Bible Translation and Bible Versions Timeline

Bible translation and bible versions timeline
Bible translation and bible versions timeline

Bible Translation and Bible Versions Timeline is something a christian must know.

Many Bible versions have written this in their first pages as the ‘Preface’ but some have twisted it to campaign for the use and authorization of their Bible version.

I am not going to give you Bible Translation and Bible Versions Timeline as found in your Bible preface but a clear and summarized view.

Bible Translation and Bible Versions Timeline

And this is how The Bible came to be with time estimates;

  • Pentateuch

In 400s BC, the first five books of the bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, numbers and Deuteronomy, referred in Judaism as ‘Torah’, were completed. These books were in Hebrew Language.

  • Septuagint

In 2707 BC, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible was created in Egypt for Greek speaking Jews outside Palestine.

  • The New Testament

In 57-1507 AD, the 27 books of the new testament were written

  • The Vulgate Bible

In 3867-4192 AD, a Christian scholar Jerome becomes governor of a monastery in Bethlehem, where he translates the Bible into Latin from the Greek and Hebrew. This is referred to as The Vulgate Bible.

Realize that the bible was first written in Hebrew, then translated to Greek and Latin. After the Vulgate Bible, we entered into an era where the bible was to be translated into English.

English Bible Versions Translation

This is how it was: –

  • John Wycliffe

In 1378 – 1388 AD, a English theologian and reformer John Wycliffe and Oxford associates undertake the first translation of the Bible into English. The first complete English Bible from them appeared in manuscript in 1382 AD. John Wycliffe was later deemed heretic by the Catholic Church and killed.

  • William Tyndale

In 1525 AD, a English reformer William Tyndale translated the New Testament from the Greek text, copies of which were printed in Germany and smuggled into England.

Tyndale’s translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew text was only partly completed because he was publicly executed and burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Empire.

  • King James Version

In 1611 AD James I of England commissioned a revision of the English Bible, ‘The King James Version’, as it is called, was completed in 1611 AD. It is a continuation of the partly complete Tyndale’s work of translation.

Realize that the Roman Empire was in power in the days of John Wycliffe and William Tyndale. They were against them and their work hence they persecuted them.

Therefore the Roman Empire entered to translate the bible to fit into catholic doctrines and teachings. This how the Roman Empire did: –

  • Douay or Douay Rheimsh Bible

In 1582-1609 AD, the Douay or Douay Rheimsh Bible was completed and it was commonly used by the Roman Catholics in English-speaking nations.

This bible was a translation from Latin Vulgate Bible by two English exiles in France; William alien and Gregory martin. In later 1900s English Bishop Challoner revised the Douay Rheims Bible and it is referred to as ‘The Challoner Bible’.

  • The New American Bible

In 19th and 20th century other bible revisions were done, the most commonly used being ‘The New American Bible’ of 1970.

From the King James Version (1611), the English Bible has been translated into many different versions. The back-borne of some lies in the King James Version while others follow the Roman Catholic empire bible: The Douay Rheims Bible.

(You can differentiate this in the preface of your Bible)

Different bible versions timeline

  • New American Bible of 1970
  • English Revised Version (1881-85)
  • American Standard Version (1901)
  • Revised Standard Version (RSV) appeared between 1946 and 1952
  • The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV, 1989)
  • Weymouth (1903)
  • Goodspeed and Smith (1923-27)
  • Moffatt (1924-26)
  • Phillips (1947)
  • Today’s English Version (1966-76)
  • The New English Bible (1946)
  • The New International Bible (1973-79)
  • Living Bible (1962-71)
  • Anchor Bible (1964
  • New Jewish Version1962-1983)
  • The Jerusalem Bible (1966)

(Have only written when their first original versions first appeared, not their revised versions which have come out in recent times and there are many more which are not in the list)

There are many English Bible versions in recent times, translated and written for different reasons and purposes. The big question is: – which English Bible translation is most accurate ?

Realize that some bible versions were translated by men with their own intentions, like the Roman Empire, who translated it to fit into the church doctrines and teachings not sticking to how God inspired the word.