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Lost In Translation: Keep "Father" & "Son" in the Bible
  • Petitioning Bob Creson

This petition will be delivered to:

Wycliffe, President
Bob Creson
SIL, Translation Consultant
Rick Brown
SIL, Translation Consultant
Larry Chico
Wycliffe, V.P.
Russ Hersman
Frontiers, U.S. Director
Bob Blincoe
SIL, Executive Director
Freddy Boswell
Wycliffe, V.P.
Ruth Hubbard
SIL, West Eurasia Director
Henk Prenger
Frontiers, International Director
Tim Lewis
Wycliffe, UK Director
Eddie Arthur
SIL, International President
John Watters
SIL, International Translation Coordinator
Bryan Harmelink
Frontiers, Canadian Sending Base Director
Dale Ibsen
Frontiers, Founder
Greg Livingstone
Wycliffe, Board Chairman
Brady Anderson
SIL, Associate Area Director for Eurasia
Andy Clark
Frontiers, Canada Trustee / Mobilizer
Gordon Dyck
Frontiers, International Office Director
Friedrich L
Frontiers, Sending Base Overseer
Lanver M
Frontiers, Field Director
Dan E
Wycliffe, Frontiers & SIL
Frontiers, N. American Sending Base Overseer
Jeff Liverman

Lost In Translation: Keep "Father" & "Son" in the Bible

    1. Petition by

      Biblical Missiology

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Note: In April 2013, Wycliffe/SIL announced it would "implement the guidelines" developed by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), including its recommendation to use the most direct familial terms for God. That sounds promising--but Wycliffe/SIL has yet to say what this means in practice. Will translators continue to insist that "familial" can include terms like "guardian" or "representative"? Will Wycliffe/SIL admit to any past mistakes in translation, as a sign that correction is needed? Thus, until these agencies show they are committed to retaining "Father" and "Son" in the text of the Bible, this petition will remain open. For Biblical Missiology's full statement on the WEA report, please link here

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.

Some examples documented in our Fact Check:
• Wycliffe/SIL produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”
• Frontiers worked with an SIL consultant to produce True Meaning of the Gospel of Christ, an Arabic translation which removes "Father" in reference to God, and removes or redefines "Son," e.g. the Great Commission in Mt 28:19 reads, "Cleanse them by water in the name of God, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit."
• Frontiers produced a Turkish translation of Matthew, distributed by SIL, that uses “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.”
• SIL consulted on the Bengali Injil Sharif, which translated "Son" as "Messiah" and “Son of God” as “God’s Uniquely Intimate Beloved Chosen One.”

By replacing or removing "Father" or "Son" from the text of Scripture, these translations fail to portray God as who he is: the familial, eternal, loving God the Father, Son and Spirit. The deity of Jesus is obscured, and thus the self-sacrifice of God on our behalf. In June 2011, the Presbyterian Church in America explicitly declared such translations as “unfaithful to God’s revealed Word” because they “compromise the doctrines of the Trinity, Scripture, and the person and work of Jesus.” 

Perhaps most importantly, national Christians say these translations are harming their work, even producing a short video expressing their concerns. Yet Western proponents condone removing Father or Son because they say Muslims can only see sexual connotations to these terms. Numerous missionaries and national believers, however, strongly assert this is not the case. Further, church leaders in places like Pakistan, Bangladesh, IranTurkey, and Malaysia have called for an end to these translations, but to no avail.

Adding fuel to the fire, these agencies have raised millions of dollars for these projects, yet donors are unaware their gifts are being used for translations that remove Father, Son and Son of God from the text.

A member of the SIL board indicated that while “a few objections” over these translations would be “dismissable,” SIL would need to respond when the “man in the pew” created a “backlash.” By signing this petition, you are letting these agencies know that your convictions, and the integrity of God’s own Word, can’t be dismissed. Instead, you are asking for a written commitment from Wycliffe, Frontiers and SIL not to remove Father, Son or Son of God from the text of Scripture.

For a thorough explanation of our concerns, including documentation offered in response to Wycliffe's comments about the petition, please read "Lost In Translation Fact Check."  For brief answers to common questions, including responses to agency denials, please see the Petition FAQs. And for general information, please visit Biblical Missiology, as well as the "Petition Updates" section for articles and resources, including the new book, Chrislam

 

Join us in this prayer:

O God, our heavenly Father,

May the witness that You have given us eternal life in Your Son, prevail in the hearts and minds of Your servants.  

May the work of translating Your Word go forth to reach the unreached masses.

Endow those who are mistranslating Your Word, with grace that leads them to repentance.

Give the Church, Your body the unity of the Spirit, and the bond of peace under the headship of Christ.

May we all persevere in serving the gospel without shrinking back or shying away from the Truth. 

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Son of the Living God. 

Amen. 

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Featured Comment
I've been in Turkey for 27 years and I don't know any Turkish pastor or believer that likes this translation. On the contrary, I'm also a pastor, and I can say that I know every pastor and everyone I know are upset with this translation. . . rather than changing the meaning of the Biblical terms and give reason to those Muslims who accuse Christians of adulterating the Scriptures, why not simply put a footnote to clarify that "Father" does not refer to a biological father and "Son" does not refer to a biological son? But for me the worst thing in this translation is that this "Matthew" started with a quote of the Koran and that the translation is full of footnotes with quotes of the Koran, as if it was the highest authority to decide what is true and what false.

