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Peter Kirk

Not many surprises here. But good to see 57 out of 118 doctorates listed, very nearly 50% and more than from the USA, are from UK institutions. (Yes, I know some names are counted twice.)

J. K. Gayle

What? More than 100 men but not 1 woman? No, there will be no bias. (Or did I miss some one very very influential?)


It didn't take you long to notice, did it, Kurk?

Quite a number of the contributors to the ESV Study Bible teach at institutions that include women on the faculty.

Grudem's intransigence on the matter, of course, is extremely well-known.

Doug Chaplin

I am inlcined to think about the ESV as the Extremely Sexist Version. I think I'm surprised by some of the names on the list, because I suspect the overall tone of this Bible will not please them. I'm also annoyed that the only person commenting on OT Canon and Apocrypha is Beckwith. His views on these topics seem to me far more driven by a certain Protestant orthodoxy than by the evidence.


It will be interesting to see if Beckwith simply re-presents his earlier theses. If so, his contribution will seem stale and dated.

I'm sure, in any case, that a number of contributors will acquit themselves very well. I'm impressed that someone like Gathercole is contributing on the all-important Pauline corpus. We'll see what comes of that.

Doug Chaplin

I know I'm becoming jaundiced when I think that if anyone says anything interesting, Grudem will edit it out. :-;

Jim Getz

I gotta admit, I'm not feeling the love on this one.

Despite the touted diversity of "9 countries, representing nearly 20 denominations and more than 50 seminaries, colleges, and universities" it looks like a SBC study Bible to me.

Charles Halton

SBC Study Bible? There are a handful of SBC profs (almost all from Southern Seminary) but only that--a handful. There are way more Presbyterian faculty members on this list than SBC.

Suzanne McCarthy

A friend wrote to me just the other day,

The more I think of the choices you have indicated that were made for the ESV, the more irritated I am. I resent as a HUMAN BEING the substition of sons for children and hope and believe I would be just as troubled if I were male...!

Obviously we are deluded. Most men do not see how women feel about finding that they are no longer children of God. And nobody in this woman's church would ever treat a woman as if she were a son of God so she is out of luck.


You make an excellent point, Suzanne, and I hope that the many readers who are coming over from the ESV blog - which linked to this post - will consider it.

However, the issue is mixed up with many others. For example, should we also avoid gendering God when referring to him? Is this part of a larger push which is interested, not in translating the Bible, warts and all, but correcting its substance wherever it is held to be incompatible with current sensibilities?

For many of us who are pastors, the claim that the fact that the Good News Bible, the KJV, RSV, ESV, or what have you has 'sons' instead of 'children' when the latter would be a more appropriate translation, leads those who are not 'sons' but 'daughters' to feeling that they are excluded, does not ring true. In my congregation, whoever is reading scripture for a particular Sunday is allowed to read from whatever translation she or he chooses. So far, I have never seen that choice made, by man or woman, based on the issue of language inclusiveness.

In the sermon, I will often parse the text out, so to speak, in gender-specific, age-specific, and social class specific language, relating it to different categories of people, first to one, and then to another. If the translation that was read has "brothers" even though "brothers and sisters" are the clear referents, I will try to bring that out. To my mind, doing this kind of thing matters more than whether "brothers" or "brothers and sisters" stands in the translation.

When choosing a pew Bible, furthermore, the inclusive language issue, either way, is not the thing that moves the choices of women or men. At least not in my experience. In my context, United Methodist - not an ideologically driven one outside of the seminaries - people are looking for a Bible that speaks to them in familiar language, which means a translation in the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV tradition. ESV provides this to a greater degree than does NRSV and (T)NIV.


in familiar language, which means a translation in the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV tradition. ESV provides this to a greater degree than does NRSV and (T)NIV.

OK, I'm stumped. Given your desideratum for choosing a translation (something close to the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV tradition) -- why not use the KJV? Because, the KJV is much closer to the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV than the ESV is. The KJV is in the public domain as well, so KJV pew bibles are going to be cheaper than ESV volumes. And the KJV is hardly an obscure translation: I wager that most of your congregation already has a KJV somewhere at home.

Now, if you answer with something like "the KJV is too far from contemporary language" and "the KJV is an older translation, and does not reflect the most contemporary scholarship" then it seems to me you must seriously consider arguments of that form made against the ESV.

J. K. Gayle

John and Suzanne,
We're all outsiders to the Bible. If goyim, then it's clearer. If Jewish, then that was oh so long ago. Same is true if we're Greek or any other Mediterranean ethnics. The poetry, histories, prophecies, and more particularly the letters--not ours. We're eavesdroppers, as Richard B Hays puts it in his commentary on I Cor., reading somebody else's mail.

