why are there different Bible Translations?

Dear Strong Girls,

Why are there different translations of the Bible?

Kim- Troy, Michigan

Hi Kim,

Great Question! This is something that confused me as a new believer. 

Before Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press in the fifteenth century, the only copies of the Bible were handwritten. However, the Gutenberg Bible was not in English, but Latin (the Latin Vulgate created my fourth-century theologian Jerome). It was not until 1525 that the Bible (the New Testament) was translated into English from the original Greek by William Tyndale. Since William Tyndale, a few different English translations have emerged. 

Searching for a Bible to buy whether it be on the internet or book store can be confusing. You will find different Bible translations, such as the New King James Version, New International Version, or the New Living Translation. Moreover, there are Bibles designed with a specific purpose or target audiences such as men, women, or teen study Bibles. The key to understanding different translations is to read the translation page or preface of a Bible, which discloses the translators’ philosophy and methods for the biblical translation. The central difference between translations is their systematic approach to translation: 

a) Formal equivalent: translating the wording and structure from the original language. 

b) Functional equivalent: translating the thought of the original language by interpreting the original meaning with accurate and precise English terminology. 

c) Paraphrasing: translating the original language into contemporary language. 

I would recommend getting a few different translations and comparing them. Several Bible websites allow you to compare a verse in serval different translations. This exercise is an excellent exercise to gain a better understanding of a particular verse in the Bible. 

Blessings,

Strong Girls XOXO

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