Posted on November 23, 2018

What Is Bible Translation?

Posted on November 23, 2018 by .BIBLE Registry Categories: Spiritual

The Bible was written in languages very few understand (or speak!) today. This makes Bible translation a crucial undertaking.

Consisting of several individual books, the scriptures were written in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). Thanks to Bible translators who have learned these languages, we don’t have to!

The work of translating the Bible started when someone wanted to put the words of the scriptures into a language that people would understand. Before Christ was even born, when many Jewish people found themselves in places where Greek was the everyday language, Jewish scholars took the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament) and started the work of translating. This began around 250 B.C.

Sometimes readers forget that God doesn’t only speak their language. In fact, thousands of years later, both testaments have been translated into many many languages, like:

  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • English
  • Arabic
  • Latin
  • Syriac
  • and thousands more!

Thanks to the digital era we're living in, these translations are literally at the fingertips of people in thousands of languages. To read the Bible in over 1,000 languages, check out  Global.Bible, where you'll find a beautifully-designed mobile-friendly Bible reading experience.

Why More Bible Translation is Needed

However, the work of Bible translation is not yet done. Would you believe there are over 1 billion people worldwide that do not have the full Bible in the language they know best? More than 165 million do not have a single verse of Scripture. IllumiNations.Bible is a movement of Bible translation agencies on a mission to eradicate Bible poverty by translating the Bible into every language — in this generation. Learn more about how you can help at

Who translated the first English Bible?

William Tyndale (1484-1536) became "The Father of the English Bible." He wanted to make the Scriptures understandable to all people, but he was unable to get permission to begin his work in his home country of England because of the political and religious tensions that existed throughout Europe during the Reformation (14th-17th centuries). So he traveled to Germany, and in 1526 he published his New Testament. By 1530, he has published the first five books of the Old Testament.

Tyndale’s influence and work lead to another English translation — the King James Version of the Bible, prepared at the request of none other than England’s King James I and published in 1611. This version became the standard English version for centuries, and is still widely used today.

Leave a comment and share with us which translation you use on a daily basis. We’d love to know!

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