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Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by deacon jd, May 22, 2009.
How many English versions are there to date? I can't seem to find the answer.
Hundreds, especially if you include all of the different revisions of each version.
I asked this once before, and got slammed, but why is there the need for so many?
1. Language changes over time.
2. There are different ways to translate.
None of the legitimate translations out there change any core doctrines.
What difference does it make? People have been translating and updating English Bibles since the beginning of the English language. Tyndale released two editions of his NT. He was killed before the OT was completed. People that worked closely with him finished the OT. Then there was Matthews Bible, Coverdale Bible, Great Bible, Bishops Bible, Geneva Bible, KJV Bible, and on and on and on.
One might as well ask, "Why is there the need for so many Baptist Churches?"
The reason the answer is difficult to find is because various compilers define differently what they consider a 'version' befitting their particular list. Complete 'Bibles' (with both Testaments with or without Apocrypha) are far fewer than the number of New Testaments. There have been many translations of individual books (Psalms is probably the most common), or portions (like the Pentateuch, Gospels, etc.)
The 2006/07 edition of Rev. Bradford Taliaferro's Bible Version Enyclopedia lists over 500 English versions. But he includes items such as: Gordon's New Testament (never published) and The Gospels for Hackers, an Evolutionary Edition of the NT (very incomplete), the New Testament in Scots, and Tyndale's 1531 Jonah for example.
Ken Connelly states in his Indestructible Book that "from 1525 to the publication of the KJV in 1611 there were some 212 editions of the Bible, complete or in part" (p.277), "between the KJV and ASV in 1901 there were no less than 522 attempts" (p.181), and "between 1901 and 1985 no less than 440 efforts were recorded". Connelly claims that there were 40 translations (mostly Psalms) in Olde & Middle English, plus another 26 translations (including Wycliffe's) before 1525.
David Daniell mentions in his The Bible in English that in the 19th century in Britian alone there were "13 new translations of the Bible, or Old Testament alone, and 37 of the New Testament on its' own" (p.642); yet, this period is not considered particularly proliferous of Bible translations.
I can tell you that I can personally confirm more than 150 unique English translations published of the New Testament since 1900 (more than 30 just since 2000). I actually own hardcopies of over 100 versions. Here are the criteria I used to define a unique translation: 1. it must legitimately be in English (not a pidgin, dialect, etc.); 2. it must be the complete NT (or at least the vast majority of the 27 books); 3. it must be a genuinely 'unique' text (not a minor revision or remarketing of a previous text); 4. it must have been generally available to the public (this excludes any individual 'private' copy). 5. it can be very paraphrasical and still be included in my list; 6. it can be 'condensed' or abridged text and still be included in my list. In my list study notes, chronological or parallel arrangements, or special covers with fanciful titles do not qualify as new unique Bibles (while the text remains the same).
Why is there a need for so many places to eat and buy food? I can only eat at one quick food place at a time.
I am the guy who for the first 27 years of my Christian life read the KJV. These last 30 years I've read the KJVs plus other translations. I consider it axiomatic that my trailer/signature block is true. This leads to the following logical conclusions:
God uses multiple translations to enhance our experience with the Scripture and with the Lord about whom the Scripture speaks.
Why did God bless we English speaking/reading persons so many Good Bibles.
The number would vary greatly depending on whether only whole translations [both Old and New Testament], whole Testaments [at least the complete Old or complete New Testament], or translations of individual books of the Bible were counted. The number would also vary depending on whether revisions were counted as another translation or not. For example, there are a number of updated revisions on the KJV [some perhaps not in print but only available online]. What they count as a different version or a revision? Would only printed editions be counted or would editions whose text is available on the web also count?