On Jan. 10, 1887, the Baptists of Burma sent a reply to the Anglican Bishop of Rangoon, Burma, and the British and American Bible Societies request made in 1886 to reprint Judson’s Burmese translation but with one change – replacing “immerse” with the transliteration “baptize.” Judson’s reply to an earlier request had been, “I would rather lose my right hand than tamper with the Word of God.” The Baptists said that they understand that they want to use the transliteration “baptize” or a neutral word that all denominations might use, rather than the word “immerse”, “not on the ground that [it] is an incorrect or inadequate translation of the Greek word, but because it is not acceptable to other denominations of Christians. You seem to regard it as more important to please these other denominations than to make the Burman version mean the same thing to the Burman that the Greek Testament means to the Greek…We are compelled to decline.” After giving several supporting reasons to back up this opening statement the letter closes with this poignant thought: “What you really mean is, that you will not circulate such a version if it be made by Baptists…you will circulate it if made or used by a people who say, ‘I immerse thee,’ when they simply apply their wet fingers to the forehead of the candidate…” J.N. Murdock, Cor.[esponding] Secretary. As David L. Cummins says, “May we be as faithful as these Baptists in upholding the truth of God’s Word”!
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 20-22.
Tag Archives: British and American Bible Societies