Works like this were the lifeblood of a subtle and very clever propaganda campaign that sought to convert Orthodox Christians in the Balkans and Anatolia to Protestantism. It is important to remember that Christian proselytizing to Muslims was specifically illegal in the Ottoman Empire (an while this still occurred on a very limited basis, it was risky and seldom effective), thus the main objective of the American Protestant missionaries in the lands of the Sublime Porte, as well as in the newly independent as Bulgaria, was to show ‘wayward’ Christians the ‘right way’ to worship.
Books such as this present here were often accompanied by offering access to high quality education and social services support as part of integrated campaign to welcome locals ‘into the fold’. Robert College, founded by American missionaries in 1863 in Istanbul was their crowning achievement, as it was responsible for educating an amazing number of future elites of the southeastern Balkans and Turkey. While the missionaries never succeeded in mass conversion, they did ensure that small but highly influential Protestant communities developed in Turkey and Bulgaria.
The Bible was printed by Agob Boyacıyan, a leading Armenian printer of Christian material in various language, sponsored by American missionaries. Boyacıyan printed over 20 editions of the pocket Bible in Ottoman between 1875 and 1920.