And yet we hear voices directed to us. An immediate voice, not transcendent and not ancient. And if Wycliffe Bible translators has anything to do with it, not a foreign language voice either.

So Suzanne, your observation with respect to your friend's comment is very very astute. It's very very sad to have one group exclude another: given that each one of us--whether female or male--each one indeed is an outsider to the Bible. "Most men do not see how women feel about finding that they are no longer children of God."

This is not about "son" and "not daughter" in the text. It is about a team of translators of the Bible--dozens of men and not even one women--saying in rhetorical translation that the text can only mean the one thing they say it means. And, infamously, the one thing the team likes to say is that "husband" is over "wife" just as "master is over slave"; and by inference: "man" is over "woman"; "son" is over "daughter."

Females, therefore, must not speak nor teach their husbands or sons in church. Because these male translators are, well "men," they can say this. They can say that the Bible includes them more than it does "women." Sometimes this stuff is subtle. In the case of Rev Grudem and team, it's not always so subtle. There is no proper humility by these men on this point! They refuse to be outsiders. And yet they are to the text. If they have any claim to the immediacy of God's voice, to his living word, then then then they must allow women and females today the same claim.

Suzanne McCarthy


You evidently have never noticed that in Matt 5:9 the KJV and the Good news Bible have "children" and not "sons." A woman who knows the Bible knows this. I can't speak to situations of biblical illiteracy which is all I read in your comment. Clearly you are not choosing a Bible because it sounds like the KJV because you don't know what it sounds like.

I am not talking about 'gender inclusivenes' but about gender accuracy. You persist in misunderstanding. Why, in the ESV, do Israel and Abraham have "children" and God has only "sons." why change the familiar language of the KJV? Why translate the same word as "children" for Abraham but "sons" for God. Obviously women would be better off Jewish, that is the clear message of this translation.

The Reformation was built on the Luther Bible in which God had only children. The NIV, NASB, RSV and ESV are retrograde on this. If women who grew up on these modern Bibles want "sons" only, just say so, but don't mix this up with those who are familiar with the KJV (or Tyndale or Luther).

Why does the ESV translate anthropos as "people" in many places, but as "men" only in 2 Tim. 2:2 and Eph. 4:8? Because God forbid that women should ever think that they can teach. The lack of basic gender accuracy is simply appalling, let alone the downgrading of Christ from the "in bosom of father" to "at his side" in John 1.

Then you have all those upper case words in the Psalms.


It's not my desideratum, Iyov. I was pointing out what people in a mainline Protestant denomination tend to do, if given a choice between having NRSV, ESV, and (T)NIV as a pew Bible: they choose ESV. That, at least, is my experience.

Most people are not able to enunciate KJV correctly when they read it in worship. That's one problem. The other is that many people grew up with the RSV, and that is their gold standard, except for familiar passages like Psalm 23 for which they continue to prefer KJV language.

Suzanne McCarthy

And the truth is that I had no idea these things were in the ESV when I first used it. I was not forewarned. But reading 2 Tim 2;2 I felt that I had been scalded. I just dropped the Bible in shock. The fact that other women are not familiar enough with what the text ought to say is no advertisement. It is the text of fundamental illiteracy. The KJV meant "people" when it said "men" and the ESV most emphatically does not. It drives a sword between men and women and establishes the male-female relationship as one of ruler over subject according to the infamous and inaccurate kephale study.

I am just shocked that biblical illiteracy has reached the point that something like this can happen.

Suzanne McCarthy

If people don't want an accurate Bible I guess there isn't much to be done about it.

J. K. Gayle

I am just shocked that biblical illiteracy has reached the point that something like this can happen.

You are much too kind. It's the opposite of illiteracy--hardly naiveté--that such inaccuracies are motivated by. It's not mean-spirited but it is a conscious re-education program, I think, based on fear that somehow the cult of feminism (viz. some sort of postmodern, cultural relativistic, politically correct society of gender-inclusive language) is going to rob men of their power. Or even pull women out of their proper and sole domestic arena.

Yes it does feel as if "there isn't much to be done about it." But your speaking does much!


John, that's absurd. According to the sales figures from the CBA, there has never -- never -- never been a month when the the ESV has outsold the KJV. There has never -- never -- never been a month when the ESV has outsold the NIV. In fact, there has never -- never -- never been a month where the ESV has outsold the NKJV. (For that matter, for some time now, even the TNIV has been outselling the ESV in terms of dollar sales.)

So, I think you are ducking responsibility when you lay this decision on the heads of your congregation. Reverend, I think they are getting this from their spiritual leaders.



actually, I have noticed the things you talk about. Or rather, you've pointed them out to me on the very helpful Better Bibles blog, and I'm grateful that you have done so.

