Marathi readers who are curious about Christianity and the Bible finally have a text they can turn to. Father Francis D’Britto, has written a 1,200-page adaptation of the Bible in Marathi. This is the first major version of the holy book in the language since a 1924 translation by Pandita Ramabai, a Brahmin who converted to Christianity.
The translations currently available are not written in a way that is accessible to lay Marathi readers.
Fr. D’Britto says, “The Marathi in some of the old translations is so complicated that even Christians find the writing incomprehensible. This language in this version is basic and simple.”
The ‘Subodh Bible‘ by Fr. D’Britto, is not a mere translation. He has re-structured the old testament into 11 chapters.
The book has an 80-page section that introduces readers to the Bible and its history. There are two chapters on new theology movements in the church. Nearly 200 pictures of Biblical scenes and maps illustrate the book.
Other special features include a commentary that explains difficult biblical concepts and ideas.
Theology scholar Dr Francis Pereira, who teaches at the Papal Seminary in Pune and helped D’Britto translate difficult Hebrew or Greek words said, “The book is not a literal translation but a free adaptation. But D’Britto has not sacrificed the basic message of the holy book.”
Fr. D’Britto, worked on the book for nearly 15 years. It will be released on June 20, 2010 at Vasai in the presence of the local Bishop Rev. Felix Machado.
Earlier Translations of the Bible into Marathi
- 1805 : Missionary William Carey translated the holy book with the help of Marathi scholars like Vaidyanath Pandit.
- 1811: Bible Society brought out a Marathi Bible
- 1924: Pandita Ramabai Ranade, a convert to Christianity translated the holy book