Muslims believe Christians have changed the Bible to fit their beliefs. One person left this comment on the Isa and Islam website: “The Bible is the Book of God but it's not in its original state now. Every church has its own version and many versions have contradictions with each other. If the Bible was still in its original state there would not be contradictions in it.”
All Muslims believe that the original Quran was given in Arabic. Muslims study Arabic so they can read the Quran. But since most Muslims don’t know Arabic well, the Quran is translated into many languages.
There are at least seven English translations of the Quran (Sahih International, Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, Shakir, M. Sarwar, Mohsin Khan, and Arberry). Each of those translations have minor differences. Are all of the English translations wrong? Which one is correct?
Christians also want to understand God’s revelation. God’s Holy Book was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. Most Christians can’t read those languages. The Bible is translated so that people can read it in their own language. Since 1526 and Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament, there have been about 900 English translations of the Bible.
The Bible is always translated by a group of Hebrew and Greek scholars. The translation is based on the most ancient copies of the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.
The Hebrew text used for translation dates back to the 1st century BC (Dead Sea Scrolls). The main Greek manuscript is based on several texts dating back to the 4th century.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are manuscripts of the Old Testament that pre-date the life of Isa Al-Masih. Fragments of the New Testament Greek text have been found dating back to the 1st century AD.
As society changes, so does its language. As language changes, new translations of the Bible are needed. For example, many people find it hard to read and understand the 1611 King James Version of the Bible. Most English speakers do not understand the English language that was used during that time period.
There are many examples of this. One is in Romans 3:25: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (KJV).
Most English speakers don’t understand the words “propitiation” or “remission.” Although they were common in 1611 they are not common now.
The NLT (New Living Translation) is translated as: “God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past.”
As you can see, it is much easier to understand the second translation. It uses words we are more familiar with, whereas the King James Translation uses out-dated words.
Everyone needs an updated translation of the Bible in his own language. God, the Creator, wants everyone to know Him. But this is only possible if the Bible is translated into different languages, and then translated again when there are language changes.
You might wonder why you, as a Muslim, should read the Holy Bible. As Christians, we would tell you to read it because this is the way that God has chosen to reveal Himself to the world.
The Quran itself states that all of the revelations the prophets gave were true, including those to Ibrahim, Jacob, and Jesus (Qs. 2:136). Qs. 5:46 says, “We made Jesus, son of Mary, follow in the footsteps (of earlier prophets), and confirm what existed in the Torah in his time. We sent him the Gospel containing guidance and light, as a confirmation of the Torah (Law).”
If Jesus came to confirm the Law, then the Law must be true. Therefore all Christians and Muslims should read the Bible to know what the Law and the Prophets say.
The Quran also makes it plain that the Bible is, “. . . a guidance and admonition to those who fear Allah” (Qs 5:46).
The only way a person can fully understand God is through reading the Holy Bible. Only the Holy Bible tells how a person can have a relationship with the one true God.
We encourage you to discover more about having a personal, intimate relationship with God.
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