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Translating "Son of God" – Paul Blackham

This post is taken from a comment posted by Paul Blackham on this post...

As we all know Wycliffe is a wonderful organisation with deep commitment and passion for the Bible – yet this debate is going on within Wycliffe itself.

Wycliffe's mission statement at  is especially useful here because it indicates the kind of theological questions that are at the heart of this debate – and why so many Arabic speakers are upset about it.

In the section dealing with “Son of God” the initial assumption is made that the English phrase “Son of God” “is a tremendously meaningful term in English. It carries a critical message about Christ, the Messiah, the second Person of the Trinity.” However, I would suggest that this is only the case among the minosrity Christian community. The English phrase “Son of God” no longer communicates the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity to general English speakers. Many English speakers feel that such a phrase either does imply some kind of procreation or else it is polytheistic or even simply incoherent. I constantly come up against massive misunderstandings of “Son of God” in English – but I’m not convinced that we need to use a different English vocabulary to deal with this. Notice the kind of discussions and arguments about the Trinity that are increasingly common in English culture. We have to constantly and carefully explain and define what we are trying to say with these words.

My Arabic friends tell me that the new words and phrases do not convey the ontological Trinity and they do not reflect the full deity of Jesus as the original languages do. I have to take their word for that becuase my own Arabic is too weak to grasp the nuances. BUT, for us English speakers, try the same experiment. If we want to avoid all the misunderstandings that “Son of God” has acquired, what alternative words or phrases could we use? Can we think of words or phrases that are genuinely equivalent to Father/Son that contain the same relationality and ontology? If we say that Jesus is “the specially loved one from God” or the “unique messenger”… do those phrases do the job? Would those phrases lead us to see how Jesus is the eternal Word/Son/Angel of the Father/Ancient of Days? The Bible itself uses different words and phrases to express the Trinity… and yet if we lose the Father/Son language from the pallette then can we properly understand the other terms correctly?

The final paragraph of the article on the Mission Frontiers website with the summary points is a clear statement of the translation practices, but they don’t quite solve the problem that has been at the heart of the debate. The problem is that the words “father” and “son” in English, and in Greek and in Hebrew, basically “are biological in meaning and imply procreation”. Yes, father/son can also have other non-biological meanings in specific contexts, but to ENTIRELY escape those natural connotations means a serious danger of losing the ontology that is so vital for the doctrine of the Trinity. All languages struggle to grasp this aspect of the Trinity. The normal usage of these words is in terms of procreation. Think of the long lists in the Bible of this man begot that son etc… and yet with all those long lists defining “begetting” in such normal, biological ways, yet the Holy Spirit still used the ‘begetting’ word to describe how the Father and the Son relate. It seems a bit too risky for Him to do that… yet by doing it that way we see how the Son is of the very ‘substance’ of the Father rather than any emanation or creature. The Son is of the very being – “of the same stuff” as the Father… and no matter how messy or complicated it is to get our minds around this in a non-sexual and non-chronological way, yet anything less than that understanding of the Son is a serious problem.

The article by Rick Brown on the Mission Frontier website almost perfectly expresses the problem. He does a great job of clearly and simply setting out the reasons why the new translations have selected words and phrases that are more like “Lord” or “God” for the Father and “Messiah” or “uniquely Loved One” for the Son. Rick seems to quite genuinely believe that the “social” understanding of father/son is more appropriate in most contexts than a biological one.

On page 29 Rick acknowledges the ontological dimension of the Father/Son relation, but then goes on to say – “Bible scholars suggest that the mediatorial meaning is the most prominent in many contexts of Scripture, but they also recognize that the Bible uses the phrase with six additional components of meaning: familial/relational, incarnational, revelational, instrumental, ethical and representational.”

Might I suggest that far more of the Bible’s usages of Father/Son language are to do with ontology than some may allow.

That assumption about replacing ‘biological’ father/son words with equivalent ‘social’ ideas of father/son is precisely why there have been these protests over recent years. The deep concern from the Arabic churches is that if Muslims and new Muslim background believers read a version of the Bible that does not articulate, in the main text rather than in footnotes, the ontological Trinity, then how can they get to grips with the reality of the Trinity?

