Gujerati Version of the Scriptures

Gujerati Version Of The Scriptures The Gujerati takes its name from Gujerat, a district of. the Punjab in India, and the principal province in which it is spoken, and is said by the Serampore missionaries to be the vernacular of a territory equal in point of extent to England. On account of its wide diffusion it has been appropriately designated "the grand mercantile language of foreign Indian marts." The Serampore missionaries were the first to undertake a Gujerati version of the Scriptures. In 1807 they commenced printing the gospel of Matthew, but the work was given up. In 1813 it was resumed, and in 1820 the New Test., in Gujerati characters instead of the Sanscrit, was completed. The prosecution of this version was, however, resigned about this period by the Serampore missionaries to the agents of the London Missionary Society stationed at Surat. The Reverend Messrs. Skinner and Fyvie, of the London Missionary Society, published their version of the New Test. in 1821, at Surat. Shortly after the publication of the New Test. Mr. Skinner died, and the translation of the Old Test. was now carried onh by Mr. Fyvie, and in 1823 it was completed at press. Other editions, in a revised state, rapidly followed as the demand increased. Another version of the New Test. was made by the Reverend Messrs. Clarkson and Flower, and an edition of two thousand copies was issued from the press. But it was subsequently resolved to publish an edition of the New Test. according to the old translation of the Surat edition, subject to such slight changes as might be deemed necessary. This edition was completed at the Bombay press in 1853. Meanwhile, preparations for a revised edition of the entire Gujerati Scriptures were in active progress under the care of the Bombay Auxiliary Society, and an edition of the New Test., according to this improved version, was completed at the mission-press in Sitrat in 1856. The Old Test. was completed in 1861. Besides these two editions, the Serampore New Test. and the Surat version, in 1860; a new edition of the Gujerati New Test., for the special use of the Parsees, was announced. It was carried through the press in Bombay, in Parsee characters, by the Reverend Dunjeebhoy Nowrojee, and published in 1862. In this edition the religious terms are those technically used in religious Parsee literature. Of the latter edition up to March 31, 1884, two thousand two hundred and forty-nine portions of Scripture were disposed of. See Bible of Every

Land, page 123. There exist several grammars for the study of this language: Munshi, The Student's Companion in the Acquisition of a Practical Knowledge of English and Gujerati Grammar and Idioms (Ahmedabad, 1869); Shapurji Edalji, A Grammar of the Gujerati Language (Bombay, 1867); Taylor, A Grammar of the Gujerati Language (ibid. 1868). (B.P.)

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