What year was the 1st translation of the Bible made into Arabic?

edited August 2014 in Faith Issues
Could anybody answer my question: What year was the 1st translation of the Bible made into Arabic?
I found on Wikipedia that the 1st translation was made in the 9th cen. I don't believe it.
We have the evidence from the Acts of the Apostles that Apostle Paul travelled to Arabia and preached the Gospel there.
I think that to evangelize Arabs Christian preachers in the 1st centuries used Arabic translations of the Old Testament. I guess they even translated the epistles of the Apostles into Arabic.
Unfortunatelly, I couldn't find on the Internet the proof that the Bible was translated into Arabic before the 9th century.
If anyone can give me the evidence that it was translated in the 1st centuries, please show me them.


  • Hi Alexrus77. Fr Sydney Griffith's "The Bible in Arabic" might have this information for you. http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10018.html
  • Thank you very much Cyril for your help!
    Sorry for delay with answer.
    I found the answer to my question in this book. The book confirms the information on Wikipedia. The Bible was translated in 8th cen in response for writing the Koran.
    By the way I have another question that started bothering me not long ago. On YouTube & the Internet there are videos & articles that claim that Allah is the name of the Arabian Moon god. Even in one article I found the information that Christians started using the word "Allah" to denote the God Creator because of imposing by Muslims. That shocked me. I thought that the word "Allah" was an old word and was made by adding the article "al" + "ilya". I also found another version of derivation of this word: it was derived from Aramaic "Alaha".
    On Wikipedia it is written that pre-Islamic Christian tombs contained the word "Allah".
    Is there any proof in archaeological evidence or pre-Islamic parts of the Bible or messages of the clergy, that were translated into Arabic, that this word was used by Christians before coming of Islam?
  • edited September 2014
    Arab Christians before Islam were usually very good at speaking either Greek or Aramaic (the latter being very easy, because it is considered a mother language to Arabic).  In fact, there has been a manuscript that shows how close early sixth century Arabic was to Aramaic, so imagine what that was like in the first century, probably Arabic at that time was just an Aramaic variant.  

    It is like speaking English in London and English in some remote parts of Scotland that make absolutely no sense if you never lived there, and then compare that also to English of centuries ago (forget Shakespeare, try reading Beowulf in the English it was written then; believe it or not, that is English!!!). 

    Even today, you find a good example, where Egyptian Arabic has become universally known among Arabs (due to Egypt being the center of Arabic Hollywood) and Arabic from other countries that sound like a completely different language.  Yet all educated Arabs know the "foss-7a" Arabic, the very formal of Arabic that all Arabs seem to understand with one another.

    So, I think Arabs at the time had an understanding of at least Aramaic.  If there were pre-Islamic Arab Christian texts, they are either yet to be discovered or destroyed by the Islamic influence there is today.  I trust the Christian in the Arabian Peninsula were more Aramaic (and Greek) in their literature.
  • Thank you Minasoliman for your opinion. Sorry for the late reply.
    I want to add that I found the following article: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.ru/2009/11/word-allah.html about this issue. Till now I don't have any solid proof that Arab Christians before Islam had called God either "Allah" or with other word. But in this article I found an interesting thought: "all the words we have for God, whether it's God, Theos, Deus, Bog, or
    what have you, all have pagan backgrounds and are used in modern times
    to describe non-Christian gods". I consider that Allah was the supreme deity among Arabs, and to help them to understand the true God Christians used the word "Allah" to describe God Almighty. I think we have the similar example when Apostle Paul preached about the Unknown God to heathens. So for Christians Allah is not a name like for Muslims. It's just an appellative.
    If you have any other ideas about my issue, please share with me )

Sign In or Register to comment.