Round the world, in all kinds of cultures and languages, for hundreds or thousands of years, there has been that wrestling to understand and express the rich complexity and wonder of the One God who is the Spirit who proceeds from the Father who begets His Son – all in an eternal, non-successive and non-sexual but ontological way. Look at how careful and nuanced we try to be In English… and in every other language. Remember how the ancient Greek theologians had to invent and adapt and superintend words and language to articulate what the Bible means by Father and Son.

Rick suggests that people in polythesistic cultures might struggle to understand the relation between the Father and Son – yet, it was precisely in the polytheisic culture of Greek and Roman gods on the one hand and the philosophical culture of the Platonic One who was too pure to have any contact with material things on the other hand that the classic creedal formulations of the Trinity arose. We might look back and wonder how they managed to avoid both the sexuality of the pagan gods and also the untouchable transcendance of the Neo-Platonic One, so beloved of Arius.

To try to short-cut or even entirely avoid this wonder and glory may have profound consequences not only in the short-term understanding of this generation of Muslim background believers but also in the longer term theological health of the emerging churches around the Islamic world.

For those of us who have been involved in this debate, especially over the past 5 years, the points that Rick so clearly make actually underline why there is such concern among Arab speaking Christians. The strongest protests against these new translations are from Arabic speakers because they claim that the family or ontological connection between a father and a son is such a vital aspect of the relationship between Jesus and the Father.

The ‘problem’ with the father/son language is part of the basic fabric of the Bible itself. When we go back to the church fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, they too are wrestling with how God the Father begets/begot God the Son yet without physical procreation or chronological succession. It is not as if we can simply import an analogy to solve it because the ontological connection between God the Father and God the Son is so essential.

The alternative words and phrases cause so much upset with many Arabic Christians precisely because to use words like “Lord” or “God” instead of Father or to replace “Son” with words like “Messiah” or “Uniquely Loved One” do not contain the ontology that is so vital to a Biblical doctrine of God.

Yes, there is a massive and common misunderstanding of the Trinity among most of our Muslim friends – yet, this misunderstanding [focussed on the idea that God the Father had sexual union with the human Mary in the way that the Greek/Roman gods would do], still continues among Muslims who speak English as their first language. Look at Islamic websites that engage with the Trinity – in any language. Many commonly discuss the idea that Christians believe that the Trinity is the Father, Mary and Jesus. This is not simply a matter of words but doctrine.

14 thoughts on “Translating "Son of God" – Paul Blackham

  1. Si Hollett

    That SIL document talks about the problems of 'Son' meaning some sort of reproductive act took place in some languages. I think Paul deals with that objection to filial language in his usual excellent style above.

    At Nicea, the term 'begotten' needed the 'not made' in order to make it clear that that was what it was like, as the word 'begotten'. And we have people today like Driscoll and Breshears complaining that the language is misleading and ought to be removed (also wanting to remove it as God apparently doesn't show us his eternal character and relationship between persons, but does show us, vividly and pornographically, the immoral relationships of members of our church) - they say that begotten implies Arianism - and it is true that it could, but the Nicean Bishops saw fit to use 'begotten not made' to denounce Arianism.

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  3. Ephrem Hagos

    "The time will come when I will not use figures of speech, but will speak to you plainly about the Father. When that day comes, you will ask him in my name, and I do not say that I will ask him on your behalf."

    John 16: 25-26

    There is no substitute, whatsoever, for Jesus' own translation of the "figures of speech", e.g., the Father and the Son of God on the last day of his death on the cross. (Rev. 5)

  4. David Rowbory

    There are two problems with the way some folks have decided to use a corporate blackmail approach against Wycliffe though. (I refer to a petition and related facebook messages.)
    1. They only deal with single-word 'glosses' for 'son' and 'father'. These need a very healthy pinch of salt.
    2. The fact that there's a miniscule number of cultures/languages where this is a problem is not made clear, so it is put out that Wycliffe is trying to eliminate Father/Son language from the Bible in a blanket fashion.
    All very misleading.

    We need to understand that languages divide meaning in different ways with different connotations, different levels of generality, specificity, room for figurative language etc. and be very cautious about assuming that every language works like mine. 'Literal' translation may be tantamount to idolatory or at least false assurance. We assume a word-for-word direct match between languages that is unsustainable, and get ourselves in a needless pickle. Much better to study the range of meanings carefully and assess what the most plausible range of meanings (plain but also connotative meanings) seems to be the author's intention in that context. Then see how that can best be conveyed to whatever audience you have in mind, not forgetting their preconceptions. It's a minefield, but we need to walk through it for the sake of the clear reception (as well as proclamation) of the gospel. What we don't need to do is lob grenades at each other as we go through. I'm grateful for this blog being more balanced than most commenting on this matter, but I would urge that we don't put too much faith in glosses/equivalents in the debate.

