1450-500 B.C. | Hebrew Manuscripts – The original Books of the O.T. are recorded.
250 B.C. | Greek Manuscripts – The original Hebrew is translated into Greek by 70 (or 72) Jewish translators, producing what is referred to as “The Septuagint” or simply "LXX" for 70. Many N.T. authors quoted directly from the Greek Septuagint.
40-100 A.D. | Greek N.T. is written – The 27 Greek Books of the N.T. are written by the original authors.
384 A.D. | Latin Vulgate - Jerome translates the scriptures into Latin for the first time. This becomes the official Bible of the Roman Church for over 1,000 years.
1384 A.D. | Wycliffe Bible - John Wycliffe is the first to translate the entire Latin Vulgate into Middle English.
1455 A.D. | Gutenberg Bible – Johann Gutenberg prints the 1st book ever. The Bible, in Latin.
1516 A.D. | Erasmus’ Greek & Latin N.T. – Desiderius Erasmus publishes his translation of the New Testament from the original Greek, in an effort to correct the corrupt Latin Vulgate.
1514-17 A.D. | Complutensian Polyglot - The 1st complete Polyglot Bible printed in the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. It was a six-volume set printed in Spain. This was the 1st accurate source-text of the original languages needed for translation.
1522 A.D. | Luther New Testament - Martin Luther translates the New Testament into German, referred to as the "September Bible".
1523 A.D. | Luther Pentateuch - Martin Luther translates the five books of Moses, known as "the Pentateuch" or "Torah" into German.
1525/26 A.D. | Tyndale Bible - William Tyndale translates the New Testament into English.
1528 A.D. | Pagnini Bible - Sante Pagnini is the first translator to divide the biblical text into numbered verses and one of the first revisions of the Latin Vulgate using the original languages. These are not the same verse divisions used today.
1531 A.D. | Zurich Bible - The Zürich Bible is a Bible translation historically based on the translation by the Swiss reformer, Huldrych Zwingli. It is thought to be the first Bible to contain a map.
1534 A.D. | Luther Bible - publishes his first complete Bible in the modern German language.
1535 A.D. | Coverdale Bible - Myles Coverdale completes the first complete Bible printed in the English language.
1537 A.D. | Matthew Bible – John “Thomas Matthew” Rogers prints the second complete English language Bible by utilizing both Tyndale's and Coverdale's work. This was also the 1st English Bible to be translated from the original Hebrew & Greek.
1539 A.D. | Great Bible – Myles Coverdale oversees this translation which was authorized for use by the Church of England.
1550 A.D. | Greek N.T. - Robert “Stephanus” Estienne translates and confirms Erasmus’ text from 1516. Together, these translations (along with Beza's 1598 revisions and the Complutensian Polyglot), become known later as the “Textus Receptus” in 1633.
1551 A.D. | Latin-Greek-Latin N.T. – “Stephanus” prints the first N.T. Bible which contain the verse divisions we still use today.
1560 A.D. | Geneva Bible – The “People’s Bible” was the first English Bible to use verse divisions and was the first Bible brought over by the Pilgrims on the Mayflower.
1568 A.D. | Bishops Bible – The Church of England revised The Great Bible, in a failed attempt to overthrow the popularity of the Geneva Bible, which contained “controversial” marginal notes.
1569 A.D. | Biblia del Oso "Bear" Bible - Casiodoro de Reina, a former Catholic monk turned Lutheran theologian, produced the first complete Bible printed in Spanish. It was called the Bear Bible due to the woodcut on the title page depicting a bear reaching into a bee hive after honey, a reference to the sweetness of the Lord's words.
1582 A.D. | Rheims N.T. – The 1st “Catholic” Bible printed in English at the College of Rheims, France.
1610 A.D. | Douay O.T. – This was printed with the Rheims N.T. to form the first complete Catholic Bible printed in English (The Douay-Rheims Bible). Both were translated directly from the Latin Vulgate.
1611 A.D. | The “Authorized Version” (KJV) – Known simply as the KJV today, this was the Anglican Churches response to the Protestant Church’s Geneva Bible of the previous 50 years. It was actually not referred to as the “King James Bible” until the 1700’s. The only book in the world with 1 billion copies in print.
