The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy

The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy

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Table of Contents

Foreword                                           xix
by Valerie Becker Makkai, Associate Professor
of Linguistics, University of Illinois-Chicago
Preface xxvii
Preface to The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy xxix
Abbreviations xxxi
Chapter 1: A Brief Summary of Concerns about 1 (6)
the TNIV
A. Changes affecting singular "father" (Greek 1 (1)
pater) and singular "son" (Greek huios)
B. Changes affecting singular "brother" 2 (1)
(Greek adelphos)
C. Changes affecting "he/him/his" (Greek 2 (1)
autos)
D. Other changes 3 (1)
E. Widespread concern about the TNIV 4 (3)
Chapter 2: Are the Criticisms of the TNIV 7 (66)
Bible Really Justified?
An Interaction with Craig Blomberg, Darrell
Bock, Peter Bradley, D.A. Carson, and Bruce
Waltke
Introduction 7 (2)
A. What is the main point of disagreement? 9 (1)
B. Other Bibles 10 (3)
1. Have 18 of 19 recent Bible 10 (2)
translations used gender-neutral language
like the TNIV?
2. Did even the King James Version use 12 (1)
gender-neutral language like the TNIV?
C. Endorsements and Guidelines 13 (12)
1. Does the Forum of Bible Agencies 13 (2)
endorse the gender language in the TNIV?
2. Do the translation principles of the 15 (4)
Forum of Bible Agencies conflict with the
Colorado Springs Guidelines?
3. Were the Colorado Springs Guidelines 19 (2)
forced on the Inter-national Bible
Society in 1997?
4. Are most New Testament scholars in 21 (3)
favor of the TNIV?
5. Can only scholars understand this 24 (1)
dispute?
D. The English language 25 (16)
1. Has English changed so much that 25 (6)
gender-neutral Bibles are needed today?
2. Do people think that generic "he" does 31 (3)
not apply to women today?
3. Does the common use of "singular they" 34 (5)
in English today validate its use in the
TNIV?
4. Is there really a loss of meaning when 39 (2)
"they" is used as a singular pronoun?
E. Justifications for the TNIV 41 (16)
1. Do the New Testament authors' 41 (3)
quotations from the Old Testament
validate the use of gender-neutral
language in the TNIV?
2. Do the New Testament authors change 44 (3)
singulars to plurals and third person to
second person and thus justify such
changes in the TNIV?
3. Should translations exercise 47 (1)
"translational gender sensitivity" in
order to make clear the "gender scope" of
passages?
4. Is the TNIV acceptable because some 48 (3)
loss of meaning is necessary in all
translations?
5. Is this just an argument between 51 (2)
advocates of two legitimate views of
Bible translation, formal equivalence and
dynamic (or functional) equivalence?
6. Are the TNIV critics angry, 53 (4)
incompetent, and ignorant?
F. Questions about specific verses 57 (9)
1. In Hebrews 2:17, is it appropriate to 57 (1)
say that Jesus was made like his
"brothers and sisters"?
2. In Hebrews 2:6, is it legitimate to 58 (3)
remove the phrase "son of man"?
3. Can aner ("man, husband") sometimes 61 (5)
mean "person"?
4. Other verses 66 (1)
G. Other concerns about factual accuracy 66 (3)
1. Do we say there is nothing to be 67 (1)
learned from feminism?
2. Do we say the English language is not 67 (2)
changing?
3. Do people repeatedly claim that Dr. 69 (1)
Carson profits financially from the TNIV?
4. Have entire denominations been torn 69 (1)
asunder in this debate?
H. Cultural pressures on language are not 69 (2)
always neutral
Conclusion 71 (2)
Chapter 3: Translation Inaccuracies in the 73 (12)
TNIV: A Categorized List of 900 Examples
A. Changes from singular to plural to avoid 74 (3)
the use of "he/him/his"
B. Changes to avoid the word "father" and 77 (1)
related words
C. Changes to avoid the word "brother" (or to 78 (1)
avoid the word "sister")
D. Changes to avoid the word "man" 79 (2)
E. Changes to avoid the word "son" 81 (1)
F. Changes to avoid the phrase "the Jews" 82 (1)
G. Changes that lose the nuance of holiness 83 (1)
in "saints" (36)
H. Other gender-related changes 84 (1)
Chapter 4: Avoiding Generic "He" in the TNIV 85 (16)
A. Pluralizing 86 (3)
B. Change from third person ("he") to second 89 (2)
person ("you")
C. Change from third person ("he") to first 91 (1)
person ("we")
D. Dropping generic "he" 91 (1)
E. "They" with singular antecedent 92 (3)
F. Evaluation 95 (1)
G. Response to Craig Blomberg 96 (1)
H. A Response to D.A. Carson 97 (4)
Chapter 5: Over 100 Christian Leaders 101 (10)
Agree...the TNIV Bible Is Not Sufficiently
Trustworthy
Chapter 6: Bible Scholars Claim 111 (2)
"Gender-Neutral" Bible Distorts Scripture
Chapter 7: What's Going on with Bible 113 (8)
Translations?
