accept the contemporaneous account by Ali Beys friend% >lUs -alamb% that he
was captured during the Genetian !ar%
presumably the one fought in the Adriatic Sea in
&0/'(C1. This conflicts with the statement in one of the documents in the Thomas Smith
papers that he was captured Eby an incursion of the Tataress into Poland.F Since the writers
of both the Tatar and the Genetian versions of the story were acLuaintances of Ali Bey% it is
unclear why their stories would conflict.
Ali Beys skill in languages and his knowledge of !estern musical staff notation suggest that
he had had a good education in Lw\w. These facts also "ustify the conclusion that he was
probably captured not as a small boy but as teenager or young man.
Polish historians believe that Bobowski was from a noble Polish family% based on a statement
to this effect by Hyde and the fact that Bobow was a minor Polish county during this
5f Bobowski was a count or a member of a noble family it must be asked why he
was not ransomed and why he never mentioned his noble lineage in any of his writings.
Ali Bey Eserved for many years in the 5mperial household as a musician and trainee page%
but was #according to one early writer% >ornelio 7agni$ eventually epelled for
5ndeed% there is internal evidence in Ali Beys writings that he en"oyed his
wine. !hen he finished his draft of the Bible in Kecember &44C he wrote a note to !arner in
which he epresses hope of eternal reward for his work and that !arner will now treat him
to a good stiff drink #bonum $otum$. 5n his musical pieces he celebrates wine in the way the
neudecker (2003), p. 173f.
Cls 8alamb, ulotlom ooJet teso tlll koostootloopel, 1657-1658, ed. ChrlsLlan Callmer (SLockholm, 1963).
Pyde, op.clt., lranz 8ablnger, Wo[clech 8obowskl, lolskl 5lowolk 8loqtoflczoy 2: 13637 #Cracow, 1936), l.
Slarczynskl, Wladomosc o Woyclechu !axle z 8obowe[. czosoplsmo Nookoweqo kslqozbloto Ossollosklcb,
1 / 1, (Lww, 1828 ). neudecker (1996), p. 170, accepLs Lhls vlew, clLlng Schoeder's lnLroducLlon of 1739, cf.
Malcom (2007a), p. 331, n. 11, cf. Llln (1976), p. vl. 8oLh Malcolm and Llln clLe Ooooto Jl pl cotloso, e
voqo bo pototo toccotte cotoello Moqol oel ptlmo bleoolo Jo esso coosomoto lo vloqql, e Jlmote pet lo 1otcblo
(arma, 1679), pp. 300-302.
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Sufis sometimes did% including one piece entitled E>anticle to Bacchus%F the -oman god of

Ali Beys term of service as a slave in the TopkapJ Palace has been set variously at &=% 6&% or
Earound 61F years%
or% more to the point% Ealmost three prentiships%F
which means
almost three terms of seven years #see Appendi G on slavery and manumission in the
)ttoman tradition$. At this point he seems to have entered the service of a Turkish officer
whom he accompanied to *gypt. !hen he returned to 5stanbul #at least by &40'$ he was
freed from servitude% presumably by this Turkish officer.
Before his time in *gypt and while he was still a slave% he had been introduced to the
*nglish community in >onstantinople by 5saac Basire% who was chaplain to the *nglish
ambassador during the &401s. Basire had hired him to translate the Anglican catechism in
&40/. 5n his letter in the Thomas Smith papers% Ali Bey thanks Basire for introducing him to
Sir Thomas Bendish% who was *nglish ambassador from &4C' to &441% and who hired him as
a translator. Ali Bey also served Heneage +inch% Lord !inchilsea% ambassador from &446 to
&44C% and it was during this second period that Levinus !arner% the Kutch ambassador%
recruited him to translate the Bible. Ali Bey must not have been very busy in his other work
for Lord !inchilsea if he was able to finish both a draft and a revised translation of the Bible
in the four(year period &446(40.
