WEA Announces Dr. Robert E. Cooley as Chairman of Wycliffe and SIL Review Panel


New York, NY – May 9, 2012

Dr. Robert E. Cooley, president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, will chair the independent panel reviewing translation standards of Wycliffe and SIL International, the World Evangelical Alliance announced today.

“This audit is in very capable hands under Dr. Cooley’s leadership,” said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the WEA. “We are grateful to Dr. Cooley for agreeing to take on this important chairmanship, and will continue to support him as he assembles the rest of the panel and begins the review process.”

In March, the WEA agreed to organize an independent review of Wycliffe and SIL policies for translating the Biblical terms that refer to God as  Father and Jesus as Son into languages where either concept is difficult to translate. Wycliffe and SIL have agreed to abide by all the recommendations of the independent review.

“I am pleased to accept the invitation of the World Evangelical Alliance to chair the review panel,” said Dr. Cooley. “Bible translation is an integral part of the Church's participation in God's mission and makes possible the communicating of God's Word to all people for their understanding of The Good News. Understanding this important Kingdom work, the panel will include a review of current practices,  set boundaries for theologically acceptable translation methodology, and will make suggestions as how to implement the audit's recommendation.  We need the fervent prayers of God's people as we engage in this task.”

Dr. Cooley will immediately begin working with the WEA to assemble the full review panel, which will consist of theologians, Biblical scholars, translators, linguists and missiologists representing a broad cross-section of the global Church. The panel is expected to announce its members as they are confirmed, but will not release further statements or publicly discuss its work until the final report is issued.

About Dr. Robert E. Cooley
Dr. Robert E. Cooley served as the second president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass., from 1981 to 1997. He has served as a professor and administrator at a number of institutions, including Central Bible College, Wheaton College, Evangel University, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Dropsie University and Missouri State University. Dr. Cooley has written and lectured extensively on leadership, education and archaeology, and has led more than 80 study trips to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. As a working scholar, he has been active in a variety of professional societies and in numerous public, community and state civic activities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical studies and archaeology and a Master of Arts in religious education from Wheaton College, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Hebrew studies and near eastern archaeology from New York University. He was ordained into the gospel ministries by the Assemblies of God in 1959.

See also: WEA to Form Independent Review Panel on Wycliffe and SIL Bible Translation

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The WEA is the largest global evangelical body with a network of churches in 129 nations and an alliance of 100 international organizations representing over 600 million Christians worldwide. It representatively speaks as a trusted voice on behalf of global evangelicalism, connects diverse Evangelical church networks and ministries for effective collaborative action, and actively equips their needs with valuable resources to optimize their impact. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.