Gospels of Matthew and John, in Mongolian
[Gospel of Matthew in Mongolian].
St. Petersburg: [Russian Bible Society], 1819. (BRB1147/A)
[Bound with:] [Gospel of John in Mongolian].
St. Petersburg: [Russian Bible Society], 1819. (BRB1147/B)
The exhibited Gospels of Matthew and John were the first editions of the Christian scriptures to be published in Literary Mongolian. These translations were initiated by Isaak Jacob Schmidt (1779–1847), a noted linguist and Moravian missionary employed by Czar Alexander I of Russia. Shortly after 1815 two Mongolian nobles from the Lake Baikal region, Badma and Nomtu, were sent to St. Petersburg to translate the New Testament into Literary Mongolian under Schmidt’s supervision. Their translation of the Gospel of Matthew was published first in 1819, followed by the Gospel of John (1819), the Acts of the Apostles (1820), and the Gospels of Luke and Mark (1821). Bridwell Library’s copies of the Gospels of Matthew and John were bound together by the publisher, the Russian Bible Society, the insignia of which is stamped on the front cover.