When it comes to ancient translations of the Hebrew Old Testament, or at least when it comes to translations of parts of it, we are aware of the fact that there were a few. An example would be the Samaritan Pentateuch, which is a translation of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, into the Samaritan alphabet.

In comparison to the few ancient translations of the Hebrew Old Testament, ancient translations of the Greek New Testament were more numerous. This is easily explained by two things. First, the evangelistic nature of the Christian Faith. Christ’s Great Commission to His church was to take His Gospel to the ends of the earth, to everyone everywhere. As a result, the Gospel (Bible) needed to be translated into other languages in order for it to be communicated to the non-Greek speaking people of the world.

A second reason for the more numerous ancient translations of the New Testament over the Old Testament is the advancements in transportation and communication in the Roman Empire of the first century. Both of these allowed the New Testament message to be spread much wider and farther than the Old Testament message ever could have been to the isolated people living in primitive antiquity.