Hindu commentary on the Bible released by the Indian Church

The Times of India article

A catholic ministry’s view

The Society of St Paul website

The links to the commentaries aren’t working for me :frowning:

In Mumbai itself 6,000 copies of the NCB were sold out on the first two release days.


6,000 in 2 days? That is fast.

Dear Neil
Try going through the first Link mentioned ephesians-511.net/ it will be the first link on the page. .
MIchael Prabhu has a 27 year ministry specialised in New Age errors in the Catholic Church of India.
God bless

Dear Beautiful
You may imagine India to have only a small Christian Minority. The Catholics in India number by themselves 17 million. In the Archdiocese of Bombay alone there are 600000 catholics.
So we are quite numerous, This Bible is being supported in a massive way by having a launching ceremony in nearly all the significant churches of Bombay. It is fully supported by His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias.
Hope that answers your question, the Hindu right wing also would have purchased several copies for analysis and possible violent action at some later stage. I have tracked discussions on a very minimum of 8 Hindu right wing sites.
The Times of India clocked 57 comments which is a lot.
So the facts are above.
God bless

St Jerome in his letter to Eustochium says this, "Has light any communication with darkness? What agreement has Christ with Belial?"
asks St. Paul. And what, I may ask, has Horace do with the Psalter? Or Vergil with the Gospels, or Cicero with the Apostle? Would not a brother Christian be shocked and scandalized if he saw you reclining on a dinner couch in the temple of some idol? Even though to the pure of heart all things are pure, and though nothing should be refused if it be received with thanksgiving, we should not drink at the same time from the chalice of Christ and the bowl of devils."
full text here forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=4015530#post4015530

Maybe this is why the Catholic church in India is stagnant and shrinking as a percentage of the population. While evangelicals Chritians who don’t dilute the Chritian messages are growing - it is only because of evangelicals that Chritians remain a constant percentage of the Indian population.

Look at Nepal. Catholic missionaries went there decades ago - nuancing, compromising the Christian teaching. Making it more Hindu/Buddhist - or acceptable thereto. But the evangelicals who arrived after the Catholics proclaimed Christ crucified despite the offense it might cause to the Nepalese.

Today, the established religiois state in Nepal has ended. There are around 700,000 Chritians there today. A huge growth. But Catholics number just 7,000. Evangelicals close to 700,000. That is a sign from God IMO and that is too the sign in India as Catholics there still seem to nuance the Bible. This is how I see this new Indian Bible. Despite its endorsement by the top Catholic prelate in India.

By their fruits. It is being seen in Nepal and i suspect evangelicals will eventually show it in India.

A new Article
Taking a look at Biblical stories in an Indian ‘avatar’
The New Community Bible brings the Christian message in an Indian context. But will the devout take to it?
The project which began in the 1990s involved 37 scholars including 32 Biblical experts and four Indologists, among whom was a Jesuit priest in Patna who is an expert on Islam.

Justifying the attempt to contextualise the Bible, one scholar who was part of the project says, “We have to constantly look at the audience we are reaching out to”.

Inter-religious harmony apart, many within the Christian fold seem to have divergent thoughts. In fact, a site has been established on Orkut and an e-mail created for people to write in. Not all opinions are expected to be supportive of this attempt…,


Conservatives protest desi version of Bible
9 Aug 2008, 0535 hrs IST, Ashley D’Mello & Joeanna Rebello ,TNN
MUMBAI: India’s first home-grown Bible, meant to help Catholics understand their faith in the context of Indian culture and tradition has run aground with complaints from within its own fold. However, the release of the NCB has detractors demanding that the church expurgate the book, if not withdraw sales completely. They claim that the book injures their traditional beliefs. Michael Prabhu, who heads a one-man ministry called Metamorphose in Chennai, has come out with his slingshot against the new text and has been disseminating an 8-page critique he prepared, to both, laity and clergy in India and abroad. ‘Several of the commentaries in the NCB are good. Yet, one cannot say that, as a whole, they are superior to the footnotes and commentaries in any other Catholic Bible’ Prabhu argues in his report. ‘But in the commentaries, parallels are repeatedly drawn with Hindu deities, Hindu religious texts and mythology; biblical incidents and personalities and Christian philosophies have equals in Hinduism. The impression is forced on the reader that one religion is as good as another. Biblical incidents are downplayed by flippantly commenting that they must not be taken literally. It suggests creation is a story, Eden is a mythical garden , Adam and Eves sin was probably a sexual one, the report on the plagues of Egypt is not supported by science and they are repetitious and inconsistent, the parting of the Red Sea was used for box-office effect and is not a historical account, and so on.’

