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Translations and Manuscripts discuss Muslim friendly bibles in the The Scriptures forums; Don't want to offend the Muslims with inerrancy, do we? New Bible yanks ‘Father,’ Jesus as ‘Son of God’ At the forefront of the controversy ...

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    lynnie is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    Muslim friendly bibles

    Don't want to offend the Muslims with inerrancy, do we?

    New Bible yanks ‘Father,’ Jesus as ‘Son of God’

    At the forefront of the controversy are the Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Frontiers, all of which are producing Bible translations that remove or modify terms which they have deemed offensive to Muslims.

    That’s right: Muslim-friendly Bibles.

    Included in the controversial development is the removal of any references to God as “Father,” to Jesus as the “Son” or “the Son of God.” One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL. It changes Matthew 28:19 from this:

    “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”

    to this:

    “cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.”

    A large number of such Muslim-sensitive translations already are published and well-circulated in several Muslim-majority nations such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.
    Lynnie

    Attending Maranatha Christian Fellowship

    Central NJ

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    Rufus's Avatar
    Rufus is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    I see it as lowering the position of the Trinity and the unity of God.
    Sean
    Layman, First Presbyterian Church of Concord New Hampshire (PCA)
    Hillsborough, New Hampshire

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    Somerset is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    I don't like the idea of muslim friendly Bibles at all. They distort the words of scripture and the theology which comes from it. Is there not also a danger that a muslim, after reading one of these, subsequently learns he has been essentially lied to? What picture would that give of Christians?
    Ken
    Member Calton Independent Church
    Nottingham England

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    rbcbob is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
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    We certainly don't want to cause an offense to any segment of unbelievers do we!

    Rom 9:33 As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
    Bob, elder, RBC Louisville. 1689 LBCF

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    O'GodHowGreatThouArt's Avatar
    O'GodHowGreatThouArt is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    Hmm...did Christ feel the need to yank the Doctrine of Angels so he can speak to the Sadduccees (sp?) without fear of retribution?
    Bryan Jones, Carrollton, GA
    Member, Christ Reformed Church - Lawrenceville, GA
    When at school in Carrollton, I attend Great Savior Reformed Baptist Church - Carrollton, GA

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    Covenant Joel is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    You can read more about this here: In Pursuit of a Faithful Witness - Reformation21

    The PCA took action on the issue this past GA: byFaith Magazine - PCA News - General Assembly Takes Action on "Insider Movement" and Biblical Translation Issues

    There is currently a GA study committee working on a broader report on insider movements and the subsequent translations: byFaith Magazine - PCA News - Study Committee on Insider Movements Appointed
    Joel
    TE (PCA)
    1 member(s) found this post helpful.

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    Pergamum's Avatar
    Pergamum is offline. Ordinary Guy (TM)
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    Here are two recent threads about this topic as well:

    Sign this petition: Keep "Father" & "Son" in the Bible

    and

    Watch this video: Unheralded


    And here is a petition that you can sign to help stop these bad practices:

    Education Petition: Lost In Translation: Keep "Father" & "Son" in the Bible | Change.org
    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
    -- David Livingstone

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    lynnie is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    Somebody emailed me this, so I will post it in the interest of fairness to the Wycliff motive; I myself would take the Piper position:
    **********

    One should have one's facts correct before putting out information of any kind. This case of failure to check one's facts is particularly egrigeous since it harms the body of Christ. Please see Wycliffe's statement regarding this issue at their web site.
    The statement referred to can be found here:
    Bible translation and mission
    and includes the following:
    The Wycliffe Global Alliance organizations and their personnel are not omitting or removing the familial terms, translated in English as “Son of God” or “Father,” from any Scripture translation. Erroneous information and rumors on the internet have recently raised questions concerning this issue. Wycliffe never has and never will be involved in a translation which does not translate these terms. To say that we are removing any familial terms from the Bible is simply not true. Wycliffe continues to be faithful to accurate and clear translation of Scripture.

    It goes on to explain the rationale for some aspects of the translation, including the following.
    Translation is complex because language and thought are complex. Even when it is possible to do word-for-word translation, the meanings those words carry for different audiences may differ. A translation team’s goal is always to allow the audience to understand the original intended meaning of the text... In many Muslim contexts, for example, the term used for “Son of God” communicates none of the richness, depth of relationship and identity of Christ that we, because of our background, contexts, and teaching may perceive in English or another major Indo-European language. In fact, the translated term used in some Muslim cultural contexts indicates something blasphemous, namely it communicates that God had sexual relations with Mary.

