In Books of the Bible we shared the books of the Bible and what each part represents. We shared that it was written by 40 authors over the span of 1600 years. Did you also know that it was originally written in (3) different languages?
Almost the entire Old Testament (Old Covenant Promise - "The Law") was originally written in Hebrew to an audience of Jews.
Here is an example of the original Hebrew text - Genesis 1:1. A fun fact- you will notice that Hebrew is read from right to left.
There are a few chapters in Ezra and Daniel and one verse in Jeremiah that were written in Aramaic. Another fun fact- This language became the common language spoken in Israel in Jesus' time and likely the language that Jesus spoke day by day.
The New Testament (New Covenant Promise - Grace) was originally written in Greek. The original audience included both Jews and Gentiles living during the Roman era of time.
An example of the original Greek text - John 3:16.
If the Bible was written to an audience of Jews and Gentiles, is it written for me? Absolutely! Remember that while the audience was originally the Jewish and Gentile community; God's Word is God-breathed and written to introduce His plan of redemption for all of mankind after the fall in the garden. Our redemption is found in Jesus. Without Jesus we cannot have relationship with our Heavenly Father, on this earth or in eternity. His Word reveals Himself and His plan of redemption to us individually and corporately.
So where did all of the other translations come from? Wikipedia states that as of September 2016 the full Bible has been translated into 636 languages, the New Testament alone into 1442 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1145 other languages. Thus at least some portion of the Bible has been translated into 3,223 languages. WOW, can you imagine? Talk about a Best-seller! Each translation brings God's Word to every part of the world in response to Jesus' call to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation" in Mark 16:15 and to fulfill the prophecy in Mark 13:10 "And the gospel must first be preached to all nations."
Wikipedia lists over 100 existing English Translations, primarily those that are most popular include:
NIV - New International Version
KJV - King James Version
NLT - New Living Translation
NKJV - New King James Version
ESV - English Standard Version
MSG - The Message
So which one should I read? Don't be intimidated with God's Word, just pick up any one of the above most popular versions first and if you have friends with other versions, check them out as well. Personally, I like to read a variety of versions and compare them to one another. You will find nuances in each version that may provide deeper meaning into the text. If you want to go even deeper check out the Interlinear Bible Hebrew and Text translations which provide as close to the original text as we currently have in our time.
At the end of the day, the goal is to have a relationship with Jesus. To know Jesus is to read His Word, the Holy Spirit reveals to us what He wants us to know through His Word, but we must open His Word to know His Word. So check it out! Comment below what version you have along with your favorite verse!