I think the example of Matthew 5:9 is instructive. Perhaps I should post on these things, I don't know. I preached on the Beatitudes not long ago. The pew Bible in the church I pastor is NIV. The choice was made years before I arrived. NIV has 'sons of God,' and I preached from it. I distinctly remember expositing the text with examples male and female, Christian and non-Christian. I spoke of 'sons of God' and 'daughters of God,' but never once of 'children of God.' Why?

Because 'children of God' has a jejune ring to it. 'Children' doesn't have the right connotations for use in this context, or, for example, in Romans 8:19. Note KJV in the latter case, and REB. "Children" in English sounds like 'tekna' does in Greek, not like 'uioi.' The latter is of course gender-inclusive in many contexts.

Now not everyone will agree with me on the above particulars, and I can live with that. REB has 'children' in Matthew and 'sons' in Romans. I prefer 'sons' in both cases. But I repeat, I preach inclusively on both passages. Of course. To do otherwise would be absurd.

Now, there is a vocal minority in the denomination in which I serve that looks upon a preacher like me who doesn't clean up my language to their satisfaction, including doing away with formulae such as "Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit," as beyond the pale. To which I respond, as do many others I know: on the one hand, I will will redouble my efforts to be inclusive in my ministry; on the other, I will be even more un-PC and unpredictable than before in my language, for the joy of rankling the language police.


I will be even more un-PC and unpredictable than before in my language, for the joy of rankling the language police

I can't wait to see your "color[ed]ful" language when you next talk about Obama and Jeremy Wright. And, of course, the kikes.

J. K. Gayle

Sen. Obama and Rev. Wright and any of us can rankle the language police. I'd love to hear your response to John's acceptance to your invitation to talk un-PC about "the kikes." (Can I say that?)

But none of that has the force of the Word of God (however he's gendered) when it is used to silence. The language police are just whiny babies. The authorized team of translators of the canon of the Jewish (and Christian) scriptures want to do so much more.

Peter Kirk

John, you are talking sense when you question the translation "children" in these cases. It is particularly inept in Galatians 3:26 (NRSV and TNIV) and 4:6 (NRSV but not TNIV) where the main point in context is that they are not children (4:1) but adults. Also in Romans 8:14,16,19,21 there is a deliberate alternation of "children" and "sons" which is lost in NRSV and TNIV.

But we have to remember that most people who read or hear a Bible passage do not immediately have it explained to them by a competent pastor like yourself. So when they hear "sons of God" their first impression that it refers to men only is never corrected.

There is no easy answer. I think TNIV has done about as well as can be done. But it is not the only possible solution. In some cases it might be good to translate "sons and daughters" rather than "children" - as is explicit in the Greek of 2 Corinthians 6:18.



You make some excellent points. Sales figures of course do not translate easily into data about what Bibles people actually read from. But I think it's true that ESV would sell far better than it does if it were not associated in the minds of most, and rightfully so, with a particular brand of Reformed theology. To be sure, it sells far beyond the limits of that confessional stripe.

And you are quite right that many pastors feel it is their prerogative to decide for their congregation what Bible is in the pews, and will say all kinds of awful things about this or that Bible translation from the pulpit. Surely it will not surprise you that I am more inclined, when the lector for the day reads from her well-worn copy of the Living Bible or the Message, to pick up on some positive element in the paraphrase, and otherwise preach from Greek or the Hebrew, translating ad lib, or in relation to other, more literal translations. I have found this less dictatorial approach to be more effective in the long run.



Its your illiteracy that I am talking about. "Children of God" sounds like "Children of Israel." Since when do you talk about the "sons of Israel" as a nation? Just because people have been influenced by the NIV, thank goodness I was preserved from all those translations. Got to go.


PS John,

What is your opinion of 2 TIm. 2:2 in the ESV.



I have defended Jeremiah Wright before, though I do not share his theology on key points.

I'll be honest: I like the way he is offensive and un-PC in his use of language, which is free and uncouth and brash and perfectly understandable. More, please. If I had my way, I would take busloads of prim and proper whites to his church in Chicago to hear him, especially if, afterwards, Jeremiah would take the time, lovingly as he would, to respond to their outrage at his outrage.



I avoid the expression 'children of Israel.' You are mixing apples and oranges. That's a separate case. I prefer "the Israelites," and in preaching, I will sometimes refer to "the Jewish people" and such to emphasize a continuity I think is extremely important.


Suzanne, you say:

reading [ESV] 2 Tim 2:2 I felt that I had been scalded. I just dropped the Bible in shock. The fact that other women are not familiar enough with what the text ought to say is no advertisement. It is the text of fundamental illiteracy. The KJV meant "people" when it said "men" and the ESV most emphatically does not. It drives a sword between men and women and establishes the male-female relationship as one of ruler over subject according to the infamous and inaccurate kephale study.