Ali BeyRs relationship with the two ambassadors raises a Luestion. !ere Ali Bey and his
scribes paid by !arner% or did !inchelsea pay AliRs salary and second him to !arnerZ 5t has
been supposed that funding for the entire term of the Kutch pro"ect came from >omeniusR
benefactor% Laurens de ,eer% the merchant of Amsterdam. As discussed above% >omenius
and ,olius did not know that Ali Bey was the name of their translator until after !arnerRs
death% so how would de ,eer have designated funds for his salaryZ The loss of !arnerRs
papers probably means that these Luestions will never be answered.
At the beginning of the ,lasgow manuscript of Ali Beys translation of the Anglican
catechism #a diglot tet with Turkish and Latin in parallel columns$ there is a dedication to
neudecker (1994), p. 372, n.49.
8ehar (1990), p. 12, neudecker (2003), p. 176, (1996), p. 171, Schroeder says LwenLy full years (1739,
pages unnumbered).
neudecker (2003), p. 193, an anonymous documenL ln Lhe 1homas SmlLh papers.
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Sir Thomas Bendishs son.
This raises Luestions of chronology. *ither Ali Bey had a
friendship with young Bendish several years before he was hired by the ambassador% which
is usually dated to &40'% or this dating of the beginning of his employment at the embassy is
wrong. 5t is conceivable that Ali Beys work on the catechism ca. &40/% when the dedication
to young Bendisch was written% led immediately to his hiring by the ambassador. 5n this
case% Ali Beys &= years as a slave% including his time with the Turkish officer in *gypt% would
have to be fit into the period between &4/6 or &4/C% the most probable dates for his capture
by the Tatars% and &40/% when he translated the catechism.
$li Bey C Sirst Drago0anE
A firman #decree$ in the )ttoman archives for the year &44= shows that Ali Bey was paid for a
term of service to the )ttoman state% but his official position is not mentioned.
Hyde is the
source of the statement that Ali Bey rose to be Efirst dragomanF #chief translator$ to the
if this is so% it cannot have happened until after &4'1Dlong after his term of slavery
and at least five years after he finished the Bible translation. ;eudecker speculates
reasonably that Ali Beys desire to go to *ngland% which he epressed in his letter to Basire%
may have been foiled by an offer of a high position in the sultans service% since governments
generally try to prevent the defection of civil servants who would take too much information
with them. However% no evidence has surfaced from the )ttoman archives to confirm that
Ali Bey was ever first dragoman.
*lOin casts aspersions on the *uropean sources that claim this% noting that Ali Bey was later
dismissed from the sultans service for making translation errors and therefore could not
have risen to the honored position of first dragoman.
He concedes only that he might have
been second dragoman% for which he cites an )ttoman writer of the &'th century but fails to
provide a Luotation or full bibliographic data.
7alcolm bows to *lOins view that Ali Bey
ersonal correspondence from Pannah neudecker.
neudecker (1996), p. 171, clLlng Llln (1976), p. v.
Pyde's preface ln 8obovlus (1712 [1690]), op.clt., p. 103, neudecker (2003), p. 188.
Llln (1976), p. vl.
Llln, pp. v-vl. Pls reference seems lncompleLe: neztfeo noseylo, 1eoklb-l 1evtlb-l Molk, 8b-os sbl, 1083
A.P. (= 1672 C.L.).
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was second dragomanB whereas ;eudecker calls him first dragoman% following Hyde.
issue is how much credence should be given to Hyde on this point% especially since )ttoman
records show #according to *lOin$ that other men occupied the position of first dragoman
during the &4'1s.
$li BeyHs Saith
5t has been asserted that Ali Beys knowledge of the ,enevan Psalter proves that he was from
one of the Protestant communities in Lw\w.
The documentary basis for this claim goes
back to Hyde in &4=1% and it is true that >atholic Poland was tolerant of religious dissent in
this period% but Ali Bey never tells us in his own writings that he had been a Protestant.