1663 A.D. | Eliot Bible – The 1st Bible printed on U.S. soil. Printed in the Algonquin Indian language. Named after John Eliot, missionary to the Indians.
1743 A.D. | Saur Bible – The first German Bible printed in the U.S. in Germantown, PA by Christoph Saur.
1760 A.D. | Cambridge (KJV) - Dr. F.S. Parris completes 25 years of work revising the KJV to correct thousands of spelling and punctuation errors. This was the true first "Standard" edition from Cambridge that went on to heavily influence Oxford's "Standard" of 1769.
1769 A.D. | Oxford (KJV) – Dr. Blayney takes the majority of Dr. Parris’ work and publishes his own Bible which became known as the Oxford "Standard" Edition. The KJV of today is based on this revision.
1781 A.D. | Aitken Bible (KJV) – Printed by Robert Aitken, this was the first English language Bible to be printed in the United States. It is also the only U.S. Bible to ever be officially approved by US Congress.
1791 A.D. | Collins Bible (KJV) – Isaac Collins printed the 1st "Family Bible" in the U.S.
1800 A.D. | The Macklin Bible (KJV) - The Macklin Bible of 1800 was the largest and most impressive Bible printed in its time. The Bible consisted of a six volume set, (seven with the Apocrypha), that weighed well over 100 pounds. Each volume was illustrated with multiple copper plate engravings after paintings by some of the foremost artists of the day. Among the 700 subscribers included the royal family.
1833 A.D. | Webster's Bible - Several years after releasing his widely popular Dictionary, Noah Webster revised the KJV Bible in 1833, mainly focused on replacing archaic language and some minor grammatical changes.
1881/1885 A.D. | Revised Version (RV) - 1st and only authorized revision of the KJV in Great Britain.
20th/21st Century Translations...
1901 A.D. | American Standard Version (ASV) – The ASV was basically the “American” version of the 1885 Revised Version.
1952 A.D. | Revised Standard Version (RSV) - This version was technically not a new translation but rather an authorized revision of the 1901 ASV, which itself, was a revision of the KJV.
1965 A.D. | The Amplified Bible - This Bible was unique in that a single person" compiled it, and even more unique in that this person was a woman, Frances E. Siewart. This Bible was based on the ASV and intended to provide readers with insights into the original Hebrew and Greek.
1966 A.D. | The Jerusalem Bible (JB) - The JB was a popular English-speaking Roman Catholic translation released in 1966. As a Catholic Bible, it also contained the deuterocanonical books, commonly referred to as "the Apocrypha". It was heavily influenced by the French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem of 1961.
1971 A.D. | The New American Standard Bible (NASB) - The NASB is a word-for-word formal equivalence translation. It is a revision of the ASV. The NASB took 10 years to complete and was originally published in stages, starting in 1960 with the Gospel of John. Their goal was to make the first word-for-word, readable translation of the text. The NASB's cross-reference system was noted to be one of the best ever published. There have been two updated versions to the NASB over the years: the NASB 1995 and the NASB 2020. The NASB 2020 is an update to the NASB 1995 that further improves the accuracy where possible, modernizes languages, and improves readability.
1976 A.D. | The Good News Translation - Published by the American Bible Society, this was the first English Bible to adopt the "dynamic equivalence" philosophy of translation which basically means this was the first "thought-for-thought" English translation of the Bible. It was widely endorsed over the years from various denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and even the Roman Catholic Church.
1976 A.D. | An American Translation (AAT) - This Bible translation, known as the "Beck Bible" after the sole translator, Dr. William F. Beck, was officially titled, The Holy Bible - An American Translation (AAT). His N.T. was originally published by Concordia Publishing House in 1963. His complete Bible was later published in full in 1976 by the Leader Publishing Company of New Haven, MO. It is currently in its fourth edition and being printed by Lutheran News, Inc., out of New Haven, MO. The AAT is a faithful translation, (not a paraphrase), of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts. It is an early dynamic equivalence translation and one of the originals to use the best and oldest manuscripts of his time. In the Preface, Beck wrote, "My goal is to have God talk to the hearts of people in their languages of today and tomorrow. In this direction I go farther than any other translation."
1978 A.D. | The New International Version (NIV) - The NIV Bible was published by Zondervan in 1978 and fell somewhere in between the thought-for-thought and word-for-word translations. By the mid 1980's, the NIV had overtaken the KJV in sales. Well over 120 million NIV Bibles have been sold to date.
