How Many Languages The Bible Has Been Translated?
Any daring bible scholar who wants to get more in-depth knowledge than the surface of the scriptures will be more than interested in this piece. I once got a question about the language that Jesus spoke, and I was caught completely flat-footed. Here, you are going to be learning about the history of the bible and the plenty of language translations that have followed suit. Follow the chain of translations down from the original Greek to the latest foreign languages involved in the picture. Let's not waste any more time as we drill down on the subject, and get ourselves genuinely enlightened on the journey of Bible translations.
The translation of the bible started far before the emergence of Christianity. 200 years after the Common Era, the part of the Bible (Old Testament) that meant so much to the Jews was translated to Greek by a set of rabbinic scholars. The Septuagint became the known name of the version of this translation.
The earliest languages
The bible was written in the Greek language (Koine) though Jesus spoke Aramaic while he was on earth. It has to be scripted in Greek because it was the most spoken language around the region about the time. Aramaic is, however, not far from the Greek Language, making it a perfect choice for putting down the events of the bible. It was not all the portions of the Old Testament that were written in Greek though, as other parts like the book of Daniel and Ezra maintained their Aramaic translation.
I want to believe that it is highly unlikely that you’ve read the bible in the original Koine Greek; bringing us to the question of how we got to the level of bible translations we are dealing with in recent times. In translations, it is not the bible that is changed; rather it is the language that changes. Supposedly, they are all meant to convey the same message. For instance, the English language has undergone a lot of reviews in the last 600 years. With such changes, you expect a few adjustments to be done to already existing versions of the bible by reputable Christian translation ministries. But in all the message remains the same.
The challenges faced
There is a regular challenge that occasions every translation, and it’s the fact that there are words that can be said in one language and they make perfect sense while if expressed in another language, they don't send out the right message. So that is why it is encouraged that you have a look at more than one translation if you intend to get the full meaning of what a passage is saying.
In the 4th century, the bible was translated by a specific Saint Jerome to the language of the Roman Empire, Latin. His translation was based on the original Hebrew version of the Old Testament and the Greek Version of the New Testament. This translation was popularly called the Vulgate. Wherever he noticed any disagreement between the Septuagint version and original Hebrew version of the old, he merely followed the Septuagint.
From all what has been said, you can clearly understand that the Christian translation of the bible started a long time ago. But not until 1604, before the Standard English version of the King James Version was commissioned and became a reference for Christians who wanted to continue in their faith outside the Catholic Church. In summary, the Bible has been translated into over 2,400 languages as of now.