Muslims often think that there are many versions of the Bible. They may even believe that these versions are totally different Bibles.
The reality is different. There are thousands of either complete or part copies of the Old Testament in Hebrew or the New Testament in Greek. There are also thousands of fragments and references and quotations from the Old and New Testaments. The unity between these documents show that our translators work from reliable manuscripts that are faithful copies.
Christians dare not change what was in those manuscripts, but carefully copied them. Christians always believed that God, in inspiring the Old and New Testaments in the language of the Hebrews and Greeks, wanted to show that his Word must be accessible to the greatest number. Greek was then the most spoken language to the east of the Roman Empire. God obviously understands all languages and dialects and “wants all men to be saved”. (1 Timothy 2: 4)
That is why Christians have not hesitated to translate the Bible into as many languages as possible. They do not take the risk of changing, adding to or taking away from the original text, for to them the meaning of the text is inspired by God.
Christians have always therefore wanted to faithfully translate it into every possible language. It is therefore a matter of translating Scripture most faithfully into the language of the reader so that the words have the same impact on him as it did with the first listeners or readers.
These translations are made by linguists who check the work of their colleagues and would not fail to point out the errors of translation and any the alteration in meaning from the original meaning.
There are, of course, various religions that have mistranslated various verses to suit their own predetermined ideas that they want to prove from their corrupt translations. These additions and alterations no translator of integrity would dare to introduce. These amendments can not be justified on the basis of the original Greek. Such a Bible is used by the Jehovah’s Witness organisation but there is no possibility that it may one day become the Bible of all Christendom: it is deliberately mistranslated and incapable of extending beyond this modern cult.
But, let us come back to the beginning: the so-called ‘versions’ are translations. As language changes, so the need for updating the translation is a necessity. However, the original documents from which those translations are made remain the same.