Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT) are one of the most renowned Bible translation companies in the world. They are continuing the tradition of John Wycliffe, the great pre-Reformation theologian who broke away from the Catholic Church, and translated the first Bible in English risking his life in the process.
To the disappointment of many Christians, WBT are not following in the footsteps of Wycliffe with their most recent attempts at translating the Word of God into certain Arabic and Bengali translations.
I would go further and say that WBT are attempting to “help” God “sell” His Gospel by changing the names of God in order to make them more palatable to Muslims. Since when does God need us to change his Word in order to win souls for His kingdom?
The changes are not slight. They are in fact abominable. They distort the most important doctrines found on the pages of the Bible: the doctrines about God the Father, the doctrine of the Trinity, and Christology.
Muslims do not accept the concept of Trinity, the idea of Son of God, and the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and WBT is now changing the Bible to be more fitting with their theology… and therefore more acceptable to them.
Here are some critical changes:
- “Son of God” replaced with “Messiah of God”
- “God the Father” replaced with “guardian.”
- the removal of any references to God as “Father,” to Jesus as the “Son” or “the Son of God.”
- replacing “Father” with the Muslim name for God, Allah
For example, it changes Matthew 28:19 from: “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” to: “cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.”
Allah is NOT the Triune God of the Bible. Allah is a singular entity in Muslim theology, and the name of this false god should never be used to replace the Triune God revealed in the Bible, especially in a Bible translation! Such an act amounts to a false Gospel.
Presenting a watered down Gospel via an altered Bible, is no Gospel at all. How can Muslims ascertain the dramatic difference between our God and their god if the Bible they receive does not present that difference? We are certainly not aiming to convert Muslims to Chrislam… or are we?
WBT must come back to the foot of the cross and repent because they have made themselves guilty of the terrible sin outlined in Revelation 22:18-19:
“18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
You need to have a “don’t like ” tab…
🙂 but the like button is if you “like” the opinion of the author on the subject matter, not the subject at hand…
You do “like” the point of view presented, right?
There is no question this is a grossly misguided effort by Wycliffe. Assemblies of God challenged them in the spring of 2012, and so did the Presbyterians (PCA) and Wycliffe was supposed to be working on this by year’s end. I cannot believe their conclusion was to still go forward with these “changes” to God’s revealed Word.
I don’t know if you happened to see this article in Christianity Today- http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/insider-movement-islam-wheres-jesus.html?order=&start=1
the muslim insider movement has some relation to the muslim Bible translation. Obviously, taking the Gospel across cultural lines presents challenges, but weakening truth is certainly not an option, in light of Revelation 22:18-19.
It’s kind of shocking to see this…
Rodi, it had to CT, the one to publish such an article with their usual syncretic spin.
I worry because in certain academic circles, including Romania, our trinitarian God is viewed as the same God as Allah. They put a historic spin on it, we put a theological and spiritual spin on it.
Unless they believe and confess that Isa is God Himself, God incarnate, and the Islamic Allah is a false God, I believe their conversion is not authentic.
After conversion, what business does light have in mingling with darkness? But these are culturally controversial topics, the spiritual aspect is clear…
isn’t it interesting how the word ‘culture’ can now influence otherwise sound biblical theologians to abandon biblical fidelity?
The concept of Jesus as God the Son is offensive to Muslims as it was to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. He is supposed to be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to the disbeliever. To attempt to change that is to reject the gospel.
You are so right Matt. Even today in the US you will probably get a free pass if you talk about God in a generic way, but try to mention the name of Jesus! Oh boy, are you going to hear about it. There is so much resistance against this Name! And it is evidence of the rock of offense described in Scripture. It really validates what we believe.
One way to express your objections to these translations is to sign Biblical Missiology’s petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/lost-in-translation-keep-father-son-in-the-bible
The petition documents its concerns with links to other articles and resources on this critical issue
Welcome Scott and thank you! It was eye opening to read some of the comments in the above link. There clearly is an internal struggle within Wycliffe over this.
allah has spoken the truth where he refered to christians, jews and idolators as the worst of mankind.christians evangelists have been insulting prophet muhammad inventing all kinds of false allegations against him . now their rascality has extended to almighty allah(almighty god) calling him false god. the question is who is true god?what are they going to tell christian arabs who refer to almighty god as allah al-ab(god the father)?are these christian arabs worshiping false god?they should know that name in any language is a representation. even the word god was borrowed from german gott(name of an idol).but no body questione its usage in monotheist religions. islam is saying jesus is neither god or beggotten son of god,that the present bible is not representation of true message taught by moses and jesus. it was distorted and corrupted importing human imaginations
“distorted and corrupted importing human imaginations”
Prove to me that biblical text is distorted and corrupted in the original Greek or Hebrews. Bring scholarly arguments.
Jesus said “before Abraham, I AM” <—– That, my friend, is a statement of divinity.