International (MNN/Wycliffe) ― You may have caught wind of some controversy involving Wycliffe Bible Translators in the last few weeks. There has been debate over how certain terms for God are translated--vital phrases for the spread of the Gospel.
Wycliffe has taken the time to respond to the inquiries in the following press release:
Wycliffe USA remains committed to the divine inspiration and authority of Scripture in the original languages, and therefore is committed to translating the Scriptures in ways that communicate accurately. Wycliffe USA is committed to preserving the eternal deity of Jesus Christ and His relationship with the Father in every translation in such a way that communicates accurately and clearly.
In recent weeks, the debate over the translation of the divine familial terms (words translated into English as Son of God, Son, and Father) has grown. It is the policy of Wycliffe USA that the literal translation of divine familial terms be given preference. If the accuracy of the meaning would be lost when using a literal translation, Wycliffe USA, along with SIL, has sought to provide clear guidance for the translation teams. It is this allowance, in rare cases, that is the point of debate. While Wycliffe USA believes this approach has allowed for accurate and clear translation of the divine familial terms, the concerns that have been raised in recent weeks deserve prayerful consideration.
Wycliffe USA applauds the decision by SIL International leaders (06-Feb-2012) to "put on hold our approval of publication of translated Scripture around which this criticism is focused" for a season, while intentionally seeking "a fuller dialogue with our many partners globally and benefit from their input to [SIL's] approach in Scripture translation related to this issue."
Wycliffe USA and SIL have agreed to submit to a review of these specific Bible translation practices. Both organizations will participate in this conversation, but neither will control it. The formal review will be led by respected theologians, biblical scholars, translators, linguists, and missiologists from the global Church. We expect this review to produce a report that will guide future Wycliffe USA and SIL translation efforts.
Wycliffe USA and SIL are committed to transparency in this process, and to keeping our partners, supporters, staff, and the public apprised of its progress. Please see our commonly asked questions at http://www.wycliffe.org/SonofGod/QA.aspx for more information.
We are grateful for the many people who have raised questions and concerns about this issue, as they have provided an opportunity for Wycliffe USA and our partners to ensure that our commitment to accuracy and clarity is being fulfilled. Doing so has demonstrated their love for God's Word, for Bible translation, and for those who do not yet have access to God's Word in the language and form that will serve them best. We invite others to participate by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mission Network News will follow up with Wycliffe staff about this issue