Bible translations into Hindi and Urdu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The modern Hindi language and Urdu language are mutually intelligible in colloquial form, but use different scripts when written, and have mutually unintelligible literary forms. The history of Bible translations into Hindi and Urdu is closely linked, with the early translators of "Hindustani" simply producing the same version with different fonts.

The first translation of part of the Bible in Hindi, Genesis, was made in manuscript by Benjamin Schultze (1689-1760),[1] a German Missionary, who arrived in India to establish an English mission in 1726 and worked on completing Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg's Bible translations into Tamil and then Bible translations into Telugu.[2] His translation of parts of Genesis was published in Halle in 1745 along with a grammar of the local Hindi language he had encountered in Madras.


As with Bible translations into Bengali (his own work), and into Oriya, Sanskrit, Marathi, and Assamese (with the aid of local scholars) an important early stage of the Hindi Bible rests with the work of William Carey in Serampore.[3] Though this had to be revised by John Parsons of Monghyr.[4] Carey attracted also the interest of Henry Martyn, later of Persia, to Hindi.[5] Presbyterian Samuel H. Kellogg who taught at the seminary in Allahabad[6] headed three translators working on translation of the Old Testament into Hindi, including William Hooper, of the Church Missionary Society, and Joseph Arthur Lambert.[7] Kellogg's Hindi Grammar (1876, 1893) is still consulted today.[8] However, 18 years after Kellogg's death in 1899, Edwin Greaves of the London Missionary Society, and author of a Grammar of Modern Hindi (1896, 1908, 1921), in 1917 signalled his concerns about the adequacy of Hindi Bible translations in his Report on Protestant Hindi Christian literature.[9]

In collaboration with Church centric bible translation, Free Bibles India has published a Hindi translation online.

In 2016, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released by Jehovah's Witnesses as a complete Bible translation in Hindi.[10] This replaced the earlier partial translation comprising only the New Testament.[11] The full Bible was published online (also offline in PDF format) with mobile versions released through JW Library application in App stores.


The Bible was first published in the Urdu language in 1843, though the New Testament was published by Benjamin Shultze of the Danish Mission in 1745.[12] Robert Cotton Mather printed new editions at Mirzapur in 1870.[13]

Revisions were published in 1989, 1998 and 2005. The Bible is written in Nastaʿlīq script but was also available in Roman Urdu script from the Bible Society of India until the 1960s. In 2004 the Bible was made available online, but in PDF or image format only, due to the difficulties of typesetting the Nastaʿlīq script. In 2009 a Unicode version was made available beginning with the New Testament. The complete Bible online in Unicode is also available.[14] International Bible Society also published New Urdu Version of Bible, this version is based on New International Version of Bible.

In collaboration with Church centric bible translation, Free Bibles India has published an Urdu translation online.

In 2015, the New Testament of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released in Urdu (Arabic script) by Jehovah's Witnesses.[15] It was published online (also in offline PDF format) with mobile versions released through JW Library application in App stores.


Translation John 3:16
Hindi Bible online [16] क्योंकि परमेश्वर ने जगत से ऐसा प्रेम रखा कि उस ने अपना एकलौता पुत्र दे दिया, ताकि जो कोई उस पर विश्वास करे, वह नाश न हो, परन्तु अनन्त जीवन पाए।
Urdu Bible online [17] ہاں! خدا نے دنیا سے محبت رکھی ہے اسی لئے اس نے اسکو اپنا بیٹا دیاہے ۔ خدا نے اپنا بیٹا دیا تا کہ ہر آدمی جو اس پر ایمان لا ئے جو کھوتا نہیں مگر ہمیشہ کی زندگی پاتا ہے ۔


  1. ^ Gerald H. Anderson Biographical dictionary of Christian missions
  2. ^ Herald of library science Volume 11 Sarada Ranganathan Endowment for Library Science - 1972 "In 1773, Ferguson's Hindoostani dictionary was published from London. According to Dr L.S. Varshaney, the first translation of the Bible in Hindi appeared in 1725 which was translated by Schultze."
  3. ^ George Kurian The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, 4 Volume Set - 2011 - Page 378 "With the aid of Indian pandits, Carey translated the entire Bible into six Indian languages – Bengali, Oriya, Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, and Assamese – and parts of it into 29 other languages.
  4. ^ Bihar district gazetteers: Volume 7; Volume 7 1957 "Carey at Serampur had translated the whole of Bible in Hindi by the end of 1819. Carey's translation, however, was rather heavy and had to be re-done which John Parsons was supposed to have done."
  5. ^ Indian church history review Volumes 27-32 Church History Association of India - 1993 "... the first of its kind in India, the Corresponding Committee ceased to exist, its responsibilities passing to the Calcutta ... brilliant, frail Cambridge scholar, Henry Martyn fired by the vision of translating the Bible into Hindi, Persian and Urdu crossed his path Carey presented him with a copy of his translation of the New Testament into
  6. ^ Mal Couch, Russell Penney An introduction to classical evangelical hemeneutics 2000 Page 118 "Kellogg taught at the seminary in Allahabad and completed a monumental grammar on the Hindi language in 1875"
  7. ^ Mal Couch Dictionary of Premillennial Theology 1997 Page 228 "Kellogg's final task in India was to head a triad of translators of the Old Testament into Hindi. "So highly did his colleagues regard his knowledge of the Bible and Indie philology that after his death they asked for no successor, ."
  8. ^ Jeffrey Cox Imperial fault lines: Christianity and colonial power in India 2002- Page 57 "Their Presbyterian colleague Samuel Kellogg's Hindi Grammar (1876, 1893) is still consulted today."
  9. ^ Tej K. Bhatia A History of the Hindi Grammatical Tradition 1987 Page 163 "48 Two, because of Greaves's serious concerns about the adequacy of existing translations of the Bible into Hindi, utmost attention is paid to the problems of translating English into Hindi. The most important and urgent problem was..
  10. ^ "WatchTower publications", Watchtower publications Index (1986-2016)
  11. ^ "WatchTower publications", Watchtower publications Index (1986-2009)
  12. ^ "Urdu Bible Translation". Bible Society of India. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  13. ^ British and Foreign Bible Society (1871). Reports of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Society. p. 228. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Unicode of Urdu Version". Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  15. ^ "WatchTower publications", Watchtower publications Index (1986-2016)
  16. ^ Word Project
  17. ^ Urdu Bible Online

Hindi Versions[edit]

Urdu Versions[edit]