You could very well be right that the kephale study you refer to is inaccurate. In the Ben Witherington - A.J. Levine I link to in another post, Ben seems to take aim at that study.

Or maybe Paul really had views about how men and women are to relate to each other in marriage, or in the context of worship, or in the realm of ministry, that you and I are uncomfortable with. That would not surprise me. I happen to think that Paul had views on some of these issues that don't match those of Wayne Grudem either.

There are lots of things in the Bible I'm uncomfortable with. I do my best to listen to both Paul and James, to both John and the epistle of Jude, to both Psalm 137 and Romans 12.

Then, at a certain point, we come down on issues, where the Bible supports more than one conceivable approach to a question, based on giving priority to some passages in scripture over others, and in conjunction with other sources of knowledge, tradition, experience, and reason.

Unlike you, I'm unsure what the KJV translators had in mind when they translated "men" in 2 Tim 2:2. In any case, I assume that the translation team behind REB, in translating 'men' here, thought that a gender-specific translation was consistent with everything else we find in the pastoral epistles. Or maybe I'm wrong about that. In any case, it does not make sense to accuse the REB translation team of obtuseness here.

The point is, you can translate 'men' in 2 Tim 2:2, as does NIV, NASB 1995, REB, and ESV, because you think that is a context-sensitive and context-accurate translation, AND/OR because you want to have another proof-text (there are others) for prohibiting women from teaching men.


John, my point was not to criticize Wright (although I think I could -- even Obama apologized for his words and said he was embarrassed by them) but those who call Obama "the Negro politician" or "the schwartze" or worse.

May I ask, are those in your congregation demanding the ESV broadly representative of the congregation's total gender balance? Because most people I see advocating it are men. I mean, by golly, they couldn't even find a single English speaking woman on the list. I guess you recognize the names better than I do, may I ask -- are there any non-whites contributing?


. . . on the list [of contributors to the ESV Study Bible].



the committee in my former congregation that, given a choice between NRSV, ESV, and NIV, chose ESV, was composed of women in the majority.

Perhaps it is a well-kept secret that, outside the marbled halls of academia, most women are innocent of the gender inclusive/exclusive language controversy. I think this adds to the acidity of the debate, because it so intramural.

There are a few non-WASP ESV Study Bible contributors, but not many.


So, if it only offends, say, 20% of the women, then it is OK?


20%? Why require such a high percentage?

In school districts across the nation, it takes only one family to complain about the celebration of Halloween, or the performance of Handel's Messiah, or of J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, and it's gone.

I prefer a translation which is gender-accurate, and I try to be gender-sensitive in my preaching. But I object to the "because it's offensive, we should remove it" line of argument.

The UCC came very close to removing "Lord" from all the hymns in its hymnal for that reason. There are others who ask that God not be referred to as "Father" because it makes them think of their father who abused them. Or that's what I'm supposed to believe. Actually, I haven't heard that from people who have had an abusive father, or one who never paid attention to them at all.

I hear it mostly from people who are whole enough psychologically to make the necessary distinctions, but out of a misplaced desire to be "in solidarity with" (the phrase itself sets off a hypocrisy alert in my mind) victims of abuse from fathers, make the request with self-assured moral authority.

I also resist the notion that the particular sins currently identified as such by an educated elite are the ones that matter most of all, or should be used to separate the sheep from the goats.

Every congregation I've served has had its share of bigots, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, you name it, as well as stuck-up middle-class purveyors of PC, rich people who sneer at the whole lot, and trashy people who have never been able to get their moral or theological ducks in a line, and never will.

Guess who helps out on a Habitat for Humanity workday? Guess who lives with forgiveness in their heart? Guess who stays up all night with a sick one, or one who is dying?

J. K. Gayle

Thanks for the Jeremiah Wright comments! I'm with you but sympathize with Iyov (and Barack Obama).

Now, Matthew 5:9. The writer says in ch 4 that Jesus is ἐν τῷ λαῷ (among the people), that there are ὄχλοι πολλοὶ (crowds of many). And the writer further qualifies these by geography and by their awful afflictions (but we assume there are women among the men and among οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ (his disciples).

Jesus preaches more. He says in Aramaic something that the writer puts in Greek as 5:9. A Greek word used to translate one of Jesus' Aramaic phrases does qualify the male gender: υἱοὶ (sons).

