Tamil Bible Translation by Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg (1715)
Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg (1682-1719) is considered the first Lutheran missionary. Having studied theology in Halle with August Hermann Frankce, he entered the service of the Danish king, who sent him on a mission to the Danish colony of Tranquebar in South East India. Shocked by what he saw as the native population’s heathen way of life, Ziegenbalg began to learn the Tamil language, reasoning that if the natives would not find God, then God’s word had to find its way to them. To this end, he translated all of the New Testament and parts of the Old testament into the Tamil language (1713). Until then it had been customary for missionaries in South India to use the Portuguese language in their attempts to convert the local population. The image shown here is the cover page of Ziegenbalg’s bible translation.
Source: Title page from the Tamil New Testament of 1715: Cutaönåakiya caöruvåecuraönåayirukkiör Ecukkiörå¸òsttu nåataråaönavar ... putu eörpåaòtòtiönuòtaiya mutalåam vakuppåakir aéncu våeta posttakam. [Tranquebar]: kirå¸òsttu piöranta åayirattu clutåuttu ppatiönåalåam varusamåakira potu yitu taraçnkaönpåatiyilerakkiöra påatirimåarkalutaiya accilåe patikkappaòtòtatu,  [Marsden Collection, King's College London R4/7]