    Obviously there are two schools of thought here. John Piper tells missionaries, "Teach them about sheep so you can teach them about the Shepherd," i.e., teach them about the concepts taught in the Bible so they can understand those concepts when they read about them in the Bible, as opposed to changing the translation to use terminology they can already understand. He would want missionaries to explain the biblical concept of sonship in contrast to the Muslim cultural understanding so that readers understand it the right way, rather than using terms other than sonship because sonship has negative connotations in that culture. Wycliffe obviously sees it differently; they want their translation to convey the right message without such explanation. But their motive does seem to be to get the true message of the Bible across as understandably as possible, not to water it down.
    Lynnie

    Attending Maranatha Christian Fellowship

    Central NJ

  9. #9
    Pergamum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnie View Post
    Somebody emailed me this, so I will post it in the interest of fairness to the Wycliff motive; I myself would take the Piper position:
    **********

    One should have one's facts correct before putting out information of any kind. This case of failure to check one's facts is particularly egrigeous since it harms the body of Christ. Please see Wycliffe's statement regarding this issue at their web site.
    The statement referred to can be found here:
    Bible translation and mission
    and includes the following:
    The Wycliffe Global Alliance organizations and their personnel are not omitting or removing the familial terms, translated in English as “Son of God” or “Father,” from any Scripture translation. Erroneous information and rumors on the internet have recently raised questions concerning this issue. Wycliffe never has and never will be involved in a translation which does not translate these terms. To say that we are removing any familial terms from the Bible is simply not true. Wycliffe continues to be faithful to accurate and clear translation of Scripture.

    It goes on to explain the rationale for some aspects of the translation, including the following.
    Translation is complex because language and thought are complex. Even when it is possible to do word-for-word translation, the meanings those words carry for different audiences may differ. A translation team’s goal is always to allow the audience to understand the original intended meaning of the text... In many Muslim contexts, for example, the term used for “Son of God” communicates none of the richness, depth of relationship and identity of Christ that we, because of our background, contexts, and teaching may perceive in English or another major Indo-European language. In fact, the translated term used in some Muslim cultural contexts indicates something blasphemous, namely it communicates that God had sexual relations with Mary.

    Obviously there are two schools of thought here. John Piper tells missionaries, "Teach them about sheep so you can teach them about the Shepherd," i.e., teach them about the concepts taught in the Bible so they can understand those concepts when they read about them in the Bible, as opposed to changing the translation to use terminology they can already understand. He would want missionaries to explain the biblical concept of sonship in contrast to the Muslim cultural understanding so that readers understand it the right way, rather than using terms other than sonship because sonship has negative connotations in that culture. Wycliffe obviously sees it differently; they want their translation to convey the right message without such explanation. But their motive does seem to be to get the true message of the Bible across as understandably as possible, not to water it down.
    Lynnie:


    SIL/Wycliffe are leders in linguistics but many are poor theologians. I believe Wycliffe is not dislcosing the full truth when they claim that they have no part in removing the filial terms:

    Here is proof:

    http://biblicalmissiology.org/wp-con...-FactCheck.pdf

    The linked PDF above includes Wycliffe's objections and then Biblical Missiology's replies, showing that Wycliffe is, in fact, complicit to some degree in encouraging/allowing these poor translations.

    Here are some excerpts to show that the petition is not being unfair to Wycliffe:



    Each of the following sections includes the Petition Statement cited by Wycliffe, Wycliffe’s Response, and a Fact Check.

    1. Petition Statement

    “Western missions agencies Wycliffe, Frontiers and SIL are producing Bibles that
    remove Father, Son and Son of God because these terms are offensive to Muslims.”


    Wycliffe’s Response

    “The titles are not removed, but are translated more accurately to the inspired Greek. The
    issue is not that the Greek term is offensive to Muslims, rather that traditional translations
    of it are so inaccurate that they communicate the wrong meaning, appearing to say God
    has sex with women, and give readers the impression the translation is corrupt.”

    Fact Check

    This must be clearly stated at the outset: the “impression” of the reader never justifies
    replacing or removing “Father,” “Son,” or “Son of God” from the text of Scripture,
    regardless of the reader’s misunderstanding or objections. The nature of the reader’s
    offense has no bearing on what God actually says and means in his Word. And in the
    matter of the self-revelation of God, his Word is abundantly clear: “We have seen and
    testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses
    that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:14–15,
    emphasis added). We are not to take away from his Word (Deut. 4:2). “Father” and “Son”
    are not metaphors. They refer to who God is eternally, in his very being: one God in three
    persons, Father, Son and Spirit. We cannot change these eternal terms for God.

