The Book of Mormon declares that the Bible has been deliberately altered (see 1 Nephi 13:26-28). Mormons will often point to all the different translations of the Bible as proof that it has been changed. You can ask them something like:
- Does translation always lessen scripture’s value or change its teaching?
- What about the Book of Mormon? How many translations have been made of it? Is it less reliable in French or German?
- Does the church put a disclaimer on the Book of Mormon in other languages as they do with the Bible? If not, why not?
- If professional LDS translators can reliably take the English Book of Mormon into French, why can’t professional translators take the Greek New Testament into English?
- If the Bible is in such bad shape, which verses are wrong, so I won’t use them?
The last question in this sequence I think is an excellent question. Some LDS will point to the Joseph Smith translation as a means of finding out which verses in the Bible are wrong. This begs the question, if those same verses are found (word for word) in the Book of Mormon, are they also wrong? Which is more reliable, the Book of Mormon or the Joseph Smith Translation?
For the record, I think translation does in fact lessen scripture’s meaning. It’s an inherent problem in translation. Studying the scriptures in their original languages holds immense value. But that said, I don’t think any of the major translations of the Bible can be shown to have negligently translated the original language.
Many of the cultural Mormon arguments against the Bible are made out of a ignorance of the translation process. There’s an understanding that modern English translation are updated from the KJV rather than taken directly from the oldest manuscripts.