part 3 of series starting here , read part II here
FROM HEBREW AND GREEK MANUSCRIPTS TO MODERN ENGLISH
We have briefly covered the origins of scripture, but how did it get from hebrew and greek to the english version we own? The following is a brief outline of the history of the Bible came to be translated into English.
· 315 A.D. - Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, identifies the 27
books of the New Testament
· 405 – Jerome translates the Latin Bible (Vulgate)
· The Bible of the “common people” took shape in the form
of wood carvings, stain glass windows, etc.
· 1382 – 1st English translation by John Wycliffe (handwritten)
· 1414 – Capital Punishment is declared for reading Scripture in
one’s native tongue. In 1428, Wycliffe’s bones were dug up and burned
· 1454 – printing press invented
· 1526 – William Tyndale published first printed New Testament
· 1530’s – Martin Luther works on German Bible
· 1535 - Miles Coverdale prints first full English Bible, burned
at the stake in 1536
· 1560 – Geneva Bible : first Bible in America, used by Pilgrims
and the Puritans, also by Shakespeare
· 1611 – after Henry VIII's breaking away from the Roman
Catholic Church and the formation of the Anglican church,
they printed their own Bible under the reign of James-the
King James Version. (many errors made, revised many times[i])
· 1881 – English Revised edition
· 1901 – The American Standard
· 1952 – Revised Standard Version
· 1963 – New American Standard
· 1978 – New International Version
· 1982 – New King James Version
· 1989 – New Revised Standard Version
· 2001 – English Standard Version
· 2004 – Holman Christian Standard Version
As Americans, the fact that we have our own Bibles, and for many of us,
multiple copies, should give us pause. People were killed for trying to give
a copy of the Bible to people in their own language. There are people who
are killed for owning copies, and who make great sacrifices just to read a
Last year, a professor last year read an email account from a missionary
telling of a boy with no arms who walked miles through the jungle to get
just a portion of the new testament. he made his way through the jungle
(with no arms!) to the river where the missionaries were, had them place
a copy on his shoulder where he tilted his head down to hold it, and started
on his journey back home.
We are greatly blessed to be able to have copies of God’s revelation
readily available. Shame on us if we take it for granted, do not read it,
or do not live it.
For further Reasearch and Study:
The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and
Development of the Bible, Paul D. Wegner, Baker Academic, 2004.
The Story of Christianity Justo Gonzalez, Prine Press, 1999.
The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development,
and Significance, Bruce Metzger. Oxford University Press, 1997.
Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bibles Accuracy, Authority and
Authenticity, James R. White. Bethany House, 2004.
Scripture Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine R.C. Sproul and
Keith Mathison. P&R Publishing, 2005.
[i] See James R. White’s The King James Only Controversey,
Bethany House, 1995.