... Arabic manuscript recording eclipses -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia

The Bible: Original Text Versus Translations

By Rob VandeWeghe

The original books of the Bible were written in Hebrew (the Old Testament) and Greek (the New Testament). Parts of the books of Daniel and the Gospel of Matthew might have been originally written in Aramaic.

Many translations have been made over the years. In the early days of Christianity the Hebrew Old Testament was usually read in a Greek translation (the so-called Septuagint). As the church spread, the need for translations grew, taking the sacred text into widely accepted languages as well as local tongues. The Bible was soon translated into Latin (the language of the Roman Empire), Syriac (an Eastern Aramaic language), Coptic (Egyptian), and Arabic. By 500 AD, some estimate, scripture could already be found in more than 500 languages.

Unfortunately, translations were not always accurate and errors were made. For this reason