Earlier, the writer/translator also uses what appears to me a neologism: οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί (the peace creators). She or likely he is trying to get at what Jesus said in Aramaic. (The ESV translators, like so many, try to get at this Greek with the English phrase "the peacemakers.") Luke oddly leaves this out in his μακάριοί (beatitudes).

More to the puzzle. Euripides seems to invent words similar to οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί. There's μουσοποιὸς in "Hippolytus" and "Troiades" (Trojan Women or Trojan Daughters)--E. P. Coleridge translates that "choir" as in the choir of virgins one play and joins A. S. Way in translating it "bard" in the other play.

Another seemingly coined word of Euripides is in Andromache, which opens with her talking about herself in reference to her fiancé Hector. Euripides has her calling herself παιδοποιὸς Ἕκτορι, which Coleridge puts into English as "the mother of his children" and Way as "his true-wed wife."

The point is that οποιός is very uniquely combined with other Greek words to form novel phrases. And that these coinages are nonetheless rare. And that they apply also to women as in Euripides's Andromache's case (in which she labels herself).

Matthew 5:9 is the only place we can find εἰρηνοποιοί. So why might it not apply to women (if Matthew translates whatever Jesus said as υἱοὶ?

(In different works, Sophocles adds δολοποιὸς, ψηφοποιὸς, and οἰκοποιός. In his awful plays, Aristophanes adds λυχνοποιὸς, ὁ μαχαιροποιός, ὁ μηχανοποιός, and ὁ τραγῳδοποιός. Xenophon adds ὁ γελωτοποιὸς. Plato has Socrates in the Apology and the Phadrus using κωμῳδοποιὸς; in the Gorgias it's ὁ ὀψοποιός, in Protagorus ἀγαλματοποιός, in the Republic δευσοποιὸς, ἀνδριαντοποιὸς, θησαυροποιὸς ἀνήρ, and thrice only ὁ κλινοποιός. Aristotle seems to invent ὁ λυροποιός in the City of Athens; and ἀνδριαντοποιός and δυοποιὸς in the Metaphysics; Aristotle also picks up some of the neologisms that seem to be first used by Plato. Point: these are rare word formations before the NT; none of these ancients, and none of the LXX translators use Matthew's word.)

PS John--hear from one who's father was abusive. It doesn't mean we don't use "father" for God--we do find ways to understand father differently: As Donald Miller does writing To Own a Dragon (which for him is an imaginary exercise like owing a father).

No one's responded to my outsider comments above. But if we all humbly come to the scriptures saying we're outsiders, then this:

then we can hear "father" and "son" and not assume it elevates only some of us and excludes others of us. 20% or just 1%? Seems like there's a parable about the 1.



The choice in 2 Tim 2:2 in the ESV has no comparison with the NIV, NASB and KJV because in all of those translations 1 Tim 2:2 is also "men" and clearly means the people, not only the men. The contrast in the ESV is deliberately done in order to prevent women from getting the uppity notion that they can teach. Remember please that I interviewed the general editor on this. The diversification in translating anthropos is deliberately contra feminam NOT just a carry over from the gender neutral use of the word.

I am still grateful that my city police station advertises that the peacemakers are the children of God, because female police officers are important to women. They are vital. The public connects with this text. However, if you only want an in-club to read the Bible, go ahead choose any version.

I hear it mostly from people who are whole enough psychologically to make the necessary distinctions I hear from those who aren't.

Let's be real and say that the peacemakers are the people of God. I wouldn't put you and the ESV editors in charge of labeling washrooms, that's for sure.

On the kephale study, there is no discussion of whether we agree with Paul or not, or whether he was gender sensitive. I don't give a fig about that. What happened was that the study quotes that the "king of Egypt was head of the nation" when that is nowhere to be found. Philadelphus was called the most illustrious of the line of Ptolemies, which is not the same thing as saying that he was the governing authority over the other Ptolomaic kings, is it? If you look at the evidence you will see that the deciet was extensive, deliberate and intending to prove that man is the governing authority over woman. But Philo says explicitly that the man who is head is the most virtuous man in the city, the man who others want to hold up as a model of excellence. There is no mention of this man having governing authority.

I don't care to argue that Paul in PC. That is not my point. I am not with those who do.


OK, let's talk about the liturgy. Now, if y'all were praying the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, then I think you'd have an argument for keeping the liturgy static. But here's the thing: your denomination chooses to change its liturgy on a dime.

I myself pray from a prayerbook that (according to the rabbis) was fixed at Yavne in the nineteen centuries ago. It was certainly fixed by the medieval period.

I can argue, like Tevye, "Tradition." Your people, on the other hand, have decided that they will take full responsibility for the expression of their liturgy. I'm going to hold you to that responsibility.