    (Explanatory note: I'm a trainee translation consultant and spend a good proportion of my time teasing out what mother-tongue translators really mean when they use English glosses to explain their translation; it's often not quite what a native English speaker might initially understand.)

  5. Paul Blackham

    David, thanks for the input. Thank you for pointing out that this is not a general concern about the overall work of Wycliffe or any other translation body. Most of the translation work going on all over the world is not involved in any of these questions. Yes, I too saw a Facebook comment that seemed to almost accuse Wycliffe/SIL of trying to get rid of the Father/Son language in all Bible translations! This is a quite specific concern with languages used in typically Muslim majority nations.

    Thank you also for the reminder that it is not simply a matter of back-translating into English, because the 'flavour' of a word or phrase is not the same with literal word for word back-translation.

    It is genuinely difficult to express the issues here when people ask me about them precisely because the debate is being discussed in English but it concerns other languages, especially Arabic. How can we convey how things sound or the feel of a word in another language using English? I appreciate how an Arabic word or phrase back-translated into English may not capture the depth or the nuances that it contains in Arabic - so naturally people may over-react. A phrase like "uniquely loved one" is inadequate in English, but it may contain much more in another language.

    Nevertheless, I think it is important for English-speaking people to persevere and enter into this discussion, albeit with real care and thoughtfulness. The Arabic local church leaders and Muslim background believers have been asking for help and support around this issue for several years and it is a great relief to many that finally their deep concerns are getting some serious attention and publicity.

    One of the claims that some have made is that to an Arabic speaker the language of "beloved one" or "uniquely loved one" conveys the same kind of meaning as "Son of God" does to an English speaking Christian. I fully understand this claim - and how simply back-translating may not convey the meaning that the phrase could have to an Arabic speaker.

    However, the key issue in this debate is that the protests and petitions did not originate with English-speaking people who were relying only on back-translations, but rather it was Muslim background believers and Arabic church leaders on the ground who have led the protests. I first was alerted to this issue, not by English Christians, but by Arabic Christians several years ago. I acknowledge that I rely on my Arabic Christian friends as they try to convey to me how the more controversial words and phrases sound to them in Arabic... and what they feel is missed by these words and phrases.

    Yes, I know how hard that sounds! I am speaking to them in English - with odd bits of Arabic - and they are speaking in English as their second language trying to show me how Arabic words sound, with specific nuances, to an Arabic ear. Yes, I know that there are real hurdles of understanding to overcome, but nevertheless over the years I feel that I have a genuine appreciation of the concerns that Arabic Christians feel over these more controversial translations.

    The claim made by the supporters of the new translations, then, is that Arabic words/phrases which are back-translated as "uniquely loved one" or "beloved one" or "messenger of god" convey the same range of meaning as the English phrase "Son of God". The fact that so many Arabic Christians deny this claim means that the protests are not so easily dismissed as simple ignorance of translation methods. It may well be that some of the English speakers who are protesting do not understand all that is involved in the translation process and how an entirely 'literal' translation might even be misleading: yes, but the Arabic Christians are speaking as those who are from target language and there is real concern that the phrases are not conveying the meaning that the original Biblical authors intended.

    As we have noted in earlier discussions, the English phrase "Son of God" has become surrounded by misunderstanding and many unchurched people in Britain today assume that it means that Jesus was the product of procreation between 'God' and Mary [that is a very common way that our critics refer to the incarnation in English popular culture]. So [and I ask that you grant me a little latitude and patience with this] imagine a new English translation of Matthew 28:19 that was trying very hard to steer clear of procreation language that opted for something like "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God and of the Messiah and of the Holy Spirit".

    Now, there might be some English speakers who feel that this conveys essentially the same truth as "Father, Son and Holy Spirit". When I have used this example, there are always some English speakers who feel that "God, Messiah and Spirit" captures the same as "Father, Son and Spirit". I have even talked to a couple of people who felt that "God, Messiah and Spirit" was better. However, such a translation would, at the very least, deeply divide the English speaking world - and I think that most would agree that when we really consider the doctrine of the Trinity then we would prefer to retain the language of "Father, Son and Spirit" in Matthew 28:19 even though this meant that we had to explain what these words do and do not mean from time to time.

