Burmese New Testament Manuscript
Manuscript copy of the first Burmese translation of the New Testament, done by the Rev. Adoniram Judson and first published in 1832. Copied by Early Burmese Converts, Signed by a Prominent Missionary. This copy bears an inked inscription roughly one-third in: “The foregoing was copyed [sic] by Ko Dwah Deac. of the church in Moulmein. The remainder was copyed by Moung Dway a promising young disciple”; the inscription is signed “J. Wade, Hamilton March 8. 1834.” Jonathan Wade (1798–1872) was a member of the American Baptist Missionary Union who served for many years in Rangoon and Moulmein, assisting Judson; he is remembered for adapting Burmese characters to record the Karen language (a Burmo-Tibetan offshoot) and translating the New Testament into Karen.
The shoulder notes are in English and keep the English reader “placed” in the text; the first Burmese hand is small and elegant, with the second being larger and showing more corrections.Front free endpaper with inked inscription “J. Wade,” later page with Wade’s inscription as above. Front pastedown with inked inscription reading “Presented by the heirs of Elder E. Galusha.” The Rev. Elon Galusha was a prominent Baptist missionary and minister who helped establish the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution (later Colgate Rochester Divinity School), and served as president of both the New York Baptist Convention and the American Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention. It should be noted that Wade was Hamilton’s first graduate, and the Galusha presentation brought this manuscript back to Hamilton’s descendant institution, from which it was eventually deaccessioned. The front free endpaper and a number of pages pressure-stamped by Rochester Theological Seminary; inked inscription noting that the vol. was bound by “Br. C. Bennet.”