On 22 June 2005, the 104th birth anniversary of my father, Ratnakar Hari Kelkar, and twenty years after his death, I had launched a web site http://www.bible-marathi.com on which his Greek-Marathi translation of the New Testament was placed in the public domain. It was a simple and an essentially static web site.
That older site was replaced by the present site https://marathibible.wordpress.com on 22 June 2008. Initially, all the 27 books of the Marathi New Testament translated by R. H. Kelkar and the Greek-Marathi Word-Book compiled by him, were made available on this site in downloadable pdf format. I then began making regular additions to the site’s content, posting short Bible readings in jpeg image format for quick viewing. During the last three years, about 700 such passages have been archived on this site, and they can be searched by topic, category, reference, keyword or date. I have also been designing wallpapers showing verses from the Marathi Bible which have become immensely popular. I have been making new additions to these passages and expanding the wallpaper gallery.
It gives me great satisfaction and joy to see the growing readership of the Marathi Bible site over the last three years. From June to December 2008, there were 5,543 hits. In the year 2009, the number of hits was 36,181 and in 2010, it was 59,386. From January 2011 until now, the number of hits has already reached 44,500. Many viewers have received their personal copies of the Nava Karar CD.
In order to give a yet greater visibility to the R. H. Kelkar Nava Karar site, I launched on 22 January 2011, a parallel site http://biblemarathi.wordpress.com which has a totally Marathi format. It takes advantage of the Marathi language resources that have recently become available on the Internet and aims at reaching out to the fast-growing number of Marathi users of the Internet. People who use Marathi keywords for their search are now able to reach my Marathi site more easily. I have been trying hard to bring my Marathi site at par with the English site in all respects and to make them look like mirror sites. The Marathi site has registered over 4,700 visits in the relatively short period of its existence.
The Bible tells us that God does not change and that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus himself said that even heaven and earth may pass away but his words will be there. However, it is we who are changing all the time. The languages that we use to communicate with our fellow human beings and with God are continuously evolving. That is why the Word of God needs to be re-translated again and again so that it remains clear and meaningful to an ever-changing world. This is what R. H. Kelkar did for the Marathi New Testament.
It is amazing to see how God chooses people to do his work and drives them to accomplish his purpose. William Carey who translated the first Marathi Bible at Serampore two centuries ago, had the initial training of a shoemaker. My father, R. H. Kelkar, worked for the Indian postal service. I am a retired meteorologist with no theological or literary background, but God has been leading me to use my little knowledge of computers and internet for creating and maintaining this Marathi Bible site. Like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6, someone sows a seed, another waters the plant, but it is God who makes it grow.
In Isaiah 55, God explains the power of his word using simple imagery, that is particularly familiar to me as a meteorologist: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Hebrews 4 adds this: “For the word of God is living and active…Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” But following this chilling description, is a reassurance that God’s overriding grace is always there: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
It is my primary aim that visitors to the R. H. Kelkar Nava Karar sites may find the text that they are looking for, quickly and conveniently. I sincerely hope that by reading the appropriate passages, they find help, guidance, comfort and motivation while facing real life situations. It is my earnest prayer that by contemplating upon the Word of God, they are led to experiencing the abundant love of God, salvation through His Son Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit.
I rededicate my efforts to the memory of my father R. H. Kelkar today on his 110th birth anniversary and I request you to remember me and my web sites in your prayers.
R. R. Kelkar
Pune, India, 22 June 2011