Just when you think you’ve heard everything, something pops up that manages to surprise you. There is a new controversy with a new Bible translation. This article points out:

A controversy is brewing over three reputable Christian organizations, which are based in North America, whose efforts have ousted the words “Father” and “Son” from new Bibles. Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Frontiers are under fire for “producing Bibles that remove “Father,” “Son” and “Son of God” because these terms are offensive to Muslims.”

So what is the big deal. Let’s see some examples.

First, First, Wycliffe and SIL have produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic equivalent of “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”

Second, Frontiers and SIL have produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ , an Arabic translation which removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.” For example, the verse which Christians use to justify going all over the world to make disciples, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) reads, “Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiahand his Holy Spirit” instead of “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Perhaps, this should passage should be called the Great Omission instead?

Third, Frontiers and SIL have produced a new Turkish translation of the Gospel of Matthew that uses Turkish equivalents of “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.”

I get it. I get contextualizing our faith and message in order to reach people groups. But at what point are we destroying the essentials of the Gospel message. At some point, God calls us to change.

How far does this go?

Some people are even offended by mentions of God and Jesus. Maybe we should make a Bible with “Cosmic Force” and “Cool Dude” instead. Imagine John 3:16 now:

“For Cosmic Force so loved the world that Cosmic Force gave Cool Dude, so that whoever believes in Cool Dude should not die but have everlasting life.”

Isn’t that really rad? No.

At some point we missed the point and ruined the message. The Father and Son will be a stumbling block to some. Remember?