The Bible: The Essence of Tarkmantchatz

October is designated as Cultural Month in the Armenian calendar to celebrate the invention and impact of the Armenian alphabet by Saint Mesrob Mashdots. The Armenians read his name in the Canon of the Mass and celebrate his memory on February 19. The invention of the alphabet in 406AD proved a powerful factor in the building and preserving of the national spirit, strengthening the Armenian Church and ultimately the bond among all Armenians.
The first monument of the invention of the alphabet was the translation of the Bible from the original Greek into Armenian which was completed about 434. Many of the modern linguists consider the translation of the Bible into Armenian an almost perfect match and have coined it the "Queen of Translations".
The first verse that St. Mesrob translated was the opening line from Solomon’s Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament: “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding”.
His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of Cilicia declared the year 2009 as the Year of the Youth. In line with the Cultural Month and the 2009 Year of the Youth, Mr. Hrayr and Dr. Arda Jebejian initiated the gift/donation of 100 Children and Youth Bibles to the Armenian Prelacy of Cyprus to be distributed to the Nareg schools in Cyprus and to the Sunday School in Nicosia run by the Prelacy. The two editions of the Bible stories are adapted into a simple language and enriched with drawings to make them accessible and attractive to children and youth. The Bibles were officially handed to His Eminence, Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian, Catholicosal Vicar in Cyprus.
On Monday, October 12, 2009, Mr. Hrayr Jebejian, accompanied by Father Momik Habeshian, the parish priest of Sourp Asdvatsatsin in Nicosia, presented the Children’s Bible to one of the elementary classes in Nareg, Nicosia. Through a brief, interactive time with the students, Mr. Jebejian highlighted the
significance of Tarkmanchats and then explained how the Children’s Bible was written, designed, and printed in such a way that it made God’s Word easily accessible and attractive to the young generation. As the Children’s Bible comprises of 365 stories, Mr. Jebejian encouraged the young children to read a
story a day and complete the reading of the whole Book in one year.
The Children and the Youth Bibles are both produced by the Bible Society in Lebanon in collaboration with the Armenian Catholicossate of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon. The Bible Societies are international Christian publishing organizations that have 145 offices worldwide and operate in more than 200 countries. The Bible Societies are interconfessional organizations that work with all the different churches and denominations, including the Armenian churches.
Mr. Hrayr Jebejian is the General Secretary of the Bible Society in the Arabian Gulf (BSG). Currently, the management office of the BSG is based in Nicosia, Cyprus. Dr. Arda Jebejian is a linguist and the author of 19 books. Currently, she lectures at the School of Humanities, Law and Social Sciences in the University of
Nicosia. Dr. Jebejian is the author of the Armenian Children’s Bible.