1982 A.D. | The New King James Bible (NKJV) - The NKJV is another revision of the KJV, in modern English. The main goal of the NKJV was to render the text in a way that the archaic language was removed, while still retaining the beauty and majesty of the KJV. The NKJV project was sponsored by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Over 130 evangelical scholars and theologians worked on this project for 7 years, the same amount of time taken by the original translators in 1611.
1985 A.D. | The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) - The NJB became the most popular Catholic Bible among English-speaking communities outside of the United States. Unlike most modern translations of today, the NJB renders the O.T. name for God, YHWH, as "Yahweh", just as the JB did.
1989 A.D. | The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) - This Bible was a revision of the RSV of 1952. Bruce Metzger served as chairman of the translation committee. The NRSV was widely used amongst many liberal leaning denominations as it was the first to eliminate masculine-oriented language from the text., except in reference to God.
1995 A.D. | GOD'S WORD (GW) - The GOD’S WORD Translation Bible was produced using a theory of translation that combines accuracy with understandability. This theory is called "closest natural equivalence". In short, closest natural equivalence concentrates on accurately translating the meaning of the original languages into natural English. It has been published and revised several times since 1995.
1996 A.D. | The New Living Translation (NLT) - The translators goal of the NLT was to have the same impact on modern readers as the original Books had on their audience. It has a 6th grade reading level. The NLT was a major revision of the original LT, which was translated by a single individual. The NLT committee consisted of 87 evangelical scholars across various denominations.
2001 A.D. | The English Standard Version (ESV) - The widely popular ESV was published by Crossway Bibles in 2001. It is a formal equivalence translation, or "word-for-word" literal translation, with an 8th grade reading level. It is noted for being highly accurate, yet also very readable and is a popular and preferred translation by many biblical scholars, along with the NASB.
2004 A.D. | The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) - This translation is an accurate, yet easy-to-read Bible that is designed for Bible readers of all ages and is Protestant, evangelical, and conservative in nature. The HCSB is ultimately a product of the Southern Baptist Convention. Today, the HCSB is simply referred to as the CSB or Christian Standard Bible and is a minor revision/update of the original HCSB.
2005 A.D. | The New English Translation (NET) - This was a completely new translation, not a revision or update of a previous version. It is unique in that it features over 60,000 translator notes. These notes provide the reader with a trove of insights into the minds of the translators and explain their decision and thought process throughout the text. On gender issues, the goal of the NET was to be "gender-accurate" as opposed to "gender-inclusive".
2016 A.D. | The Berean Standard Bible (BSB) - The translation team for the BSB was comprised of scholars from the Bible Hub and the Discover Bible. The Berean Standard Bible (BSB) was originally titled the "Berean Study Bible" and is a completely new English translation of the Holy Bible based on the best available manuscripts and sources. Each word is connected back to Greek or Hebrew to produce a transparent text that can be studied for its root meanings. The BSB is one of four translation "tiers" of the overall "Berean Bible" project. In addition to the BSB which is classified as the Study translation tier, the Berean Bible project also includes an Interlinear translation, a Literal translation, and an Emphasized translation. The BSB lies somewhere near the middle of the range from “Word for Word” (Literal) Translations to “Thought for Thought” (Dynamic) Translations. The literal and interlinear versions are strict word-for-word translations and are also available for free on their website. Learn more about the BSB here...
Present – As of this date, there are literally hundreds of English translations of the Bible that have been printed in modern times. This page isn't intended to list them all, but rather introduce the viewer to some of the more popular ones. For a great free online resource for a wide variety of translations, please visit our sponsors at the Bible Hub website.
Bible Translation Guide
Formal Equivalence? Functional Equivalence? Closest Natural Equivalence? Word-for-Word? Thought-for-Thought? Dynamic Equivalence? Formal Equivalence? We get it! Understanding all the different types of methodologies and philosophies behind all the various Bible translation can be rather confusing. Thankfully our great sponsors over at the GOD'S WORD Translation has a great article about it here...
"Greatness, power, splendor, glory, and majesty are yours, LORD, because everything in heaven and on earth is yours. The kingdom is yours, LORD,
and you are honored as head of all things.."
- 1 Chronicles 29:11 (GW)