    Maybe this example is unhelpful and simplisitc, but I only use it to show that such a proposal, however well intentioned, might deeply divide the English speaking church. It is not as if the one set of words clearly conveys exactly the same meaning as another set of words and phrases.

    What I'm arguing is that the Arabic local church leaders and the Muslim background believers that I have talked to over the years - and I have had a lot of such communications in the past month - do not seem to agree with the claim that the Arabic phrases used in the new translations convey the meaning of the original Scriptures. When defenders of the new translations suggest that the new words/phrases convey the same meaning as more traditional translations, then why are there so many speakers of the target languages who disagree?

    It is a real shame that they did not feel that they were being listened to and that it perhaps took something like this petition to raise the publicity around the issue enough for there to be a genuine re-examination of what is happening.

  6. Paul Blackham

    Sorry. It has just been pointed out to me that I had been speaking as if this was only concerned Arabic, but it, of course, also concerns Turkish, Kurdish and other languages too. Sorry if I missed your language... I've already been taken to task about it.

  7. Greg Thomson

    Thanks, Paul, for your civility, and reason and respect for Wycliffe. Just keep in mind that you, like so many, are a newcomer to a conversation that has been going on in Wycliffe and other Bible translation circles for decades, involving lots of sharpening of their understanding through the process of disagreement with one another, accompanied by intensive research into both the original language, and the comprehension of various renderings of the text by the modern target audiences. That said, you make some good contributions to the conversation. It is heartbreaking the way godly individuals and organizations have come under angry attack from literally thousands of Christians who are reacting at a level that is totally superficial (and "superficial" is an exaggeration in most cases!). In one case, a blogger who is obviously very conservative included, in his attack on Wycliffe, a link to a radical leftist site where SIL is tied to the CIA and accused of destroying rain forests. Well, I still chuckle at that one ("my enemy's enemy is my friend"), but there is a hugely tragic side to what is happening.

    It is also part of a wider tragedy on the whole issue of contextualisation of the gospel in missions. This too is a decades-old conversation that has been carried out until recently with love, respect and honesty, and often great earnestness. Such a healthy conversation on this matters is still going on in the mainstream of evangelical missions, as represented in the Capetown Commitment and the Houghton conference, Bridging the Differences. However there is a fringe group, with credible-appearing leaders, that has recently turned this conversation into open warfare, and it appears that placating them is out of the question. I noticed one of them deliberately exposing in print the identity of a missionary who writes under a pen name due to the sensitivity of his context. It is thus not an exaggeration to say that the radical fringe is "out for blood". What is happening is truly shocking. I am baffled at how the conversation could have gone in such a direction after all these years. The Internet is magnifying it greatly. But in the case nearest to me, it was clear that the conversation turned hostile as a result of interpersonal conflict between two of the discussants, and gradually escalated until it spun out of control and became unbelievably destructive.

  8. Liz

    I'm not a translator so I apologise if this sounds facile! My feeling is that, unless there is no equivalent word in the receptor language, they should translate exactly what the word says (in this case, "son of God"), and it is then the job of the teacher/preacher to explain what that means. For example, there are many cultures where the phrase "whiter than snow" is virtually meaningless, and there are many parables which do not speak to my culture as they would have to 1st century Jews, but I think it is the job of the Bible teacher to come up with a suitable analogy rather than the translator.

    Any thoughts?

  9. Gregory Thomson

    Wycliffe follows normal translations principles, such as you would learn if you studied for certification as a translator in European institutes and universities that train translators. Translation is not seen as a matter of words. (Someone said "Words are a translator's stock in trade, but a translator does not translate words.") Thinking of an excellent English-Russian translator's dictionary, I recall how often, perhaps most of the time, there isn't one Russian word for an English word. Rather, they will give several English sentences which contain that English word and show how each sentence would be accurately translated in a manner unique to that sentence, and the original word in a sense disappears!

    I could say much more, but my main point is that translation takes place at a sentence level much more than a word level. The words of a sentence are used by the translator to get at its meaning, but then the meaning is expressed in other words that work well for the target language to convey the author's "idea".

