First copy of Tamil Bible stolen from Saraswathi Mahal Library traced to London

What is the News?

The first Tamil translation of the Bible which was reportedly stolen from Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur, has been traced by Idol Wing CID Police to London.

First Tamil Translation of Bible

The first Tamil translation of the Bible was printed in 1715 by Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, a missionary. 

It was presented to Tulaji Rajah Serfoji by Schwartz, another missionary and a close friend of the King. 

After the takeover by the Tamil Nadu government, the antiquarian book became an exhibit in the Saraswati Mahal Museum for public viewing. 

Who was Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg?

Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg was born in Saxony in 1682. He was a Danish missionary. 

In 1706, he arrived in Tranquebar (Tharangambadi), a tiny Danish colony on the east coast, close to Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu, on the southeast coast of India, as the first Protestant missionaries in that country.

He soon set up a printing press and published studies of the Tamil language and Indian religion and culture. He died in 1719, at age 37. 

He left behind a Tamil translation of the Bible, many brief writings in Tamil, two church buildings, the seminary and baptized Christians.

Source: The post is based on the article “First copy of Tamil Bible stolen from Saraswathi Mahal Library traced to London” published in The Hindu on 2nd July 2022.

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