Ali Bey set the Psalms to music toward the end of his life% after he had translated the Bible. 5t
is reasonable to speculate% therefore% that a copy of the ,enevan Psalter% from which he
adapted the tunes to the Turkish modal system% was given to him by one of his *uropean
friends during or after the Bible translation pro"ect. 5n KrabYks ehortation to >omenius% he
mentioned the translation of EPsalms and hymnsF as one of the means of appealing to the
So >omenius himself may have sent the ,enevan Psalter to Turkey% or !arner may
have take it with him when he took up his post in >onstantinople. )ther likely eplanations
being available% there is no need to presume that Bobowski knew this Protestant musical
tradition from his youth.
Some time after his capture Bobowski was circumcised
and converted to 5slam. This was
normal treatment for war captives and other slaves. 5t was sanctioned both in 5slamic
tradition and in the Bible% where we read that ,od commanded Abraham to circumcise all
men and boys in his household% including his slaves from other nations #,enesis &'$.
But did Ali Bey remain a closet >hristianZ 5n &4=1 Thomas Hyde wrote as follows in his
introduction to -e 'urcarum 5iturgia% a Latin work by Albertus Bobovius #Ali Bey$ on 5slamic
worship and religious customs?
Pyde's preface ln 8obovlus (1712 [1690] ), p. 103, Malcolm (2007a), p. 331.
u8L: hLLp://
Malcolm (2007b), p. 493.
1he only speclflc evldence for hls clrcumclslon ls an anonymous documenL ln Lhe 1homas SmlLh papers (ca.
1668), Lranscrlbed ln neudecker (2003), p. 193, cf. neudecker (1996), p. 171.
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5t is highly to be deplored% that he was prematurely snatched away by death before
he could return to the >hristian faith% which he intended to do wholeheartedly%
longing to be able to earn his bread in some honest way in *ngland among
>hristians and to be removed from the pressure of the infidel.

This longing is confirmed by Ali Beys letter to Basire in the Thomas Smith papers #dated
circa &44<$% where he pleads circumspectly for employment as a translator in the court of
Aing >harles 55. An anonymous note in the same collection tells us that Bobowski had made
EpromissesF HsicI to return to the church if work could be found for him in *ngland.
Apostasy from 5slam while he was living in Turkey could have resulted in the death penalty.
!e also have several obliLue statements of >hristian faith in Bobowskis own hand. At the
end of his draft manuscript of 7atthews ,ospel he wrote? E"attann ncili tamam oldu 1el(
mecd[l(illahi ebeden] #7atthews ,ospel is finished and glory be to ,od forever$. The same
note appears at the end of 7arks ,ospel with the addition of Edaimen ebeden am:n] #always
and forever amen$.
At the end of the ,ospel of @ohn he writes the date in Latin as EAnno
%alutis 6uman_ YeeuF #in the year of the salvation of humanity &44C$% which feels like a
strong statement of >hristian faith. EAni a $artu \irginis YeeeF #5n the year of the Girgins
offspring &444$ appears on the title page of his ^rammatica 'urcico(5atina. )n the basis of
these colophons ;eudecker notes that Ali Beys diligence in translating not only the Bible
but several other >hristian books is evidence of his personal Epreoccupation with

*lOin and Behar doubt that Ali Bey was anything but a complete and honorable 7uslim and
speculate hopefully that he made the pilgrimage to 7ecca. -umors of Ali Beys wish to
return to the church sound to *lOin like *uropean propaganda% created by his *uropean
friends to populari:e his writings or his legacy. *lOin cites several pages of 5slamic
sentiments in Ali Qfk9s musical treatise% "ecm,a(i %*) %)% including hints that he had Sufi
tendencies. Against this it must be said that Bobovius #Ali Beys$ description of the ha"" in -e
'urcarum 5iturgia is too detailed to be an eye(witness account% reading instead like a Latin
Pyde ln 8obovlus (1712 [1690]), p. 103f., Lhe Lngllsh LranslaLlon of Pyde's preface ls quoLed ln neudecker
(1994), p. 372, n. 49, cf. 8lggs (1940), p. 238.
neudecker (1996), p. 177.