A. A controversy over gender terms 113 (4)
B. What are these new versions? 117 (1)
C. Controversy 118 (3)
Chapter 8: The Rise of Gender-Neutral Bible 121 (28)
Translations
A. Earlier gender-neutral Bible translations 121 (4)
1. An unnoticed gender-neutral translation: 121 (1)
the ICB/NCV
2. The first major gender-neutral 122 (2)
translation: the NRSV (1990)
3. The Contemporary English Version (CEV) 124 (1)
(1995)
B. The NIVI controversy 125 (15)
1. Prominence of the NIV 125 (1)
2. Revising the NIV 126 (1)
3. Timeline of events in the controversy 127 (13)
over the inclusive-language NW
C. Personal observations on the events in 140 (7)
this timeline
1. Public reaction 140 (1)
2. Why did the issue become so heated? 141 (3)
a. The Christian public 141 (1)
b. Christian leaders opposed to the NIVI 142 (1)
c. Zondervan Publishing House 142 (1)
d. The Committee on Bible Translation 143 (1)
e. The International Bible Society 144 (1)
3. What was the fundamental problem? 144 (1)
4. What decided the issue? 144 (1)
5. Clarity versus unclarity in the issues 145 (1)
6. The claims of truth and falsehood 146 (1)
D. Developments since the NIV controversy: 147 (2)
other translations
Chapter 9: The Bible:The Word of God 149 (20)
A. All the words in Scripture are God's words 149 (8)
1. The Bible claims to be God's words 149 (4)
2. We are convinced of the Bible's claims 153 (1)
to be God's words as we read the Bible
3. Other evidence is useful but not an 154 (1)
ultimate foundation
4. Scripture is self-attesting 154 (1)
5. Objection: This is a circular argument 154 (2)
6. This does not imply dictation from God 156 (1)
as the sole means of communication
B. Because all the words of Scripture are 157 (1)
God's words, to disbelieve or disobey any
part of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey
God
C. The truthfulness of Scripture 158 (2)
1. God cannot lie or speak falsely 158 (1)
2. Therefore all the teachings in Scripture 158 (1)
are completely true and without error in
any part
3. God's words are the ultimate standard of 159 (1)
truth
4. Might some new fact ever contradict the 159 (1)
Bible?
D. The inerrancy of Scripture 160 (3)
1. The Bible can be inerrant and still 160 (1)
speak in the ordinary language of everyday
speech
2. The Bible can be inerrant and still 161 (1)
include loose or free quotations
3. It is consistent with inerrancy to have 161 (1)
unusual or uncommon grammatical
constructions in the Bible
4. It is consistent with inerrancy to have 162 (1)
mistakes in later copies of the Bible
E. Written Scripture is our final authority 163 (1)
F. How should we respond to God's Word? 164 (3)
1. We should trust every detail of meaning 164 (2)
in God's Word
2. We should love and treasure every bit of 166 (1)
Scripture
3. We should tremble at God's Word 166 (1)
4. We should recognize that God's Word is 166 (1)
powerful, eternal, and worthy of praise
5. We should fill our thoughts and lives 167 (1)
with God's Word
G. Faithfulness to God's Word 167 (2)
Chapter 10: How to Translate 169 (34)
A. Translation based on the Bible's command 169 (1)
B. Difficulties in translating 170 (5)
1. Words take different meanings 170 (1)
2. Sentence formation differs from language 171 (2)
to language
3. Form and meaning 173 (1)
4. The theory of dynamic equivalent 173 (2)
translation
C. Use of early dynamic equivalence theory 175 (4)
1. Developing the theory of dynamic 176 (1)
equivalent translation
2. Emphasis on clarity 176 (1)
3. Refinements in recognizing meaning 177 (2)
nuances
D. Types of complexity 179 (3)
1. Limits in dictionary summaries 179 (1)
2. One word may combine several meanings 179 (1)
3. Factors that contribute to total meaning 180 (1)
4. Bible translators should try to capture 181 (1)
the richness of the Bible
E. Translation as maximal equivalence 182 (1)
F. But a trustworthy translation is still 183 (3)
possible
1. The richness and depth of the Bible 185 (1)
2. The richness of human language 186 (1)
G. The tension between preserving form and 186 (8)
explaining meaning
1. The problem of idioms 186 (1)
2. Other problems 187 (1)
3. What about paraphrases? 187 (2)
4. Preserve the form or change the form? 189 (4)
5. But aren't different translations just 193 (1)
different kinds of interpretation?
