January 30, 2012
A decision by three major Christian organizations to remove the words "Father" and "Son" from new Arabic Bible versions because the terms are "offensive to Muslims" is stirring a controversy among critics, according to Yahoo! News. Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Frontiers are coming under fire for various translations in which "Father" and "Son" are replaced with the Arabic equivalents of "Lord" and "Messiah," or in which "Father" is replaced with "Allah." The organizations argue that in certain cultures, the literal translation could "communicate an incorrect meaning," but many church leaders in Arab countries, as well as experts in Christian-Muslim relations, say such a change is unnecessary. "This translation is an 'all-American idea' with absolutely no respect for the sacredness of Scripture, or even of the growing Turkish church," said Turkish church leader Rev. Fikret Böcek. "We do not have the right as human beings to do that kind of manipulation to the text," said Dr. Paul M. Elliott of Teaching The Word Ministries. Nationwide, Christian leaders, missionaries, Bible translators and pastors have started a public petition to implore that the organizations stop producing such translations.