All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

How can I learn about God?

Translations of the Bible

    Not only does the uniqueness of the Bible support its reliability, but the methods of translation of this book also support its dependability. As previously outlined, the bible was written over centuries by a variety of people. The original writings were composed in Hebrew (most of the Old Testament), Aramaic (parts of Ezra, Daniel and Jeremiah), and Greek (the whole New Testament).

These writings have since been translated into most of the world's known languages. This causes some to question the accuracy of the Bible. They ask, "If the Bible has been translated so many times, version upon version, how can one possibly trust its reliability?" The answer to this question is found in the translation process. While the Bible has been translated into numerous languages, these translations are only one, or at most two, steps removed from the original text.

The Bible was translated into other languages soon after it was written. The Old Testament was translated into Greek during the third century B.C. From 383-400 A.D., Jerome, the secretary to the bishop of Rome, translated the bible into Latin. In 1382, John Wycliff translated the Bible from Latin into English so that the people could study the bible in their own tongue. The Renaissance brought a renewed interest in the classics and the desire to study them in their original languages. William Tyndale, who studied Hebrew and Greek, translated the bible into English directly from ancient Greek texts. Other English translations followed in quick order, but probably the greatest of all English translations was commissioned by King James of England in 1604 and was first published in 1611.

Each of these works was taken carefully from the oldest writings of the Old and New Testament. Since the study of Greek and Hebrew was revived in the fifteenth century, scholars have been able to work directly from ancient manuscripts. Therefore, the belief is unfounded that today's Bible is based on a series of previous translations. We can be confident that the Bible translations we have today are accurate and based directly on ancient manuscripts.

A further question arises, "Why are there so many current translations and why do they seem to vary at times?" Wycliff produced his work because of his desire to present a translation in the common tongue. Current translations are made with a similar motivation - to produce a fresh version in the language of today. A careful comparison of a translation from 1960 with a more current translation would show subtle differences in word choice. Comparing both to the much older King James Version would show even greater differences.

Today's translations also will vary somewhat based on whether the translators made a 'word for word' translation or one based on a 'thought for thought' concept. The meaning remains the same, but word choices will vary.
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