The Bible, its languages and its translations

Cover: The Bible, its languages and its translations

We often refer to the Bible as the Book, emphasizing its status as the single most important, fundamental text of Christianity, perhaps even of the entire Western civilization. What tends to slip our mind, however, is the plurality of its linguistic origins – its various translations, source texts, revisions… After identifying the languages in which the Bible was written, and analyzing the characteristics of each, the question of translation arises: is translation necessarily a betrayal? How should we approach the Word amidst all this plurality? To explore these questions The World of the Bible asked a number of specialists to examine different ancient versions of the Bible: the first Masoretic texts, the Alexandrian version, the Eastern, the Western, the Latin, and last but not least, the one by Romano-Jewish scholar Flavius Josephus. We then conclude our inquiry by going over the history of the English translations, their incredible plurality within a single language.

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