Philipose Ramban translated the Bible into Malayalam in 1811

The efforts of Philipose Ramban, a scholar from Kayamkulam who translated the Bible into Malayalam for the first time in 1811, were applauded by Minister for Finance K.M. Mani, who delivered the keynote address at a function organised in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday on occasion of the 200 year of the publication of the first Malayalam Bible.

The programme, organised by the Adoor-Kadambanad diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church at the VJT Hall, was inaugurated by Rajya Sabha Vice-Chairman P.J. Kurien.

The Minister spoke of how the Bible had benefited society immensely.

“The Christian Church and society developed with the understanding that all are God’s children and veered away from discrimination along caste or religious lines,” said the Minister adding that since the Bible had occupied such an integral part in shaping society, the works of Philipose Ramdan assumed much significance.

“The State embraced the religion 2,000 years ago, but Christ’s message was spread in our mother tongue just 200 years ago,” said Mr. Mani, stressing that the occasion was a landmark in history.

Memento presented

The Minister also presented a memento to Mar Thoma Church Senior Metropolitan Philipose Mar Chrysostam.

Prof. Kurien, in his inaugural address, noted how the task undertaken by the Ramban was extremely difficult, especially because it was written at a time when the lines separating Malayalam and Tamil were blurry. Prof. Kurien also said that such a piece of work needed to be accorded the due attention.

Book on Ramban

Both Prof. Kurien and Mr. Mani said that the text needed to be subjected to intensive study.

“In my opinion, it is an achievement that is a matter of pride not just for the Christian community but for all the people in the State,” Prof. Kurien said.

A book, Kayamkulam Philipose Ramban-Jeevithavum Sambhavanayum, edited by M. Kurien Thomas, was released on the occasion.

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