Karass (or Turkish-tartar) Version of the Scriptures
Karass (or Turkish-Tartar) Version Of The Scriptures The version generally denominated the Karass is so called because a town of that name, on the borders of the Caspian Sea, was the place of its publication. It has also been improperly termed the Nogay version, on account of its having been found intelligible to the Nogais, a tribe of Tartars dwelling on the banks of the Kouban and Kouma, in the steppes to the northward of Mount Caucasus. A more correct designation for this version is, that of Turkish-Tartar, because it consists principally of words that belong in common to the Turks and Tartars. It exhibits the Turkish language in a comparatively pure state, and corresponds in style and language with such books as arecirculated among the Tartars in the south of Russia, and is therefore intelligible to all the different Tartar hordes scattered through that extensive region.
The first version of the Scriptures written in this plain, unadorned Turkish style was that published at Oxford in 1666. The translation was made by William Seaman, formerly chaplain to an English ambassador at the Porte. This version, not being free from faults, was used by Mr. Brunton, Scottish missionary at Karass, as the basis for a new translation, for which he was eminently fitted on account of his thorough knowledge of the language. In 1807 he published the gospel of Matthew. He completed the translation of the New Test., and died while it was carried through the press. After his death the sheets were corrected by Mr. Frazer, and the edition was completed in 1813. In 1815 another edition of this translation was published, with a few emendations and an introduction by Mr. Dickson, one of the Scottish missionaries, who also undertook a translation of the Old Test. about the same time. The Psalms were completed and published at Astrakhan in 1815, and a second edition in 1818. The Pentateuch was published in 1878. Other books of the Old Test. were translated, but not printed. From the annual report of the British and Foreign Bible Society for 1883, we learn that Mr. Saleman is examining the text of the New Test. with a view to a new edition, the previous edition having been exhausted. From the report of 1884 we learn that the revision of the New Test. having been completed, the Bible Society's committee have decided to print a new edition, and that the reviser is now engaged in examining certain MS. translations of the Old Test., handed over by the National Bible Society of Scotland to the British Society. See Bible of Every Land, page 347. (B.P.)