Bible Translation Timeline


Bible Translation Timeline: B.C.

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  • 2nd Millenium B.C. Jews, or "Habiru" [Hebrews] mentioned in Egyptian and cuneiform records.

  • 18th Century B.C. Cuneiform tablets at the time of Hammurabi of Babylon denote the "Bene-Yamin" [Benjamin] or Children of the Right Hand [First secular mention of the Jews} Noted as an "aggressive people threatening urban centers"1 Concurrent with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

  • 1491 B.C. Moses writes down prophecies God gives when He, Aaron, Nadab and Bihus along with 70 elders retreat to desert to meet with God.

  • 1500 B.C. Moses [Moshe] arises to free the nation of Israel from her captors Egypt who have held those in Goshen in slavery and oppression. The Desert wanderings begin. Penteteuch written.

  • @1500 b.c. Adoption of a "Melech," or King by Anointing to increase military protection against the Philistines. "Mashiach Yahweh" or the Holy One of Yahweh, later, the Anointed King, the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah, deliverer.

  • 1000 B.C. .

  • @900 b.c. The Division of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms: Judah and Benjamin stay south near Jerusalem under Rehoboam and the ten other tribes under Jeroboam move North, creating a false capital in Samaria. Northern Tribes called "Israel" ; southern tribes called "Judah". Until the captivity, there is division, with an occasional alliance and embattlements from foreign armies such as Syria, Assyria, Babylon, Egypt and Edom on all sides. The Holy Scriptures are also dissensioned in the North: origin of Samaritan text.

  • 721 B.C. Samaria taken by Sargon II of Assyria. Northern Kingdom defeated and taken Captive.

  • 641 BC Hilkiah (priest) and Shaphan (scribe) find the 'book of the Law" (sefer Torah) or 'Book of the Covenant" (sefer Berit) in the Wall of the temple, and take it to King Josiah. (2 Kings 22-25Huldah's prophecy attends the revealing of the book. 2 Kings 23:3 : Josiah makes a covenant with the LORD to walk in his Word..."And all the people stood to the Covenant". The sin of idolatry (all items of Baal worship) carried outside the wall and "burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. 2 Kings 23:4-8. 2Kings 23:10 Josiah defiles Topheth-valley of Hinnom (slaughter).
  • 587 B.C. Nebuchanezzar of Babylon takes Jerusalem and destroys the Temple. A remnant of Jews take refuge in Egypt, a few poor Jews left in farming outside of Jerusalem. Captives taken to Babylon in what is now Iraq.


  • 538 b.c. .

    Persia allows the Jews in Babylon to return: under Cyrus and Darius.


  • 500 b.C.

  • 334 B.C. to 323 B.C.

  • 270 B.C. Alexandrian Jews adopt Greek as first language: hellenization of certain scriptures. Around this time it is reported but never proved that the Old Testament was written in Greek, deemed the "Septuagint", but the account is mythical and fantastical. Later, Origen's 5th column of the Hexepla, in Greek is denoted as the older Septuagint, but is never proven. All evidence bears on an unsigned small piece of parchment, and a character reported over hundreds of years as in existence. A step in the 'dejudaizing' of the Jews, a landmark in the history of 'assimilation' of the Jews.

  • 400 b.C.-1 A.D. "Inter-testamental Period": Jews enjoy some liberty with trouble; a return to dietary laws and orthodox practice, e.g. Shabbat: Greeks and other gentiles convert to Judaism. Beginning of the pharisees who initially call for a return to true worship and separation.

  • 168 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanes IV tries 'forced assimilation of the Jews'2 by forcing Greek worship. Judas Maccabee and brothers lead a rebellion [Hasmonaeans]. .

  • Bible Translation Timeline: 1st Century A.D.

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  • 4 A.D. Herod dies. 4-10 A.D. A Prefect is appointed by Rome. (Pontius Pilate will be of this appointment).

  • 1 A.D.-33 A.D. Life of Christ. Eyewitness accounts written as they occur.


  • 37-44 A.D. Agrippa I rules Judaea.

  • 33-66 A.D. Apostles collate and write gospels from eyewitness accounts.
  • 66 NeroFollowing the devastating cruelty of Caligula, Nero takes the throne and Jews form a rebellion in Jerusalem without the strong support of the 'priest class'.

  • 63-73 B.C.1,6

  • 1st Century:
  • 70 A.D. The fall of Masada, a Jewish stronghold in the summer mountain top retreat of the Herods: all but two commit mass suicide: Rome again takes Jerusalem. This year saw famines, slaughter and cannibalism. Rome collects the Temple shekel used for the Temple to build the Temple to Jupiter in Rome.

  • Bible Translation Timeline: 2nd Century A.D.

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  • 115 A.D. "The Virgin Mary Cult" of Iraneus, Bishop of Lyon is begun, deifying Mary and making her a 'co-redemtrix' with Christ. Many Christians count it heresy, and the Jews view it as Ashtoreth worship, an abomination. .7

  • 2nd Century Melito of Sardis writes "On the Passion" or Peri Pascha- considered by many as first Anti-Semitic edict, but others see it as an admonishment.
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 3rd Century A.D.

