The 18th century English missionary William Carey gave the greatest gift anyone can give to the people of India: The Word of God in their native language.
A hundred years later, in the 1950s, another missionary, George Robert Crow, came to India from the USA and did something similar. He translated the Bible into everyday Telugu, a language spoken by 80 million people in South India. The existing Telugu Bible at the time was about 160 years old, but the language had changed considerably and a modern translation was sorely needed. A lacuna that was filled by the translation made by Bob Crow and his Indian co-workers; a version that is now being regularly reprinted and widely used in the Telugu speaking community.
In fact, this new translation was not just another Bible, but a study Bible for India. Not something lifted and copied from a study Bible produced for the West but written specially for India. Why?
Because India is special. It is an ancient land of philosophers and mythologies, cradle of civilization, birthplace of religions. A land with a colonial history and an aspirational people. A land where spiritual language and meanings are different and diverse. Where extensive explanations are needed for average Indian Christians to understand the biblical text with clarity and accuracy. Where most pastors do not have access to expensive, difficult to obtain, commentaries, concordances and other biblical study aids.
So, Bob and his Indian colleague closeted themselves for years in a tiny room, emerging with close to 1000 pages of notes and cross references. He had already mastered the Telugu language. He had also started Grace Ministries, a small, dedicated group with a common vision. This team checked, reviewed and incorporated his notes into the Telugu Bible, together with cross references, to create the GM Telugu Study Bible. This was published jointly with India Bible Literature, a major Bible publishing house in India, in the mid-1990s.
The original version of the Study Bible was in English. On August 6th, 2006, in Secunderabad, India, Grace Ministries dedicated the Grace Ministries English Study Bible to the Lord, for His service and Glory. Six godly people, who had known Bob Crow for a long time, prayed and dedicated the English Study Bible.
The GM English Study Bible used an adaptation of the King James Version. So the study text and extensive notes are the intellectual property of GM. It is hardbound, with close to 2000 pages. This is a valuable and affordable resource for Christians in India and across the world.
Why this emphasis on the Bible?
Because the written Word reveals the Living Word. Because it is a two-edged sword that can slash through the domain of darkness. Because preaching has a limited, short-term effect; but making the Word of God available to people has lasting impact for generations.
How can people be saved and discipled without hearing and reading the Word of God?
“My ministry and life would have been very different if I had received this Study Bible when I was a young preacher. This Study Bible helps me to have a deep understanding of God’s Word. It clarifies the meanings of difficult biblical words, references, exhortations and applications – all in one book. What a great blessing!”
- Yohan (John), a 70 year old well known Bible teacher/translation in Andhra Pradesh, India.
“The GMSB is of incredible worth. Over the years I have accumulated a plethora of Bible versions with study notes - so there is much to compare with. Having said that, I think the notes in the GMSB are singularly clear, humble and valuable. I am finding the proofing-editing task a great joy, and over and over again find myself reveling in the clarity with which God's redemptive work is explained. And of course resulting in the worship of our One Triune God. So, be encouraged.”
- Dr. Ken Anderson, Georgia, USA.
Where would we be without a good Bible, handbooks, commentaries, and well-educated pastors? However, large numbers of Indian believers have none of these resources.
Joseph pastors a growing church in a non-christian village in India. He is a first-generation follower of Christ, the first to believe in his family. God has blessed him and his ministry. A major challenge he faced was his lack of college and theological education. He does not know English, nor can he afford expensive study aids imported from the West.
So, he struggled to feed his flock. “I went here and there for help,” he says. Only to find other pastors struggling as well. “Then someone told me about the Grace Ministries Study Bible,” says Joseph smiling. “God sent GM for pastors like me. I thank God for this Bible. Now every person in my church uses this Bible.”
So, the purpose of Grace Ministries (GM) is to share the treasures of biblical truth, especially with first generation followers of Christ, who have no access to the Bible in their own language.
