JULY 2022

The Release of the Trial Version of the Interconfessional Four Gosples in Kannada

Relations between the Bible Society of India and the Catholic Church is growing stronger with the release of the trial version of the four Gospels in Kannada (CL), which is a joint venture project on Re-editing Interconfessional Kannada Bible (CL) on July 6, 2022 at 3:00 pm at the Ascention Church Hall at Da Costa Square, St. Thomas Town, Bangalore – 560084.

The Bible Society of India and the Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishops’ Council had signed a Memorundum of Understanding for this partnership project on July 19, 2021 after several rounds of  meetings of the Steering Committee representing both the BSI and the Catholic Church under the leadership of His Grace Archbishop Peter Machado, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangalore and Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko, the General Secretary and the CEO of the Bible Society of India. We truly are thankful  to their leadership for being the driving force for this partnership project. The reediting work has been taken up by the Translation Core Team with good knowledge of Hebrew, Greek and Kannada languages from both the insitutions. Their commitment and expertise of the needed languages and the software technological application has helped the translator core team to work within a stipulated time frame for the trial version of the four Gospels for the release.

In the presence of His Excellency Bishop K. William K.A., Chairman of the KRCBC Bible Commission, Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko, General Secretary, BSI, Members of the KRCBC Bishops’ Council, the Steering Committee Members, Translation Core team, Senior Management Team of the Bible Society of India, a few special invitees, the Four Gospels Trial Version was released by His Grace Archbishop Peter Machado, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangalore. This Trial Version will be sent out to Theologians, Pastors, Professors of Kannada Language, Lay committed readers from both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church for their review.

We are thankful to God for the partnership engagement of the Catholic Church and the Bible Society of India for this noble and important project. We seek your prayer support for the completion of the Re-edited Interconfessional Kannada Bible (CL) for the Church and the Kannada speaking community world wide as per scheduled.

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Celebration of Indian Christian Day by the Bible Society of India

The Bible Society of India celebrated Indian Christian Day on July 4, 2022, as part of the BSI staff online morning worship across India through the Zoom platform. Indian Christian Day was celebrated across India by the churches and Christian Organizations on July 3, 2022, to commemorate the date of the martyrdom of St. Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ in Chennai in India way back in 72 AD. 

We are privileged to have Mr. John B. Samuel, President/Principal Researcher of Talent Research Foundation, USA and Singapore as our Guest Speaker, to bring the message of God’s Word through emphatic calling for a faithful disciple of Christ on the theme “Is Your job a Career or a Calling? with Bible references from Romans 11:29, 12: 6-8; and 1 Peter 4:10. Mr. John, through his conviction and commitment to God’s ministry, encouraged the family of the BSI to examine ourselves for a greater commitment to God that we render our services not just to build our carreer but to commit ourselves to greater responsibilities in serving God and people who are in need of God’s love and peace. Mr. John continued to encourage us by saying in our commitment to God’s ministry, that our true talents will come out that will leave a legacy for building God’s kingdom here on earth. Citing the example of William Carey, Father of the Modern Missionaries, saying, “William Carey came to India to convert thousands of people for Christ with a methodology of what we now called as ‘direct evangelism’, but through his commitment and surrendering himself for God’s mission, God had multiplied his talent and skill of language translation and William Carey came to accept that translation of the Bible into the heart languages of the people is what he was called to doing God’s Mission, which had left an everlasting, irreversible legacy in the History of the World, not only within Christianity but for the world at large”. 

The celebration of Indian Christian Day ended well with a great notion of God calling us into God’s mission with a commitment to serve the people/s of God while accepting God’s given talent in us. 

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The Dignified Donkey – Reading Bible with Diligence in Search of Dignity

I confess that reading The Parable of The Good Samaritan from a human dignity perspective has really widened my horizons of thinking. I wish to concentrate exclusively on the parable rather than the dialogue before that.

Firstly, the Priest and the Levite. Here we have to consider social dignity, which converts a person to a distinguished dignitary (DD) in society. Several layers cover up our human dignity to make us a DD. We change from a human being to a social being. We are more social- status conscious than being self-/human conscious. I think this is what hindered the Priest and Levite from reaching out to the victim.

Secondly, The Samaritan (made to be “Good”). The Samaritan’s act of restoration of dignity to the victim is also an act of restoration of the Samaritan’s own identity. It is an attempt to counter the people who are obsessed with their dignitary status and never reach to the restoration of humans who are totally ripped off of their dignity. 

Restoration of human dignity is a process; it just does not stop with recognizing and helping the victim. The Samaritan cleaned him, took him to the inn, stayed with him, paid for him and promised to repay the extras. Many times, we stop by recognizing or reaching but never dare to enter the process of Restoration because it demands a lot from us. This process sometimes even hinders us from reaching out to the victims.

Thirdly, the donkey- the silent actor, for me, is the most dignified of all the characters in the parable. It carried the Samaritan and it also carried the victim, the Samaritan reached the victim on it and the victim reached the inn on it. Did the donkey complain anywhere in any form? I feel that Jesus consciously made it a part of the restoration process of human dignity. He himself chooses a donkey for his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

In the busy world, we struggle to define our dignity with our dignitary status just as we struggle for our own identity as a person. In this strife to reach our own targets and positions /dignitaries, we miss seeing the people who are ripped off of their basic human dignity. Sometimes we may not be a good Samaritans but we can be a carrier of the Samaritan and also the victim. We can be a silent contributor to complete the human dignity restoration process knowingly or unknowingly but still being part of it. As we celebrate the Yeshu Bakthi Divas this month lets us retrospect on our role as Christians in this country. God called us to lead the human restoration process as silent contributors.

I remember this slogan of an airlines, which says- “Official Carrier of Common sense”. Here I see the donkey as an official carrier of God’s sense- love, a carrier, which does its job without complaints irrespective of religion, gender, caste, creed and colour. Sometimes, we need to be a dignified donkey because our dignity has been redefined when the saviour made us His choice and rode on us to reach the unreached. In order to restore someone’s dignity sometimes we need to lose our ‘dignitaries’ status’ and become a dignified donkey. Are we willing to be a dignified donkey?

Rev. John Basy Paul,

Auxiliary Secretary,

Telangana Auxiliary.

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