Honouring Mesrop: a translation legacy

By Deb Fox


Have you ever heard of Mesrop Mashtots? It might sound like an obscure name but this linguist, monk, song writer and theologian helped preserve Armenian culture and language by creating the Armenian alphabet around 400AD.
Mesrop (also written as Mesrob) Mashtots was an Armenian court secretary with a natural aptitude for interpreting. Despite the favour he received from the king, he left the comforts of the palace to join a monastery and begin preaching.
Mesrop discovered that many people were not following God’s Word as it was not available in a language they could clearly understand. This set him on a path of creating an alphabet so he could translate the Bible into words the people could all understand.
With the support and financial backing of the king and other church leaders, he developed a 36 character alphabet and early translations that led to a full Bible eventually being completed in Armenian. The new script and recording of language also helped to strengthen the country’s sense of national pride in their language and identity. Mashtots wrote and shared a number of hymns in Armenian and led hundreds of people throughout Armenia to Christ.
Mesrop Mashtots passed away on 19 February 441AD. This day is recognised as a day to celebrate Mesrop’s influence on faith, literature and culture.


Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2022, February 13). St Mesrop Mashtots. Encyclopedia Britannica.
Graves, D. (2019) Armenians Celebrate Mesrob Who Preserved Their Culture in Writing.
Christian History Institute


Image by Ani Adigyozalyan
Monastery at Odzun, Armenia

Thanks for your patience...

Waiting is hard, isn't it. But imagine waiting 2000 years for Scripture in your language! Thanks for your patience. And thanks for your generous support which will help bring the long wait to an end...