Translating The Bible

Audience: Adult Format: Web Author: The Learning Bible

Translation is the process of communicating a message into a language that is different from the one in which the message was originally written. The message may be a song, a poem, a story, directions, a telephone message, or a sermon. But if a person is not able to understand that message because it is written or told in an unfamiliar language, the message must be translated in order for that person to understand it. Without the process of translation that message will never be effectively communicated to a new audience (group of hearers). The message may be heard, but it will not be understood. This is especially important when the Bible is the message to be communicated.

The Bible is made up of several individual books that were written and told long ago in various languages quite unfamiliar to us today. These books came together over a period of more than a thousand years to form what we know as the Bible. None of these books were originally written in English (or Spanish or most other languages used throughout the world today). They were written in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic (for the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament) and in Greek (for the New Testament). Without Bible translation, people today would have to learn these three languages in order to read and understand the words of the Bible!

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for nearly 200 years.

Help us share God's Word where needed most.

Give Now

Sign up to receive regular email updates from the Bible Resource Center.

Related Resources