According to an article in the February 2011 issue of Christianity Today (The Son And The Crescent, by Colin Hansen), one of the major barriers Muslims have to accepting Jesus is the term “begotten son of God”. It’s not that they don’t believe God could take human form, or cause himself or anyone else to be conceived, indeed, they believe God can do anything. It’s just that for them, the phrase has biological connotations.
This is why some have made translations of the bible with Muslims in mind, changing the way things are worded while keeping the meaning intact. Missionaries have seen a great increase in receptivity from those with Muslim backgrounds by using these translations.
Others object, saying that only the term “son” can fully capture the relationship of God The Father to Jesus, and that we shouldn’t stray from the truth and mislead Muslims in order not to offend them.
Christians generally don’t believe that God inseminated Mary through normal means. It is commonly believed that Jesus was conceived through supernatural means. Western languages just happen to use the word “son”, since that is what we are used to. If everyone in the world was fluent in first-century Aramaic, there wouldn’t have to be different translations. Why would any Christian insist on telling Muslims something that they themselves don’t believe? This is a ridiculous debate. I refuse to argue semantics. I will use whatever words I have to for my readers and listeners to understand me. This is the understanding project, after all.
Don’t let language be a barrier. Stop arguing semantics!
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.