J A Shurman ~ Bible Translator ("Benares Version")

The whole Bible in Hindustani Roman Character

Before November 1839 | Letter | J A Shurman, Benares Mission, Uttar Pradesh, North India to the Editor of the Calcutta Christian Observer.

Announcement to the Calcutta Christian Observer of the decision of the missionaries of different denominations at Benáras to publish a joint bible translation into Urdu.

The whole Bible in Hindustani Roman Character
To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer

Dear Sirs I feel great pleasure in informing you, and through you the Christian Public of India, that the Banáas Missionaries of different denominations had a meeting yesterday evening, when it was resolved to publish a Hindústáni Bible in the English letters in one neat vol. 8vo. The Rev Messrs Wilkinson of Gorakhpur, Smith, Buyers, Leupolt, and Shurman of Banaras, have already engaged in the translation. The Rev. Messrs. Bowley of Chunár, Mather of Mirzápúr, the American Missionaries at Allahabad, Saharanpúr, Ludiana and others, will likewise be invited to assist in this most important work, in order that Missionaries of all denominations and Societies may feel interested in the translation and use it in their schools and Churches.
It is well known that some years ago the Missionaries at Banarás could not agree in translating the New Testament so as to satisfy all parties; it is hoped that before the Old Testament has passed through the press they will have exchanged and adjusted their various opinions on some points so fur as to be able to get up a translation of the New Testament, likewise, in which all parties will acquiesce. If this should not be the case, the Old Testament only will be published for the present. May the spirit of wisdom, love and forbearance be abundantly poured out upon the translators of God's holy word!
All persons who have long wished for a Hindústáni Bible in one neat volume 8vo, are now earnestly requested to inform the Banáras Missionaries, as soon as possible, how many copies they want for their respective stations, in order that it may be ascertained how large an edition will be required. For Banáras alone one thousand copies are wanted. It is expected that an edition of many thousand copies will be subscribed for.
When it has been ascertained how large au edition of i whole Hindustani Bible in one vol 8vo is required we intend to request the Calcutta Bible Society to publish it for us; but if the Committee should think "better to follow in the beaten track of ages," -- better to expend enormous sums upon huge volumes of parts of the scriptures in the letters of Persia, than to patronise a whole Hindustani Bible in owe vol 8vo in the letters of Old England and all Christendom, then must they act according to the dictates of their own consciences; but a Hindustani Bible in English letters we must have.
If they will not listen to our representations, we must immediately publish such an edition ourselves. We do not say this to offend the Committee of the Calcutta Bible Society, for which excellent Institution we entertain the highest respect, but simply to inform our friends in every part of India plainly and fully that a whole Hindustani Bible in one vol 8vo will be published at any rate. This, I am sure, will be good news to many.
How different would Indian society at present be if the English conquerors had from the beginning introduced their language and their letters! But we may do it now. The Church Missionaries at Banáras will soon have under their charge about 300 orphans; the London Society's Missionaries about 100. We find it very difficult to provide them with useful school books in the English letters, but how difficult would it be to provide them with books in the letters of Persia? To prevent, however, all misunderstanding, I beg leave to say that we teach all children to read and write both the Persian and Dewanágarí letters.
Yours &c JAS


Published in:
The Calcutta Christian Observer. CHRISTIAN MINISTERS OF VARIOUS DENOMINATIONS. No 78, November 1838. Page(s): 635-636.

Online: Google Books. Viewed: 8.1.2015.

For reference:

Administrator. J A Shurman ~ Bible Translator ("Benares Version") :: Before 11.1839, in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2020.
(Created: 13.01.2015. Last updated: 23.03.2016.)
Direct URL: <www.grweb.org/cpo-pirltawardli/en/detail.php?rubric=other_ShurmanJA_BibleTranslator&nr=645>. Viewed 13.07.2020.