Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wycliff Bible Translators comes out in support of "Insider Translations" but not quite

Wycliffe, the Presbyterian church of Bangladesh, and other organizations have sent communications to the General Assembly regarding the use of "Insider Translations" and the involvement of the PCA in Insider Movements in the world. These communications were ruled out of order, partially out of concerns that this precedent would open the floodgates of lobbying by outside organizations and parties.

One commissioner noted that the purpose of a Study Committee would be to solicit opinions and information from such parties (indeed!) but another commissioner, Bill Nikides (an expert on world missions), noted that some of the communications come from Reformed denominations addressing missions work by the PCA in the Islamic would. Scott Seaton, former missionary and currently a pastor in Potomac Presbytery, noted that the information is directly related to matters before the Assembly.

Even though the material was found out of order, much of it was already in the hands of the commissioners. Maybe we get to have our cake (not set a bad precedent) and eat it too (get to read the information anyway).

Wycliffe submitted a detailed response to the motion condemning "Insider Translations," basically arguing that there is a difference between the Insider Movement and accepted contextualization in translation. This is probably fair enough in a theoretical sense, and likely opponents of the Insider Movement have been hyper-sensitive at times to attempts to contextualize the message of Scripture appropriately. But . . . I strongly suspect this is not as cut and dried as they are claiming and I bet there ARE Insiders seeking to influence Bible translations.

Wycliffe's claim that Muslims are offended by the idea that Jesus came from a sexual union between Mary and God and are not at all offended by the Bible's claim that Jesus is God in the flesh is completely untrue. While there may be some Muslims who completely misunderstand the claims of the Incarnation, very few thinking Muslims who have read the Bible would think this. What they are offended by is the Bible's claim that Jesus is God. Wycliffe is clouding the issue and people should ask why.

Is this not why we need a study committee?

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