Why so many Bible translations??

by Lisa Graham on January 13, 2012

Unfortunately, just like con artists, people hungry for power have always been around!

Our modern day Bible was complete….all finished and translated in to 500 languages by 500 AD.  Can you believe that?  500 languages!!

One of the languages was Latin….it was translated to Latin in 382 AD.  It was called the Latin Vulgate Bible, Vulgate meaning common.Bible Translations

In 600 AD every Bible translation was outlawed except….Latin Vulgate.  If someone was caught with another translation…they were executed!  Yes, executed!

Now, you may be asking yourself….why?

Again, there is still only one church, Catholic.  Catholic means Universal.

The priests were fluent in Latin so they were the only ones who could read it….they could tell everyone else what the Bible said and no one would be the wiser.  Of course, there were others who could read/understand Latin but not enough to make a difference.

Pope Leo X has two quotes that just drive me crazy….

1.  ”The fable of Christ has been quite profitable for us”

2.  ”As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the troubled soul from purgatory springs!”  Yes, they convinced people to pay money to get their loved ones in to heaven.  Coffer meaning offering plate.

The other thing he started…”selling of the indulgences”, yes, it is as bad as it sounds.  Sin, pay money and be forgiven OR…sin, pay MORE money, be forgiven AND allowed to continue with whatever you were doing.

Please do not get me wrong…I am not downing the Catholic church at all…every organization has good and bad, this is just a part of history.

By the late 1300′s John Wycliffe wanted every person to have the opportunity to read the Bible.  He, with help, translated the Latin Vulgate back to English…he copied every word by hand!

In 1525 the first English Bible is printed (not by hand) by William Tyndale, he translated it from German.

In 1539, King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife and marry his mistress.  The Pope told him no.  This made the king mad, so he just decided he wouldn’t be Catholic anymore and would start his own church.  He started the Church of England, also known as the Anglican Church and made himself the head.

In 1560 the Geneva Bible was published…it was the first Bible to add numbered verses and notes on the side.  This was the first study Bible.

This was also the Bible the Pilgrims brought to America!  It went out of print in 1633 but reprints are now available.

In 1604 King James I became King after Queen Elizabeth died…thank goodness, she was horrible!

The clergy wanted the Bible to be available for everyone and asked the King to make it happen.

The Geneva Study Bible was great but the notes in the margins made it controversial so….for about 6 years a bunch of scholars worked to study and develop the King James Bible.  They used about 5 different translations.  The first King James Bibles were printed in 1611 and were 16 inches tall, there was one chained to every pulpit in England. Eventually, smaller versions were made available.

That was just the beginning of Bible translations!  There are now a LOT of translations available and it can be overwhelming!

Some Bibles translate word-for-word, others thought-by-thought.

If you are buying a Bible for someone….their reading level and their knowledge of the Bible helps determine which Bible is best for them.

It really does matter which translation you use….YOU have to be able to understand it.  I encourage you to read from more than one translation.

Here is a great article I found about the different translations…it gives information on the word-for-word, though-for-thought, etc.

I found two charts that compare reading levels, translation types and show sample verses from different translations.  I am including both because they are a little different.

Chart 1

Chart 2

God rejoices when we seek Him!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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  • http://www.financialexcellence.net Matt Wegner

    I definitely have found benefit in reading from more than one translation. Sometimes it totally changes the message you receive from a particular passage… in a good way.

    • Anonymous

      Yes! Gotta love the “ah ha” moments!

  • http://christopherbattles.net/ Christopher Battles

    Thank you.  This is very interesting.  I will check out those charts now.

    K, bye

    • lhgraham

      Your welcome Christopher! Enjoy the charts and let me know if you have any questions!

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