Thursday, 20 October 2011

300th anniversary of Tamil New Testament (1711)

Title page of the first part of the Tamil New Testament, printed in Tranquebar in 1714. The revised text is based on the first complete translation of the Tamil New Testament in 1711. 
The 1711 manuscript inscribed on palm leaves in kept in the Royal Library, Copenhagen.
This year sees the Three Hundredth anniversary of the translation of the New Testament into Tamil. To mark this event Daniel Jeyeraj, Professor of World Christianity at Liverpool Hope University, will present a paper examining the Hindu religious traditions, Tamil cultural habits and linguistic factors that influenced the translation of the New Testament into Tamil in 1711. He writes: 

The first Lutheran Pietist missionaries to Tranquebar, India believed that each person should be able to read and understand God's Word in their mother tongue and their love for the Tamil people enabled them to engage in a co-operative endeavour. They learned and borrowed a great deal of translated bible passages from the Jesuits. In their report to European readers they denied this fact. However an examination of their Tamil translation betrays how much they depended on the previous works of the Jesuits. Again the missionaries were unwilling to openly acknowledge the linguistic help rendered to them by Tamil Lutheran converts. 

5.30 pm, Tuesday, 1st November. Venue: Room ST273, Stewart House, 2nd floor. Stewart House is part of the Senate House complex, London WC1. It is most conveniently entered from Russell Square. For map see
All Welcome
Rosemary Seton, Christian Missions in Global History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, Email:

No comments: