Y. D. Tiwari

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Y. D. Tiwari
Born 1911
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Died 1997
Shillong, Meghalaya

Mother: Rajkunwar

Father: Pandit Hari Govind Tiwari
Church Methodist
Ordained 1947
Offices held

Lecturer in Sanskrit & Philosophy of Religions


  • Christ Prem Seva Ashram, Pune
Title Reverend
Data as of November 2008

Yisu Das Tiwari (1911–1997) was an Indian theologian[1] and a leading participant in Hindu-Christian dialogue.[2]

He was a scholar in Sanskrit, Hindi and Greek. The Bible Society of India[3] entrusted him with revision of the Hindi Bible (New Testament) into a contemporary version.[4]


Yisu Das Tiwari was born Badri Prasad Tiwari into a Vaishnavite family in Agra in 1911 to Smt. Rajkunwar and Pandit Hari Govind Tiwari.[5] As a growing youth, Tiwari was influenced by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj and Swami Rama Tirtha.[5]

It was during his college days, that he came under the influence of Canon Holland, E. Stanley Jones, C. F. Andrews and others. After a reading of the Gospel according to Saint John, he took keen interest in the studies of the Bible and devotional writings of Christian mystics.[5] Jesus Christ became his Ishta deva.[5] However, his newfound faith did not go well with his family members who sent him for internment to a mental asylum.[5]

Tiwari however became a Christian and chose to be baptised in January 1935[4] under the aegis of the Baptist Missionary Society.

He later joined Mahatma Gandhi's Ashram in Wardha and began to follow Gandhi's teachings. He swore to uphold Satya and began to wear khadi clothes.

Simultaneously, Tiwari began growing in his new-found faith in Jesus Christ and chose to become a priest. He was ordained by the Baptist Missionary Society.[5]


Translation of Scriptures[edit]

It was William Carey who first brought out the Hindi Bible[6]

In the latter half of the twentieth century, the Bible Society of India took upon the task of translating the existing versions of the Bible into contemporary versions. As early as 1956, the Hindi Common Language Translation Panel headed by Y. D. Tiwari came out with the Gospel according to Mark.[7] In due course of time, the other books of the New Testament were also translated from the original Greek into Hindi.

Translations (year-wise)

  • 1956, Gospel according to Mark in Hindi.[8]
  • 1958, Epistle to the Philippians in Hindi.[9]
  • 1959, Gospel according to John in Hindi.[10]
  • 1961, Gospel according to St John in Hindi.[11]
  • 1962, Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles in Hindi.[12]
  • 1967, New Testament in Hindi.[13]


Tiwari began his career as a teacher in schools - Mission School, Kotgarh, Shimla, and Baptist Mission School, Agra, where he was the Head Master, before finally stepping onto the portals of seminaries.[5] He first taught at the North India United Theological College in Bareilly,[5] Uttar Pradesh before he moved to Serampore College, Serampore, West Bengal. He was Lecturer in Sanskrit and Philosophy of Religions at the Serampore College from 1963[14]:87 to 1972.[14]:91 Notable among his students[15] were D. S. Satyaranjan, Paulose Mar Paulose,[16] G. Babu Rao and others.

Rev. Tiwari later taught at the Bishop's College, Kolkata from the academic year 1972-1973 onwards.[17]


... Tiwari shunned violence. He was a 'sadhu' indeed. This doesn't mean that Yesudas was a coward or one who could not endure pain and suffering. He would endure anything in his body and mind and never cause pain to others. Being a bystander or witness to violence like a sadist, was not part of his nature. Being a 'sadhu', he was full of love and compassion. It was difficult for anyone to pick a fight with Tiwari. He was willing to lend a helping hand to others at all times.

... He inculcated in students a respect for other religious experiences. Through his life, he taught that we can be disciples of Jesus without discarding any of our ancestral cultural traits. He was a typical Indian Christian, whose life proclaimed that Christianity is not a foreign religion. He was a person who kept constant contact with the people of other religious faiths; a person who was all for dialogue in practice. He had deep knowledge in Hindu Sanskrit religious texts, but would impart that knowledge to another person only if he found that person fit to receive.


Baptist World Alliance[edit]

In the year 1955, Tiwari gave a talk on "We Preach Christ the Crucified Saviour" in London during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Baptist World Alliance.[18]

Senate of Serampore College (University)[edit]

India's first university,[19] the Senate of Serampore College (University) in West Bengal conferred upon him a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa in the year 1995.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hugh McLeod (Ed.), The Cambridge History of Christianity - World Christianities c.1914 - c.2000, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006. Page 507. [1]
  2. ^ Anthapurusha, The Hindu Response in Dialogue initiated by Christians, an unpublished Bachelor of Divinity thesis submitted to the Senate of Serampore College through Bishop's College in 1987. Cited by Harold Coward (Ed.), Hindu-Christian dialogue: Perspectives and Encounters, Motilal Banarasidass, New Delhi, 1993. p. 123. Prof. Horold Coward is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, Alberta. [2]
  3. ^ John Stirling Morley Hooper, Bible Translation in India, Pakistan and Ceylon: Pakistan and Ceylon, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1963. Page 57. [3]
  4. ^ a b See Matthew N. Schmalz's biographical note on Yisu Das Tiwari in Roy Palmer Domenico, Mark Y. Hanley (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Politics, Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, Connecticut, 2006, p.563. [4]
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ravi Tiwari, Christ-bhakta Yesu Das, Dharma Deepika: A South Asian Journal of Missiological Research, Mylapore Institute of Indigenous Studies, Chennai, 2002. [5]
  6. ^ Christopher Arangaden, Carey's Legacy of Bible Translation in J. T. K. Daniel, Roger E. Hedlund (Eds.), Carey's Obligation and India's Renaissance, Council of Serampore College, Serampore, 2005 (First published 1993), p. 181.
  7. ^ Y. D. Tiwari, Gospel according to Mark in Hindi, Lucknow Publishing House, 1956. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  9. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?id=2lwiGwAACAAJ&dq=yisu+das+tiwari&lr=[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Gospel according to John in Hindi. Bible Society of India and Ceylon. 1959. 
  11. ^ Gospel according to St John in Hindi. Bible Society of India. 1970. 
  12. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?id=tJksHQAACAAJ&dq=yisu+das+tiwari[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?id=M0VSHQAACAAJ&dq=yisu+das+tiwari[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ a b The Council of Serampore College, The Story of Serampore and its College, Fourth Edition 2005, Serampore.
  15. ^ Cf. Wikipedia article on D. S. Satyaranjan and Andhra Christian Theological College. Satyaranjan, Babu Rao and Paulose Mar Paulose studied together at Serampore College during the tenure of Prof. Tiwari. Paulose Mar Paulose, Ph.D. (Princeton) became an advocate of humanism and later Bishop of the Chaldean Syrian Church. Satyaranjan became the Registrar of the University from 1978-2004 while Babu Rao began his adventure in Old Testament studies. Also see The Story of Serampore and its College.
  16. ^ Paulose Mar Paulose, Encounter in Humanization: Insights for Christian-Marxist Dialogue and Cooperation, Christava Sahitya Samithi, Thiruvalla, 2000. [6]
  17. ^ Bishop's College History. From the Web Site. Internet, accessed 11 November 2008. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2008. 
  18. ^ Arnold Theodore Ohrn, Baptist World Alliance, Golden Jubilee Congress (9th World Congress) London, 16–22 July 1955, Published by Carey Kingsgate Press, London, 1955. pp. 286, 340 & 364.
  19. ^ Sankar Ray, The William Carey Library in Serampore, Business Line, The Hindu, Friday 11 April 2008. Internet, accessed 17 October 2008. [7]
  20. ^ Cf. Wikipedia article on Senate of Serampore College (University) - List of recipients of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa.

Further reading[edit]