1oprak, pp. 184 and 226, Lranscrlblng Cod. Cr. 390d.
neudecker (1994), p. 372, n.49, neudecker (1996), p. 176, n.38, Lranscrlblng Cod. Cr. 390d, follo 116a.
1oprak's LranscrlpLlon of Lhe same manuscrlpL omlLs Lhls colophon aL Lhe end of !ohn.
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translation of an 5slamic guide book for pilgrims. 5t does not feel like a travel diary% lacking
lively images of scenes in 7ecca that an eyewitness would have been eager to record. An
investigation into the sources of his description of 7ecca would be a valuable contribution
to his biography.
*lOin weakens his argument with the sentiment that nobody would ever want to leave
beautiful 5stanbul and move to *ngland D a mirror image of the special pleading which he
deplores in *uropeans. 7ore to the point% Behar notes that Ali Beys last *uropean friends%
@ohn >ovell and Antoine ,alland% do not mention his intention to move to *ngland or leave
5slam in their reflections on him after his death.
5n the scenario deduced by ;eudecker
from the Thomas Smith papers% Ali Bey would have abandoned any thought of leaving
Turkey when his plea to Basire in *ngland was not answered. !hen he then achieved a
position in the sultans service as a free man% he would have had no further worldly
motivation to return to >hristianity.
The sentiment epressed in the introduction to the Aklamal !utsal !ita$ of 61&1 that Ali
Bey was Ea 7uslim in name with a >hristian heartF
has a long history going back to Hyde.
5t may be true but it lacks nuanceDwhat we actually know from the historical record is more
limited. Ali Beys writings reveal that the Bible and >hristian writings engaged his interest%
and he wrote in a note to !arner when he completed his draft Bible translation that his
work had been Efor love not laborF #amor non labor fuit$.
So we know that Ali Bey did not
share the opinion of most 7uslims that the Bible is a corrupted and therefore dangerous
5slam engaged his interest as well% as epressed in the Turkish musical tradition% and he tried
to translate the vocabulary of the Bible in ways 7uslims would understand% e2g2 he often
used the word nama) to translate EprayerF% but this was edited out by Aieffer. )n the one
hand% the fourteen psalms of Ali Beys "e)amir are highly contetuali:ed in an 5slamic
theological framework. )n the other hand% the way he noted the dates when he completed
several books of the ;ew Testament seem to be affirmations of >hristian faith.
8ehar (1990), p. 43.
Atklomolt kotsol kltop (Akl1, 2009), page x. 1hls senLlmenL ls found also ln Cooper (1901).
neudecker (1994), p. 372.
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Anything we presume to know about Ali Beys spiritual life must come from a careful
eamination of his Bible translation and other writings. Both 7uslims and >hristians will do
well to observe this rule.
$ !u00ary of the Writings of $li Bey, a.k.a. $l*ertus Bo*ovius
After he gained his freedom% Ali Bey made his living as a translator and writer% paid or
encouraged by >hristian scholars from *urope. He was a prolific writer% translating religious
works and writing linguistic and musical books of his own. His translation of the Anglican
catechism at the behest of 5saac Basire has been mentioned above. His ^rammatica 'urcia(
5atina has been studied by ;eudecker as a source on &'th(century )ttoman Turkish.
Latin essay on 7uslim ritual life% -e 'urcarum 5iturgia% was printed in *nglish in &'&6 with a
collection of articles on 7uslim customs by other authors.
His essay about life in the
TopkapJ% which was printed in three *uropean languages during the &'th century% has
recently appeared in Turkish translation.
