Robert E Cooley to chair Wycliffe and SIL review panel

Dr Robert E Cooley has been confirmed as the chairman of a panel being set up to review Wycliffe and SIL International Bible translations.

The independent panel has been tasked with reviewing standards of translation within the two organisations.

Wycliffe and SIL have faced criticism over their translations of biblical terms relating to God the Father and Jesus the Son of God for editions intended for use within Islamic contexts.

They have agreed to abide by all the recommendations of the independent review.

The appointment of Dr Cooley, president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, was announced by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

“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.”

Dr Cooley will immediately begin working with the WEA to assemble the full review panel.

The panel will be made up of theologians, biblical scholars, translators, linguists, and missiologists representing a broad cross-section of the global church.

Dr Cooley said: “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 engaged in this task.”