Guntur (AsiaNews) - The official Kashmiri translation of the Bible has been completed and officially presented. The work was carried out by Predhuman K Joseph Dhar, and was published officially by the Bible Society of India at Guntur, in Andhra Pradesh, in a ceremony Feb. 19, 2011 to coincide with celebrations of the bicentenary of its existence .
The drafting of a translation of a Bible in Kashmiri was launched in 1994 in collaboration with the Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar, on the initiative of the late Kunnunkal Hippolytus a scholar, and the bishop of the diocese, Father Jim Borts, a Mill Hill missionary who has been in service in Kashmir since 1963. The present translation is made up of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, as well as eight apocryphal books. Predhuman K. Joseph Dhar, a noted scholar, journalist, writer and educator, is a convert to Catholicism, and belongs to a very old and conservative family of the Shavite Brahminical order.
The author talked to AsiaNews about his journey of faith. "Along with my brothers I studied in missionary school in Mill Hill. In their simplicity, I saw the beauty of the Christian faith, and this feeling has reawakened my interest in Christianity. When I entered the ninth class, I began to visit the church in secret, for fear that my parents would find out. He was stunned to see that Christians venerated the Cross, and the man who was on it. I wondered why he was put to death in that way, and why he had not been able to save himself. And people who were his followers? Of course they must be cowards".
His research continued in the following years, helped by an Italian nun, Sister Priscilla. "I found myself transfixed as if by magic, by the words of Jesus Christ, which seemed written especially for me. Reading the Sermon on the Mount I entered into a new world. "
The passage from the Gospel opened his eyes: "Suddenly I realized why Jesus died on the Cross: God loved man so much that he generously offered his only Son for the redemption of all who believe in Him." Then came university, at Lucknow, and his encounter with the Confessions of St. Augustine, and the life and works of St. John of the Cross. "I became very emotional reading his 'dark night'." Meanwhile, faith was slowly burning into his soul so much so that he could no longer keep his interest in Christianity secret. "I was subjected to the worst accusations. But I endured this harsh treatment with the love that endures and tolerates all with patience. " In 1984 something extraordinary happened: "As I was saying the Rosary after the usual prayers in the small hours, I saw a light as I said, in clear language that my Lord wanted my testimony to be explicit, and that He would help me ".Predhuman was baptized April 21, 1984. A group of Pandit religious, friends of his father subjected him to a kind of trial. He explained his reasons with sweetness and simplicity. But this choice had resulted in the complete break from his family. "My father and my mother disinherited me officially. They threw me out of the house, my brothers and my whole clan abandoned me. Only my wife and my three children stayed by my side". And his witness continues, as a journalist in defence of Christianity, and now with the translation of the Bible into his own language.