Translating the Names of God

TRANSLATING THE NAMES OF GOD: Recent experience from Indonesia and Malaysia
D. Soesilo

Note – This is partial reproduction of the original article. Reproduced with permission from the author

The Situation in Malaysia
The situation in Malaysia in regard to the use of the divine names is different to that in Indonesia in one important respect, which has more to do with politics than with language. It is that some years ago some states and the federal government prohibited the use of the name  Allah  by non-Muslims.
It is partly fear of this that has led some organisations to make changes in the rendering of the names of God in Malay and Indonesian, in both their own writing and in quoting of Scripture. (Each time the word  Allah  “God” occurs, it has been consistently changed to  Tuhan “Lord”, with the result that there is no difference between the renderings of the two Hebrew names YHWH and Elohim.)
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