Joseph van Someran Taylor

Joseph van Someran Taylor biography, Can you believe that the person who is known as ‘the Father of Gujarati Grammar’ is nor a Gujarati, neither an Indian but a person of Scottish origin? Yes, his name is Joseph van Someran Taylor. He is known for his contributions towards Christian Missionary work among the Gujarati people.

He was born to a pioneer missionary couple in Bellary, Karnataka. After initial education in Calcutta, Taylor went to England to further his studies. There he became friends with David Livingstone, who made a lasting impression on him. He graduated from Glasgow University in 1843. In the same year, the London Missionary Society (LMS) accepted him for the missionary service and sent him to work in Gujarat, India.

Birth: 03-07-1820
Home Calling: 02-06-1881
Birth Place: Bellary, India
Place of Vision: Gujarat, India

In 1846, Taylor arrived in Baroda where he met William Clarkson another LMS missionary. Together they went to the Mahi Kantha region of Gujarat and started ministering. Taylor by nature was a warm-hearted person and an excellent communicator of the Gospel.

He made friends among the Hindu, Muslim, and Parsi communities and introduced to them the Love of Christ. He soon learned Gujarati and began writing gospel articles in it. With an acute understanding of the human mentality, he found that introducing the gospel to learned communities through writings is more effective rather than having religious debates.

He also became perfect in Gujarati Grammar and published, ‘Gujarati Bhashanu Vyakaran’ (The Grammar of Gujarati Language).

Joseph van Someran Taylor ministry in Gujarat, India

Being fluent in Gujarati, he now aimed at revising the Gujarati Bible translation done by William Carey. At this juncture, though he lost the support of LMS funding, his love for Gujarati people motivated him to continue the ministry. By 1861, Taylor revised the Gujarati Bible and his translation remains the standard version today. His Gujarati hymns are so rich in language that he also earned the name “Father of Gujarati Poetry”. His translations of several Christian books are still lighting the lives of many in Gujarat.

Beloved, in your ministry, are you more dependent on God or on human funding?

Take away from the article

“Lord, help me to lean on You and continue to fulfil the responsibility, irrespective of the support I get from others. Amen!”

Word of Prayer

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