Are there many versions of the Bible?
There is a Korean version. There is an Indonesian version, Swedish version, Portuguese version, Hindi version, Arabic version and over 2500 other versions!
Different versions do not mean different messages. Versions means that the same message is communicated in different languages. A woman in Japan can read the Bible in her own language just as a man in Nigeria can read the Bible in his own language. The message of the Bible is not limited by or bound by any human language.
“What about King James Version, New International Version etc? These are all in English.”
Yes, but they are different versions of English translations.
Different words may be used, but the same message is communicated in all Bibles.
“Why the need for so many?”
Because there are different methods of translating. Some translations are word-for-word; while some use a thought-for-thought style.
Think about the English translations of the Quran. You have Sahih International, Pickthall, Muhsin Khan, Yusuf Ali, etc. Are these different VERSIONS of the Quran? Or are they different versions of translations?
The 1611 KJV uses old archaic English, even words that are now obsolete, or words that have changed in meaning in our modern usage of language. Newer translations like NIV or NLT, use updated contemporary modern English.
Muslims get confused because they think that Bibles are being “revised” or “updated” to change the content.
That is untrue. The message is not revised. It is the usage of words that are revised or updated for clarity and understanding.
Let’s look at one example:
Did you notice the image above this article. It is a verses taken from Psalm 22:16
“For dogges haue compassed me; the assembly of the wicked haue inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feete.”
This is a prophecy by David in 1000 BC about the Messiah.
But just look at the verse. It is in old English. dogges? haue? inclosed? feete?
A revision helps update the language from old to current.
In English Standard Version, this verse reads:
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet.
Do you see? The message is intact but the words are updated to help with clearer understanding of Scriptures.
The original message is eternal and remains the same in every language version of the Bible.