Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia

Ziegenbalg, Bartholomäus

(June 24, 1683–February 23, 1719). Ger. Luth. miss. to India; b. Pulsnitz, Saxony; educ. by A. H. Francke* at Halle. Ziegenbalg and H. Plütschau* were sent by Frederick IV of Denmark as missionaries to India, arriving at Tranquebar July 1706, Surmounting much opposition from both the Dan. governor and the Hindus, he learned the vernacular in a yr., did effective miss. work, founded a school for native helpers, built a ch., still in use today, engaged in much literary work, and translated the SC, NT, and OT as far as the Book of Ruth into Tamil.

In 1715 Ziegenbalg returned to Eur., calling forth much enthusiasm by his addresses and reports. In Halle he had his Tamil grammar printed. There he married Maria Dorothea Salzmann, a relative of P. J. Spener.* Ziegenbalg and his wife went to Eng., where he was presented to King George I, who later wrote him expressing satisfaction “not only because the work undertaken by you of converting the heathen to the Christian faith doth, by the grace of God, prosper, but also because that in this our kingdom such a laudable zeal for promotion of the Gospel prevails.”

In 1716 Ziegenbalg, with his wife, returned to Tranquebar, where he continued his work. However, the dir. of the miss. in Den. criticized him severely for getting married, allegedly spending too much money, and staying too much in one place—a criticism that may well have contributed to his early death.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
(Staff Switchboard)
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions


Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online