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Bengali Bibles

by Becca Coon, September 2016 (from 'Inspiring Image' on Wycliffe Global Alliance website)

Photo by Marc Ewell

Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God. - William Carey

A pastor of a small church among the Oshai Tripura language community reads from his Bible.

Born in 1761 in rural England, William Carey led a quiet and unassuming life. He attended school until the age of 12, when he dropped out to become a cobbler’s apprentice. But when he got older, Carey felt called to share God’s Word in another part of the world.

In 1793 Carey and his family moved to India. The Carey family eventually settled in Bengal, which is now India’s West Bengal and southwestern Bangladesh. With the help of a language expert, Carey diligently studied Bengali, and soon began translating the Bible into Bengali and preaching at small gatherings.

After seven years with many trails and hardships, Carey published the first Bengali New Testament.

Over the next 28 years, Carey and his team translated the entire Bible into India’s six major languages, as well as printing and distributing the Bible in whole or in part in 44 languages and dialects. By the time Carey died in 1834, he had spent 41 years in India and modern-day Bangladesh, and had contributed to more than 215 Bible translations.

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