Petition Asks Bible Translators to Return “Father” and “Son” to Arabic Scriptures

By:  Dave Bohon
02/02/2012
       
Petition Asks Bible Translators to Return “Father” and “Son” to Arabic Scriptures

A U.S.-based missions support organization has mounted a petition drive aimed at pressuring a group of respected Bible translators to change how they present the relationship between God and Jesus in Arabic and Turkish Scripture translations geared for Muslim readers. According to the group Biblical Missiology, Wycliffe Bible translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), and a group called Frontiers have produced scriptural translations that replace “Father,” “Son,” and “Son of God,” with other words because such terms may be offensive to Muslim readers.

 

A U.S.-based missions support organization has mounted a petition drive aimed at pressuring a group of respected Bible translators to change how they present the relationship between God and Jesus in Arabic and Turkish Scripture translations geared for Muslim readers. According to the group Biblical Missiology, Wycliffe Bible translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), and a group called Frontiers have produced scriptural translations that replace “Father,” “Son,” and “Son of God,” with other words because such terms may be offensive to Muslim readers.

 In a petition launched on Change.org January 4, the missions group explained that among other issues:

     • Wycliffe and SIL produced an Arabic Bible translation, published as Stories of the Prophets, that substitutes “Lord” for “Father” and “Messiah” for “Son.”
 
     • Frontiers worked with an SIL consultant to publish True Meaning of the Gospel of Christ, an Arabic translation “which removes ‘Father’ in reference to God, and removes or redefines ‘Son.' ” For example, the group pointed out, the Arabic translation of Matthew 28:19 reads, “… Cleanse them by water in the name of God, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit,” rather than (as is rendered in the King James Version), “… baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
 
     • Frontiers published a Turkish translation of the gospel of Matthew that uses the word “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.”
 
     • SIL consulted on a Bengali Scripture translation that changed “Son” to “Messiah” and “Son of God” to the cumbersome “God’s Uniquely Intimate Beloved Chosen One.”

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