5t is an important historical source because it
describes and maps the palace before the E,reat Harem +ireF of &440 destroyed its old
structures. His transcriptions of )ttoman music were unpublished until a Turkish edition by
*lOin in &='4 of his "ecmua(i %a) %)
#instrumental and vocal works$ opened the door on
Ali Qfk9s place in musical history.
A new study by Behar of a further musical work
appeared in 611=.
Ali Beys Psalms #"e)amir$% discussed above% are evidence that his
musical and religious interests converged toward the end of his life.

neudecker (1996), ms. ln Lhe 8odlelan, Cxford, ms Pyde 43, LLhe, col. 1232. no. (199) 2237.
8obovlus (1712), op.clt.
SLephanos ?eraslmos and Annle 8erLhler, 1opkopt 5otoytoJo o,om. Albettos 8obovlos yo Jo 5oototl All ufkl
8eylo Aotlott. 3rd prlnLlng (lsLanbul: klLap ?ayinevl, 2009 ), pp. 12-22. 1rans. Cem 8erkLay from 1opkopl.
kelotloo Jo 5toll Jo CtooJ 5elqoeot (Arles, 1999), see especlally Lhe lnLroducLlon: Sunu;: 8lr loglanin
Anilari, pp. 9-22.
ManuscrlpLs of Lhe Mecmo-l 5z o 5oz are preserved ln Lhe 8rlLlsh Museum, London (Sloane CollecLlon, no.
3114) and Lhe 8lblloLheque naLlonale, arls.
5ukru Llln, (1976), op.clt., 'All ufki', 1otk AoslklopeJlsl (Ankara, 1943-),cllL 32, s. 483-483, 1urguL kuL, All
ufki 8eyAlberL 8obowskl, lslom AoslklopeJlsl, cllL ll, s. 436-437, u8L: hLLp://, WalLer
leldman, Moslc of tbe otly Ottomoo coott (8erlln: verlag fur WlssenschafL und 8lldung, 1996), Marvln !.
Ward, CLLoman classlcs, u8L: hLLp://[uly/CLLomanClasslcs.hLml.
Cem 8ehar, 5oklt Mecmoo, All ufki 8lbllotbpoe Notlooole ue ltooce'tokl (1otc 292) ozmost (lsLanbul: ?api
kredl ?ayinlar, 2008)
lor a summary llsL of hls wrlLlngs see 8ehar (1990), p. 33, for an annoLaLed blbllography see neudecker
(1996), pp. 171-178.
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)he Death of $li Bey
Ali Beys death is usually dated ca. &4'0% though &4'' may be more accurate? Behar has
offered arguments that would set the date of death more precisely.
*cept for a trip to
*gypt% he had lived in 5stanbul since he was a young man% so he was probably buried there%
but no gravestone has yet been found. !e do not know whether he ever married.
A few years later the )ttoman army was defeated by the Holy League of the >atholic
powers at the Battle of Gienna #&4</$. At that point the curtain came down on >alvino(
Turkism D that fanciful pu::le of the spiritual unification of Turks and Protestants% in which
Ali Beys translation of the Bible was one of the pieces. Ali Bey did not live to see the Polish
army of Aing @an 555 Sobieski make the >atholic victory at Gienna possible. +ifty years earlier
it had been the military weakness of the Polish(Lithuanian >ommonwealth that had allowed
Tatar raiders to cross its borders on slave raids. They carried off a gifted young Polish
musician and linguist to the 5stanbul slave market% thus contributing unawares to the
Turkish translation of the Bible.
8ehar (1990), pp. 41-43.
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A22345I6 9( TH3 OTTO)A4 8A93 T/A53 in the C34T7/;
Because Ali Bey was a slave it is sometimes said that he was a victim of the de1irme. This
was a levy on >hristian families in )ttoman lands% whose boys were taken to 5stanbul to be
trained from childhood for the sultans service% especially for the )ttoman army% the 9eni
eri #@anissaries$. Bobowski% however% was a native of the Polish(Lithuanian >ommonwealth%
outside )ttoman territory% and he was probably already a young man% not a boy% when he
was captured. The correct term for his status is esir #Tatar <as&r% from the same Arabic root$%
meaning human war booty. Such captives were held for ransom or sold into slavery. The
sultans agents freLuented the slave markets% looking for galley slaves for the )ttoman navy.
