“To Reconcile Us to His Father”: A Unique Translation of the Second Article of Religion of the Methodist Church in Brazil and Three Other Lusophone Countries

Helmut Renders

Abstract


Since 1888—with an interruption between 1898 and 1910—the Brazilian Portuguese translation of the description of the work of Christ in the second Article of Religion has not been “to reconcile his Father to us,” as has consistently been the case in all the branches of American Methodism, but rather “to reconcile us to his Father”—“para nos reconciliar com seu Pai.” This article documents this extraordinary difference from its origin and discusses its impact during several moments of Methodist missionary work in Brazil as well as in the autonomous Methodist Church in Brazil (Igreja Metodista em Brasil, 1930–1974; Igreja Metodista [Brazil], 1974–present), the Portuguese Evangelical Methodist Church (Igreja Evangélica Metodista Portuguesa), and the Luso- phone annual conferences of The United Methodist Church in Angola and Mozambique. A parallel phenomenon that occurred in the Spanish missions of the MECS between 1891 and 1930, but never in the Spanish missions of the MEC, is also explored.


Keywords


Methodist 2nd Article of Religion; Atonement; Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Methodist Church in Brazil; Unites Methodist Church in Angola; United Methodist Church in Mozambique; Methodist Church of Portugal.

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