Was the Bible originally written in the Aramaic language?..
I’ve often heard that the Bible has been translated a few times from the original Aramaic language, into a few others before it was written in English.
In my mind I have always thought that the first English translation of the Bible would have been in the reign of King Henry VIII in about 1538. Henry being the first King to authorise an English Bible
However, John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor created the first hand-written English language Bible manuscript in the 1380’s. These were translated from the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible. This was a risk, as the Roman church at the time threatened that anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible would be executed. One of Wycliffe’s followers; John Hus, was actually executed by the Catholic Church.
I have wondered about the language of the Bible for some time…
I did some checking and found this text covering the subject:
The Jewish Bible, the Old Testament, was originally written almost entirely in Hebrew, with a few short elements in Aramaic. When the Persian empire controlled the eastern Mediterranean basin, Aramaic became the lingua franca of the area, and for liturgical reasons it became necessary for the Jewish communities of the region to have the Torah, or Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), translated into the common language from traditional Hebrew. The resulting Targums (from Aramaic meturgeman, “translator”) survived after original Hebrew scrolls had been lost.
By the mid-3rd century bc Greek was the dominant lingua franca, and Jewish scholars began the task of translating the Hebrew canon into that language, an undertaking that was not completed for more than a century. Because tradition held that each of the 12 tribes of Israel contributed six scholars to the project, the Greek version of the Jewish Bible came to be known later (in Latin) as the Septuagint (septuaginta: “70”).
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica:
The New Testament, however, was written in Greek.
I also saw a very interesting text at www.biblica.com:
This said: “Ten trained translators looking at the same Greek text would likely come up with ten slightly different renditions, [into English] and each would have reasons for his or her choice of particular words and phrases.”
Another website: www.greatsite.com states:
In the 1490’s another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel… yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin… though Latin was not an original language of the scriptures.
in 1516 a new English language bible was printed, but this time translated directly from the Greek and Hebrew languages rather than the Latin Vulgate translation. Some Roman Catholics have claimed the Holy Spirit’s endorsement of the Latin Vulgate, and that other translations are so corrupt that they are Satan’s bibles.
One example of translation is on the Lords Prayer:
“Give us this day our supersubstantial bread”, is the Douay-Rheims Version, using correct? translation, but is now just the simple “Give us this day our daily bread”
The expression, “the church of God” (he ekklesia tou theou), appears first in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament. This brings into question for some; is the correct church the Church of God or the Church of Christ?
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