    In Bible translation, we are often uncomfortable translating as we would translate a cookbook or a novel. Rather we feel that for each major word in a sentence in Greek or Hebrew, there should be a corresponding word in the translated sentence. This can lead to very odd sounding translations, though, which will be hard to understand, and often misunderstood. So Wycliffe has striven to have the same standard of quality in translation for the Bible as professional translators have for other literature. But some of us struggle with this, unable to treat the Bible as a book like others! So we end up with strange sounding translations that are hard to understand or misunderstood.

    Now say we are translating, 1Pet 1:13. KJV has "Gird up the loins of your mind," pretty much a word-based translation of the Greek. NIV does better with, "Prepare your minds for action" but those translators seem still to have felt like they needed a specific word for "mind". Applying more normal translation principles we might have something like "Clear away whatever might tangle up your thought life." Now if I suggested that rendering, you wouldn't probably devote a blog article to arguing with me about it, even if you didn't like it.

    With Bible translation, dealing with ancient documents that are the basis of our faith, good translation involves exegetical issues, theological issues and translation issues. That is the case at every point in Bible translation, but especially with what are called "key terms" in Wycliffe jargon. "Son of God" is one of the most important key terms because of its centrality to Christology, and hence to the whole of our faith. Our entire understanding of Scripture grows out of our Christology. This is the theological side. On the exegetical side, volumes have been written about "Son of God", and that is where you find the idea that it was often used as a label of royalty and messiahship. That is true, but as we all recognize there is a lot more too it. Applied to Christ it expresses the intimacy with the Father, the sharing in the single divine nature and so on. These are still basically exegetical points, and the relative emphasis will differ from context to context in the New Testament. An enormous translation challenge, though we often skim over it lightly.

    Then there is the level of translation issues. When we ask, "What does this rendering of the original Greek word, phrase or sentence mean?" the answer can only be found by reading it to "unconditioned listeners" in the target language community, and asking them about how they understand it. The readers' understanding, when it is consistently shared across typical readers, _is_ the meaning.

    This raises an enormous problem with "Son of God" in many Muslim people groups. Centuries of discourse on the topic leave us in a situation where "Son of God" (even in English, if we're talking about the English usage of Muslim speakers of English) is a claim that God had sex and begat an offspring.

    In checking translation, suppose we found that people understood our translation of 1 Pet 1:13 as meaning, "Think about girdles." We'd make the translators revise that translation until it meant something more like it is supposed to mean.

    Do you see the issue with "Son of God"? It _means_ what people understand it to mean, not what we want it to mean. And in a Muslim-friendly translation, every time we say "Son of God" we are giving them something like a Mormon Christology! The translation then needs to be revised so that it doesn't mean something heretical!

    Besides the exegetical, theological and translation factors, there is also the evangelism factor. It may be that not only are we giving Muslim readers a false teaching every time we say literally, "Son of God". We may also offending them and preventing them from reading God's word attentively and extensively. We keep offending them and diverting their attention from Jesus. If we can avoid that, they will meet Jesus in the pages of the gospels, fall in love with him, come to know him as Saviour and Lord, come to worship him, and ultimately realize that he whom one worships like that is indeed God! This really does happen--a lot. At that point, the same readers will have introductory materials and footnotes and a glossary entry on "Son of God" giving them the exegetical and theological riches, and they can have an aha experience. "So _that's_ what Christians mean by Son of God!"

    Alas there is one more factor besides exegetical, theological, translation and evangelistic: marketing. Sometimes the receptor audience won't use a translation if it is done according to sound principles! They demand a more "word-based" translation. At that point, the translators may produce an inferior quality translation because an inferior translation in the hand is worth two superior quality translations in the bush. However, in the case of "Muslim-friendly" Bible translations, there is lots of evidence that the Muslim audience far prefers them to more traditional Christian translations, while Christian-background users of that language react strongly against Muslim-friendly translations, based on many generation of mutual hostility toward Muslims.

    And in all of this, I'm not even claiming that this approach to translating "Son of God" (or rather to huios tou theou) is necessarily what _I_. When I was a Bible translator I had a repution of being more "conservative" in such matters (no doubt to the detriment of my readers). The debate should continue. But Wycliffe's point makes complete sense, too. And the condemnation of Wycliffe that is going around in the blogosphere is not of the Lord. That much is certain. They are totally committed to bringing people to a fully Biblical faith.

