Zabúr 1863 (Roman Urdū) (URDRPS)
Urdu (Roman) - Urdū
This translation of Psalms you are reading is one of the classic translations of Psalms in Urdu. Several different people in history of Urdu literature attempted to produce Psalms into Urdu/Hindustani language. Unfortunately, we do not have access to all of them, however, three translations of Psalms still exist and are considered classics. First by Rev. Cotton Mather Second by Rev. J. W. Waugh of the American Methodist Mission, printed from Bareilly, India and third one by Rev. Joseph Owen you are reading at this moment.
Rev. Joseph Owen born in 1814 was one of the most learned missionaries in United India during the Raj. He said yes to his call from God, left his home in the U.S.A. and resided in Agra, a mission station on the bank of the River Jumna. The minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America published in 1838, report Joseph to be stationed at the Allahabad Presbytery. The Missionary Chronicles of 1842 report “by that time Joseph Owen was stationed in Agra. French Urdu researcher and historian of 18th century, Garseen Di Tasi has also acknowledged this presbytery as Allahabad Mission in his famous khutbat.”
Joseph’s personal journal quoted in The Home and Foreign Record of the Presbyterian Church in USA published in 1854 from Philadelphia reports Joseph was also a street evangelist, and used to walk miles and miles to preach the gospel in villages around his presbytery. Along with his hard work in street evangelism, Joseph had a great interest in Bible translation. The American Tract Society’s annual report published in 1863 proudly announces the publication of his remarkable translation of Psalms you are going to read.
“Old Mission press which was partially destroyed in mutiny is now in charge of native Christians who print religious books and tracts. They have been employed by the North Indian Bible Society in printing a large edition of the Old Testament in Hindi beside the Psalms and separate gospels, under the supervision of Mr. Owen.”
Owen was a zealous missionary, renowned educationist, a remarkable Bible translator and a profound commentator of the Bible. His skills on interpretation of the Scriptures can be seen at its height in his Urdu commentary on Isaiah. Rev. Walter’s memories also depict Joseph Owen as a mentor to Bible translators in other parts of Asia. According to the memorial stone in Jumna Church, Allahabad, Joseph died on 4th December 1870 in Edinburgh, Scotland at the age of 56.
This translation of Psalms was translated into Romanised script first and was published in 1863. Later in 1868 it was also published in Persian script. Psalms is translated as Zabúr Urdu and is used as a masculine noun but in this translation you will see used as feminine noun Zabúrin. Therefore, you will encounter with PAHLÍ ZABÚR, DÚSRÍ ZABÚR etc. On the other hand, some feminine words you will see used as masculine. For example word soch is used as masculine in Psalm 5 verse 1. As a piece of classics, this translation carries some archaic words in the text.
This text was digitised from an original in the British and Foreign Bible Society archives at Cambridge in 2020.
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