Thanks for praying. We enjoyed my 74th birthday yesterday. Unfortunately part of the day was spent going to the airport to pick up some medication, but we were able to stop at Andoe Kampoe coming back to encourage Zr. Mauke. We went out for dinner, and then enjoyed some delicious and healthy mango pie which Liz had made. In the evening, I was privileged to preach.
Two days ago, one of our supporting pastors sent a shocking message. I had not realized that Wycliffe Bible Translators has published a Muslim-friendly Bible. At first, I did not believe the report, but after checking the internet, including the website for Wycliffe, it is indeed true. World Magazine also has carried the story. In an attempt to reach Muslims, their translation grossly misrepresents some basic Christian doctrinal differences with Islam. One of the examples used is as follows from the following link: http://www.wnd.com/2012/01/new-bible-yanks-father-jesus-as-son-of-god/
That’s right: Muslim-friendly Bibles. Included in the controversial development is the removal of any references to God as “Father,” to Jesus as the “Son” or “the Son of God.” One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL. It changes Matthew 28:19 from this: “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” to this:“cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.”
This translation creates enormous problems! First of all, baptism is identification, not cleansing. Baptism does not cleanse from sin or remove sin. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. Baptism shows our identification with Christ.
Second: Identifying God the Father as the same as Allah is an incredible mistake. They are NOT the same. God cannot lie, and does not lie. Allah does. See the Qur’an: For example, the Quran calls Allah a makr, in fact the best makr there is: But they (the Jews) were deceptive, and Allah was deceptive, for Allah is the best of deceivers (Wamakaroo wamakara Allahu waAllahu khayru al-makireena)! S. 3:54; cf. 8:30. And if Allah please He would certainly make you a single nation, but He causes to err whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases; and most certainly you will be questioned as to what you did (16:93) Surah 14:4 And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them. Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise. Surah 6:39 Those who deny Our revelations are deaf and dumb in darkness. Whom Allah will sendeth astray, and whom He will He placeth on a straight path. This Allah is far different from our God.
The Muslim Jesus is very different from the Jesus of the Bible. The Muslim does believe in the virgin birth, the sinless life, and the ascension into heaven. But he denies that Jesus is the Son of God, which he thinks means that God had sex with Mary. He denies the death and resurrection of Jesus, but believes that Allah fooled the Jews into thinking it was Jesus who died. According to sura 4:157, Jesus was not crucified but one who resemble him. 4:157 And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Jesus himself predicted His death, the disciples saw His death, and He had marks on His hands and His feet. Jesus prayed for His persecutors and this was indeed the purpose of His coming, ending in His death. The Muslim believes that Jesus is in heaven, will come back to help the Madhi win the whole world to Muslim faith, marry and have children, and after 40 years he will die a good Muslim. This Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. And Galatians 1:8 speaks clearly to the point: Galatians 1: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
The Roman Catholics in Suriname, I understand, made the same sort of error in translating “the Holy Spirit” some time ago. The word “winti” means wind or spirit. The word “jeje” means spirit too. But in Suriname, the word “winti” is almost always used to speak of an evil spirit. If someone “has a winti”, he is oppressed by an evil spirit. Thus in common usage, their term the Santa (Santa means holy) Winti means the holy evil spirit, which is nonsense. Thus we used the term “the Santa Jeje.”
You must use words with the full “connotative” meaning (emotional meaning and that which is culturally accepted) and not ignore it. Wycliffe did the same thing in an Eskimo translation, when they substituted seal for lamb because Eskimos had no experience with lambs. Thus they translated John the Baptist in John 1:29 - Behold the seal of God. Of course, this ignores centuries of association of lambs and innocent animal sacrifices to God to obtain forgiveness which would immediately come to the mind of Jews in the times of temple sacrifices.
I am not surprised that the greatest objections to these translations come from Muslim converts to Christianity who have paid the price of conversion - often including loss of family, home, reputation, work, and even personal safety. Muslims accuse Christians of changing the Bible when the Bible conflicts with the Qur’an, which it does in many places. This simply adds support to their contentions.
This is why I have been burdened to see accurate translations of the word of God using a besically word for word verbal equivalence method from the best possible translations (which for a number of reasons I believe are the Masoretic text and the Textus Receptus) rather than dynamic equivalent translations from an eclectic critical text. Brethren, the time is short and we must be busy doing the work of the Lord.
The Lord has been very good to us to allow me to translate the Bible into Sranantongo. I have seen the practical value in soulwinning, preaching, discipling, radio and TV broadcasts, and in Bible Institutes. I pray that we will be able to encourage other younger missionaries to do the same in the days to come.
Our own spiritual growth
Health and strength for the work here
Continued development of national leadership
Increased soulwinning, especially by nationals
Shipment of 10,000 Sranantongo Bibles and 1000 New Testament Commentaries. The Bibles are printed and ready for shipment. We are trying to consolidate the shipment into the same container. There have been some delays in printing the New Testament Commentaries - the books are quite thick and have caused some problems in putting on the covers. They have been printed at First Bible, and are outsourced for the covers. They should be coming back to First Bible, hopefully this coming week, and then sent to Bearing Precious Seed to be shipped with the Bibles. We are down to our last 4 boxes of our current Sranantongo Bibles and pray that they will arrive before we are sold out!
In Him and Content: Bob & Liz Patton Missionaries to Suriname since 1986