"Why are there so many versions of the Bible? There is only one Qur'an."



What to know

We're actually looking at three parallel issues here. First, the common assertion that the Bible has not been protected. This has been addressed in Bridges...So stop and revisit that video teaching if you've forgotten. The second assertion is that the Qur'an has been authentically preserved. You can learn more about this here Last, the issue of "versions of the Bible." This overview will focus on that topic.

What to say

  • The word "version" means "translation."

  • Followers of Jesus believe in translating God's Word because God's desire is for all people to hear his Word and understand it. Regardless of ethnic group, language a person were born into, level of education, literacy, or economic class. The Word of God was sent to all people: Every "tribe, tongue, and nation" (Revelation 7:9); with God directing his people to show special consideration for the poor, the oppressed, and the vulnerable. The Prophet Daoud (David) said: "I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding."  He also said, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." - Zabur (Psalm) 119:32 and 105. We believe in making the Word of God available in many translations so that everyone can know God's will, and experience the blessing of knowing who He is.

  • Invite your friend to read the Word of God in his/her own language! Video resources are also available here.

Additional insights (Regarding multiple translations in the same language)

The Bible is always translated from the same ancient Hebrew and Greek texts, verified by thousands of ancient manuscripts. The translations reflect three different choices in that process, which we can examine. These translation differences are based on:

  • The era and place: Even though the text never changes, world languages do. For example, because British people in the 16th century spoke a different form of English than we speak now in the USA, we would misunderstand the text if we were to read this using modern American vocabulary and semantics. It’s not the original text that’s changed – it’s the English language. So translations try to adequately keep up with changes in modern languages.

  • Structure and meaning: Translators have to choose if they’re going to attempt to reflect the form and vocabulary of the original text, or if they’re going to adjust structure and vocabulary to make sure that the meaning is more precisely captured. Idioms are a great example of this. It’s nearly impossible to preserve both the vocabulary, structure, and full meaning at the same time.

  • A lack of punctuation in ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek: In the biblical manuscripts, it’s not always obvious how sentences were meant to be grouped. In the ESV translation, for example, we see extremely long, complex sentences that take minimal liberty in forming individual sentences. In the NIV, we see much shorter sentences, which are easier to comprehend for modern readers. In both, the original text is preserved as accurate and true. These punctuation choices aren’t different “versions” or derivations from the text.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf:  be reconciled to God. 

   

[II Corinthians 5:20]

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