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Christianstvo i persidskaya knizhnost’ XIII-XVIII vv. [Christianity and the Persian Manuscript Tradition in the 13–17th centuries, in Russian]. St Petersburg, 2004 (163 pp.).
Messina G. Diatessaron persiano. I. Introduzione. II. Testo e Traduzione. Roma, 1951.
At one time there was a larger corpus of Persian Christian materials. In Middle Persian there were some psalms, translations from Syriac Christian authors (including Abraham of Nathpar and Abraham of Kashkar, both translated by Job the Persian), a liturgy (mentioned by John of Dalyatha in a letter), and a law-book by Ishobokht of Rewardashir apparently composed in Persian, but which only survives in Syriac translation. In Sogdian some has survived, including parts of the Psalms and New Testament, some saints' lives, and some monastic literature, an overview of which is provided at the end of Baum & Winkler, The Church of the East: A Concise History (London, 2003), 168-170. Dr. Pritula's excellent work only concerns materials translated into neo-Persian, that is, Persian written in (modified) Arabic script. Of this, if I remember correctly (it has been a while since I've looked at this!), almost all that survives from before the Jesuit missions c.1600 is biblical, althoug
h more was at one time written in Persian, for example the lost original travel account of Rabban Sauma's trip to Europe, which the editor/translator mentioned at the end of the account of Rabban Sauma's voyage in the Syriac "History of Mar Yahballaha and of Rabban Sauma" (edited by Bedjan, translated into English by Budge, recently re-edited by Pier Giorgio Borbone).
For my own reference, and possible future use, I am keeping a list of known (including lost) works in Christian Persian, so if others know of additional works I am very happy to hear of them!
The old biblical texts arose in various historic periods. Except for some parts of the books of Ezra and Daniel, composed in Aramaic, all these texts are written in Hebrew.
Identification of Persian elements in the Bible is difficult because: (1) mobody knows just what was “Persian” when the biblical books were being written. (2) many things then “Persian” were also elements of other cultures.
1. Middle Iranian translations. 4th century. Statement by John Chrysostom (Homily on John) that doctrines of Christ had been translated into the languages of the Persians. 5th century. Statement by Theodoret (Graecarum affectionum curatio IX.936) that Persians regarded the Gospels as divine revelation. ...
The only extant Middle Persian Bible version is represented by fragments of a translation of the Psalms found at the ruin of the Nestorian monastery at Bulayïq near Turfan.
The following manuscripts containing biblical texts in Sogdian have been made known. None of them survives in anything like complete form, and some are mere fragments.
Judeo-Persian or Jewish-Persian is the common designation for, Persian written with Hebrew characters. Among the earliest and most important Judeo-Persian texts are the Bible translations.
The Pentateuch, the books of the prophets, and the writings (Heb. ketūbīm), including the Psalms, from the Hebrew scriptures, collectively known as the Old Testament, and the Gospels and other writings in Greek, collectively known as the New Testament, have all been translated into Persian.
John Leyden, a gifted Scottish linguist and poet who went to Calcutta in 1803 as a surgeon’s assistant for the East India Company and subsequently became a professor at the College of Fort William, was involved in translating the Gospels into a number of languages, including both Pashto and Baluchi.