Wycliffe Bible Translators Criticized for Muslim Translations
The idea of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit being one and the same is the core belief of Christianity but a concept that is sometimes hard to convey in cultures where missionaries are translating the Bible into the local vernacular.
In some Islamic societies, for example, the idea of “God the Father” and “Son of God” is interpreted as God physically having sex with Mary.
Something gets lost in translation.
And that something has landed the Orlando-based Wycliffe Bible Translators in trouble with critics who contend some of their versions of the Bible omit the basic theology of Christianity when substituting other words for “Father” and “Son.”
In response to mounting criticism that their translators are catering to Islamic influences in Muslim societies, Wycliffe has agreed to undergo an external audit of its translation processes. A panel of global translation experts assembled by the World Evangelical Alliance will critique the translation practices of Wycliffe to determine whether they have left out the theology in favor of cultural and linguistic clarity.
“There are credible people who are asking honest questions about our translation practices. We are willing to slow down and make sure we are making accurate translations,” said Wycliffe CEO Bob Creson.
The 14-member panel, which has not yet been assembled, will probably take until the end of the year to release its recommendations, which Creson has pledged to follow. Until the Evangelical Alliance finishes its critique of Wycliffe, the company won’t publish the translations that are being questioned, Creson said.