The Bible has not always been in English.
Parts of the Bible were translated into English as long ago as the end of the seventh century (Old English or Anglo-Saxon).
John Wycliffe, a 14th century theologian, translated (or oversaw the translation of) what is known as Wycliffe's Bible. It appeared around 1382 to 1395. The translators used the Latin Vulgate Bible as their source. It retained much of the Latin style. While Wycliffe died of a stroke at the end of 1384, he was declared a heretic in 1415. His books were burned and his body was exhumed and burned.
William Tyndale (1494-1536) introduced an English Bible that had been translated using the Greek and Hebrew texts, in addition to the Latin text. Tyndale was arrested in 1535, tried for heresy and burned at the stake in 1536.
Tyndale created new English words when he could not find ones that appropriately reflected the original language. Perhaps the best known term he created it atonement (at-one-ment). He also introduced “Jehovah.”
When Tyndale translated Exodus 3:14, where God introduces himself to Moses, he did it as, “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.” This gives the correct sense of the Hebrew (ehyeh asher ehyeh), implying both being and becoming.
The KJV reads, “I AM THAT I AM.”
Several translations translate the phrase similarly but then add a footnote. For example, the ESV says, “I AM WHO I AM” then in a footnote says, “Or I AM WHAT I AM, or I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.”
This is what the Common English Bible does. The phrase is translated, “I Am Who I Am” and a footnote adds, “Or I Will Be Who I Will Be.”
(Thanks goes to David Teems for the information on Exodus 3:14, in his latest book, Discovering Your Spiritual Center, p. 54.)
The Common English Bible is the most recent English translation, just having been released in the complete Bible this fall. It is only possible because of the great legacy of men who have, at times, given their life to produce a Bible in the language of the common people.
I am taking part in a blog tour of the Common English Bible. I'll be blogging more about this Bible as the days go by.
You can see the blogs of others taking part of this tour here: http://CommonEnglishBible.com/CEB/blogtour
I received a complimentary copy of the CEB from its publisher for the purpose of this blog tour.