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  • 200 a.d.
  • 200 A.D. Mishnah compiled: Furthered rabbinical detailing of ordinances and rules regarding Temple worship and the Law.
  • 250 A.D.
  • 253 A.D.
  • 268 A.D.
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 4th Century A.D.

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  • 313 A.D.Constantine takes over the Roman Empire, declares the Jews unclean and 'pernicious'; opens religious tolerance and assimilation to Christians, but bans the Jews in the Edict of Milan.
  • 325 A.D. 1st Council of Nicea: Easter separated from Passover: Jews noted as 'detestable' and 'blinded'. Easter comes from "Ishtar' though, and while celebration is of the Passion of Christ, the Passover is the Biblical feast.
  • 361-363 A.D. Emperor Julian the Apostate: Allows Jews to return to Jerusalem; promotes tolerance of all faiths.
  • 382 Pope Damascus of Synod of Rome sets a Vatican Imprimatur to ensure all canonized text.
  • Council of Hippo
  • Council of Cathage
  • 388
  • 399 A.D. n
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 5th Century A.D.

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  • 420 A.D.Jerome's Latin Vulgate: a complete Roman Bible in Latin, in hands of Rome and her priests
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 6th Century A.D.

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  • 500 A.D. The Gemara is completed, which added to the Mishnah, completes the Talmud.
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 7th Century A.D.

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  • Bible Translation Timeline: 8th Century A.D.

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    Bible Translation Timeline: 9th Century A.D.

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  • 900 A.D. Aleppo codex- Kraite community of Jerusalem purchased 100 years later. 1st Crusade pludered synagogue and moved it to Egypt. The Jews ransomed the codex ten sent to a Rabbanite synagogue at Cairo.
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 10th Century A.D.

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  • 1009 A.D. Leningrad Codex
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 11th Century A.D.

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    Bible Translation Timeline: 12th Century A.D.

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    Bible Translation Timeline: 13th Century A.D.

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  • 1280 A.D.Pre-Alfonsine Version to Alfonsine-First Castillian Spanish translation for King Alfonzo X.
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 14th Century A.D.

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  • 1375 A.D. Aleppo codex brought to Aleppo syria (500 yers 1375-1875).
  • 1391 A.D. In Spain: pogrom against Jews in Seville, synagogue destroyed writer Juan de Enzina experiences forced conversion (rel. to Ferdinand de Enzina (?)

  • Bible Translation Timeline: 15th Century A.D.

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  • 1474-1516 Ferdinand and Isabel prohibit translation of bible into the vernacular.
  • 1483 A.D. All Jews expelled from Andalusian Spain.
  • 1490 A.D. William Tyndale (Tyndall, Tindall) also called William Hytchins, born in Dursley, Gloucestershire

  • 1492-(1502) Columbus in New World. Some speculate his background as Jewish or Converso, as Jews expelled from Spain during this time.
  • 1492 A.D. January: Alhambra Decree expels Jews: est 300,000 to 800,000 remain. Expulsion of Jews and supression of of Conversos and "Crypto-Jews" (Marranos) massively in spain while Reina Valera was being translated and during Protestant Reformation, and time of Erasmus and Tyndale.)
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 16th Century A.D.

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  • 1501 A.D. Spanish Royal Decrees ordering Jews and Muslims to convert or leave.

  • 1511-14 A.D. Desiderus Erasmus Professor of Greek at Cambridge (away when Tyndale there.).

  • 1517-21 A.D. William Tyndale at Cambridge, excels in linguistics.

  • 1523 A.D. Tyndale leaves for London to work on English New Testament but finds little support.

  • 1524 A.D. Tyndale likely in Wittenberg, Germany where translation not illegal. Used the name "Guillelmus Daltici ex Anglia", meaning William Tyndale of England.

  • 1525 A.D. Tyndale through Peter Quentell publishes first English New Testament, though publication interupted by opposition to 'Lutheranism'.
  • 1525 A.D. Bomberg's Edition: Masoretic Text- the traditional line of preserved Hebrew OT

  • 1526 A.D. First Tyndale New Testament published in Würms by Shoeffer

  • 1535 A.D. Tyndale arrested and thrown into Vilvroode Prison near Brussels. He was tried for heresy and burnt at stake. His last words were "Open the eyes of the King".

  • 1543 A.D. A New Testament by Fernando de Enzinas in Antwerpt (Spanish), a student of Erasmus whose brother worked with Calvin.

  • 1550 A.D. Textus Receptus , Stephanus edition

  • 1553 A.D.Ferrar Bible in Latin for Duke Ercale II de Este de Ferrar

  • 1552 A.D. Enzinas died (Cranmer negotiated a teaching position for him in England, when ousted)

  • 1556,62 A.D. New Testament by Juan Perez de Pinada in Geneva (Spanish)

  • 1556 A.D. Juan Perez de Pineda (Seville Monk) basesa New Testament edition on Enzina's (Enzina dies of plague in Strausborg which gave him refuge.