;ow and then they found special cases like !o"ciech Bobowski% though in his case it has
been deduced that he was bought first by another 7uslim family in 5stanbul and only later
sold to the sultan.
Tatar raids took hundreds of thousands of Slavic and >ircassian men and women% boys and
girls% during the &4th and &'th centuries and brought them to the slave market in Aaffa on
the >rimean Peninsula. This was the famous Ewhite slave trade.F *stimates on the high side
run to one million Poles plus two million -ussians and Qkrainians% with 61%111 per year as a
reliable estimate from contemporary sources in the &'th century.
Slave(raiding was a
strong sector of the >rimean economy% with 5stanbul its primary market to the south? '1 of
Black Sea slaves were sent on to 5stanbul. The effect on -ussia was devastating. Qnable to
prevent the raids% the c:ar started collecting a ta in &00& to ransom -ussians from Tatar
captivity and later instituted a regulated system in &4C=. A higher price was paid for nobles
than for peasants. Poland% however% had no such system.
The 5talians had dominated the Black Sea transit route for slaves from the time of the +ourth
>rusade? in &61C the ,enoese established their first trading colonies in the >rimea. After the
)ttoman conLuest of >onstantinople the Turks epelled the ,enoese% authori:ed the
>rimean Tatars as the )ttoman forward line in the slave business% and set up ,reeks%
Armenians and @ews as middle men in Aaffa and other Black Sea ports. The 5stanbul slave
Llzo MaLsukl, 1he Crlmean 1aLars and Lhelr 8usslan-CapLlve Slaves: An AspecL of MuscovlLe-Crlmean
8elaLlons ln Lhe 16Lh and 17Lh CenLurles, p. 172ff. u8L: hLLp://www.econ.hlL-[p/areasLd/medlLerranean/mw/pdf/18/10.pdf.
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market was operated by @ews eclusively.
5n other words% 7uslims were both the
beneficiaries and the military wing of the slave trade% but the )ttoman dhimmi peoples% i2e2
the >hristians and @ews% were its businessmen. 5n &4C< a +rench officer visited Aaffa and
5n the city there are not many H7uslimI Tatars% there live chiefly >hristians who
keep in their hands many slaves which have been purchased from the Tatars% who
had plundered and sei:ed them in Poland or in 7uscovy. This city has twelve
,reek churches% thirty(two Armenian churches% and a >atholic churchB St. Peters.
5n the city there are probably five or si thousand households% but we find here
over /1%111 slaves.F
The Turkish historian Halil 3nalcJk has shown that
a constant influ of human labor #slaves$ as military men% craftsmen and domestic
laborers% was indispensable for the society of the )ttoman *mpire HwhoseI
growing imperial structure needed ever more officials% and each of them was an
eager buyer Hof slavesI for his entourage.

The )ttoman navy depended on large numbers of Slavic slaves for their galley ships where
mortality was very highB so Ali Bey was a lucky slave% as these things go. !hen shipping
turned to sails and then to steam% galley ships went out of fashion and demand for slaves
declined. This economic factor was the death knell of the Tatar raids. The numbers of slaves
in Turkey dwindled in the &=th century% though slavery was never made illegal in the
)ttoman *mpire.

Ali Bey was not the only )ttoman slave who earned a name for himself. )ther famous
products of the Black Sea trade included the "amluks/ or slave warriors. The most successful
of these were the slaves who populated the army of the Ayubbid dynasty% being trained from
boyhood in *gypt much as the -e1irme boys were in 5stanbul. The 7amluks eventually
took over *gypt and ruled it as sultans for 601 years. Kuring this time only slaves had access
to power in *gypt D a paradoical social structure. The 7amluks were defeated by the
MaLsukl, p. 180.