Carlos Madrigal
Istanbul, Turkey

Read more comments and see a global map of signers at http://biblicalmissiology.org/petition-comments-map/ (Updated Daily)

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 15,000 signatures
    2. Two Major Denominations Release their Findings on Father & Son Terminology

      This month, the Assemblies of God (AOG) USA and the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) study committees have released their reports on the use of Father and Son in translation. The reports are for use by the respective denominations to deliberate on their relationship to translation societies such as Wycliffe/SIL and involved organizations such as Frontiers, and to serve as a greater impetus for mission engagement.

      To Read More, Click the Link.

    3. Turkish National Church Stands Against Frontier's Islamized Translation

      The Turkish Evangelical Council that represents Evangelical Churches in Turkey has now published a stance against the Frontiers translation of the Islamized Gospel of Matthew. Read their stance and the story here.

    4. Reached 12,500 signatures
    5. (Press Release Feb 14) NATIONALS OPPOSE “EXPERIMENTS” WITH TRANSLATION

      WORLD MAGAZINE: TURKS, PAKISTANIS, AND BENGALIS OPPOSE “EXPERIMENTS” WITH BIBLE TRANSLATION BY WESTERN MISSIONS AGENCIES:
      The current issue of World Magazine features an article by Emily Belz titled “The battle for accurate Bible translation in Asia.” The subtitle states: “Local pastors and churches object to translations that call God the father ‘the great protector’ and Jesus the ‘representative of God.”....

    6. Reached 8,000 signatures
    7. Lost In Translation Petition FAQ

      Wycliffe, SIL and Frontiers deny the allegations of the petition. Read Biblical Missiology's response, along with answers to other important questions people are asking, in our newly posted Petition FAQs.

    8. Reached 7,500 signatures
    9. Read Comments from Around the World

      Click the link below to see who in the world is signing the petition, and what they are saying.

    10. Reached 4,000 signatures
    11. Fact Check: Biblical Missiology’s Response To Wycliffe

      On January 4, 2012, Biblical Missiology sponsored this petition. This petition asks
      Wycliffe, Frontiers and SIL to commit in writing to preserve the terms “Father,” “Son,”
      and “Son of God” in the text of their Bible translations. In response, Wycliffe sent a
      document to their staff, as well as to some of the signatories of the petition, rejecting the
      assertions of the petition. The following is a response by Biblical Missiology, with input
      from current and former staff of these agencies, global pastors, translators, linguists,
      missiologists and theologians with significant experience on the issue.

    12. Reached 2,000 signatures
    13. Turkish Pastor speak out against Turkish Islamicised Matthew Translation.

      Rev. Fikret Böcek from Izmir, Turkey and pastor of The Protestant Church of Smyrna is a graduate of Westminster Seminary, a trained philologist and linguist, and a graduate of Aegean University, He is a highly-qualified translator, and is currently working on ‘the essentially literal’ Turkish translation of the Hebrew Masoretic Bible.

    14. An Analysis of the 'Turkish' Paraphrased New Testament by Frontiers

      Many people have asked about the Turkish scriptures we referenced. The following is a very good and detailed article written by Thomas Cosmades written in 2007. He was born in Turkey. He translated the New Testament from the original Greek into Turkish a number of years ago. He has since passed away to be with the Lord. For more information about him read: http://cosmades.org/

    15. Reached 1,000 signatures
    16. Towards A Faithful Witness: A Response To Wycliffe's Letter To The PCA

      In June 2011, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
      approved “A Call To Faithful Witness,” an overture that declared as “unfaithful to God’s
      revealed Word, Insider Movement or any other translations of the Bible that remove from
      the text references to God as ‘Father’ (pater) or Jesus as ‘Son’ (huios).”
      In order to focus on the issue itself, the overture intentionally did not reference any
      missions organization. Prior to the Assembly, however, the leadership of Wycliffe/SIL
      asked an SIL translator to prepare a response, called “Considering Overture 9." The link below includes Wycliffe's complete comments, along with a response by the lead author of the overture.

    17. Chrislam: How Missionaries Are Promoting An Islamized Gospel

      Are there missionaries who promote converts from Islam remaining in Islam? Is Islam the primary identity for a new believer and how does this identity interface with a believer's new life in Christ? Which rituals of Islam may be given new meaning by converts? This anthology of twenty-five essays approaches the various questions of the "Insider Movements" (IM) that are being raised within the mission community. Offering not only a critique of the problematic issues of Insider Movements and its proponents, Chrislam also provides a necessary corrective in the areas of theology, exegesis, translation, missiology and a theology of religions. The authors include converts from Islam, practicing missionaries, pastors, missiologists, Bible translators, professors of Islamic studies, biblical studies, and systematic theology. This multi-faceted approach to a serious problem in missions is a much needed manual for the church as she thinks through the ramifications of supporting IM.

    18. Reached 750 signatures
    19. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Andre Johansen KRISTIANSAND, NORWAY
      • 2 days ago

      Because this is basic in the Bible

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Glenn Bridges FORT SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA
      • about 1 month ago

      Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. To change God's word to not offend is to take God out of the Word!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ann Collier WIGAN, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 2 months ago

      The Bible is the Word of God, and must be kept in its proper format.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mary Gordon FLETCHER, NC
      • 2 months ago

      You don't reinterpret God's Word.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jan Greig AUSTRALIA
      • 2 months ago

      The mutilation of God's Word for the sake of His enemies - Muslims, who are the children of Satan - is shocking, and must stop immediately. If Muslims are offended, it is because they have inherited the hatred of the true God from their father, the devil.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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