    Thus, the petition letter that people are signing asks the agencies to “not support any
    translation that replaces or removes ‘Father,’ ‘Son,’ or ‘Son of God’ from the text.”
    Whether one says they are removed, replaced, or mistranslated, the fact is that in various
    ways, these divine terms do not appear in the translated text. While the petition identifies
    a few such translations, Wycliffe told World magazine that about 30-40 of their
    translations "employ some alternate renderings" for the divine familial terms.1
    Wycliffe/SIL has produced no concrete, persuasive evidence that this MIT practice is
    valid. Instead, undocumented and unconvincing rationale is offered.

    For example,
    SIL staff Andrea and Leith Gray, and Rick Brown assert in an October 20, 2011 article in
    Missions Frontiers that a literal translation of familial terms in some languages “results
    in readers understanding the Lord’s Prayer to say ‘Our Begetter, who is in heaven.’” The
    SIL authors of the article have not demonstrated the existence of any language in which a
    son uses the words for “my Father” and actually means “my Begetter.” SIL needs to state
    which languages they have in mind here, as these types of assumed scenarios seem to be
    shaping their policy.

    The only justification Wycliffe has given for removing Father-Son terms from the Bible
    text for Muslim audiences is their assertion that those terms mean to Muslims that God
    had sexual relations with Mary. This “justification” surfaces several times in Wycliffe’s
    response to the petition and it is the basis for their translation policy that facilitates the
    MIT practice. However, their assertion is not valid theologically or linguistically.

    Evidence of this truth comes from many native speakers of Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Dari,
    Urdu, Malay, and many other languages of Muslim-majority nations who insist that
    “Father” and “Son” are valid and accurate terms to use in their own languages.

    The following are just a few examples from native speakers of Middle Eastern and Asian
    languages who signed the petition:

    • “Arabic is my native language so I can affirm that there is no valid reason to change
    those terms in Arabic.” (Jihan Husary)

    • “Urdu is my native language, there is no offense in the words currently being used”
    (E. Nisar Khan)

    • “No compromise. For ages world has preached these terms and they have understood
    responding for a decision to follow THE SON.” (David Diwan-Masih)

    • “As a former Muslim, I can attest that a literal translation of filial terminology in
    Muslim languages will provide the clearest gospel picture for Muslims. It will also
    help dispel the Muslim misconception that Christians have tampered with the Bible.”
    (Fred Farrokh)

    • “Manipulating with the Word of God is exactly what the Qur'an accuses People of the
    Book of doing. The Bible stands on its own and Muslims are coming to Christ
    without this manipulative scheme.” (Atif Debs)

    • “I myself am a Bible translator into North-Levantine (spoken Syro-lebanese) and I
    am the son of a Muslim father, and I preach to Muslims. I am shocked at the theology
    behind such replacements for the terms 'son' and 'father'. I think it is much better to
    have an explanation in a footnote than removing such words. Muslims who have
    problems with these terms have been brought up with polemic indoctrination, and no
    matter what we change in our translation they will not accept it as authoritative before
    they actually read it with an open heart asking God to reveal the truth. But what
    makes this worse, is that all these attempts at making Muslims accept the Bible
    actually give them more reasons to reject the Bible, because when they see how
    different all the translations are, they can't stop thinking something is very wrong.”
    (Arkan Zaki)


    and




    Here is Wycliffe's second response and the Petitioner's reply to their second response:






    2. Petition Statement

    “Wycliffe/SIL produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses ‘Lord’ instead
    of ‘Father’ and ‘Messiah’ instead of ‘Son.’”





    Wycliffe’s Response

    “The Arabic Stories of the Prophets is not a Bible but a set of audio dramas. These stories
    avoid terms that are understood by ordinary speakers to attribute sexual activity to God.

    A few of the dramas use the word rabbuna, which in the normal Arabic means the one
    who raises us paternally and governs the family as its head. One early story used ‘the
    Christ sent from God’ to translate huios, but these audios were discontinued.”






    Fact Check

    The audio drama series Stories of the Prophets (SOP) is based on the transcript of the
    Jesus film, which is mainly a word-for-word account from the Bible text of the Gospel
    of Luke. In adapting the script for Stories of the Prophets, Wycliffe/SIL indeed chose to
    “avoid” certain terms, including “Father,” “Son,” and “Son of God.” But doing so
    radically changes the meaning of God’s Word.

