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The page is for further information about the CrossWire beta module FarOPV.

It is proposed that FarOPV be moved to CrossWire main, and FarsiOPV be moved to CrossWire Attic.

Historical background to the Farsi Old Persian Version of the Bible

Henry Martyn's translation of the NT was published at Petropoli in 1815, with the Latin title,

Novum Testamentum ... e Græca in Persicam linguam a viro reverendo Henrico Martyno translatum, etc.

The following year 1816 it was published at Calcutta, with the English title,

The New Testament ...translated from the original Greek into Persian ... by Henry Martyn, with the assistance of Meerza Sueyid Ulee, of Sheeraz.

The OT was translated by a Scotsman called William Glen and published in 1845.

Together with Henry Martyn's NT, this was edited by Duncan Forbes, and published in 1856, with the Western Farsi title,

Kitab al-muqaddas ... [Bible translated into Persian]

Republished 1876 by the British & Foreign Bible Society.

Robert Bruce's revision was published in 1895. It is this that became known as the Farsi OPV (Old Persian Version).

This was republished thereafter in several editions. Example, by B&FBS in 1901,

Kitāb-i Muqqaddis y'anī kutub-i 'ahd-i 'atīq va 'ahd-i jadīd ...
[The Old and New Testaments in Persian. Reproduced by photography from the edition of 1895.]

Differences between Bruce's revision and the 1876 version

Whereas Henry Martyn's NT was based on the Textus Receptus, Bruce's revision was based on an eclectic Greek text, though not one of the well-known nineteenth century editions. Though he leaned towards using the TR in most readings, occasionally he made a different choice of Greek text for some verses. He omitted at least one entire verse, e.g. John 5:4 "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." (KJV)

Provenance of the current digitized text used for the CrossWire module

From the FarOPV.conf file, About:

This translation of the Holy Bible is originally based upon Henry Martyn's translation of the Bible in Persian. After repeated updates it was finally published in the current form in 1896 and again, with new headlines in 1996 and subsequently by Elam Ministries with new headings and cross references. These headlines are not included in this version. It is currently in use within most Iranian and Afghani churches under the name "Tarjumeh-ye Ghadeem" or "Old Translation". It is famous for its literary quality and faithfulness to the original texts. Its original copyright holder, the Iranian Bible Society has been dissolved by force by the Iranian post-revolutionary government in 1990. In all likelihood this text is now public domain simply due to its age, but we ask you to respect the International Bible Society's request to use this text only in non-commercial ways until full clarity on its legal status has been obtained. If you do wish to use this text in any way beyond the scope of its current licence you must seek appropriate advice.


  1. The headlines (section titles) referred to above are also in module FarsiOPV, and are still present in FarOPV, therefore the sentence, "These headlines are not included in this version." should be deleted from the About property.
  2. The digitization initially lacked the whole of 1 Chronicles. This has been restored in the module FarOPV version 1.5.1 now in the main repository. This obsoletes the module FarsiOPV in the main CrossWire repo. The latter has been since moved to the "attic" repository.

Differences between the current digitized text and Bruce's 1895 revision

  • Some verses are missing entirely or their text is misplaced. (q.v.)
  • Other versification issues - the OPV has on 6 occasions (at the end of certain chapters) one verse more than the KJV. osis2mod forces these verse references to be adjusted.
  • Quotation marks have been added in the digital version. There were none in the printed OPV (1895 revision).
  • Glyph spacing is incorrect in several places.

Missing or misplaced verses

Output from Sword utility emptyvss,

Genesis 15:21
Genesis 21:34
I Samuel 8:22
II Samuel 24:25
Job 35:1
Job 40:1
Psalms 72:20
Psalms 94:23
Isaiah 45:25
Ezekiel 6:14
Ezekiel 25:5
Daniel 5:31
Matthew 2:23
Matthew 9:38
John 5:47
John 7:53
Romans 16:27
Philippians 1:30
I John 3:24


  1. Many of these references have "chapter end" locations, yet clearly the two omissions from the book of Job are different!
  2. David Haslam is researching which of these might be remedied, and which are merely due to versification differences.
  3. This list is much smaller than the equivalent list for module FarsiOPV, see below, so there has been a significant improvement.
Genesis 15:21
Genesis 21:34
Genesis 50:26
Exodus 40:38
Leviticus 27:34
Numbers 36:13
Deuteronomy 34:12
Joshua 24:33
Judges 21:25
Ruth 4:22
I Samuel 8:22
I Samuel 31:13
II Samuel 24:24-25
I Kings 22:53
II Kings 25:30
I Chronicles (the whole book)
Ezra 10:44
Nehemiah 13:31
Esther 10:3
Job 42:17
Psalms 72:20
Psalms 94:23
Psalms 150:6
Proverbs 31:31
Ecclesiastes 12:14
Song of Solomon 8:14
Isaiah 45:25
Isaiah 66:24
Jeremiah 52:34
Lamentations 5:22
Ezekiel 6:14
Ezekiel 25:5
Ezekiel 48:35
Daniel 5:31
Daniel 12:13
Hosea 14:9
Joel 3:21
Amos 9:15
Obadiah 1:21
Jonah 4:11
Micah 7:20
Nahum 3:19
Habakkuk 3:19
Zephaniah 3:20
Haggai 2:23
Zechariah 14:21
Malachi 4:6
Matthew 2:23
Matthew 9:38
Matthew 28:20
Mark 16:20
Luke 24:53
John 5:47
John 7:53
John 21:25
Acts 28:31
Romans 16:26-27
I Corinthians 16:24
II Corinthians 13:14
Galatians 6:18
Ephesians 6:24
Philippians 1:30
Philippians 4:23
Colossians 4:18
I Thessalonians 5:28
II Thessalonians 3:18
I Timothy 6:21
II Timothy 4:22
Titus 3:15
Philemon 1:25
Hebrews 13:25
James 5:20
I Peter 5:14
II Peter 3:18
I John 3:24
I John 5:21
II John 1:13
III John 1:14
Jude 1:25
Revelation of John 22:21

Other activity

Pooyan Mehrshahi has an ongoing project Revision of the Standard Persian Bible (1895) to prepare a throroughly checked and revised edition of the Old Persian Version. This would eventually be published by the Trinitarian Bible Society.