International Bible Society (IBS) released its Urdu Bible translation earlier last month at Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi, India. The translation makes the Word of God accessible in contemporary language to more than 400 million Urdu speakers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Europe.
IBS determined a new translation was needed because the Urdu-speaking people, most of whom are Muslim, were using a 1935 revision of a translation originally done 160 years ago, said IBS Group Vice President PLN Murthy, in a statement released by IBS on Tuesday. IBS started translating into contemporary Urdu in 1991 under the leadership of Dr. Sam Bhajjan, a distinguished scholar in Islamic Studies. In just 13 years, a team of 25 scholars from South Asia translated the full Urdu Bible.
According to IBS, the Bible was presented to Arjun Singh, Cabinet Minister for Human Resources for the Government of India, by Mike Richards, Sr., Chairman of the IBS Board. Also present were Mikes wife Cynthia; Peter Bradley, IBS President, and his wife Shirley; PLN Murthy, IBS Group Vice President; Mathai Samuel, IBS Administrator of the Hindi NIV; and P.C. Thomas, a member of the Indian Parliament.
We praise God for His precious gift of the Holy Word in the Urdu language that is spoken today, said Bradley. We believe this translation will lead many people to the saving knowledge and hope for abundant life found in Jesus Christ.
On Mar. 2, one day after the release of the new translation, IBS leaders met in New Delhi with a delegation of Muslim leaders who had traveled from various parts of north India. Richards and Bradley read portions of the Scriptures to emphasize the power and promises of Gods Word. Following their presentation, a copy of the Urdu Bible was presented to each Muslim leader.