MaLsukl, p. 178.
P. lnalcik, Servlce Labor ln Lhe CLLoman Lmplre, ln 1be Motool ffects of tbe lslomlc ooJ IoJeo-cbtlstloo
wotlJs. 1be ost otopeoo lottetos, ed. Abraham Ascher, 1lbor Palasl-kun, and 8ela k. klraly (new ?ork:
Columbla unlverslLy ress, 1979), pp. 38-39, quoLed ln MaLsukl, p. 176.
?. Pakan Lrdem, 5lovety lo tbe Ottomoo mplte ooJ lts uemlse, 1800-1909 (London: algrave Macmlllan,
1996), OsmooltJo kolelllo 5ooo, 1800-1909, Lrans. 8ahar 1irnaki (lsLanbul: klLap ?ayinevl, 2004).
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)ttomans and their sultanate came to an end in &0&'% but they continued as *gyptian feudal
lords under )ttoman rule until the &=th century.
5n 5slamic societies a slave was not always condemned to slavery for life% because the slave
owner earned both spiritual merit #Ar. sa*b/ TN. se1a$$ and social honor by freeing a slave.
Slaves trained for the sultans service might be freed after a term of seven years or re(
enrolled for additional terms. !e know that Ali Bey served #almostZ$ three terms of seven
years% or Ethree prenticeships.F
Slave women in the sultans service were sometimes
married off to )ttoman officers or civil servantsB so it is said that >ircassian girls vied for the
honor of being taken as slaves into the sultans harem% knowing that they might later become
ladies of standing as free wives of wealthy Turkish men.

)r at least such stories were common tropes among the )ttoman elite. This noble side of
)ttoman slavery tends to be romantici:ed in Turkish historical accounts as a way of painting
slavery with the brush of kindness and to distinguish it from the chattel slavery of the
American sugar and cotton plantations. The brutal slavery of the galley fleets goes
unmentioned in such accountsB indeed% a full(page spread on )ttoman slavery in the
conservative newspaper 'ak1im #0 ;ovember 61&6% p. &C$ summari:ed the work of Turkish
historians on such topics as the generous salaries of the women of the Sultans harem% their
daily allowance of cinammon used as a deodorant% and the meritorious manumission of
slaves% but did not mention slavery in the )ttoman galleys.
Believers will feel that it was ,ods providence that enslavement was the means by which
!o"ciech Bobowski became Ali Bey% a bicultural person with deep eperience of Turkish and
5slamic culture. 5t was also 5slamic law on slavery that made his manumission possible after
nineteen years. 5ndeed% he was freed "ust in time for his career to merge with the vision of
>omenius D another victim of oppression and eile D to produce a Turkish translation of
the Bible.
Ali Bey does not complain about slavery in his writings% perhaps because it would have been
impolitic to do so. As a privileged esir% a court musician and accomplished tercman/ he had
been dressed in fine clothing and lived on the grounds of the sultans palaces in 5stanbul and
neudecker (2003), p. 193, an anonymous documenL ln Lhe 1homas SmlLh papers.
1be lmpetlol notem of tbe 5oltoos. uolly llfe ot tbe ttooo poloce Jotloq tbe 19tb ceototy. Memolts of leylo
(5oz) nootmefeoJl (lsLanbul: Pll ?ayin, 1999), LranslaLed by Landon 1homas from Lhe lrench, le notem
lmptlole (Calman-Levy, 1923), chapLer 3.
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*dirne. 5t is notable that% when Ali Bey was freed% he did not return to Poland but lived on
productively for another twenty years in 5stanbulDthe crown "ewel of *uropean cities in the
seventeenth century. Among his contributions to )ttoman culture during these years of
freedom was his Turkish Bible% the fountain from which every subseLuent translation has
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