The Four Gospels in Abkhaz Translated from Russian, by Zaira Kiazimovna Khiba

Edited against the Greek by [B.] George Hewitt

Some time between 1977 and 1979 Boris Arapović of the Institute for Bible Translation, then based in Stockholm, contacted Zaira, who had arrived in the UK from the USSR in January 1977, to see if she would be interested in translating initially the Gospel According to St. John and subsequently the remaining three Gospels into Abkhaz from Russian. She agreed. As Zaira did/does not type, I had to sit with her in order to type her translations on the specially adapted Olympia typewriter supplied by the Institute. Only one of her Gospels was ever officially published (viz. that of St. John, which came out anonymously during the Soviet period in 1981; it was later reprinted).

Following the appearance of Mushni Lasuria’s privately published Abkhaz translation of the whole New Testament in 2004, the Institute developed an interest in re-issuing it under their imprimatur but, as Mushni (like Zaira) had used Russian as his source, wanted someone with a knowledge of both Greek and Abkhaz to review the translation, and I was asked if I would undertake the task. I agreed to edit the Gospels alone. I was provided with the technical means to read, and attach editorial comments to, the translation using a special programme (Paratext) that allowed anyone with access-privileges to view them as soon as they were posted. However, I decided that I would not limit my editing process just to Mushni’s translation. Simultaneously I re-typed, and worked on, all four of Zaira’s translations on a second computer. The results of that editing process are presented below, along with the other text commissioned by the Institute from Zaira, namely a ‘Life of Jesus’ — Zaira’s remaining biblical translation (a ‘Children’s Bible’) has already been posted.

George Hewitt

The full text in PDF can be downloaded by clicking here

 

See also:

The Lord’s Prayer in Abkhaz: A Comparison of Three Published Versions

A “Children’s Bible” in Abkhaz, Translated from Russian by Zaira Khiba