Quiz Time: Who were the first people to get the Bible in their own lingo?

Was it:

a/ The Vikings

b/ The Goths

c/ The Belgians

d/ The Vampires

e/ The Muppets

or f/ The Emos?

Answer: Yes! It was………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………the Goths!
In 410 AD – oh dear – Rome fell to the barbarian Goths. But hey! good news – they may have been brutal, bloodthirsty invaders but at least they were Christian brutal, bloodthirsty invaders!
In 350 AD the Bible got translated into Gothic and bingo – bring on the Goth version of Shine Jesus Shine! (in very dark clothes of course) Christianity had leaked into their culture because they kept kidnapping (ah – bless them) christian priests. So the faith bled into their nation. However they weren’t that big on books and libraries and no one really had any Kindles. They preferred killing people and having big war machines to smash up places.
The Bible had long been translated into Latin and Greek, but this was the first time a bunch of folks got it in their own language. Lots of snags of course, cultural references and christian terminology had to be rethought and reworked, e.g. references to God being like a warrior were probably not too helpful to a bunch of guys who loved hacking limbs off other people. But the main snag was the small issue of er… no alphabet! Nothing. Not even a semi colon or an abbreviated version for texting your fourth century goth buddy. (lol) A tiny issue really. But a simple solution. Just invent one. The guy doing the job, a certain Mr Wulfila, just had to make one up. Job done!
This kind of thing continues today – people go on having to rethink and rework the Biblical material so it crosses cultural divides and language barriers. Right now I know of someone working in India on translating the Bible into a language with no written form. Amazing and vital stuff.

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