No Apologies Round Two

"Few if any recent generations could sit with a Bible in one hand and their newspapers in the other and see the fulfillment of prophecy, but for us it’s almost routine." Jack Kelly

Thursday, February 2, 2012

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, You Say Allah, I Say Father..

Well, here we go again.  There is a new Bible translation out now, this time, designed specifically to make muslims comfortable to read it.  It's been a growing thing, this movement called Chrislam, which in itself is apostasy.  This new Bible, which is being put out by Wycliffe Bible Translators of all groups- who ought to know better, along with a couple of others is making, in my opinion, a mockery of the Word of God.

What could be done, to make Jewish/Christian Scriptures more sensitive to muslims, whose religion casts Jews and Christians as apes, pigs or dogs?  Well, first, there is that pesky fact that God- the Creator of everything, the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, Holy, Righteous, Omnipotent, Omniscient, the I AM, is OUR FATHER in heaven.  Why would the term "Father" be offensive to muslims?  The main reason is that they do not believe in the Triune nature of God- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.   They mistakenly believe that the Christian belief in the trinity is of God, Jesus and Mary.

" And when God said, 'O Jesus son of Mary, didst thou say unto men, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God"?' He said, 'To Thee be glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, Thou knowest it, knowing what is within my soul, and I know not what is within Thy soul; Thou knowest the things unseen (Surah 5:116)

Moreover, the following verses from the quaran show that muslims believe God had sexual relations with Mary,  "Yet they ascribe to God, as associates, the jinn, though He created them; and they impute to Him sons and daughters without any knowledge. Glory be to Him! High be He exalted above what they describe! The Creator of the heavens and the earth -- how should He have a son, seeing that He has no consort, and He created all things, and He has knowledge of everything? (Surah 6:100-101)
He -- exalted be our Lord's majesty! has not taken to Himself either consort or a son. (Surah 72:3)

Compared with, But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Matthew 1:20-22
These verses are so wrong for so many reasons which I'm not going to get into here, but the fact is, that they do not believe that Jesus is the second person of the trinity, God the Son, so the Word Father must be left out, because Father denotes the idea that God the Son is true.

Since the Father is removed, it would then be needed for Jesus THE SON to be removed also, for in islam, the quaran states: "Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender" (Qur'"an 4:171).

Compare to Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 
"O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion, and do not say anything concerning Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers . . . " (Surah 4:171)

So, Jesus, according to muslims is only a prophet, one of the great ones of course, after Mohammad, but still just a prophet, so no more calling Jesus the Son of God.  Sure, they call Him Messiah, but only in a sense of the human nature of Jesus and disregards all of the Godly nature.

Next thing that needs to be changed, is the word God, for allah.  Because muslims do not call God God, they call their god allah.  What most people of the West do not understand or realize, is that allah is an ancient moon god of Arabia.  Allah was the god worshiped before and during the time of Mohammad in the areas of Mecca and Arabia, but this is not God the Creator, God the Father.   Since muslims believe in allah, the name God must be removed from this translation and replaced with the acceptable muslim term allah.

So what to do with a pesky verse such as,  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19)  ?
First of all, notice the words here.  We are commanded by Jesus to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in WHO'S NAME?  The NAME.   The word name, is taken from the Greek  , ὄνομα,onoma  meaning,  a “name” (literally or figuratively), (authority, character)
So baptizing in the literal authority is what this part means, of the Father,  the word Father here in Hebrew and Greek, πατήρ, patēr, meaning (literally or figuratively, near or more remote): - father, parent.
and of the Son- the word Son, υἱός , uihos, used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship: - child, foal, son.
and of the Holy Ghost (or Spirit), πνεῦμα,  pneuma
Used here as (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind.

How does a Christian organization such as Wycliffe justify changing the above verse, knowing it's meaning, to now reading,  “cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.”

This may not seem so important to a lot of folks.  Many might see this as a good way to witness and evangelize to the Muslim population in a way that they can understand the Gospel better.    John 1:1-4 says,  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
This verse shows that Jesus is The Word, He is God.  If one believes the Bible, then one can not have any excuse for changing that Word in order to be sensitive to anyone.  What Wycliffe and others are doing is changing the very Word, twisting it and using it by spreading a false Gospel! 

These organizations which promote, translate or change the Bible in order to "witness" or make comfortable anyone who might read it, are spreading a false Gospel because they are presenting a different Jesus and a different God than what His Own Word tells us.   There is, contrary to what most people, even sadly among Christians today, no possible way of reconciling Biblical Christianity and Islam.  They are two separate beliefs all together.  One believes Jesus is the Christ, the Salvation of the World, the other believes he is one of the great prophets, second only to Mohammad.  One belief tells us to go into the world and share the Good News that Christ is our Savior- the other tells it's adherants to convert the infidel, at the point of a sword if necessary.  One belief tells us to love our enemy, the other says to kill the enemy.  One tells us Christ died on the cross as a punishment for our sins, the other tells us that Christ did not die, and that allah will punish or reward us at his own pleasure or discretion- as allah wills. 

