People should not be afraid of the government. Governments should be afraid of the people.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Why Allah in Bahasa Bibles should be allowed
Many Muslims and even some Christians have misunderstood the use of “Allah” in Bahasa Bibles. To clarify some of the confusion:
1. The BM Bible or the Alkitab is not translated from the English Bible but from the original languages, ie Hebrew and Greek.
2. The Hebrew word for God is 'El' or 'Elohim' (similar root as 'Ilah' in Arabic) and 'Yahweh' for LORD. The Greek words are 'Theo' for God and 'Kurios' for Lord.
3. Biblical translators all over the world have used the local language terms for 'Elohim' and 'Yahweh' eg God and LORD in English; 'Dios' and 'Senor' in Spanish, 'Shangti' and 'Zhu' in Chinese
4. For 15 centuries, Arabic Bibles have used Allah for God and Rab for Lord (predate Islam)
5. The first Malay translation of the Bible was made in 1612, and Allah was used for God and Tuhan for Lord in this and all the subsequent translations till today.
6. Malay-speaking (and Iban) Christians have used the term Allah for more than a hundred years in Malaya and the Borneo states in worship, prayers and reading their holy scriptures.
7. Twenty million Christians in Indonesia have used Allah for years without any misunderstanding or objection.
8. English Bibles nor Bibles of other languages obviously do not use the Bahasa terms
9. Forbidding the use of the term “Allah” by Christians, not only infringes their rights to practise their faith but also lead to confusion. For example, is the “Tuhan” in Negara-Ku and Rukun Negara not the “Muslim God” or can Christians sing the Selangor anthem where “Allah” is used?
10. Theological meanings between Christianity and Islam will always be different whether the term used is “Allah” or “Tuhan” or “God”.