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How Many Languages Is The Bible Translated Into

Why Are There So Many English Translations Of The Bible

Inside the massive effort to translate the Bible into American Sign Language

Because the translation process has a certain amount of subjectivity, it is helpful to be able to compare different translations in order to get the best feel for what the original languages expressed as newer English translations are able to reflect our ever-changing language.

According to Wikipedia, there are over 450 English translations of at least some portion of the Bible. While many of them are old and no longer in print, there are still at least 20 major English translations available.

In addition, there are multiple editions of each modern translation that are focused on different audiences. So, a natural question to ask is why. Why do we have such a vast array of English translations?

Best Selling Bible Translations

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association provides a monthly snapshot of Bible readers using their Bible Translations Bestsellers List. This image tells the story of the church, based on what Bibles people are buying and, one would hope so, using.

This snapshot shows the ongoing story between Scripture and the modern church. When you look at the Bible Translations Bestsellers list, there are four stories worth noting:

Last Year More Than One New Translation Was Launched Every Week

Your support is making a huge difference now more people have more of the Bible in their language than ever before!

This progress is happening only because of Gods work through you.

Thank you your generosity is making a significant difference in the lives of so many people, churches and communities around the world .

We always thank God for all of you.

1 Thessalonians 1:2

Its great to join in with brothers and sisters who weve never met, yet together our prayers and giving are helping the task of Bible translation.

We recognise what God has done in our lives through his word, so its very motivating to play our part so that others can experience that too.

Ian and Fay Kirby, Wycliffe supporters

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Into How Many Languages The Bible Has Not Been Translated

The Bible is the most translated book in the world. This is not only impressive but proves the longevity of Gods Word. The Scripture is continually translated not only to continue the spread of the Gospel but because it is the Living Word that is still applicable today, just as it was in when penned through the inspiration of God. The Bible has been translated into numerous languages from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek versions. As of late 2019, 698 full translations have occurred. In addition, the New Testament has been translated into additional 1,548 languages. Beyond this, portions of the Bible or stories have been translated into additional 1,138 languages.

While this is wonderful and has provided numerous people with access to at least part of the Bible, there are still over 5,000 languages that do not have a full copy of the Bible. As of 2020, there are over 6,500 languages spoken around the world. If less than 1,000 have full copies of the Bible then there is a great number that does not. Part of the Great Commission is to spread the Gospel to all corners of the earth which mean the Word still has a great deal of translation to be completed. For some, a copy of the entire Bible may not be available for many years as lengthy book translations take a great deal of time, but as they wait, translation of Bible-related texts can offer hope and share parts of the Gospel.

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The King James Version

Bible in ten more languages, New Testament in 27

Tyndales powerful and idiomatic translation had a profound effect on English versions that followed, including the Coverdale Bible , Matthews Bible , the Great Bible , and the Authorized, or King James Version , the most influential English version of all time. The KJV arose in the context of two competing versions, the Bishops Bible , the official Bible of the Church of England, and the Geneva Bible , which was the favorite of the Puritans. King James I, who had recently ascended to the throne of Britain, despised the Geneva Bible because of its anti-monarchial notes. When the Puritans proposed a new translation of the Biblewithout theological notesJames enthusiastically endorsed the idea. From his perspective, a new translation endorsed by both the Puritans and Anglicans would likely result in the demise of the Geneva Bible.

The KJV was commissioned in 1604 and produced in seven years by forty-seven biblical scholars. It was first published in 1611. Although quickly accepted by many and destined to become the most enduring English version of all time, the KJV at first face a mixed reception. For example, the Pilgrims refused to take it on the Mayflower, preferring the Geneva Bible. Hugh Broughton, a leading biblical scholar of his day, wrote, Tell His Majesty that I had rather be rent in pieces with wild horses, than any such translation by my consent should be urged upon poor churches .

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Hebrew: Language Of The Old Testament

Hebrew belongs to the Semitic language group, a family of ancient tongues in the Fertile Crescent that included Akkadian, the dialect of Nimrod in Genesis 10 Ugaritic, the language of the Canaanites and Aramaic, commonly used in the Persian empire.

Hebrew was written from right to left and consisted of 22 consonants. In its earliest form, all the letters ran together. Later, dots and pronunciation marks were added to make it easier to read. As the language progressed, vowels were included to clarify words that had become obscure.

Sentence construction in Hebrew might place the verb first, followed by the noun or pronoun and objects. Because this word order is so different, a Hebrew sentence cannot be translated word-for-word into English. Another complication is that a Hebrew word might substitute for a commonly used phrase, which had to be known to the reader.