Prabhu’s energy has woken up people to a fact that is currently being contested on the Internet, church groups, and across dinner plates in mostly Catholic households.etc…

Also posted in an edited form here

I would like to read this bible for myself instead of hearing about it from its critics.

From what I can find, it sounds like a standard bible translation with apologetics in the footnotes. Similar to how St. Justin Martyr compared Jesus with Socrates in his apologies to the Romans. Of course to witness to Hindus, they want to see how Christianity compares to their own religion. It should help Hindus and Christians find common ground and see the good in each other.

Dear Neil
Thanks for your comment. Most people deeply desire to have the feelings you have. I unfortunately do possess a copy and sincerely would love a way to justify the work.
But that said I do not want to add anything to all what is said and what has been privately written by me.

One basic understanding for non-Indians is that because of our situation as a small (often persecuted) minority, official criticism is highly subdued from Christian sources for example you will find very few critical letters published in the Catholic papers etc of India, you may find it only in secular media, sometimes who have a strong anti-christian and anti-catholic bias.

Also you must understand that many similar experiments have failed due to a simple misunderstanding, the Dalits and tribals are oppressed by the very same ideologies and these make up the only growing segment of christianity in India. Hinduism is not a homogeneous body of believers. Dalits and tribals have a strong aversion to Brahminical views particularly that of the caste system and that filters down to theology.

As future events unfold please promise to pray that the Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church in India.

God bless

Another news article from Christian today
[FONT=“Book Antiqua”]Although approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and published by the Society of St Paul, the Bible met the disapproval of Protestants and other Christian groups, who believe it diverts from biblical truth.

I read that 15,000 copies were sold in 10 days don’t know whether it is a huge number in a country of 1 billion + people.

I don’t really understand the logic in portraying Mary as a Saree clad woman and Joseph with a Turban. What difference does that make?

All I can see now is a reason for the right wing Hindus to take up violence. This would make life difficult for Christians living in areas where they are a serious minority. They already have enough trouble from Left wing political parties in States like Kerala. This might just turn some more Hindus against Christians.

Or maybe we’re seeing a repeat of what’s happening in Latin America, where the Protestants come in with a more “worldly, capitalist” sort of Christianity very appealing to the masses who want to uplift themselves from poverty.

I am hearing this for the first time. Could you kindly point me to some web resource. Capitalist Christianity lifting masses from poverty will be a good read.


Try this, or this, or this, or this.

Weber argued that the early Protestant focus on “this world” – in the form of a “this-worldly asceticism” of businesspersons and capitalists, instead of an “other-worldly asceticism” of monks and nuns – helped produced capitalism and modern economic wealth: instead of wasting one’s profit on luxuries, the this-worldly ascetic reinvested his profit into his business, while living a frugal, disciplined life.

Of course, there’s a down-side to this:

“I fear, wherever riches have increased, the essence of religion has decreased in the same proportion. Therefore, I do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of religion to continue long. For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality, and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches.”

— John Wesley (1703-1791).

The Bible has drawings of a sari-clad Mary with Joseph in a dhoti and turban; symbols of mandir, masjid, and gurdwara along with the church, and quotes from the Upanishads. The commentary on Psalm 5 (Prayer at Daybreak — A Psalm of David) reads like this: “In Hinduism, the dawn is personified as a deity by the name Ushas. The traditional morning prayer of a Hindu consists of reciting the famous Gayatri mantra (Rig Veda 3.62.10) at day break, facing the rising sun: Om bhur bhuvgah svah, tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasy dhiman, dhiyo yo nah pracodayat (may we meditate on the most excellent lustre of the sun god that he may illumine our intellect).”

