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JULY 6, 2023

Book of Matthew Released in Mingrelian

Book of Matthew Released in Mingrelian

On June 30, 2023, Brother Joni Shalamberidze, a member of the Georgia Branch Committee, released The Bible—The Good News According to Matthew in the Mingrelian language. It is the first Bible book published in the language. The Bible book was released to the 627 in attendance at the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Regional Convention held at the Assembly Hall in Zugdidi, Georgia. It was made available in both printed and electronic formats.

Mingrelian is used primarily by those living in the Samegrelo region of western Georgia. In 2019, Jehovah’s Witnesses established a remote translation office in Zugdidi.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are among the few organizations that have published written material in the Mingrelian language. “Because Mingrelian is mostly a spoken language, there are no common grammar and spelling standards,” explained one translator. “That was our biggest challenge. The decision was made to follow the rules of Georgian grammar while paying careful attention to the way Mingrelian is spoken.”

The Mingrelian remote translation office in Zugdidi, Georgia

Additionally, some words used in the Bible have no direct equivalent in Mingrelian. For example, there is no word for “repentance.” Therefore, translators expressed this concept as “sorrow over wrongdoing.”

We rejoice with our Mingrelian-speaking brothers and sisters as they use this new translation to assist more people who are “hungering and thirsting for righteousness.”—Matthew 5:6.