Is it permissible to remove the terms “Son,” “Son of God,” and “Father” from Arabic translations of the Bible and insert more Muslim-friendly terms? That’s what some people do. It’s part of larger approach to reach Muslims called the Insider Movement.
My friend, Adam Simnowitz, has written a great article over at the Biblical Missiology site documenting his concerns with another Arabic translation of the Bible incorporating the “Muslim Idiom Translation” (MIT) approach. He writes:
As with most versions of MIT, the text of Al-Injil does not contain literal translations for “Father,” “Son/Son of God,” and “Son of Man,” apart from a very few occurrences. Other extreme liberties are taken with the text. These include inserting the first part of the shah?da, or Islamic confession of faith (i.e. “There is no god but God”) in more places than occur in the Qur’an; reducing the meaning of “eternal life” in John 3:16 to simply avoiding everlasting punishment; and obscuring and even eliminating the deity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in numerous passages.
I’ve written about my concerns with these translations and other Insider Movement methods in a previous Solid Ground.