Wycliffe response raises more questions about the name of God


Wycliffe, SIL International and Frontiers still have not answered the simple question: Did they replace God the Father with allah in some of their Arabic translations? According to missionary and pastoral sources in Turkey and other areas, the answer is yes. But all that can be found regarding the question from the translators is a pointing back to their translation policies. After days of stories on the subject, Wycliffe posted a response on its website. The first response used the New Age term “common ground”, but that was removed within hours to the current: We are listening and seeking God’s wisdom as we work together [deleting “to find common ground”]. The entire Wycliffe response is as follows:

“Wycliffe is not omitting or removing the familial terms, translated in English as “Son of God” or “Father,” from any Scripture translation. Erroneous information and rumors on the internet have recently raised questions concerning this issue. Wycliffe remains committed to the same objectives we’ve held sacred for 80 years: accurate and clear translation of Scripture.

Wycliffe never has and never will be involved in a translation which does not translate these terms. The eternal deity of Jesus Christ and the understanding of Jesus’ relationship with God the Father must be preserved in every translation. Wycliffe personnel are committed to working alongside language communities and other partners to translate God’s Word with great care from the original languages of Scripture into the languages of the world’s people so that all may know the redeeming love and glory of God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Wycliffe continues in conversation with those who – sharing our primary objectives for accurate and clear translation of Scripture – have expressed concerns about some of our translation policies. We are listening and seeking God’s wisdom as we work together.

“Read more on our FAQ page where we answer the question, “How is the Bible translated in various cultural contexts, and specifically, how does Wycliffe approach the translation of the familial titles of God?” Read an article on the Wycliffe Global Alliance site titled The Wycliffe Global Alliance Speaks to Issues of Contextualization. Wycliffe Canada has also shared its position on translating “Father” and “Son of God”. Our primary strategic partner, SIL International, has also responded to the accusations that translators remove “Son of God” and “God the Father” in Scripture translations.”

To some, this is a perfectly reasonable response. Wycliffe reiterates its reputation and policy for translation. Reading all of Wycliffe’s material gives a very good explanation of the difficulties of translating the bible into other languages. It does not, however, answer the question several journalists have been asking: Did you replace God the Father with allah in some of your Arabic translations? The reputation of Wycliffe up until now has not been in question. It has done a wonderful work translating the Bible into other languages that all might come to know Yeshua (the real Jesus) and YHVH (the real God). But now, because Wycliffe has skirted the true issue here, it does call into question who the organization believes is YHVH. And how is YHVH depicted in other translations–as a society’s chief pagan god, as allah, who?

Wycliffe appears to be splitting hairs with legalese. They are not denying that they replaced God the Father with allah–read it carefully. They are denying that they are “removing the Son of God or God as Father from our translations.” This is the trick here. Those of us covering this story are not saying that they are removing Son of God or God as Father from their translations. We are saying they are replacing the one true God of the Bible with a false god named allah.

But they will not admit to replacing YHVH with the false god of Islam–allah. I have been round and round about this. And there is still no denial that they replaced God the Father with allah in some 40 of their Arabic translations. Many claiming to be former employees of Wycliffe, former missionaries, and current missionaries have written me about this. Some are defensive of Wycliffe. Most are saying Wycliffe is wrong and that they know this because they have experienced exactly this same kind of problem with the organization. Otherwise I would not even venture to write about this. This is serious. And it becomes more serious, the more Wycliffe tries to use lawyer like words to avoid answering the direct question.  

Not many want to believe that Wycliffe would have an agenda to appease Islam by purposely substituting allah for God the Father. Problem is, however, YHVH and allah are not the same. If Christians accept that allah and YHVH are interchangeable, we have succumbed to the religion of the antichrist. 2 John 7 says, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Yeshua Mashiach (Jesus Christ) is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” This entire debate raises many more questions than it answers. Do we accept what man wishes to make YHVH, or do we accept YHVH for who he is? The only way I know to answer that is to study the Bible for ourselves and have an understanding of the context of Holy Scripture. Jesus told us, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”


By Bill Wilson