I think it is great that the bigots in your church do some good things too (although, it is rather a bit much for you to claim to be able to look into their hearts). Does that mean they are beyond reproach? After all, it is a cliche, but even Mussolini made the trains run on time.


J.K. and Suzanne,

we all agree that the referents in the beatitudes include both genders. (Who doesn't?) The only thing we do not agree about is how necessary it is to translate with language that makes that explicit at all times.

As for whether it is still appropriate to refer to God as "Father," it's clear that Kurk thinks it is, but I imagine he would be understanding toward a person, given a history of abuse by a father, who might find that very difficult. But that does not mean in worship we should refrain from referring to God as "Father." Even in that person's presence. Otherwise worship becomes a slide towards the lowest common denominator.

I can't tell, Suzanne, if you agree with the principle I just expressed, or if, based on the fact that the word "Father" conjures up only negative images in the minds of some people, we should avoid it in worship.

As for policemen and policewomen who risk their lives when they intervene in domestic disputes, and are well-trained in the art of reconciliation, they are indeed doing God's work. They are strong sons and strong daughters of the Most High. There is nothing child-like about them. That was my point; it's an obvious one, I admit.

J. K. Gayle


Your denomination chooses to change its liturgy on a dime.

But even Mussolini made the trains run on time.

such poetry--and do you really use "y'all" Iyov?


My point, Iyov, was just the opposite.

None of us are above reproach. How did Isaiah put it? "All our virtues are like a filthy rag" (NJPSV Isa 64:5). We all bear an eerie resemblance to Mrs. Turpin in Flannery O'Connor's short story, "Revelation."

I think, furthermore, that you would be more consistent in your thinking if you encouraged "low tension" denominations (that is, religious formations that tend to be in near full assimilation with their cultural environment) to recover ancient tradition, not to the exclusion of the modern, but as leaven within it. Ancient tradition, you know, warts and all. Like that passage in the Pesach seder tender souls complain about, where you pray (and I with you) that God pour out his wrath on the nations that mistreat Israel.

Are you also against Reformed Jewish synagogues becoming more traditional in their worship?

Isn't it wiser to include in worship different, even clashing styles, which reflect diverse sensibilities?

Why would you wish the language police on a low tension religious formation, when you would never accept their dictates for your own, a relatively high tension religious formation?

J. K. Gayle

be understanding toward a person, given a history of abuse by a father, might find that very difficult.

John, yup. The understanding comes mostly because I am such a person with such a history. Makes me an outsider to a god who is a father, especially when mine was a churchman. "Love" of God is a strange concept indeed. Not intellectually but experientially. So my mistakes as a father (and husband) have largely been overreaction, of promising myself that I'll never ever ever treat my children that way (and my wife either). But my wife's experience and my childrens' experiences are not mine. Alas! They now want a father god who is much different from me. And with good reason. I may be too reactionary, too gentle. So I digress.

The point of "peacemakers are the children of God, because female police officers are important to women" is that neither you nor I as men experientially appreciate what Suzanne is talking about. We are outsiders.

The dozens of men translating and editing ESV could care less, under Grudem it seems. For them it's

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

and their obligatory footnote on "sons" reads:

"In addition, the English word 'sons' (translating the Greek word huioi) is retained in specific instances because the underlying Greek term usually includes a male meaning component and it was used as a legal term in the adoption and inheritance laws of first-century Rome."


They are strong sons and strong daughters of the Most High. There is nothing child-like about them. That was my point; it's an obvious one, I admit.

No, it is not obvious to me. The editors of that Bible expressly do not want any female police officers rescuing any women in distress. Men rescue women not women rescue women. Men rescue women so they get the clear message that man represents God to woman and men represent women to God. And so police officers are men only.

That is just like taking an abused woman and passing her around from one man to the next. There is something to not being PC and there is another to just keeping women under. Now if a woman has never been under this it may not be an issue. If that is your environment I understand. But in the congregations where male authority is taught, the women are withering silently. Like the woman who came to me, they just hide their misery in a new hairdo and sweet smile.

Unfortunately, women contact me - not frequently but regularly just the same - with the most appalling stories. Many of them see no way of escape. They don't know how to tunnel out. Some repeat the same mantra I had, cancer, Alzheimer's, whatever, it has to be better than this. These are not my words, but I can't name these other women.

I would say it is time for Amnesty Internation to step into some of what I have seen.

Okay, marriage may be an equal opportunity misery, but do we have to involve the Bible in this.


I appreciate your candor, J. K., and thank you for it. Someone who reads this thread will be touched by it, and perhaps find some healing.

I find the footnote you cite interesting. I don't quite buy it, but I appreciate the effort.

I am reminded of the discussion on this blog about how to gender Ex 15, and the explanation David Stein gave in comments about why the Torah translation he edited made Ex 15 as masculine as it did.


