WEA Facilitates Formation of Divine Familial Terms Oversight Group; Announces Names of Group Members


New York, NY – April 4, 2014

At the request of Wycliffe Global Alliance and SIL International, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has agreed to facilitate the formation and maintenance of a Divine Familial Terms Oversight Group (DFTOG). The group will provide external review of how Wycliffe and SIL implement the ten recommendations made by the independent Bible translation review panel in their final report last year.

The WEA facilitated an independent external review of Wycliffe and SIL International's practice of the translation of the words for “God the Father” and the “Son of God.” In 2012-2013, a global review panel of evangelical biblical scholars, theologians, linguists and missiologists from international settings, including representatives from countries with majority Muslim populations, was convened.

On April 29, 2013, the Panel issued a ‘Report on Divine Familial Terms’ that provided recommendations for theologically acceptable translation methodology, particularly in Muslim contexts, and recommendations for implementation. Included in the recommendations is that Wycliffe and SIL will work with an external group or agency to establish policies and procedures of accountability, including review by an external group or agency.1

“Wishing to strengthen evangelical unity on the basis of God's Word, the WEA has agreed to facilitate the formation and maintenance of the Wycliffe and SIL International's Divine Familial Terms Oversight Group,” said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the WEA.

The defined purpose of the DFTOG is “to establish policies and procedures for accountability to the Report on Divine Familial Terms recommendations and to provide external review of implementation of the recommendations in the translation of Divine Familial Terms.”

The following members were selected based on their expertise, experience and personal skills:

  • Dr. Donald Fairbairn, Professor of Early Christianity and Historical Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, USA
  • Dr. Atef Gendy, President, Evangelical Theological Seminary and Professor of New Testament, Cairo, Egypt
  • Dr. Ida Glaser, Director of Academic Research, Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford University, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Ekram Lamie Hennawie, Professor of Comparative Religions, Moderator, Presbyterian Synod of the Nile, Egypt
  • Dr. Mark Hausfeld, Director, Center for Islamic Studies, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, USA
  • Dr. Scott Moreau, Professor of Intercultural Studies, Wheaton College, USA
  • Dr. Roland Werner, Secretary General, YMCA of Germany and Expert African Linguistics and Theology, Germany.
  • Dr. Robert Cooley (Chair), President-Emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, USA

See recommendation 10 on page 10 of the final report

Download the final report of the translation review panel here.
For more information, visit the WEA’s special page on the Bible translation review at: worldevangelicals.org/translation-review


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Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving and representing more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to speak as a trusted voice, to equip members and leaders for global impact and to connect its members and others for common action in the furtherance of God’s reign. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.