Bible Translations

This chart shows various important versions from the first translations onwards.

Meryl Doney. How the Bible Came to Us. Copyright © 1985 Lion Publishing

Septuagint/ (Greek) First translation from the Hebrew

Latin, The Vulgate Jerome about 400

Lindisfarne Gospels

Bede (died 735) part of John’s Gospel in Anglo-Saxon

John Wycliffe – First complete Bible in English 1384


These two came from the original Greek and Hebrew texts:

Erasmus Greek and Latin New Testament 1516

William Tyndale First printed English New Testament 1526


Miles Coverdale First printed English Bible 1535

The Great Bible 1539

The Geneva Bible 1560

The Bishop’s Bible 1568

Douai-Rheims Bible Roman Catholic version 1609

Authorized King James Version 1611

English Revised Version 1881-5

Revised Standard Version 1952

Jerusalem Bible 1966

New English Bible 1970

Good News Bible 1976

New International Version 1979

Note: The Gutenberg Printing Press was invented in Mainz Germany in the early 1430’s.

Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the church had become very corrupt. Popes had become rich and powerful rulers. Many priests were ignorant and greedy and some were living openly immoral lives.

As a result, individuals and groups of Christians all over Europe began to speak out against the state of the church and to meet to worship independently. Protest (Protestants) was a dangerous business, but many brave men were willing to risk their lives, especially to bring the Bible – the word of God – to ordinary people in their own language.

In England many read from John Wycliffe’s Bible in secret. Each handwritten copy took about ten months and cost L40 to produce. Some of Wycliffe’s followers were burned, with their Bibles around their necks.