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Wycliffe responds to translating controversy

By February 20, 2012

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 response@wycliffe.org.

Mission Network News will follow up with Wycliffe staff about this issue
shortly.

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