London: [Printed in Leipzig for] The British and Foreign Bible Society, 1895. First Edition. 8vo. 421 pp. Original green cloth embossed in black and blind, gilt lettering in Persian on front cover (some foxing and age toning, minor water-staining on the edges and endpapers, endpapers with old annotations in Ottoman inside front cover, bookseller's stamp on rear endleaf, lower hinge cracked; binding stained, worn and shaken). A rough-looking but complete copy, priced accordingly. Preserved in a fitted cloth protective case. Fair. Item #3891
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST TRANSLATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT FROM THE GREEK INTO MODERN PERSIAN: THE ROBERT BRUCE TRANSLATION, "THE VERSION BY WHICH ALL LATER RENDITIONS ARE JUDGED."
Published by the British and Foreign Bible Society, the text builds upon the 1845/6 translation of the New Testament by Mirza Sayyed Ali Khan / Henry Martyn, which was published with the Old Testament in a single volume (likewise by the British and Foreign Bible Society). This was the first complete Christian Bible to be published in Persian. However:
"After some years it was recognized that changes in the Persian language required a revision of the 1845 Bible. With the help of others, Robert Bruce, a missionary and representative of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Iran, spent 20 years on this project. The revised New Testament was published in 1882, and further revisions of the whole Bible was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in Leipzig in 1895. The so-called 'Bruce translation' is still the standard Bible translation in Persian, and it is the version by which all later renditions are judged." (Encyclopedia Iranica, Persian Translations of the Bible, online).
As stated, Bruce's translation of the New Testament first appeared in 1882, but it was deemed necessary to revise it further. Portions of Bruce's translation into modern Persian appeared in 1893 (Pentateuch) and 1894 (Joshua to II Chronicles). Finally, in 1895, Bruce's further revised translation of the New Testament (the present edition) was issued, appearing independently from a one-volume edition of the complete Bible. Darlow and Moule (7358) state: "The Old Testament practically represents a new translation and the New Testament is a fresh revision."
Robert Bruce (1833-1915) was an Irish born CMS Missionary, active in Persia from 1869-1893. He was a Lecturer in Persian at University College London (1895-6), vicar at Durham (1896) and Rector of Little Dean Gloucester (1903). His Bible translation work was carried out with assistance of others including, for example, Karapet Ohaness from Julfa (Persia).