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Lose Trinity and what are you left with?

A chilling wasteland.

Just read this comparison of translations.  One Arabic audio Bible excises Father / Son language (for fear of offending Muslims / being misunderstood).

Some particularly awful moments:

"A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."

becomes

"…they heard a voice from heaven saying: "This is the beloved Messiah whom I have sent, so listen to Him and obey Him." (Luke 9:35)

.

"When you pray, say "Father"

becomes

"When you pray, say; Our loving, heavenly Lord." (Luke 11:2)

.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in
heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

becomes

"If you being evil, know how to give your children good gifts, then how much more is it true of the Lord of the
world who gives His Holy Spirit to the people who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13)

.

"Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

becomes

"baptize them with water in the name of God and His Messiah and the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19)

.

UPDATE:  Perhaps it's a bad rendering of the Arabic into English.  But if the Arabic communicates something like the English we have here, there's a big problem.

8 thoughts on “Lose Trinity and what are you left with?

  1. Josh VB

    We had this link sent through to college, and a following email urged a bit of caution. There are potentially issues with the translations from Arabic to English which would make the Arabic translations better than as it appears above.

    If the translations above are faithful, I agree it's a huge problem, and given some assumptions I've heard about translation/missiology issues, I wouldn't be surprised that there are some problems present. I would urge some caution and probably advise that we talk to the translation teams first before signing a petition.

    If you have contacts who speak Arabic well, do please let us know what they say about the translations. I'd hate to have a mass petition etc organised over hearsay.

  2. Glen

    Thanks Josh - I've updated the post:

    UPDATE: Perhaps it's a bad rendering of the Arabic into English. But if the Arabic communicates something like the English we have here, there's a big problem.

    I'll also see what a couple of Arabic speaking mates of mine think of it...

  3. Jon Sidnell

    Reading the Answering Islam bit you link to, it would seem that it's a bit beyond a "better rendering into Arabic" issue. The most pertinent bit that document mentions is that the production doesn't include the parable of the Prodigal Son. Given that this is arguably one of the clearest parables of Christ in terms of depicting the kind of relationship with God available through Him, it's rather telling that they not only eliminate filial language, but this particular parable as well.

  4. Si

    Also, from the discussion in the other threads, it's clear that there are Arabic (and other languages) speakers who have real issues with the removal of filial language in things such as this.

  5. Josh VB

    Thanks for putting on the update Glen. I was talking with someone today who suggests that some of the problems are to do with translations into local dialects - where one word for Father might mean something else in another version of Arabic. This guy said that some linguistic teams are working in very hostile places where too much information (i.e. the information needed to offer a full defense of what they're doing) would pin point where they were working, and cause danger to the teams.

    That all said, if groups are deliberately avoiding Tinitarian language (and I'm all but certain some groups are doing that) then it is a very serious issue, and very sad that agencies like Wycliffe would do such a thing.

    Hope though that we can be very gracious as we work out what exactly is happening, and act in such a way that those involved are most likely to change their practice if it's found that they are doing what they're alleged to be doing.

    Do please keep us updated as you hear more

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