H. Excursus: Analyzing linguistic complexity 194 (9)
1. The naive approach: word-for-word 194 (1)
2. The theoretically informed approach: 194 (1)
using a linguistic system
3. The discerning approach: using native 195 (1)
speakers' intuitive sense of subtleties
4. The reflective approach: explicitly 196 (7)
analyzing subtleties
Chapter 11: Permissible Changes in Translating 203 (10)
Gender-Related Terms
A. Replacing "man" and "men" when the 204 (5)
original includes women
1. Replacing "all men" with "all" or 204 (1)
"everyone" when translating Greek pas
2. Replacing "men" with "people" when there 205 (1)
is no masculine term in the original text
3. Replacing "men" with "people" for Greek 205 (2)
anthropos (plural)
4. Replacing "a man" with "a person" when 207 (1)
translating Greek anthropos (singular) in
certain cases
5. Replacing "a man" with "anyone" when 208 (1)
translating Greek tis
B. Replacing "he who ..." with "the one who" 209 (1)
or "the person who"
C. Replacing "sons" with "children" when 210 (3)
translating Hebrew banim
Chapter 12: Unacceptable Changes That Eliminate 213 (10)
References to Men
A. Removing references to males in historical 213 (3)
passages
B. Removing references to males in parables 216 (1)
C. Removing references to males who are 217 (2)
examples of principles
D. Colorado Springs Guidelines concerning 219 (1)
words for "father" and "son"
E. Why is only the male sex indicator deleted 220 (3)
in gender-neutral translations?
Chapter 13: Generic "He" 223 (24)
A. What is generic "he"? 223 (1)
B. Changes in gender-neutral translations 224 (1)
C. Explicit and implicated meaning 225 (2)
D. A failure to recognize the linguistic 227 (2)
issue at the heart of this controversy
E. Distortions in meaning 229 (7)
F. Psalm 34:20: Obscuring the New Testament 236 (2)
fulfillment
G. Anything but "he" 238 (1)
H. Scholarly integrity 239 (1)
I. How many verses are affected? 240 (1)
J. The Colorado Springs Guidelines on generic 241 (3)
"he"
1. Misrepresentations of the Colorado 241 (3)
Springs Guidelines
K. Making our decision 244 (1)
L. The deeper issue: feminism 245 (2)
Chapter 14: Feminist Opposition to Generic "He" 247 (28)
A. The development of the conflict 248 (3)
B. Egalitarianism in the culture 251 (3)
C. Generic "he" seen as giving prominence to 254 (6)
the male
D. Generic "she" 260 (2)
E. The "mandate" of the National Council of 262 (2)
Churches of Christ
F. The explanatory statement of the NIVI 264 (7)
G. The explanatory statement of the NLT 271 (2)
H. Objections 273 (2)
Chapter 15: Arguments for Avoiding Generic "He" 275 (26)
for the Sake of Acceptability
A. "Bible translations should avoid 275 (3)
controversy where possible"
B. "Bible translations need to be sensitive 278 (3)
to women"
C. "Bible translations should avoid the 281 (6)
negative connotations that attach to certain
words"
1. Some questions to help decide when to 284 (3)
seek to avoid a connotation in English
2. Translators should not eliminate the 287 (1)
evidence
D. "Bible translations need to be updated for 287 (4)
modern culture"
1. An analogy: "updating" the Bible's 289 (2)
descriptions of earth?
E. "The audience today is no longer mainly 291 (1)
men"
F. "Gender-neutral Bibles are needed for 292 (2)
evangelism"
1. The ideological clash 293 (1)
G. "There is a need for niche translations" 294 (4)
1. Some problems with niche translations 295 (1)
(constituency translations)
2. Content versus palatability 296 (2)
H. The slippery slope 298 (3)
Chapter 16: Other Objections against Generic 301 (34)
"He"
A. Objections related to the meaning of the 301 (6)
original text
1. "The basic meaning is still preserved" 301 (1)
2. "Critics are confusing form and meaning" 302 (1)
3. "We are just ignoring what is not 303 (2)
'intended' in the original language"
4. Differing views of translation 305 (2)
B. Objections that minimize the problem 307 (3)
1. "The problem is with isolated mistakes, 307 (2)
not with the policy"
2. "But many verses are still OK" 309 (1)
C. Objections based on comparisons with other 310 (5)
Bible translations and other languages
1. "New Testament writers and authors 310 (3)
change person and number when using the Old
Testament"
2. "Gender systems differ among languages, 313 (2)
so no one can make them match perfectly in
translation"
D. Objections based on the current state of 315 (12)
the English language
1. "People are unfamiliar with generic 'he"' 315 (9)
2. "Generic 'he' is infrequent" 324 (1)
3. "Everybody uses gender-neutral language 325 (1)
today"
4. "Generic 'he' will soon disappear" 325 (2)
E. The inevitability of generic "he" 327 (8)
Chapter 17: Ordinary People Can Understand 335 (10)
Generic "He"
A. Objection: People will misunderstand 335 (1)
generic "he"
B. Objections based on psychological studies 336 (1)
C. Experiments related to "man" for the human 336 (1)
race as a whole
D. Experiments related to generic "he" 337 (2)
E. The limitations of decontextualized 339 (1)
experiments
F. The greater importance of data from 340 (1)
ordinary usage
G. The deeper issue: ideology 341 (1)
H. What about a niche translation for 341 (3)
feminists?