    For example, when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he said something extraordinary: “When you pray, say: ‘Father
    hallowed be your name . . .” (Luke 11:2, ESV). German theologian Joachim Jeremias
    searched the Old Testament and ancient rabbinic writings, and he concluded this was the
    first instance of a Jew directly addressing God as “Father.” The Old Testament Israelites
    referred to God as “Father,” but never in direct address. What Jesus is introducing here
    not only is unprecedented, it was unimaginable to his Jewish audience. And the
    remarkable story of the gospel is that God the Son offers to us that same intimate, secure
    relationship with God the Father. But all of that is lost to readers when Stories of the
    Prophets instead uses rabunna, which native Arabic speakers confirm actually means
    “our Lord,” so that the prayer has Jesus saying, “When you pray, say: Our loving,
    heavenly Lord . . .” (SOP).7 This replacement of “Father” is not just a linguistic issue.
    Rather, it strikes at the heart of our understanding of God as Father.

    Former Muslim Hussein Wario confirms this understanding of rabunna:
    The Qur'an has the verdict on the meaning of the Arabic word Rabbuna
    which Wycliffe wants Christians to believe it has another meaning other than
    "Lord." I have searched the entire Arabic Qur'an for the word and it appears 14
    times and each time Islamic scholars have rendered it as "Lord." . . . Rabbuna is
    found in Surah 2:139, 5:84, 7:44, 89 & 149, 20:50, 21.112, 22.40, 26:51, 34:26,
    36:16, 41:14, 42:15, 46:13, 68:32.

    ---------- Post added at 07:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:01 AM ----------

    Further info here:






    A few of the many examples where Stories of the Prophets “avoids” these terms:

    • Luke 9:35 “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, my
    Chosen One’” (ESV) is translated as “they heard a voice from heaven saying:
    ‘This is the beloved Messiah’” (SOP).

    • Matthew 28:19 “. . . baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and
    of the Holy Spirit” (ESV) is translated as “. . . baptize them with water in the
    name of God and His Messiah and the Holy Spirit” (SOP).

    • Luke 22:70 “So they all said, ‘Are you the Son of God, then?’” (ESV) is
    translated as “Then You are the Messiah of God?” (SOP).
    We contend, however, that the translator does not have the authority to
    avoid/remove/replace “Father,” “Son” or “Son of God,” for any reason. The problem of
    removing these terms in an audio Bible is compounded by the lack of footnotes, and
    explanations in a recorded introduction can be passed over.

    Further, Wycliffe’s response that “Stories of the Prophets is not a Bible” does not justify
    changing the terms, and even contradicts their own description. A February 11, 2004
    Powerpoint presentation by Rick Brown of SIL refers to this series as “An Audio
    Panoramic Bible for the 10/40 Window.” In a May 20, 2011 email, Steve Coats,
    Wycliffe/SIL staff member and President of Sabeel Media that distributes the series,
    refers to it as a “non-print audio panoramic mini Bible.” Sabeel is a partner organization
    to SIL (see pg. 9).

    Thus, SIL plainly refers to the series as a Bible. The Bible is God’s Word given to us, whether in print, audio, or electronic media.

    Wycliffe’s commitment to such translations is having a devastating effect on personnel
    who believe it is wrong to remove “Father” and “Son” from Bible translations. Many of
    the petition comments have sadly come from current and former Wycliffe/SIL staff,
    including one couple who wrote,

    There are many within Wycliffe that disagree with this practice and some
    encouraging meetings took place, but unfortunately the result of those meetings
    was a confirmation that this practice will continue and has been given a free reign
    to move forward with the issuance of "SIL International Statement of Best
    Practices for Bible Translation of Divine Familial Terms." Because of these
    translation practices and the theological
    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
    -- David Livingstone

  10. #10
    Pergamum's Avatar
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    Here is an update:


    Wycliffe, SIL & Frontiers Controversy In the Media | Biblical Missiology

    ---------- Post added at 03:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:52 AM ----------


    But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

    And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
    2 Corinthians 4:2-5

    ---------- Post added at 04:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:58 AM ----------

    Press Releases | Biblical Missiology


    SIL/Wycliffe’s recent news articles (Facebook post, SIL news, Wycliffe Canada) claim that they do “not support the removal of the divine familial terms…” Sadly, the truth is that they not only support removing these terms, but they have actually been involved in the production and distribution of such translations for years. The “substitute” terms they are using are not accurate, faithful translations, but rather deny God’s Fatherhood and Jesus’ Sonship and deity at each point where they change God’s Word. For example, one of SIL/Wycliffe’s Arabic translations of Matthew 28:19 says:

    “…baptize them with water in the name of God and His Messiah and the Holy Spirit.”

    This is only one example out of hundreds of verses in dozens of translations where “Father” and “Son” have been changed, in essence, “removed”. This is not accurate, faithful Bible translation.

    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
    -- David Livingstone

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