Turkey, Armenia and Lithuania are three countries which today seem to have very little in common.
However, as with so many parts of the world, these places are in dire need of sound and accurate editions of the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make their inhabitants ‘wise unto salvation’ (2 Timothy 3:15).
The Trinitarian Bible Society has therefore been pleased recently to publish the Turkish Gospel of John, the Armenian Gospel of John, and the Lithuanian Gospel of Mark — with the prayer that the Lord will bless their distribution to the various peoples of these nations.
The Turkish Gospel of John was begun nearly a decade ago, and has survived earthquakes, and the death from cancer of the translator’s wife, to reach the hands of God’s people in Turkey and Cyprus, as well as the Muslim majority of these countries.
Believers from as far away as Hong Kong have looked forward to the completion of this Gospel, particularly at a time in history when the influence of Islam is proving such a challenge, both to Christian believers and the world generally.
Close at hand is Armenia, which had the distinction of being the first officially Christian nation in the world — having professed the true religion in the early 4th century AD.
The Bible was translated into Armenian in the 5th century. However, as with many countries, official Christianity in Armenia in the 20th century often lacks the foundation of truth.
Thus, a project has been undertaken to revise the ancient Bible into modern, Eastern Armenian (the language spoken by the majority of Armenian people).
The society’s recently published Gospel of John in this language is a prelude to the entire New Testament — which is nearing completion.
The demise of the Soviet Union has opened up a vast field for the Scriptures, and many indigenous people in nations freed from communist influence now yearn for Bibles.
In predominantly Roman Catholic Lithuania, the society has worked to provide faithfully translated Scriptures in various forms.
Greetings cards and bookmarks displaying various Scripture passages, and posters declaring God’s Ten Commandments, have now been joined by the Gospel of Mark as a witness to the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is with thanksgiving to God that these gospel portions are now being distributed. We would invite the prayers of God’s people for the continuation of this translation work — and that God’s Word will not return to him void, but will accomplish what he pleases, in these lands and throughout the world (Isaiah 55:11).