Bible translators sign the Arlington Statement

By November 6, 2020

USA (MNN) — In response to certain Bible translation trends, several Bible translators and ministries have signed the Arlington Statement. Read the full statement here.

Seth Vitrano-Wilson of Horizons International discusses translation methods the statement is pushing back against. “For example, they’ll take an Islamic phrase like the Islamic statement of faith, which says . . . ‘There’s no God but Allah.’ And they’ll use this in Bible translations. And they’ll say, ‘Well, this is the affirmation of monotheism in Islam. That’s how these people understand it. So, we’re going to use it in the Bible to affirm monotheism.’ Whereas the initial signers of the Arlington statement would say, ‘No, that’s doesn’t mean the same thing as what the Bible teaches about monotheism.”

Photo courtesy of the Arlington Statement on Bible Translation.

All Bible translators must make biblical texts understandable to people of other cultures. But the Arlington statement says translators should not use theology from other religions in an attempt to make the Bible easier to understand.

The Arlington Statement focuses heavily on what names Bible translators should use for Jesus and God the Father in different passages, stressing Jesus’ divinity and the Trinity.

The statement also addresses the Bible’s treatment of sin, saying Bible translators can’t adjust these passages in hopes of connecting more easily with a new audience.

Sign the statement

So, who is behind this statement? Vitrano-Wilson says, “The Arlington Statement was put together by a group of Bible Translators, scholars, missiologists, theologians, Hebrew and Greek experts, a whole group of people from all around the world, including people whose native language is Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, and English.”

You can even sign the statement yourself. Vitrano-Wilson says in addition to Bible translators, they are looking for pastors and laypeople to sign.

And pray that God will guide Bible translators all over the world as they seek to share the Gospel clearly with all people.



Header image by Samuel Holzmann from Pixabay.