I think Reform Judaism has a very serious problem with its philosophical foundations. When you start picking and choosing mitzvos, you have a problem deciding which one is "important" and which one is not. Such an approach is not based on Torah, but on humanism. That's not necessarily "bad" (in fact, it works out well for many people), but it is putting humanistic values over Torah values.

So yes, I do hold them responsible for what they say.

As to the question of who is without flaw, let me remind of the story of Jesus and the adulteress -- Jesus said "let the one without sin throw the first stone." A stone came flying almost immediately, and Jesus said, "you know Mom, sometimes you really annoy me."



in the congregations I have served, since "male authority" as you are using the phrase is not and has not been taught for generations, women are abused instead under the cloak of feminism. Men abandon their wives, and wives abandon their husbands, on the basis of a liberationist ethic. As in, "I have a right to a more exciting, less neurotic partner." Usually younger, too.

I'm not sure that incidents of rape and violence against women go down within an environment dominated by feminism a la mode as opposed to "male authority" teaching. Is there really any evidence that date-rape, for example, goes down in sufficiently liberal and PC environments?

I think the only thing that brings the number of those incidents down is a degree of hard-won maturity in the school of hard knocks, a maturity which is just as easily found among conservative people as it is among liberal people.



that's a good one. I wish you a blessed Pesach.

J. K. Gayle

Jesus said, "you know Mom, sometimes you really annoy me."

actually, it was יְהוֹשֻׁעַ and he said something like τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί γύναι only in that Hebrew people today call Aramaic.

a degree of hard-won maturity in the school of hard knocks

Bad "feminism" in reaction to bad misogyny is like a little boy growing up in reaction against his abusive father. Hegel's dialectic as applied by Marx is of little use either (because the synthesis born out of the antithesis to an ugly thesis is like leaven in the bread on a passover). The parables, the hyperbole, the miracles, the feminism of the one aka Jesus demands that kind of subjective interpretation which the law imposed (or purely ignored) lacks. Weird that he can command love and transformation and repentance, and get away with it.


I refuse to attend a church that uses a Bible which has the wording it has because the editors explicitly teach that women should not be police officers. The recent laws and practices that have been enacted under the influence of feminism mean the difference between life and death to some women.

Yes, we all risk abandonment and violence from out partners. I realize that. We will either be tossed aside or beaten up. Such is life. But to have to listen to the teaching that God wants women to cut out their own essence week after week is beyond all this. It is spiritual disembowelment while alive.

Besides that the dishonesty involved in the kephale study and the Junia study show that the heart is dark.


Well I am very lucky to live in a country where feminists influence the law more than the kephale teachers. Why should I benefit from feminism in the law and then listen to people attack it in church. Nobody said that feminism "a la mode" was perfect - probably the traditional marriage of my parents was better, but they had an equal partnership and did not believe that the male was the governing authority over the female.

Just put the fox in charge of the henhouse while you are at it. It is against the tenets of a civil society to make the sex act an act between the one who has authority and the one under authority. I guess some people want to turn that around.


I personally believe that the teaching of male authority (gender-based authority) is immoral so I don't want to support it.



are you familiar with the book entitled "Battered into Submission,"
by James and Phyllis Alsdurf? I know about thanks to Salt and Light, a comp blog authored by Gerry Galacio. Galacio is a complementarian, but he uses the true story the book tells to warn comps against using complementarianism to justify spousal abuse.


I read it some time ago. I have no idea what point you are trying to make. You don't make any sense to me from beginning to end of this thread. First you say that the ESV is good because it is in the tradition of the KJV then you criticize the KJV of Matt. 5:9 with "children." Then you say that "children of Israel" is a special case, but you don't say how. Then you decry that term anyway. So you switch whatever you are trying to say so often that it no longer makes sense. Can you make up your mind? Why is it good to say "people of Israel" or Israelites, but not "people of God?"

Yes, I have read an enormous amount of literature on spousal abuse and they all agree that giving one gender a sense of special entitlement is dangerous. However, the leading cause of wife abuse among non-Christians is alcohol. And the leading cause of wife abuse among Christians is not alcohol. Do you get the picture?

There is just as much wife abuse among Christians, and they are not drunk when they abuse, they are in possession of their senses. So what supports their habit?

Yes, women can also be abusive, so no we don't teach that women should be in authority over men in church or men will go to hell.

Has anyone ever told you you will go to hell if you don't "submit?" It is a great aphrodisiac I can tell you.

However bad life is, gender-based authority can make it worse.



