Uriya (or Orissa) Version

Uriya (or Orissa) Version Uriya, the vernacular dialect of Orissa (q.v.), is a tolerably pure dialect of the Sanskrit, possessing some Persian and Arabic terms, borrowed through the medium of the Hindustani, with others of doubtful origin. It is closely connected with Bengali, but greatly differing in pronunciation, for an effeminate style of articulation is prevalent in Bengal, while the inhabitants of Orissa have a broad and almost rustic accent. The Uriya has also a written character peculiar to itself.

The first version of the Scriptures in this dialect was commenced by the Semaphore missionaries in 1803, and an edition consisting of one thousand copies of the New Test. was printed in 1811. The first edition of the Old Test., also consisting of one thousand copies, was printed in 1819. The New Test. was soon exhausted, and a second edition of four thousand copies left the press in 1822, in the same year in which a mission by the General Baptist Society was established at Cuttack, the capital of Orissa. In 1832 a second edition of the Old Test. left the press, together with a separate edition of the Psalms. In 1838 the Rev. Messrs. Sutton and Noyes undertook a new version of the Scriptures in Uriya. Dr. Sutton commenced with the book of Genesis, and when the translation was completed he carried on both the printing and binding at Cuttack. An edition of the Old Test. he completed for the Bible Society in 1844. In 1854.an edition of two thousand copies of the Gospel of St. Luke, from Dr. Sutton's version, was issued from the Cuttack press at the instance of the Bible Society. In the Report for 1863 we read that the New Test.: has been revised, but the Old Test. has been reprinted as before. Whether Dr. Sutton completed his version or not we are unable to state. The only notice we find again concerning the Uriya version since.1863 is the statement made in the Annual Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society for the year. 1873 that "the Rev. Dr. Buckley has completed the printing of a revised version of the Old Test. at the society's expense." From the Report for the year 1889 we see that up to March 31, 1889, the British and Foreign Bible Society had disposed of 4000 Bibles and Old Tests., 34,000 copies of portions of the Old Test., and 2000 copies of portions of the New Test., or altogether of 40,000 copies, in part or in whole, of the Uriya version. (B.P.)

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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