CAIRO - Translated copies of the Bible intended to the Muslim world have sparked Christian outcry over claims that the copies miss the essential pillars of Christianity, the Mercury News reported Thursday, April 26.
"If you remove 'son,' you have to remove 'father,' and if you remove those, the whole thread of the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation is unraveled," said the Rev. Georges Houssney, the president of Horizons International, a Christian organization.
Houssney said Wycliffe Bible Translators has translated copies of the Bible that miss the essential Christian idea of Trinity: the father, son and the holy spirit.
He has launched an online petition that calls on the Florida-based publisher to drop the disputed translated Bibles.
"God says, 'This is my Son,' and we can't put other words in his mouth," Houssney said.
The disputed Bibles have prompted some leading Christian groups to threaten to severe relations with the publisher.
The Assemblies of God, one of the largest Pentecostal fellowships, with more than 60 million members in affiliated churches worldwide, said it would review its relationship with Wycliffe.
Critics argue that the inaccurate translation makes it difficult for missionaries to preach Christianity.
"Changing fundamental words of Scripture such as 'father' and 'son' will also fuel the Muslim claim that the Bible is corrupted, full of errors and has been abrogated by the Quran and example of Muhammad," the Most Rev. John Harrower, Anglican bishop of Tasmania, wrote in an email.
Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.
In the Noble Qur'an, Jesus is called "Isa". He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).
As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.
Muslims believe that Jesus will come back to earth before the end of time to restore peace and order, fight the Anti-Christ (Al-Masih Al-Dajjal) and bring victory for truth and righteousness.
The true followers of Jesus will prevail over those who deny him, misrepresent him and reject him.
The Christian fury has prompted the publisher to launch a review of the disputed Bibles.
"People are saying we're trying to do translation work that's not offensive to Muslims, and that's just not true," Wycliffe CEO Bob Creson said.
"We are committed to the accurate translation of God's word. That is our highest value."
He argued that in some cases divine familiar terms do not make sense in translation in some cultures.
"Translation is a very laborious process, because you have to understand the culture of the community, and you don't understand that overnight," he said.
"If you've got a culture that doesn't have sheep, and you want to translate the word 'sheep,' you either explain sheep or you find an equivalent term."
Last month, Wycliffe, which is involved in more than 1,500 Bible translation programs in roughly 90 countries, agreed to an independent review of its policies by the World Evangelical Alliance.
The review will include an assessment by a panel of experts to determine whether the publisher and affiliated groups are improperly replacing the terms "Son of God" and "God the Father."
"We're submitting ourselves to a global consultation that will look at our translation practices and we'll abide by the recommendations," Creson said."If they make a recommendation to do something we've not done in the past, we'll go back and look at what we're doing."