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has decided to examine the objections raised by protesting Catholics. Its deputy secretary general Father Thomas D’Aquino Seqeira said on Wednesday: “We will take up the matter at the CBCI standing committee meeting next month.”

The protesters, in a memorandum, have called for a Catholic boycott of the Indianised Bible, and a halt to sales of the first edition and further printing. If they aren’t satisfied with the CBCI’s response, they intend to move the Vatican.

Among those critical of the new Bible is Michael Prabhu of the Metamorphose Catholic Ministries, Chennai. ( ephesians-511.net/ )He says: “Would one want to consume food contaminated by excrement? Will not one apply the same criterion to spiritual nourishment?” He says the commentaries don’t make a single reference to the great missionaries and saints of India, St Thomas and St Francis Xavier among others while talking about Gandhi, Kabir, Adi Shankara,Vinoba Bhave, etc…

This reminds me of how Jesus and Mary are portrayed as white people with blue eyes in European catholic art.

Is this comment somehow offensive? Is it true that Hindus believe in that god Ushas and say that prayer in the morning? Are catholics supposed to intentionally remain ignorant of the beliefs of their neighbours? I don’t even understand why anyone would find this troubling.

Do you think some Catholics will take this as permission to say that prayer to Ushas?

I agree.

The etymology of the English word “east”:

east etymonline.com/graphics/dictionary.gifOld English “east”, from Proto-Germanic *aus-to-, *austra- “east, toward the sunrise” (from which came Dutch oost, German Ost, Old Norse austr “from the east”), from Proto-Indo-European *aus- “dawn” (from which came Sanskrit ushas “dawn,” Greek aurion “morning,” Old Iranian usah, Lithuanina auszra “dawn,” Latin aurora “dawn,” auster “south”), lit. “to shine.” The east is the direction in which dawn breaks.

So the Goddess Ushas is simply the Goddess who represents the Dawn, the East. One could easily see Ushas as a foreshadowing of the Son who Rises (in the East, on Sunday Dawn).

I am no scholar Neil, but let me in my way say how I feel and many like me feel. Firstly no indian catholic ( or even Christian) is ignorant of the Gayatri Mantra.
The Gayatri mantra equivalent in right wing hindu thought to the Islamic Kalima is used throughout the length and breadth of India to torment Christian tribals and Dalits especially in forcible reconverting them to Hinduism. I will put down references if you desire.The Gayatri mantra was not criticised in the commentary to PS. 5 the Holy spirit was however when the Commentator Fr. Raja SJ said the psalm was not to be taken literally and to be understood as OT theology. One of my Pakistani Christian friends once told me of an incident where at a demonstration of Christians they were forced to recite the Kalima those who did not were severally thrashed one of them suffered an amputation as a result of that beating.
Again, I am really sorry to post this, Br. John Dayal’s posted something about the Orissa persecution earlier it was only the Sangh Parivar that forced Christians to repeat the Gayatri Mantra I sincerely feel now it is our Pastors who are committing this act of violence on us. groups.google.com/group/JohnDayal/browse_thread/thread/13389056ed79ae45 in caf it is here forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=3920937&postcount=107 }
(Br. Michael Prabhu’s quote as below:
This ministry’s years of research is conclusive that the Om and Gayatri mantras may not be chanted by Christians. Readers are invited to visit this ministry’s website and read the detailed and intensively researched articles on these issues, or click on ephesians-511.org/documents/SURYA NAMASKAR AND YOGA.doc BTW this document is nearly 68 pages long just thought i’d warn you)
I feel i must apologise again since my own ignorance does not help in conveying the anguish of the backward Christians in India who have virtually no representation in the heirarchy of the Indian Church.

God bless

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