Wycliffe Associates Leaves Bible Translation Alliance over ‘Son of God’ for Muslims

Debate over how to best convey the Trinity continues.
Wycliffe Associates Leaves Bible Translation Alliance over ‘Son of God’ for Muslims
Image: Wycliffe Associates
Bible translators in Cameroon use the MAST process in 2015.

A long-running debate among Bible translators over how to best convey the Trinity to Muslims has led one group to distance itself from others.

Wycliffe Associates (WA)—a smaller and separate organization from Wycliffe USA (the American chapter of Wycliffe Bible Translators)—is leaving Wycliffe Global Alliance (WGA), a partnership of more than 100 Bible translation agencies around the globe.

WA cited several reasons for its decision, starting with controversy over the language used to describe Jesus. In some Bible translations, the language of Jesus’ relationship to God the Father (e.g. “Son of God”) is softened to stem confusion and anger from Muslims who mistakenly believe this means that God engaged in sexual relations with Mary. (CT devoted a 2011 cover story to the controversy.)

"For [us], literal translation of Father and Son of God is not negotiable," WA president Bruce Smith said in a March statement explaining its commitment to support only ...

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