Gospel Translation

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Gospel Translation refers to never-ending attempts to translate the Gospels into modern languages. As terms in language are constantly changing their meaning in culture, it follows that translations of the Bible into modern languages become out of date over time. However, there are risks to translating the Bible due to the vulnerability of the translators to political bias in resolving controversial ambiguities, as illustrated by Disputed Biblical Translations.

The task is manageable using collaborative tools available on the internet, and at least one project already exists with a focus on translating the Gospels into numerous non-English languages.[1]

The Gospels consist of four short books having a total of only 89 chapters:[2]

  • Matthew, 28 chapters, 1071 verses, 18,345 words
  • Mark, 16 chapters, 678 verses, 11,304 words
  • Luke, 24 chapters, 1151 verses, 19,482 words
  • John, 21 chapters, 879 verses, 15,633 words
  • Total: 89 chapters, 3779 verses, 64,764 words


There has been only one major translation of the Bible into English that post-dates the advent of the internet and was able to utilize email and online search tools to enhance the collaboration: the Holman Christian Standard Bible. All other major translations, including the popular NIV and NASB versions, predate the collaborative and research power increasingly made available by internet technology.

While all modern translations emphasize their reliance on the most ancient manuscripts, it is unclear what they use to adapt to the ever-changing meaning of terms in modern language. The often-used term "grace", for example, does likely mean the same to an average English-speaker in 2009 as it meant in 1959 or even 1979. The term "word" (Greek: "logos") that is so important to the beginning of the Gospel of John does not likely mean the same to a listener in the internet age as it meant in the television era, or prior to that when books and hand-written letters were the primary means of communication.

Superb resources now exist online to enable quick access to biblical passages[3] and even the underlying Greek.


  1. http://gospeltranslations.org/wiki/Main_Page
  2. http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/NT-Statistics-Greek.htm
  3. See the bible.logos site.