Grace Ministries began with two men and a vision. Bob Crow and an Indian colleague, Jeevan Nair, whose lifetime achievement was the first ever study Bibles produced in India, for Indians: The GM Study Bible in Telugu and an English version of the same. They worked on these with heart, mind, and strength. As a result, the lives of pastors like Asharon, and their congregation, were transformed.
The Story of Aaharon
Forty-year-old Aaharon is a self-made village pastor, like many in India today. He shepherds a congregation of 50 people in a remote village. For 13 years he taught his people, as best he could, without a Bible college education and no biblical resources of any kind. Then one day, a pastor in the GM network introduced him to the GM Study Bible.
Today, Aaharon is using the Study Bible to properly understand and apply the Word himself and prepare his Sunday sermons. His preaching has changed. He explains better. He interprets in context. He knows the cross-references, balancing scripture with scripture. The result is a congregation that knows their Bible better.
Later, Aaharon attended GM’s two-day Shepherds Conference on the theme of being a servant leader. Seventy others also came and learned the principles of Bible interpretation and the art of teaching. They went back to empower their people. Some members of Asharon’s congregation have commented on the positive change in their pastor’s teaching content and its impact on their lives.
These annual Grace Ministries Anugraha Seminars (blessing) serves to encourage, educate and empower village pastors. Dr Carl Armerding and others from Vancouver, BC have been the resource persons for most of these seminars.
• Telugu version:
70,000 to 1 Lakh copies (Telugu is the native language of more than 70 million people. )
• English version:
• Hindi New Testament:
3000 copies. (Hindi is the native language of more than 50% of India’s population of more than a billion people.)
• Marathi New Testament:
ready to publishing
Final proof reading is being done.
John’s gospel is complete: 1000 copies
ready to publishing entire New Testament
The GM Study Bibles are easy to read translations, together with authentic study material, in an affordable package for Indians. In printed form or as cellphone apps, these can be accessed by anyone, anytime, anywhere, and that includes you.
The online version for Android and iOS (Apple) is completely free. You may download it today on your mobile devices
This App is for people who know English, Telugu, or Hindi.
This App is for people who know English.
This App is for people who know Telugu
This App is for people who know Hindi.
India has the largest population in the world, one billion and counting. The majority does not know English. Even most English-speaking believers cannot afford expensive study Bibles and reference books published in the West. Large numbers of pastors have little or no theological training. For all of them, the GM Study Bible is a priceless study resource.
The patriarch of a religious textile business family came to Christ. Someone gave him a Grace Ministries Study Bible to help him grow in his faith. Now, before dinner, the old father calls the entire family together and they read the GM Study Bible. One by one, all have received the Lord and are growing in Christ. They openly profess their faith in Christ, a very dangerous thing to do in that area. Their textile shop has Scripture verses on the walls, on their bills, on their carry bags. A well-used and well-marked GM Study Bible is openly read and displayed in the shop, drawing the attention of customers to the Savior.
What is the secret to changed thinking, behaving and living? It is the Divine Word, which reveals the Living Word who became flesh. That is why our core activity is making the GM Study Bible available in native languages and geographies.
• Very good Bible app, educative, informative and intuitive.
- Suneeth Daniel
• Quick and easy interface.
- Vijay Kumar
• It’s huge! It’s awesome. I like the navigation through references for each verse.
- Manoj Paul
• An awesome study tool for believers and ministers alike.
- Paul Chowdary
• Superb! This is no.1 study Bible in Telugu. All Telugu Christians must download.
- Vudi Sekhar Babu
• Excellent! Thank you! Grace Ministries really reveals God’s grace.
• A blessing to all who want to know the truth.
- Rajkumar Kolagani
• Wonderful and life changing.
- Vidya Sagar Bheri
Bob Crow spent the last two decades of his life with his Indian colleague, producing the GM Study Bible for the church in India. He has passed away, but his vision remains. It directs the work of Grace Ministries today. The GM Study Bible is now being translated into the major languages of India.
Will you join hands with us in this significant venture to impact the lives of people and communities in this life and for eternity?