This news item disturbs me greatly, if it’s true. It seems that Wycliffe Bible Translators, who we supported for many years, has been producing Arabic and Turkish translations of the Bible with the words “Father” and “Son” replaced with “Allah” and “his Messiah”, so as not to offend Muslim readers.
I understand the need to reach Muslims with the Christian faith. But in my reading of history, changing the words of scripture in this way is always a bad sign. If this is true, and if we still supported WBT financially, we would certainly stop doing so.
Update: Per Wycliffe’s web site, the story isn’t true. This is a relief, as I did not enjoy thinking poorly of them.
Update: Looking deeper, there seems to be more to this story. If the organization Biblical Missiology is to be believed, they have had considerable dialog with Wycliffe about this, and they have what appears to be a record of it. If this record is accurate, WBT is maintaining that they are translating the terms accurately into various languages while avoiding connotations that would be weird to speakers of those languages, and Biblical Missiology is maintaining that they are going too far, so as to lose the original meaning—and in some cases unnecessarily. In this light, WBT’s statement, linked above, could simply mean, “No, we aren’t going too far.” There are a few examples in Biblical Missiology’s record; check it for yourself.