Yet another thought-provoking article from Carl Medearis--Aaron
By Carl Medearis
There’s an interesting debate going on within Christian missions circles these days. Wycliffe Bible Translators have taken out the term “Son of God” in the New Testament when referring to Jesus in their Arabic Bible translations. They’ve done this because (they say) it does not represent what the words originally meant to a Jewish audience when a modern Muslim is reading them in Arabic. As you might guess, there’s been a huge backlash from the Christian community.
And as is typical, there’s been little room for nuance. If our answers can’t fit on bumper stickers, most aren’t interested. So the simplified version of both sides are: It makes sense….and….Heresy.
(Although I’m not really writing about this point – my opinion would be to leave those words in since they are the words used, and footnote the phrase each time it’s used with an explanation at the bottom of the page).
But here’s the real issue – it’s communication. Language. Semantics. Here’s how the conversation often goes with a Muslim. They ask the Christian this “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Because, we don’t.”
The Christian, thinking he’s answering honestly and with integrity say, “Of course. Jesus is called that in the Bible.” The Muslim shakes his head and cries out to God to protect him from this awful heresy of the Christians. The Christian is offended and gets even more defensive about Jesus being “the Son of God” and round and round it goes…
Here’s what the Muslim is thinking when he asks the question: