Posts tagged ‘Iraq’

January 19th, 2012

Fact Checking Wycliffe-SIL Statement on Biblical Missiology Petition

Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) issued a statement which was sent to their associates and those who signed the petition, “Lost In Translation: Keep ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ in the Bible” on change.org, attempting to debunk assertions regarding its translators, missiologists and linguists efforts to change the Word of God. Can you imagine a Bible that does not contain “Father,” “Son” and or “Son of God” and the reason that has been given for these omissions: the terms are offensive to Muslims?

A group of Arab Christians, Christians of Muslim background (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey etc), Bible translators, missiologists and missionaries have responded to Wycliffe—SIL’s response. I still can’t believe these reputable Christian organizations are standing by these erroneous translations of the Bible.

 

Fact Check: Biblical Missiology’s Response To Wycliffe’s Comments On “Lost In Translation”

On January 4, 2012, Biblical Missiology sponsored an online petition called “Lost In Translation: Keep ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ in the Bible” on change.org. This petition asked Wycliffe, Frontiers and SIL to commit in writing to preserve the terms “Father,” “Son,” and “Son of God” in the text of their Bible translations. In response, Wycliffe sent a document to their staff, as well as to some of the signatories of the petition, rejecting the assertions of the petition. The following is a response by Biblical Missiology, with input from current and former staff of these agencies, global pastors, translators, linguists, missiologists and theologians with significant experience on the issue.

 

About Biblical Missiology

Biblical Missiology, a ministry of Horizons International, is a network of missionaries, missiologists, translators, pastors, laity, church missions leaders, theologians, and national church leaders. What brings us together is a shared concern that people in need of the gospel, including Muslims, hear the full and faithful message of Jesus Christ. We are particularly concerned about new initiatives called “Insider Movements” (IM) and “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MIT) that present a distorted and incomplete portrayal of the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For a list of leadership team members and contributors, please visit the Biblical Missiology website.

 

The Need For A Petition

It must first be said that the petition is not intended as a condemnation of Wycliffe, SIL, Frontiers, or any of their staff members. Rather, it is a request to correct errors involved in Muslim Idiom Translations committed by a portion of their staff and leadership. We acknowledge that the majority of translations produced by these organizations are unrelated to these issues, and we bless the faithful translations that have been produced.

Second, the petition was started only after every effort had been made to call Wycliffe, Frontiers and SIL to biblical faithfulness. Years of private exhortations, meetings with agency leaders, internal dissent from agency staff including resignations over the issue, criticism and earnest appeals from national believers most affected by the translations, group discussions, conferences of proponents and critics, missiological articles, and church and denominational admonitions, have all failed to persuade these agencies to retain “Father” and “Son” in the text of all their translations. Reading the testimonials in the “Why People Are Signing” section of the petition will confirm these efforts. In spite of these appeals, these agencies have solidified their commitment to such translations.

If this were a minor issue, then we would at this point simply have to “agree to disagree.” But this is not minor. It is hard to imagine anything more significant. Our understanding of God himself, Scripture, redemption and our adoption are all affected by removing “Father” and “Son” from Bible translations. National believers are aghast at what is being done to God’s Word in their languages, stunned by what well-funded outsiders insist on doing in spite of the nationals’ objections. After so many appeals, what recourses are left? We genuinely understand the reservations people have for a public petition, and we share those. But “peace” cannot trump truth. Thus, with great sadness, prayer, and a desire to honor God’s name, this initiative was begun to enable individual voices, from all over the world, to speak as one. It is our sincere desire that agency leaders would commit to retain “Father” and “Son” in the text of the Bible, that they would restore the good name of their organizations, and that their most fruitful and faithful days would still lie ahead. We pray to that end. Until that time, we will continue to plead that Bible translations “testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).

Please read the rest of the response HERE.

You can sign the petition HERE.

Thank you.

November 1st, 2010

Why Do Christians Suffer in Muslim Majority Countries?

Christians, whether of Muslim background or not, keep on suffering at the hands of Muslims in Muslim majority countries. Here are a few cases:

Two brothers, Rahid Emmanuel and Sajjid Emmanuel, were gunned down in July in their native Pakistan on false charges of blaspheming Prophet Muhammad. The court found them innocent. Some Muslims took the law into their own hands and executed them.

Hector Aleem, another Pakistani Christian, has been jailed for more than a year and a half on another false blasphemy charge. Even when Hector is innocent of this charge, the judge cannot release him for fear of retribution. Muslims have been demanding for his execution. You can watch videos of their protest here and here.

A Christian of Muslim background, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, is languishing in an Iranian jail for over a year awaiting execution. He is accused of apostasy. Even the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has joined the push for his release from prison.

Muslims kill many Christians not necessarily for apostasy, blasphemy or proselytizing Muslims but for their mere presence, which is proof to their Muslim neighbors Islam is a colossal failure. Our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq have suffered greatly. Here is a report from the Associated Press; what happened in Baghdad defies any logic:

BAGHDAD – Iraqi security forces stormed a Baghdad church where militants had taken an entire congregation hostage for four hours, leaving at least 47 people dead, including a priest, Iraqi officials said Monday.

A cryptically worded statement posted late Sunday on a militant website allegedly by the Islamic State of Iraq appeared to claim responsibility for the attack. The group, which is linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, said it would “exterminate Iraqi Christians” if Muslim women in Egypt were not freed.

It specifically mentioned two women in Egypt that extremists maintain have converted to Islam and are being held against their will.

The Egyptian women are wives of priests that are believed to have converted to Islam to leave their husbands, since divorce is banned by the Coptic Church. One woman disappeared in 2004 and another in July of this year.

Egypt’s Christians maintained they had been kidnapped and demonstrated for their release. Both were later recovered by police, denied any conversions and were then spirited away to distant monasteries.

In the message, the militants claim the two are still Muslim and they called upon the Vatican, which held a meeting earlier in October to discuss the fate of Christians in the Middle East, to release the women.

The death toll has risen to 58. It defies any logic someone would go about killing people over assumptions. It is very possible these two Egyptian ladies “converted” to Islam against their will when Muslims held them captives. However, when they found their freedom, they “denied any conversions” to Islam. Isn’t that enough? Why do people have to die? And why would something that transpired in Egypt, which did not result in any loss of life, adversely affect Christians in Iraq?

Whatever happened to Muslims in the West’s argument Islam “supports” religious freedom? The deeds of their fellows in Muslim majority countries and the lack of prosecution of their crimes against non-Muslims prove there is no religious freedom or justice in Islam for a non-Muslim. Western Muslims are not demonstrating against these injustices. Perhaps they know the verse from the Qur’an they often quote, “There is no compulsion in religion,” indeed was abrogated and they are just fooling the unsuspecting.