History of Translation


Old Testament Languages

The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people. As time passed after the original writing, the Greek language gained popularity. So, in the third century B.C. a Greek translation of the Old Testament scriptures was completed—the Septuagint. This translation was in common use during the time of Jesus’ ministry.

New Testament Languages

When the New Testament was written, Koine Greek was the common language of the time. This familiar language communicated well to average people and deeply impacted the early church. But eventually, other languages became more common. Koine Greek was no longer in everyday use in some areas, and the gospel spread into entirely new territories not familiar with this language. These factors made translation essential if people were to fully understand Scriptures. Translations began early in the history of the Church.