Different Hebrew dialects introduced foreign words into the text. For example, Genesis contains some Egyptian expressions while Joshua, Judges, and Ruth include Canaanite terms. Some of the prophetic books use Babylonian words, influenced by the Exile.

How Many Different Translations Are There Of The Bible

It may be surprising to consider here in the 21st century, but there was a time when translating the Bible into the language of the reader was extremely fraught. Indeed, as The L.A. Review of Books notes, for centuries the clergy wanted to keep the knowledge contained within for themselves, and not have it translated so that the common man could read it in his own tongue. One of the earliest pioneers of translating the Bible into English, William Tyndale, paid for his crime by being burned at the stake.

These days, Bible translation continues, as some Christian missionaries believe it their sacred duty to render the ancient text into the languages the people in their chosen missionary field speak and read, according to Wycliffe Bible Translators. Of course, the most-spoken languages in the world have their own Bible translations, in some cases several, and in some cases those translations have been around for centuries. But for speakers of more obscure languages, translation work continues, and the day may never come when every last extant language has its own Bible translation.

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Dynamic Or Formal Translation Policy

A variety of linguistic, philological and ideological approaches to translation have been used. Inside the Bible-translation community, these are commonly categorized as:

though modern linguists, such as Bible scholar Dr. Joel Hoffman, disagree with this classification.

Languages Of The New Testament

Bible Translations: Why So Many English Bibles

The books of the ChristianNew Testament are widely agreed to have originally been written in Greek, specifically Koine Greek, even though some authors often included translations from Hebrew and Aramaic texts. Certainly the Pauline Epistles were written in Greek for Greek-speaking audiences. See Greek primacy for further details. Koine Greek was the popular form of Greek which emerged in post-classical antiquity , and marks the third period in the history of the Greek language. It is also called Alexandrian, Hellenistic, Common, or New Testament Greek.

Some scholars believe that some books of the Greek New Testament are actually translations of a Hebrew or Aramaic original. A famous example of this is the opening to the Gospel of John, which some scholars argue to be a Greek translation of an Aramaic hymn. Of these, a small number accept the SyriacPeshitta as representative of the original. See Aramaic primacy.

Likewise, some traditional Roman Catholic scholars believed the Gospel of Mark was originally written in Latin. However, the received text of the New Testament is Greek and nearly all translations are based upon the Greek text.

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A Good Reason To Celebrate In 2020

In a year where there has not been much to celebrate, its a relief to mark International Translation Day September 30 with some good news about the global spread of Gods word.

For the first time, the Bible has been translated in its entirety into more than 700 different languages. That means that just over 5.7 billion people now have the whole Bible in their mother tongue.

Thats a big number. But what really excites and motivates us is how God will use his Word to transform the lives of individuals, churches and communities, said Michael Perreau, director general of United Bible Societies Fellowship a global network of Bible Societies, including Bible Society Australia.

This significant milestone was reported in August 2020 by progress.Bible, which compiles data from Bible translation agencies across the world, including UBS. Their data also shows the speed of Bible translation is increasing the number of languages with the full Bible has almost doubled during the past 30 years.

Such progress is largely due to technological advancement, agencies working together to help local communities translate Scripture, and greater investment by supporters.

Significantly, UBS has produced nearly three-quarters of the worlds full Bible translations.

However, there is still much to be done. More than half of the worlds 7000 languages have not had translation of any form of Scripture, and 1.5 billion people still await the full Bible in their own language.

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Bible Translated Into 48 Languages For The First Time In 2021

11 million people have been able to read the Bible in their own language for the first time since 2021. They speak one of the 48 languages that the Bible or part of the Bible has been translated into. This can be read in a report by United Bible Societies , the alliance of around 150 Bible societies.

The people of the Netherlands and Flanders saw how the introduction of a Bible translation is a major news item when the NBV21 translation was presented, says General Secretary Rieuwerd Buitenwerf of the Bible Society of the Netherlands and Flanders. People respond with surprise and gladness to the new insights into the Scriptures thanks to such a translation. We share that experience with millions of people around the world who were able to read or hear the Bible in their own language for the first time or who received a new translation in 2021.

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Translated Into Over 700 Languages

According to Tyndale Bible Translators, the Bible has been translated fully into 717 languages, meaning that roughly 5.75 billion people have at least one translation of the Bible in their language . Translators who have decided to focus only on the New Testament have managed to get that text translated into 1,582 languages, allowing another 830 million people access, at least theoretically, to that portion of the text. Further, certain portions have been translated into 1,196 other languages, adding another 457 million people to the list of those who, theoretically at least, have access to a Bible or a portion of the Bible.

Of course, that is not the end of the discussion. Some languages have multiple translations for example, according to Christianity.com, there are 450 different translations of the Bible in English alone, about 21 in Spanish , and three ones in French, according to Fluentu.

