Translations of the Bible into Syriac appeared very early - probably in the 1st or 2nd century a.d. Called the Peshitta (meaning "simple"), the Syriac Bible has been used ever since in churches in Syria and neighbouring areas, and was the basis for translations into Persian and Arabic.
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From the 4th to the 15th centuries, monks translated the Bible into Latin, the language of the western church. But the Reformation (pp. 34-35) brought a new demand for vernacular (local or current language) Bibles. People have been translating the Bible ever since, and today's translators try to be as accurate as possible while using words and phrases that are familiar to ordinary people.
The coloured decorations in the Gutenberg Bible were added by hand after the text was printed
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