Thursday, 7 January 2010

Mistranslating Allah in the past does not mean it is right or widespread

I read the bible in English and in fact attend bible classes.

I have read extracts of the Indonesian translation but it uses a lot
of the words Tuhan instead of Allah, but this phrase here uses Allah
for both English terms "Lord" and "Father".

The person writing this article is in Kota Belud and Tuaran area, i.e.
North West of Sabah, but the Lun Dayuh is from the South West of

My in-laws are Lun dayeh but they are Seventh Day adventist.
My sister-in-law used to scold for for implying that all Christians do
not believe in One God.
that recommends vegetarianism and expects adherence to the kosher
laws in Leviticus 11. Obedience to these laws means abstinence from
pork, shellfish, and other foods proscribed as "unclean".

Share with Islam. Muslims can eat kosher food slaughtered according to
Jewish rite including the belief in ONE GOD. So if Seventh day
adventist subscribe to this belief, then Muslims should be able to eat
their food as well.
Muslims also share this belief in the 2nd coming of Jesus.

If the Seventh day adventist really believe in Allah the God that
Jesus prayed to as the ONLY ONE, then they have the right to use this
translation, although based on wikipedia, Seventh Day Adventist also
believe in Trinity. Further investigation into their translation is
warranted in order to determine if there is any phrase " jesus adalah
Allah" or "Jesus adalah anak Allah" are included or not, because in
the King James translation of the bible, "Jesus is Lord", "Jesus is
son of God" is indeed very prominent.

If there are none, Muslims should not object, but to allow the Herald,
an arm of the Catholic church to translate King James version of the
bible as it is will be dangerous. Even if it were translated without
implying Jesus is the son of Allah or the Allah itself, it is a
dangerous as well but Muslims have less right to complain but any
mistranslation is bad and is misleading.

No wonder there are many Indonesian Christians do not believe that
Jesus is Allah or god or even the son of God. This is good news for
Muslims as well. Malay-speaking Christians are completely different
from Western Christians, but I doubt it. Only some, who believe wholly
on the mistranslated version the Malay bible that are affected, and
they are very few indeed.
Allah - the legacy of our forefathers
Opinion Religion in the news 2010-01-06 18:23
One of the first Bible verses that my parents asked me to memorise in
the early 1960s was Ephesians 5:1-2 taken from the Kitab Perjanjian
Baharu serta dengan Kitab Zabur, published by the British and Foreign
Bible Society in 1949.

I have a copy of this New Testament with Psalms, a valued legacy from
my late father, and still treasured by my 76-year-old-mother.

The verses are quoted: "Sebab itu hendak-lah kamu menurut teladan
Allah, seperti anak-anak yang di-kasehi, dan lakukanlah diri-mu dengan
kaseh, seperti Almaseh pun sudah mengasehi kamu lalu menyerahkan diri-
nya karna kita, menjadi persembahan dan kurban ka-pada Allah akan bau
yang harum." (Efesus 5:1-2; pg 489)

Both my parents are Kadazandusuns from the Tuaran and Kota Belud
districts of Sabah. They learned to read and write in the early 1950s
from Christian religious teachers in their villages. Adult literacy
was taught in Kadazandusun and Malay (pronounced as Malayu'), but the
only printed reading material available at that time was the New
Testament and Psalms in Malay.

They also spoke Malay when they went to town to sell and buy products
from other ethnic groups, such as the Bajaus, Iranuns, Chinese and
Kadayans (Brunei Malays).

The Malay language has been the lingua franca among the peoples of
Borneo for a very long time, and it was never associated with any
specific religion.

When some of the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak became
Christians and used the name "Allah" for God, they understood it as
part of the Malay language which they and their ancestors have been
using as their main trade language.

Since the New Testament and later the whole Bible was only available
in the Malay translation, naturally Bible lessons, songs, prayers and
Bible school materials were taught and written in Malay.

The Malay language was not only the trade language but the "official"
language of the Bumiputera Christians in church conferences, seminars,
Bible schools, meetings, Sunday services and other church functions as
they come from different ethnic groups, namely Kadazandusun, Lun
Dayeh, Murut, Iban, Kayan, Kenyah, Penan, Bidayuh, Kelabit, to name a

These activities happened in the 1940s, and became even more
widespread after the Second World War, and continue on until the
present day.

Even after Sabah and Sarawak became part of Malaysia in 1963, the name
"Allah" used by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians in the two states
was never an issue when family reunions were held during Christmas,
New Year, Hari Raya, Harvest Festivals, Gawai and other gatherings.

In many families, there are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and
Hindus because of intermarriages.

During Christmas, songs are sung and prayers said in Malay – and the
name "Allah" mentioned by Christians, but I personally have not seen
or heard any confusion among the Muslim relatives and friends.

Would you be happy if the legacy of your forefathers is taken away
from you?

The writer is a Kadazandusun from Sabah.

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