Meanwhile, according to Tyndale Bible Translators, at least 20% of the world’s population is still waiting on a translation of the full Bible into their native language.

Reformation And Early Modern Period

Bible Translation: Statistics and Needs

The earliest printed edition of the Greek New Testament appeared in 1516 from the Froben press, by Desiderius Erasmus, who reconstructed its Greek text from several recent manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type. He occasionally added a Greek translation of the Latin Vulgate for parts that did not exist in the Greek manuscripts. He produced four later editions of this text. Erasmus was Roman Catholic, but his preference for the manuscripts rather than the Latin Vulgate led some church authorities to view him with suspicion.

During 1517 and 1519 Francysk Skaryna printed a translation of the Bible in Old Belarusian language in twenty-two books.

In 1521, was placed under the Ban of the Empire, and he retired to the Wartburg Castle. During his time there, he translated the New Testament from Greek into German. It was printed in September 1522. The first complete Dutch Bible, partly based on the existing portions of Luther’s translation, was printed in Antwerp in 1526 by Jacob van Liesvelt.

The first printed edition with critical apparatus was produced by the printer Robert Estienne of Paris in 1550. The Greek text of this edition and of those of Erasmus became known as the Textus Receptus , a name given to it in the Elzevier edition of 1633, which termed it as the text nunc ab omnibus receptum .

The use of numbered chapters and verses was not introduced until the Middle Ages and later. The system used in English was developed by Stephanus

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William Tyndale’s Translation Of The Bible Caused Controversy

Instead of abandoning his English translation of the Bible, Tyndale fled the country to work on it. In 1524 he moved to Europe, where he devoted his time to his labors . Tyndale also met with one of his great influences, Martin Luther, while living abroad . Tyndale produced a translation of the New Testament from the original Greek, but he soon ran into another hurdle: He had to find someone to print it. He managed to get his work published in 1526, and copies of his New Testament were smuggled into England. The Church vehemently objected to Tyndale’s translation, and copies of the book were gathered up and burned near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

In 1529, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a leading figure in the English Catholic Church, declared Tyndale a heretic. During this era, being a heretic was a serious crime that could result in a death sentence. Tyndale stayed away from England, choosing to remain in hiding in Europe. He continued his translations and learned Hebrew so that he could work on the books of the Old Testament.

Full Bible Translation Tops 700 Languages For First Time

With an estimated 7,000-plus languages in the world there may be a little way to go, but the full Bible has now been translated into 700 of them.

This means the Bible is now available in languages spoken by around 80 per cent of the worlds population, just over 5.7 billion people, and Bible Societies with other organisations are working to make to make these translations accessible to everyone who wants them.

Almost three-quarters of these Bible translations have been provided by Bible Societies, and it is thanks to the kindness and generosity of people like you that this milestone figure has been reached. With your continued support more translations will be completed, more Bible-based literacy projects will be funded, and millions more Bibles will reach the hands of people who otherwise would never have the privilege of being able to read Gods word in their own tongue.

The milestone was reported in August 2020 by progress.Bible, which compiles data from Bible Societies and other translation agencies across the world.

United Bible Societies Director General Michael Perreau said, This is the fruit of generations of sacrifice and generosity. Each Bible translation takes years of hard work and dedication. We give thanks to God for the men and women who have spent so much of their lives bringing Gods Word to their communities and for those who have supported and prayed for that work.

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Has Jworg Been Knocked Off The Most Translated Website Top Spot

We wanted to provide a quick update on the worlds most translated website, based on new information about the number of languages available.

The Jehovahs Witnesses continue to progress their aim to reach every nation and tribe and tongue and people by making their literature available in as many languages as possible even languages with just a few thousand native speakers.

Literature from the Jehovahs Witnesses can now be read in more than 750 languages. Content can also be viewed in nearly 70 sign languages, ensuring that the JW.org website is incredibly accessible to those with little or no hearing. The Bible itself is available in around 50 languages, while Bible-based content is available in over 500 languages.

List Of Bible Translations By Language

What Counts as “Literal” Bible Translation? | Word Nerd: Language and the Bible.

The United Bible Societies reported that the Bible, in whole or part, has been translated in more than 3,324 languages , including complete Old or New Testaments in 2,189 languages, and the complete text of the Bible in 674 languages, by the end of December 2017.

According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, in October 2017, 3,312 languages had access to at least a book of the Bible, including 1,121 languages with a book or more, 1,521 language groups with access to the New Testament in their native language and 670 the full Bible. It is estimated by Wycliffe Bible Translators that translation may be required in 1,636 languages where no work is currently known to be in progress. They also estimate that there are currently around 2,584 languages which have active Bible translation projects .

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