Muslim friendly bibles

Discussion in 'Translations and Manuscripts' started by lynnie, Feb 1, 2012.

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  1. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    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.
  2. Rufus

    Rufus Puritan Board Junior

    I see it as lowering the position of the Trinity and the unity of God.
  3. Somerset

    Somerset Puritan Board Junior

    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?
  4. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    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."
  5. O'GodHowGreatThouArt

    O'GodHowGreatThouArt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hmm...did Christ feel the need to yank the Doctrine of Angels so he can speak to the Sadduccees (sp?) without fear of retribution?
  6. Covenant Joel

    Covenant Joel Puritan Board Sophomore

  7. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

  8. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    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.
  9. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    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:

    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:


  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    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 ----------

    2 Corinthians 4:2-5

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

    Press Releases | Biblical Missiology

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