Dear leaders of Participating Organizations (the WMOs and WPOs) in the Wycliffe Global Alliance,
It is quite likely that by now you have become aware of a theological controversy that is taking place with the translation of ‘the Son of God’.
Several weeks ago an online petition was launched as part of a website that names ‘Wycliffe, SIL and Frontiers’ as being responsible for removing the term ‘Son of God’ from Bible translations for Muslim audiences. This week the controversy has been fueled by online news releases, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, etc. from people concerned about this. For example a number of articles have been published online stating that Wycliffe is publishing Bibles which remove ‘the Father and Son’ in order to appease Muslims. Many people appear to believe this message without checking whether it is true or not.
Several Wycliffe organizations have been inundated with enquiries of concern, some quite hostile, about this. Originally it was focused on the US, but this has since spread to Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia and many other countries and we can assume it will continue to spread.
Thus, the Wycliffe Global Alliance has posted this on our website at www.wycliffe.net <http://www.wycliffe.net/> : “The Wycliffe Global Alliance organizations and their personnel are 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 never has and never will be involved in a translation which does not translate these terms.”
This statement then links to further information on our website or you can view this information and resources at:
http://www.wycliffe.net/resources/missiology/Bibletranslationandmission/tabid/96/Default.aspx?id=2213 <http://www.wycliffe.net/resources/missiology/Bibletranslationandmission/tabid/96/Default.aspx?id=2213> .
As SIL is very affected by this controversy, they have released this statement on their website atwww.sil.org <http://www.sil.org/> .
We will continue to monitor the situation to the best of our abilities and our Area Directors will update you if we need you to know more about the situation. In the meantime if you need help or advice from us as to how to respond to any enquiries about this controversy please get in touch with your Area Director who will assist you, and where necessary involve others from our senior leadership.
Our prayer is that this controversy will quickly die down since it is not based on facts about how Wycliffe and SIL have done Bible translation. At the same time, we pray that Lord will use this new awareness of Bible translation issues to allow us to speak into these situations with clarity, wisdom and a way of seeing the Bible translation movement strengthened.
Yours in Christ,
Wycliffe Global Alliance