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Is there any standard version of Bible, comparing to which all other versions will be considered as translations or explanations? If yes, when was the standardization done? And how common is it to study that Bible? And is it same across different denominations of Christianity?

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There isn't any one standard copy of the Bible. There are several copies of the books of the Bible primarily in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic that are used together when translating the Bible. Which books are included in cannon was decided over several centuries by different groups that wasn't finalized until well into the 16th century. Each part of the Bible was standardized at a different time.

The oldest established section are the 5 books of the Torah. They were canonized sometime before 444 BCE but possibly around the 7th to 6th century BCE. The prophets - Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and 12 more - were also established sometime around the 4th century BCE. There's no agreed upon date for when the remainder of the Old Testament books, called the writings, were established for Judaism. They were still disputed as late as the 2nd century CE. Some of them were included - Ruth, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, etc - while others were not - Tobit, Judith, Macabees, etc. However they were still in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuigant, that was used widely by early Christians.

The New Testament was compiled over a few centuries and was informally agreed upon as early as the 4th century CE but there wasn't a formally approved cannon for Roman Catholics until the Council of Trent in 1546. Trent included 45 books from the Septuigant, the 37 in the Hebrew Bible and 8 deuterocannonical books as the Old Testament plus 27 books in the New Testament. Martin Luther's translation listed the deuterocannonicals under a separate heading in 1543 and the Westminister confession excluded them completely in 1647.

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I think I am more interested in new testament. Because standardization of old testament can be known from "Documentary Hypothesis". – Gulshan Oct 25 '13 at 4:04
@Gulshan Is the info I provided enough? – crownjewel82 Oct 28 '13 at 19:12

The standard resides in the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. While there are, admittedly, small variances in the Greek manuscripts (New Testament) in particular, these variances are completely insignificant, consisting mostly of spelling variances for proper names, word order, and very slight verb tense differences, which happen to translate the same into English anyway.

Most advanced students of the Bible will learn Greek at least and oftentimes Hebrew as well and reference the original languages. My pastor translates each passage from scratch whenever he preaches on a New Testament text.

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When was the standardization done? – Gulshan Oct 24 '13 at 15:46
The manuscripts are not standardized at all. They are just gathered. So, they represent the original autographs. – Narnian Oct 24 '13 at 15:49
You could say that the Vulgate is or was the standard for the Catholic Church. You could also say, pretty convincingly, that the Textus Receptus was the "standard" Greek new testament used during The Reformation and the following few centuries. More recent translations tend to rely more heavily on the minority text manuscripts. There are now multiple editions of the Greek New Testament based on all of the discovered manuscripts, to varying degrees, but I don't believe any one of them would be considered more of a "standard" than another, at this point. – Steven Doggart Oct 24 '13 at 16:22
See wikipedia for a list of some of the more well-known editions. – Steven Doggart Oct 24 '13 at 16:34
@Narnian I wouldn't say the manuscripts we have in hand represent original autographs. We have copies. For example, the earliest surviving fragments of the Gospel of Mark are dated around 250 AD, long after the death of Mark. – MετάEd Oct 24 '13 at 16:36

It is important to keep in mind that the Bible is a collection of books and not one single book. Therefore, there are standard versions of the bible per denomination..

There have been many attempts canonize the Bible which have had a lot of success. However it's still far from standardized. Taking is a step further, the translations and transliterations are also a concern.

The first attempt was the Septuagint which was more of an exercise of translating Hebrew Bible and some related texts into Koine Greek. Which then became a "canon" for the Greek speaking people.

The first "Christian" canon was in 140AD and it was called "Marcion of Sinope".

The big attempts are mentioned by @crownjewl82. There are also specific "canons" for Latter Day Saints.

So, to directly answer your question, "Is there any standard version of Bible?". Assuming that the context is the entire world and everyone in it... "no".

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This is more tangentially related to the question, but in a sense, there are authoritative collections.

I would like to point out that certain translations are considered definitive, though these are much more subject to linguistic evolution. For a long time, the Authorized Version (otherwise known as the King James) was the de facto standard bible translation in English (and modern versions like the NIV and the NRSV are heavily influenced by the KJV). The Vulgate serve that purpose in Latin, and the Septuagint serves that purpose in the Orthodox Church.

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If people dislike this answer, I am happy to delete it, but I thought it worthwhile to at least include it. – Ignatius Theophorus Oct 25 '13 at 14:22

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