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Bible Translation Project

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New Persian Bible Translation

‘The translation has made the old clothes new… all the verses have become so beautiful.’

Iranian Christian man


‘This new translation is very clear and easy to understand’.

New Iranian Christian


‘The translation is very sweet. It uses today’s Persian, but also keeps the meaning. Your work has wiped my eyes so I can see better.’

Iranian Christian lady

In the early 1990s, Elam's senior leaders realised that for the church in Iran to be properly equipped to grow in strength and depth, there was an urgent need for a modern standard version of the Bible in Persian.  The old translation of the Bible was over 100 years old and was very difficult for modern Iranians to understand. A tranlsation was needed that could be understood and rigourously studied, and that would speak to people’s hearts. With 60% of Iran’s 70 million population under the age of 21, the need for a modern translation was becoming even more evident.

To meet the need for a new standard Persian Bible, Elam Ministries began the ‘Michaelian Project’ at the end of 1995. The project was named after Tateos Michaelian, a prominent Iranian Church leader who was martyred in 1994. Michaelian had been Iran’s foremost Christian translator, translating 60 Christian books into Persian. He had agreed to play a leading role in the translation project before he was tragically killed.

Three key objectives were set for the new translation: Accuracy, Clarity and Elegance.

A milestone was reached in July 2003 when the New Testament was launched.  The Michaelian Project was completed in September 2014, when the whole bible was launched at a dedication service in London, which was attended by Christian leaders from over forty nations.

Old Standard Version

As an interim measure until the whole Bible was completed, Elam Ministries re-typeset and printed the whole of the old standard Persian Bible which was translated in the 1800’s. Punctuation marks, section headings, a glossary for difficult words, and cross references were put in for the first time.