He is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit

Western missions agencies Wycliffe, Frontiers and SIL are producing Bibles that remove FatherSon andSon 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 Americaexplicitly 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 orSon 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 likePakistanBangladeshIranTurkey, 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 FatherSon 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 FatherSon 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.

Invite your friends to the petition Facebook Event.Follow Biblical Missiology on: Twitter and Facebook

Featured CommentI’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 MadrigalIstanbul, Turkey

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

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Guys, this is a really important request for prayer and participation. We know our God to be of three persons Who make up the one, true God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it is Biblical, we are told to proclaim the Gospel to the world and all of its peoples. That Gospel is the good news about God. The entire foundation of that good news is the nature of God. His beautiful, just, merciful, loving, and amazing nature. But while this Gospel is being proclaimed to the people of the world, some translators are seriously hindering any evangelism that could profit from them and are destroying the message Christ was sent for and gave to us. They are not proclaiming the Triune nature of God as it was written. They are removing the words “Father and “Son” and using “Lord” or “God” and “Messiah.”  They are blatantly changing the word of God with no justification whatsoever. It is an abomination! And it is one that is hindering witnessing in these countries that these Bibles are given to, and is dirtying the purity of the texts.
This is a heresy that cannot be tolerated. We cannot preach the Truth of Christ to people  while giving them what we know to be the Truth mixed with lies! We cannot lie about Who God is! We cannot try and change Who God is! The Gospel was not made so that people would not be offended; it is offensive. Just like the sugar-coated heretical preaching that is disgustingly rampant in the first-world countries, we must speak just as loudly against this new kind of sugar-coated heresy infecting the Bibles of other countries. We can’t just keep feeding it to them! What kind of garbage is that?
Seriously, God gave us His word for a reason, and it wasn’t so that we could pick and choose what to cut and paste from and to it. We are supposed to preach the word; not mutilate it. So please, click the link, and sign.
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3 Comments

  1. Maria Tatham said,

    February 27, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Cheyenne, so glad you did this! I signed the petition for my husband and me.
    Maria

  2. March 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Prayfully this will not change.

  3. March 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I couldn’t figure out how to sign…but I found it and signed the petition!


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