Wycliffe was named the third largest religious charity based on private support, according to the 2011 Forbes “200 Largest U.S. Charities.  It may be that Bible believing Christians may want to withhold any donations until they stop perverting and twisting the Word to suit men.  
Jesus did warn of a great falling off of believers, and the rise of apostasy in the end days.  I just am sad to see that an organization which has done great things for the kingdom of God has fallen so far as to believe that man can put the Almighty God into a twisted human version of what they want Him to be.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Follow up:

I may have jumped the gun on this one, and if I have, I apologize to Wycliffe and others.   The original story was from WorldNetDaily, and in reading and researching it does seem as if there are already some translated Bibles which have been introduced into Muslim areas- and many pastors are not pleased with the new translations.
Wycliffe is affirming in their belief in the triune nature of God, and acknowleging Jesus as God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. They have defended their position, and set the record on how they translate Bibles into languages in which others can understand the true meaning.  I will include all links here for those who wish to investigate this for themselves.

While I may not know fully the whole story, as I've not seen the new versions in Arabic that have been put out, we as Bible believing Christians must be sure that we hold true to the Bible Scriptures when witnessing, talking to, preaching about or translating anything having to do with the Gospel and the Bible.

New Bible Yanks Father, Jesus as Son of God from Bible

Wycliffe Canada

Mission Frontiers

Wycliffe Global Alliance

Wycliffe Son of God response


Mike Tisdell said...

Although your post is old, I just saw it today and I want you to know that you didn't speak prematurely, most of what you have said about Wycliffe/SIL and Chrislam was accurate and unfortunately Wycliffe's responses so far have been misleading at best. A lot of good information can be found at I was personally shown a copy of a Muslim Idiomatic Translation in 2009; yes, they really do exist. And the translation issue is just the tip of the Iceberg, the missionaries using these bible translations argue that Muslim converts should remain Muslims and continue to worship in the Islamic Mosques, etc… It is a heart breaking situation and Wycliffe/SIL’s official position is that they take no stand for or against those promoting this kind of syncretism (Called the “Insider Movement”).

The one area where your post is in error is related to the use of “Allah” in bible translations. In Semitic languages like Hebrew, Aramaic, or Arabic "Allah" is the word that communicates the same meaning as the English word “God” does to an English speaker. If we were to transliterate (i.e. copy letter for letter) the Hebrew words for “God” into English we would get "el" or "eloah" or "elohim" (The last is plural). Transliteration between different Semitic languages is much simpler because they share essentially the same alphabet (although the letters look very different). In fact, the current Hebrew script is adopted from the ancient Aramaic script and the current Aramaic script is very similar to Arabic. All of that being said, I would like to give you the word for God in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic (all transliterated into a Hebrew Script) so that you can see how closely they are related. In Hebrew it is Eloah (אלה), in Aramaic it is elah (אלה), and in Arabic it is Allah (אלה). Originally, vowels were not part of these ancient languages and are mostly non-essential to understanding the language. As you can see, the word for God in each of these languages is identical (except for the vocalization). “Allah” is the name for God used in almost all Arabic bibles; it is the common and correct word for God in Arabic.

That being said, there are still misuses of “Allah” in bible translation projects that have involved Wycliffe/SIL translation consultants. The issue is that they have sometimes chosen to use the name “Allah” for God in non-Semitic languages. In Arabic, “Allah” is the appropriate word for God, but in most non-Semitic languages (like English) it is not the common word for God, it is a specific name for the Muslim deity. It is inappropriate to use this name for God in most non Semitic bible translations because it a name that is associated only with the god of Islam. When a culture (including the Muslims in that culture) commonly use a different word for “god” and Muslim’s use the NAME “Allah” only when referring to the Islamic deity then it is a serious translation error to use ”Allah” as the name for God. Also, some translations (even in Arabic) have substituted “Allah” for “Father” and this is never legitimate. I think it is important to accurately understand the uses and abuses of the name “Allah” in bible translation because there are some serious issues related to how “Allah” has been used in some translations and our concerns can be easily dismissed if we do not understand the real issue. Misunderstandings about the use of “Allah” in bible translation has allowed Wycliffe/SIL to respond in a way that knocks down the “strawman” without ever addressing the real and legitimate concerns that biblical scholars have been raising with Wycliffe for years.

Mike Tisdell said...
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