Robert Cotton Mather biography, was a European missionary known for his ministry in North India and revision of Urdu Bible translation. He completed his studies at Glasgow University and began ministering at a Congregational church in York. During this time, he found the opportunity to serve in Banaras, India through the London Missionary Society (LMS). Within a week of his marriage to Elizabeth Sewell, Mather set out for India in June 1833.
Mather ministered at Union Chapel in Calcutta for a few months and then moved to Banaras in 1834. He ministered there for four years and mastered Hindustani and Urdu languages. In 1838, he established a new mission station at Mirzapur.
Despite his body couldn’t get acclimatized to the hot weather in India, he did intense itinerating ministry in several districts of Uttar Pradesh. He earned two Muslims, Mirza John and John Hussain for Christ, who did excellent evangelism along with him.
Well supported by his wife, Elizabeth, who too excelled in Hindustani and Urdu languages, Mather began literary ministry. He began to publish a vernacular newspaper and effectively used it as a medium of Gospel discussions.
Robert Cotton Mather ministry in India
The newspaper ministry was immensely successful which motivated him to take up the revision of the Urdu Bible Translation. For this purpose, he also learned the Greek language to directly translate the scriptures from Greek to Urdu. By 1860, he finished a complete overhaul of Urdu and Hindustani Bible translations. His Hindi commentary on the New Testament is still referred to.
Mather also built schools, churches, orphanages, and a printing press in Mirzapur. Mrs. Mather actively visited the secluded women at their homes and educated them. By the early 1870s, Mather became very weak, yet remained in India to train younger colleagues to continue the ministry. Mather returned to England in 1873 and continued to do literary ministry until he was called to Glory in 1877. In 1878, Mrs. Mather returned to her beloved Mirzapur and continued her ministry till her home call in 1879.
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