Presbyterian Church in America Takes Firmer Stand On Translating 'Son of God' for Muslims
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Jun 27
The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has officially rebuked Wycliffe Bible Translators' approach to translating the phrase "Son of God" for Muslims and recommended that PCA churches withdraw financial support from such Bible translations if they remain uncorrected, Christianity Today reports. In various translations, "Son of God" and "God the Father" were replaced with the Arabic equivalents of "Lord" and "Messiah," because, according to Wycliffe president and CEO Bob Creson, "there is sometimes a misunderstanding" in Islamic cultures "when you translate directly or use common terms [such as] 'Son of God' that God the Father actually had a sexual relationship with Mary to produce his son, Jesus." Wycliffe, which agreed to a review of its practices by the World Evangelical Alliance, is already at risk of losing support from the Assemblies of God over the controversial translations, and the PCA on June 21 overwhelmingly approved an investigative committee's recommendation that "Bibles should always translate divine familial terms using common biological terms" because "social familial terms fail to capture the biblical meaning of 'Son' (huios) and 'Son of God' (huios tou theou) applied to Jesus and 'Father' (pater) applied to God." The resolution is similar to last year's PCA condemnation of "translations of the Bible that remove from the text references to God as 'Father' (pater) or Jesus as 'Son' (huios), because such removals compromise doctrines of the Trinity, the person and work of Jesus Christ, and Scripture."