Monday, May 13, 2013

Turkish censors of Armenian Bible, remove the tale of Joseph "out of consideration for Mrs. Potiphar," in 1893

This fascinating article is from the NY Herald, 1893. It must be noted - since not everyone reads to the end - that on protest by the British, the Grand Vizier reversed the order.


  1. Presumably the Joseph narrative picked up again with him in prison, for no apparent reason. If this "reformed" Bible had been allowed to stand, imagine what kind of Armenian midrashim would have sprung up to fill in the gap. They might have even guessed at the truth.

  2. Pardon me, but this sounds highly dubious given that the story of Joseph and the wife of Potiphar is very well known to Muslims through the Qur'an (under the names Yûsuf and Zulaykha), is a major motif of sufi speculation on mystical love (like in Sa'adi's Bustan) and figures prominently in Ottoman and Persian iconography (notably Behzâd's work).
    Methinks it's just a spoof.

  3. Strange. Why revise only Armenian scriptures? Why not any bible - primarily Jewish - which, as we know, was quite rampant then? This leads to believe that it was nothing really that offensive but another attack on the people as the Turks (still under Ottoman rule then) had much animosity towards the Armenians. They could have simply have been looking to tchepeh them.



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