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Bible translations into Cambodian

The first translation of the Bible into Cambodian language, or Khmer, was by the American Arthur L. Hammond, who began translating the Bible in 1925. The New Testament was completed in 1934 and the whole Bible in 1954. It was revised in 1962.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The UBS affiliate Bible Society in Cambodia was established in 1968.[7]

Christianity in Cambodia was ruthlessly suppressed during the Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia (1975-1979), then began to resurface under the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea. New modern language versions followed in the 1990s but were initially not well received.[8] Currently, the Bible Society in Cambodia supplies the Khmer Standard Version (2005) and the "Khmer Old Version" (Hammond Version 1954, 1962).[9]

In 2008 The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society produced the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures in Khmer.


  1. ^ Gerard Ravasco Towards a Christian Pastoral Approach to Cambodian Culture Page 29 "Arthur L. Hammond and his wife, both Americans of the Evangelical Church left Saigon and settled in Phnom Penh. .. Reverend Hammond was charged with translating the Scriptures and Reverend DW Ellison with opening a biblical school."
  2. ^ Christianities in Asia - Page 142 Peter C. Phan - 2010 -"The Christian and Missionary Alliance entered Cambodia in 1923 with David Ellison and his wife. Later, Arthur Hammond came and began translating the Bible into ..."
  3. ^ Chalcedon report: Issues 378-389; Issues 378-389 Chalcedon (Organization), 1997 "Now wiser Cambodian-speaking Christian leaders are "teaching up" to challenge their people to grapple with the blunt commands and promises of God as stated in the Hammond translation of the Bible."
  4. ^ World vision: Volumes 38-39; Volumes 38-39 World Vision International, 1994 "US missionary Arthur Hammond begins translating the Bible into the Khmer language. 1933: Hammond completes translation of New Testament. 1954: Hammond's translation of Khmer Bible is finally published. 1965: Almost all Protestant ..."
  5. ^ The Church in Asia Donald E. Hoke - 1975 "PROTESTANT MISSIONS Protestants first penetrated Cambodia in 1923. For years Robert Irwin of the American Bible Society in ... A L Hammond, who had been assigned to work among the Cambodians in Vietnam, received permission from the new ..."
  6. ^ Asian Christian Theologies: Southeast Asia John C. England - 2004 "By 1933 the New Testament had been translated by the Rev'd and Mrs Arthur Hammond, and the whole Bible by 1953. By then also the Cambodian Church had become self-supporting."
  7. ^ Bible Society in Cambodia
  8. ^ Chalcedon report: Issues 378-389 Chalcedon (Organization) - 1997 "Unfortunately this new Cambodian Bible version has not borne good fruit. Many well respected Cambodian-speaking pastors in Cambodia and elsewhere are sternly warning their people to stay away from it. They say it is better to struggle over a challenging more literal translation than to regularly read a more shallow version of the Scriptures. The difference has been compared to food. The original Hammond literal translation has been compared to a hearty oriental chicken dinner while the modern Cambodian paraphrase is more like steamed white rice. Both are filling but only the meat gives lasting sustenance."
  9. ^ UBS catalogue: Khmer Standard Version (2005) and the Khmer Old Version (Hammond Version 1954, 1962).

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