  • 1559 A.D. Reina goes to London, pastor to Spanish refugees. King Phillip II of Spain exerts pressure for extraditon.
  • 1562 A.D. The works of Reina are placed on "Prophibited book Index, declared "heresiarch' (heretical, and his image is burned.
  • 1563 A.D. Reina to Antwerp where he associates with authors of the Polygot Bible.
  • 1564 A.D. Reina to Frankfurt with family

  • 1567 A.D. "Sanctae Inquistionis Hispanicae artes alquol detcctae, ac palam traductae" [Some artes of the Holy Inquisition] published. under the pseudonym "Reginaldus Gonsalvius Montanus, published in Heidelberg. Also publishedare books against Calvin's persecution of 'heretics'. These works call for bringing back apostolic thinking.

  • 1569 A.D. First publication of Reina Valera, the Spanish bible in castillian Spanish (vernacular) against wishes of Rome includes Deutero-canonical books. Published in Basel Switzerland, translated by Casiedara de Reina, a Lutheran theologian. (1520-1594)

  • 1570 A.D. Rome (Holy See) declares doctrine of Infallibility

  • 1571 A.D. August 6th: Reina gets citzenship in Frankfurt: sells silk and puts out his own catechism.
  • 1590 A.D. Famine and Bubonic plague stike Spain as Morisscos are exiled.
  • 1594 a.D. Reina dies in Frankfurt.
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 17th Century A.D.

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  • 1602Revision of Spanish version (Reina Valera) by Cipriano de Valera, printed in Amsterdam. Deutero-canonical books moved to apocrypha.
  • 1602 Purified Bible in Monterrey Mexico (Spanish).

  • 1609Spain declares Peace with Netherlands 2 years before KJV
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 18th Century A.D.

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    Bible Translation Timeline: 19th Century A.D.

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  • 1825 Biblia de Petisco y Torres Amat (Latin Vulgate based)

  • 1815 Konstantin von Tishchendorf born in Langenfeld, Saxony near Plauen.

  • 1849 Constantine Tischendorf .......
  • 1867 Darby New Testament Published.
  • 1889 Westcott and Hort produce the Revised Standard Version, Dean Burgon objects.

  • 1890 The complete Darby Translation Published
  • Bible Translation Timeline: 20th Century A.D.

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  • 1901 American Standard Version, the US version of the RV is published.

  • 1906 Rudolf Kittel publishes his first edition of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia

  • 1933-45 The Third Reich under Adolf Hitler takes office, instituting Reich control over the churches, theological training, liturgy and sermons. Goebbels calls for a 'neo-marcionism' (without using the word), a heresy insisting on the removal of the Old Testament in Christian training and practice, as unnecessary for the German Christian.
  • 1944 Nacar-Colunga, Spanish Bible published.

  • 1944-51 Straubinger
  • 1947 Bover-Cantera spanish bible published.

  • 1952 Revised Standard Version, first major post-war English revision published.

  • 1958 Aleppo Codex smuggled into Israel by Syrian Jew, Murad Fahern (sp) given to Ihtzhak Ben Zvi, with part missing. Currently in Ben Zvi International and Hebrew Union in Jerusalem.
  • 1967 The Catholic sanctioned "New Jerusalem bible" is published (Biblia de Jerusalen).

  • 1971 The New American Standard Version is published, and update of the ASV of 1901.

  • 1971 The first major 'paraphrase' the Living Bible, by JB Phillips offers 'easy english' interpretations of Bible passages..

  • 1973 Revision of the New Jerusalem Bible (first with verse denotations in margins, with paragraph text format.

  • 1975 Nueva Biblia Española is published.
  • 1975 Cantera-Iglesia published (spanish).
  • 1978 Sagrada Biblia published (Spanish).
  • 1976 Good News for Modern Man is published, now with and without the apocrypha.
  • 1978 The New International Version is published and spreads widely.
  • 1982 The complete New King James Version is published, but follows the Modern Greek and Hebrew also.
  • 1984 The New International Version is revised, but still very similar to '78 NIV.
  • 1993 Biblia del Peregrino
  • 1994Biblia de America-(Spanish)
  • 2002 New Reader's International Version published
  • 2004 Holman's Christian Standard Bible Published.
  • 2005 Today's New International Version published, attempts gender inclusiveness.
  • 2010 New International Version 2010 published.
  • Bible Translation Timeline: Today

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    1Morais, Vamberto. A Short History of Bible Translation Timeline W.W. Norton & Company; NY; 1976.
    2Ibid. A Short History of Bible Translation Timeline: Chapter 1: In the Beginning. W.W. Norton & Company; NY; 1976.
    3The Holy Bible, King James Version.
    4Herklotts. How Our Bible Came to Us
    5Josephus. The Wars of the Jews
    6Bible Translation Timeline: The Free Dictionary: Timeline:http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/History%20of%20Bible Translation Timeline 7Documentary on the caves of Bar Kokhba: NOVA; PBS November 23,2004 KNPB. 8Lazare, Bernard. Anti-Judaism in Antiquity: http://www.nalanda.nitc.ac.in/resources/english/etext-project/history/antisemitic/chapter4.html

    ©2000 Elizabeth Kirkley Best PhD, Shoahrose.com