  10. Gregory Thomson

    Just two more points: Translating "Son of God" or anything else wrongly to avoid offending Muslim readers would not be acceptable. If the Biblical truth were indeed that God is a physical being who had sex to produce an offspring, then the translation would need to convey that, even if it offended Muslims. It is crucial to understand that what is conveyed to Muslims by the "literal" translation is a false teaching. (That is the argument at least.)

    Finally, I posted on this particular blog because it was the most respectful one I came across. Some of what is going on in other planks is to foolish to comment on. The egregious problem in this whole discussion in the blogosphere is the spirit of mistrust toward godly workers over a difference of opinion that is a reasonable view among conscientious, Bible-believing Christians, and is well-reasoned, even if it turns out to be wrong. These translators are not evil. They are not trying to "pull a fast one". They are not sinning!!! In fact, they are carrying out an outstanding and crucial ministry. The people who incited the riot in the blogosphere against Wycliffe workers can see where it has gone and where it s going, and they need to call a halt to all the foolishness, and apologize. Enough is enough.

  11. Glen

    Hi Liz - I agree! If explanation is required - do it in prefaratory comments or footnotes and/or leave to Bible teachers.

    Hi Greg,
    No-one here is denying that Wycliffe have done a wonderful job for so many years. I'm very glad to hear that Wycliffe is, yesterday and today, holding a period of prayer and fasting to seek the Lord about this issue. A humbling response to criticism.

    Let's remember that none of us are beyond criticism - no matter how proud our evangelical track-record. Let's also remember that linguists are not always best placed to adjudicate these deeply theological issues, nor are translators the only, or even the main, parties affected by this controversy!

    May the word of the LORD speed ahead and be honoured! (2 Thes 3:1)

  12. Gregory Thomson

    Thanks Glen. I would say, though, that collectively, Wycliffe workers do a lot more theology than the theological community does translation theory!

    You say "Wycliffe have done [sic] a wonderful job for so many years." This sounds like it is in the past, but the present/future is in some doubt. Regarding the past, I worked with WBT for 25 years, leaving the organization in 1994, and currently work with their members in various ways from time to time in field countries and in a pre-field training setting, and occasionally visit the Wycliffe Canada office for their mid week prayer gathering. I recently discovered to my delight, and subscribed to, the daily Wycliffe prayer requests. I know vividly and personally that their Christ honouring, faithful, sacrificial, Spirit-led service continues unabated. No "have been" (or "has been") about it!

    Yes, their response is godly. But this is a telling thing about this situation, and about the whole attack on missionaries accused of "Islamizing the Gospel". What I hear from them repeatedly is statements like "When we come under attack, we should respond with heart searching." Yet I look at these attacks, and they are so not of the Lord! I came across a blog that includes the following:

    "The bottom is about to fall out for Wycliffe/SIL. I assure you, with evidence that is there, if these organizations indeed calls themselves Christian organizations and not rumored government operatives, whoever crafted this letter [official letter defending translation practices] will be out of work come next week."

    The blogger has a hot link at the words "rumoured government operatives". That link takes you to a far-leftist attack on Wycliffe and missions in general from the 1970s. The blogger had no idea. He just googled around and found something else attacking Wycliffe, and linked to it. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

    On Sunday Jack Van Impe said on his TV show that WBT, which he said has done such wonderful work "for a hundred years" has become apostate, teaching "doctrines of demons". For example, the Wycliffe replaces with Allah, the mahdi, and the Holy Spirit, promoting Chrislam, which is set to take over the world in the name of the false god Allah, and false messiah, the mahdi. I know lots of older Christians who hang on Jack's every word. And unless God intervenes, Jack is likely to repeat his attack on Wycliffe for several weeks in a row. It is his style.

    Back to the "have been" (has been). Some of the translations that have just now come under attack were done years ago, and at the time they were checked and approved by qualified outside organizations, welcomed and used by missionaries of all stripes, and by the MBB church of the people group (and by the Spirit of God!) So the translation principles and practices are not new. What is new, is the attack. And God bless WBT for showing the humility that is so lacking in their attackers. Where were the attackers when some translators were literally placing their lives on the line to produce these translations? And God bless you, Glen, for recognizing their humility. You can imagine that going through such a widespread and public attack on their character is not without considerable pain.

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