“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,” reads the networks’ online petition.
Wycliffe Bible Translators, one of the world’s biggest Bible translation companies, has agreed to an independent review by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) of its policies on translating terms such as “God the Father” and “Son of God” after complaints about how the terms are presented in some non-English copies of the Bible.
“Recognizing the role of the Church in fulfilling the Great Commission, and respecting the leadership of the WEA and those they will engage in this review process, we commit ourselves to following the wisdom and guidance that this review will produce,” aannounced Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe, in a statement on the company’s website.
Wycliffe came under heavy criticism when Biblical Missiology created an online petition alleging that the translation company had eliminated familial terms describing God and Jesus in certain Arabic and Bengali translations of the Bible so as not to offend Muslim readers. Biblical Missiology, a network of missionaries, linguists, theologians and global pastors, demanded that Wycliffe stop replacing phrases such as “Son of God” with “Messiah of God” or “God the Father” with “guardian.” Bible Missiology said it had “privately appealed” to Wycliffe “to no avail” to stop producing these controversial translations.