Bibles in Asian Languages


[Urdu Gospel of Matthew].
Illuminated manuscript written in ink on paper. [Pakistan: early 19th century]. (BRMS 157)

The first translations of the scriptures into Asian languages were initiated by Jesuit and Dutch missionaries of the seventeenth century. By the nineteenth century, a period of extensive European colonization in the region, Christian missionaries were especially prolific publishers of Asian vernacular Bible translations. This section of the exhibition includes Bible translations into twelve languages representing China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bengal, Nepal, and Burma. Seven of the translations were produced at the Mission Press in Serampore, India.

Also exhibited in the galleries:

[Bengali New Testament]. [Serampore: Mission Press, 1813].

[Oriya Pentateuch]. [Serampore: Mission Press, 1814].

[Panjabi Old Testament (Historical Books)]. [Serampore: Mission Press, 1819].

[Nepali New Testament]. The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments, translated from the originals into the Nepala language. Serampore: Mission Press, 1821.

[Marathi (Konkani) Pentateuch]. [Serampore: Mission Press, 1821].

[Telugu Pentateuch]. [Serampore: Mission Press, 1821].

[Sanskrit Gospels and Acts]. The Four Gospels with the Acts of the Apostles, in Sanscrit. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, for the Bible Translation Society and the American and Foreign Bible Society, 1847.

[Sinhala Gospels and Acts]. The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Gospels and Acts. Translated into Singhalese. Colombo [Sri Lanka]: The Wesleyan Mission Press, 1870.

[Burmese Bible]. The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments: translated into the Burmese from the original tongues. Rangoon: American Baptist Missionary Union, 1891.

Bibles in Asian Languages