Hinduwi Version of the Scriptures

Hinduwi Version Of The Scriptures Hinduwi (called Hindi by the Serampore translators), with its various dialects, is spoken in all the upper provinces of India. Its affinity to the Sanscrit is very remarkable, and about nine tenths of its words may be traced to that language. In idiom and construction Hinduwi resembles Hindustani; the chief difference between the two dialects consists in this, that while Persian and Arabic words and phrases predominate in Hindustani, the Hinduwi is entirely free from foreign admixture, and the proper mode of writing it is in the Devanagari or regular Sanscrit characters. Beside these, the Kythi, or Kaithi, or writer's character, an imperfect imitation, and in some respects an alteration, of the Devanagari, is also used in writing and printing Hindiuwi, particularly by the trading community, and it is said that of the lower class of natives there are ten who read and write in the Kythi for one who transacts business il the Devanagari.

A version into the Hinduwi language was commenced in 1802, and in 1807 the whole of the New and part, of the Old Test. were completed and ready for revision. It is one of the versions made by the late Dr. Carey. In 1811

the New Test. was published at Serampore, followed in 1813 by a second edition. A third was soon needed, and the Serampore missionaries determined to publish the version executed by the Reverend John Chamberlain. In 1819 the gospels in the Devanagari character were published, and in the following year another edition appeared in the Kaithi character. The further publication of this version was interrupted by the death of Mr. Chamberlain, and the Reverend J.T. Thompson, a Baptist missionary, long resident at Delhi, then undertook the revision of the New Test. and of the Psalms, and under his superintendence the gospels were printed in 1824. The Old Test., in Dr. Carey's translation, appeared in 1818. From time to time new editions were published in both characters by the Serampore missionary societies, each edition having been subjected to a careful revision.

There also exists another Hinduwi version of the entire Bible, known as the Bowley translation, so called from its author, the Reverend William Bowley, for many years missionary at Benares. His New Test. was completed in 1826, but the version is not a new or independent translation, but is throughout substantially the same as Martyn's Hindustani version, from which it differs chiefly in the substitution of Sanscrit for Persian and Arabic terms. Martyn's Testament was thus adapted to the use of persons speaking the Hinduwi dialect, by Mr. Bowley, agent of the Church Missionary Society at Chunar. Being unacquainted with the original languages of Scripture, he consulted the English A.V. in all passages where the Hinduwi idiom required him to alter Martyn's renderings, referring at the same time to the best commentators on Scripture. In the same manner he undertook the transference of the Hindustani version of the Old Test. into the Hinduwi dialect, following in his translation of Isaiah the one made by bishop Lowth. The idiom of the version was excellent. After all, it was felt that a revision for the purpose of conforming his version to the originals, and correcting the misapprehension of Old English idiom, was exceedingly desirable. After the formation of the North India Bible Society in 1845, this matter was taken in hand, and a revision of the New Test. undertaken. The committee consisted of Messrs. Leupoldt, Kennedy, and Schneider, and the work was carried through the press at Secundra, under the superintendence of Mr. Schneider, in 1850 and 1851. These copies of the New Test. were destroyed during the mutiny in 1857. The Reverend J. Ullmann was then sent to England to bring out a new edition, which included a revision, and the whole was completed in 1860. Soon after the revision of the New Test. a committee, consisting of Messrs. Schneider, Leupoldt, Kennedy, and Owen, was appointed to revise the Old Test. This was brought out in two volumes at the Allahabad Mission Press in 1852 and 1855. These copies, too, were destroyed in the mutiny, and another revised edition was completed under the superintendence of the former editor; of this the first volume was issued in 1866, and the second in the beginning of 1869. At present the Hinduiwi version is undergoing a thorough revision. See Bible of Every Land, page 100.

Linguistic Helps. — For the study of the language, see Garcin de Tassy, Rudiments de la Langue Hindoui (Paris, 1847); Bate, A Dictionary of the Hindee Language; Browne, A Hindi Primer (London, 1822); Etherington, The Student's Grammar of the Hindi Language (Benares, 1873); Kellog, A Grammar of the Hindi Language, in which are treated the standard Hindi, Braj, and the Eastern Hindi of the Ramayan of Tulsi Das; also the Colloquial Dialects of Marwar, Kumaon, Avadh, Baghelkhand, Bhojpur, etc., with Copious Philological Notes; Mathuraprasda Misra, A Trilingual Dictionary, being a Comprehensive Lexicon in English, Urdu, and Hindi, exhibiting the Syllabication, Pronunciation, sand Etymology of. English Words, with their Explanation in English and in Urdu and Hindi, in the Roman Character (Benares, 1865). (B.P.)

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