Christians believe God has preserved the text of the Bible for thousands of years. But how often do we think about the countless men and women—scholars, translators, missionaries, and others—who God has used to accomplish this remarkable act of preservation and transmission?
Bible Translation Day was established by Wycliffe founder Cameron Townsend and in 1966, the United States Senate designated September 30 as the date (September 30 is the feast day of St. Jerome, the influential early Christian famous for his translation of the Bible into Latin).
Sign up for our Verse of the Day to receive a daily Bible verse in four well-known translations.
Here are a few ways you may want to celebrate:
1. Read a new translation of the Bible. Most of us tend to stick to a particular Bible translation that we particularly enjoy. But there’s much to be gained from giving other Bible versions a look from time to time—different approaches to translation often capture the nuances of Scripture text slightly differently, and can give you added insight into a Bible passage’s meaning and significance. In recognition of Bible Translation Day, see what new insights you can learn from reading a different Bible version!
Select from the many Bible translations freely available on Bible Gateway—use the drop-down menu on our homepage to browse through them, and pick one that interests you. You can read more than one Bible version side-by-side to make it easier to compare different translations of a particular Bible passage—click here for a step-by-step tutorial.
2. Learn about the significance of Bible translation. Faced with all of those Bible translations—dozens in English alone—it’s natural to wonder why so many translations exist rather than only one “official” one. Are some translations better than others? What’s the point of having many different translations? Pastor Mel Lawrenz has written an excellent brief beginner’s guide to Bible translation. It’s a good place to start.
3. Learn about the most famous Bible translator in church history. September 30, 2020 is the 1600th anniversary of the death of Jerome, the man responsible for the important Vulgate translation of the Bible. Read about his translation work. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a look at the Vulgate translation itself here on Bible Gateway.
4. Educate yourself about the ongoing work of Bible translation today. The work of Bible translation has not ended; it continues, not only in the major languages of the world, but in countless languages and dialects that are waiting for a translation. Wycliffe, with its close connection to Bible Translation Day, is a good place to start; an overview of Bible translation throughout history is published on its blog. Of course, Wycliff isn’t the only organization at work translating the Bible—talk to your pastor to learn if your church works with any translation organizations. Also read the article, What Does “SIL” Translate To?.
Enjoy your Bible Translation Day!
[For links to websites and Twitter handles, see our Blog post, Bible Translation Organizations]
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