If you know me, you know I went digging for the answer. I pulled the history of the English Bible off the web and pasted it into a spreadsheet and worked it until I had a nice chart showing the number of English translations of the complete Bible published by each year. You can see this chart to the right.
By looking at the graph one notices the pressure for new translations begins to build in the mid 1700’s. A century later the publishing trend of new translations shifts considerably. 1950 marks the beginning of a new consistent trend of a much steeper rate of publication that has continued to this day with little variation. The new translations are not coming any faster than any other time in my lifetime. They just keep coming and coming, not an explosion or a runaway train on a down hill track but a steady stream that does not seem ready to slow down.
There are now over 450 English translations and although other languages may have several translations of the Bible in their tongue, this translation phenomena has only occurred in English. There are plenty of translations to choose from. It just a matter of finding one that is right for you.
Two questions I am saving for other articles,
- The question of why there are so many translations?
- How should a person choose which Bible translations to use?