Bible Translations to be Reviewed by Panel of Experts

The World Evangelical Alliance has announced the names of a team of experts who will gather in Canada later this year to discuss and produce a report on new biblical translations implemented by Wycliffe Global alliance and SIL - formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics.

The panel was selected to review changes that were made by Wycliffe Global Alliance solely in relation to familial terms found within scripture. In August 2011 SIL published "Best Practices for Bible Translation of Divine Familial Terms" to settle uneasiness surrounding the scriptural interpretation of familial names contained within scripture, however, this has created more confusion and less certainty.

To stay on course the panel has stated that it will "review SIL's translation practices, set boundaries for theologically acceptable translation methodology, particularly in Muslim contexts, and suggest how to practically implement these recommendations."

Various reports indicate that Wycliffe and SIL have agreed to adhere to any and all recommendations that the panel makes.

The panel will be given a very specific task that is entirely linguistic in nature, and will not make any assumptions or declarations regarding the intensely debated topic of contextualization which basically is an interpretation of what the authors of these works were thinking.

The panel will also not focus on Bible translations in majority languages or any other Bible translations that are used or endorsed by other publications, churches, or organizations.

Instead the panel will only consider the specific translation of "God the Father" and "the Son of God" as was listed in SIL's statement of best practices.

The review panel will be moderated by Dr. Robert Cooley and will hold the first discussion in Toronto, Canada, in November. A second panel discussion has been tentatively planned for early spring next year with the final report expected to be ready by April 2013.

Below is the complete list of panel members:

Milton Acosta, Old Testament
Donald Fairbairn, Early Christianity and Historical Theology
Atef Gendy, New Testament
Ida Glaser, Biblical and Islamic Studies
Rob Haskell, Systematic Theology
Karen Jobes, New Testament
Ghassan Khalaf, Biblical Studies and Theology
Melba Padilla Maggay, Social Anthropology
Scott Moreau, Intercultural Studies
Kang-San Tan, Mission Studies
Roland Werner, African Linguistics & Theology
Dudley Woodberry, Mission Studies
Robert Cooley, Panel Moderator