Bible Translation into Malayalam

December 3, 2019 Author:

The great dream of translating Bible into Malayalam was undertaken by the members of the Manjummel Province.  The maiden attempt for translation was begun in 1894.  The four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles were the first books to be translated into Malayalam.  In the beginning of 1895 the first gospel was being printed at I.S. Press in Varapuzha.  While printing of the Gospel of Luke was under process, the press was shifted to Ernakulam and it came to the attention of the Archbishop Bernard.  Being the Scriptures’ translation, he desired that it be scrutinized and published without any error.  He ordered that the translation copy  be sent to the then existing the Ordinaries and Vicariates of Thrissur, Changanassery and Ernakulam.  This unexpected order created unnecessary delay in the publishing of the translations of the Bible and eventually came to stand still. However, when the Archbishop changed his residency from Varapuzha to  Manjummel, he allowed the Fathers to continue the printing of the Bible.  Thus in 1896 four Gospels with commentary was printed in the IS press Ernakulam and published.  Later, the Acts of the Apostles in 1905 and the Book of Revelation in 1926 were printed in IS Press Ernakulam and published.  Veritably, it was a revolutionary contribution to the Catholics of Kerala, as it was time in which most of the Catholic families did not possess a Bible in their houses.