On this day in 1741, Johann Philipp Fabricius, missionary among the Tamil people of India, arrived at Tranquebar to begin missionary work.

Johann had been born in Germany thirty years earlier.  As a young man, he received his degree to practice both law and theology.  He chose to do the latter.  When he heard of a small group of believers in Southern India without a pastor, he answered the call.  His next thirty years were spent among these believers, whose number grew from 300 to nearly 2,500.  Of course, these numbers reflect that after Fabricius got the work running, nearly 80 more missionaries arrived to help in the work.

After reinforcements arrived, This freed up more time for Johann to dedicate towards the translation of literature.  A master of the Tamil language, Johann translated over 335 hymns, a dictionary, and a complete Old and New Testament, which would be called “the golden translation” and be used for over 150 years.  A printing press, which the East India company stole from the French, was given to the mission to print the bibles and other materials.

 

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