I. Conclusion 344 (1)
Chapter 18: More Issues in Translating Gender: 345 (48)
Man, Son of Man, Fathers, Brother, Son, and the
Extent of the Changes
A. The use of "man" for the human race 345 (9)
1. Is the name "man" important for the 346 (2)
human race?
2. Conclusion: "Man" is the most accurate 348 (2)
translation for the name of the human race
in Genesis 1-5
3. The unity of the human race obscured by 350 (1)
plural terms
4. The use of "man" for the human race in 351 (3)
English today
B. Eliminating "son of man" in the Old 354 (4)
Testament
C. Individual male examples changed to plural 358 (4)
groups
1. Old Testament examples with Hebrew 'ish: 358 (4)
("man") or geber ("man")
2. But don't these passages apply to women, 362 (1)
too?
D. "Mortal" for "man" 362 (1)
E. Words for ancestors 363 (4)
F. Words for children 367 (8)
1. More difficult cases with "son" 373 (2)
C. Brothers 375 (5)
H. Brother (singular) 380 (9)
I. The extent of the changes 389 (4)
1. The changes from singular to plural 389 (1)
2. Changes in other words 389 (1)
3. Why make these changes? 390 (1)
4. After all these changes, how many 391 (2)
pronouns can you actually trust?
Chapter 19: More Examples Concerning Man, 393 (10)
Father, Son
A. Deleting "man" and "men" for a male human 393 (4)
being: more examples
B. Changing "father" to "parent" 397 (3)
C. Changing "son" to "child" 400 (1)
D. How can an "orphan" have a living mother? 401 (1)
E. More examples 401 (2)
Chapter 20: Practical Application Questions 403 (6)
A. Tests for gender-neutral policy 403 (1)
B. Isn't this controversy for experts only? 404 (1)
C. What about the translators of 405 (1)
gender-neutral versions?
D. Helping out 406 (3)
Chapter 21: Conclusion 409 (2)
Appendix 1: Colorado Springs Guidelines 411 (22)
A. The Guidelines, with the accompanying 411 (5)
comments
B. A description of the meeting 416 (8)
C. Refinement of the Guidelines 424 (3)
D. Explanation 427 (3)
E. Assessment 430 (3)
Appendix 2: Analyzing the Meanings of Words: 433 (14)
"Man" for Aner
A. The Greek word aner 433 (2)
B. Interpreting Bauer's Lexicon 435 (3)
C. Dealing with possible multiple senses 438 (1)
D. Possible origins of mistakes 439 (1)
E. Analyzing particular cases 440 (4)
F. Aner in words of address 444 (1)
G. Conclusions 445 (2)
Appendix 3: The Relation of Generic "He" to 447 (14)
Third-Person Generic Singulars in Hebrew and
Greek
A. Differences among gender systems 447 (1)
B. Third-person singular statements about 448 (3)
human beings and ordinary speaker expectations
C. What does the study of linguistics imply? 451 (2)
1. Gender systems as form 451 (1)
2. Perception in English 452 (1)
3. Meaning arising from choice 453 (1)
D. Shifts in number 453 (2)
E. Shifts in person 455 (6)
Appendix 4: The Spectrum from "He" in a Story 461 (4)
to "He" in a General Statement
Appendix 5: Translation of Anthropos 465 (2)
Appendix 6: The Evaporation of an Argument: 467 (12)
D.A. Carson's Lack of Evidence for the
Unusability of Generic "He" in English
A. Answering the suppositions 468 (1)
B. Chapter 9: But where is the argument? 469 (1)
C. A caricature of "the critics" 470 (3)
D. The long-awaited discussion of generic "he" 473 (1)
E. An argument from frequency of use 474 (2)
F. Constituencies 476 (1)
G. The great omission 477 (1)
H. Conclusion 478 (1)
Scripture Index 479 (9)
Index of Persons 488 (4)
Index of Subjects 492