Reports that major Bible translators Wycliffe, SIL International and Frontiers are changing the Word of God to appease Islamic concepts of the Bible are being met with great disbelief and anger. At the time of this writing, there is still no mention of such on the Wycliffe website. SIL offers the explanation that it “does not support the removal of the divine familial terms, “Son of God” or “God the Father” but rather requires that Scripture translation must communicate clear understanding of these terms.” SIL says the allegations made public by Biblical Missiology are false, it goes on to say that “SIL’s Scripture translation practice is to use wording which accurately communicates to the intended audience.”
SIL, Wycliffe’s partner in the Bible translation business, is really saying that its translations vary according to the language it is translating. This explanation means that in Arabic translations the familial terms “Son of God” or “God the Father” could very well be changed to reflect the language. This double-talk “spin” does not answer the charge. It clouds the issue even more. Author and Christian Scholar Joel Richardson writes in WorldNetDaily, “According to reports, of the roughly 200 translation projects Wycliffe/SIL linguists have undertaken in Muslim contexts, about 30 or 40 remove the terms father and son with reference to God and Jesus.”
As an example, Richardson points to an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL that changes Matthew 28:19 from “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” to “cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.” This is a material change in scripture, not just a translation “which accurately communicates to the intended audience” as SIL posts in its website denial. A missionary in Turkey told The Daily Jot: “This is a big controversy here in Turkey. All the Turkish pastors oppose this new translation. They have asked Frontiers to not distribute this book in Turkey but Frontiers refused. They refused to stop working on it.”
Words mean things. So do actions. These translators have held longstanding sound reputations, but SIL’s justification is not credible. Jesus said in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.” While websites and statements of faith are written, actions are the true validation of them. In no way am I implying that these Bible translators are ravening wolves. Changing the world of God, however, is serious. Substituting an antichrist god such as allah for God the Father is no less than blasphemy and heresy. It cannot be explained away, it must be taken away.
By Bill Wilson