I'm not going to try to defend my translation preferences on this or this verse or with respect to this or that idiom any more than I already have. I refer you to Peter Kirk's comment with respect to translating uioi in a context-sensitive way. He explains matters better than I do. Though Peter and I don't agree on every case, I imagine, that is in the nature of the enterprise. As he points out, there is no perfect solution.

You are willing to cut KJV, RSV, NIV, REB, and NASB95 some slack, but not ESV. And you are clear as to why you at war with the ESV: you regard complementarianism, or at least the complementarianism of Wayne Grudem, as ontologically evil.

That's where I differ with you. Not on the issue of mutual submission: for me, it's not a myth: it's what I teach. Not on the ordination of women: I'm in favor it, and witness to the way the Holy Spirit makes use of it on a daily basis: I'm married to a woman pastor.

I differ with you insofar as you suggest that being a complementarian is some sort of deal breaker, a sign that someone has gone over to the dark side. It's not. I know plenty of complementarians who treat their spouses with more decency and respect than do plenty of egalitarians.

Plus, trying to convince complementarians that their views are unbiblical rarely succeeds. That's because complementarianism can appeal to scripture with a certain degree of plausibility, and has, when applied to the question of ordination for example, a very long tradition behind it.

It makes more sense to point out to egalitarians and complementarians alike that certain things are not acceptable, among them spousal abuse.

It makes more sense to build bridges rather than hurl invective. For example, in Madison while I was growing up, Christian conservatives and arch-feminists formed an alliance and put overt prostitution out of business. No more street walkers. That deal still holds, 35 years later. If things had been left in the hands of moderate folks, there would be still be street walkers.

If it were up to me, I would take a statement decrying spousal abuse like that made on Salt and Light, made by a complementarian, pass it around to prominent egalitarians and complementarians, and have them sign it. They will all sign it. Everyone: from Wayne (Grudem) to Wayne (Leman). They would probably all shell out $100 to have it made into a full page in any number of prominent places.


You are willing to cut KJV, RSV, NIV, REB, and NASB95 some slack, but not ESV.

Because of the deliberate way the ESV translates anthropos as "people" in some places and "men, yes, they mean males" in other places. The KJV, RSV, NIV and NASB 1995 all translate anthropos as "men" throughout and it must be taken as gender inclusive if women can become Christians.

There is a clear difference which you simply refuse to acknowledge. If anthropos is always translated as "men" and women are Christians too, then the word "men" must mean "men and women," but the ESV is explicit in that they use "people" when they mean "people" and "men" when they mean "men, the males." The ESV may be the first Bible to adopt such a strategy and they deliberately do not allow the reader to know that "men" in the Greek of 2 Tim. 2:2 is the same Greek word as "people" in 1 Tim. 2:1. They hide this but claim that their translation is transparent. Women are universally shocked when they see this. I have never had any woman say "Oh well," when they saw the Greek and the ESV translation of these passages and the preface for these verse. Packer just tried to deny his own preface when I asked him about this. the preface says that anthropos is translated as "people" if it means "people."

I am perfectly clear about the argument. If men is used throughout for anthropos, the translation is outdated but acceptable. If anthropos is translated as "people" for salvation and "men" for teaching roles, the translation is biased. How does this not make sense to you?

And you are clear as to why you at war with the ESV:

Yes I am completely clear on my reasons. This is why I taped my interview with Dr. Packer.

On uioi, I offer a counter argument. There is no perfect solution but if we have to comment that the text means adults or that the text means women also, I know which I would prefer. Somehow the Reformation managed to happen in spite of Luther's translation. Wonder of wonders.

I'm sorry but the way feminists have changed the law has made a huge difference. They didn't need the help of conservative Christians to make the world a safer place for me. I think there was a day when Christians made the world better, Christians like Catherine Booth. Some Christians make the world a darker place. I have lived too long in that world.



I will take it that you do not like ESV. Interesting - I thought that it was pretty good. So - which ONE version do you recommend? It seems to me that the study notes on ESV will be pretty good. Are there any other better notes out there?


Hi Chris,

For the Hebrew Bible, the translation I recommend is NJPSV. The Jewish Study Bible published by Oxford University Press contains it, as well as many helpful notes and supplementary material.

If you are looking for an English translation that is "essentially literal" - an approach to translation that has plusses but also minuses - ESV is an excellent choice, but so is NASB. Not quite as literal, but very fine, is the NET Bible - with a full set of notes, and a greater willlingness to accept text-critical reasoning. HCSB is also very good.

The advantage of ESV over NASB, HCSB, and the NET Bible is that ESV deviates from the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV tradition less often. For this reason, it is no surprise at all that so many congregations are adopting it.

I look forward to the ESV Study Bible, and will review it prominently when it appears. I would wish for an evangelical Study Bible that is more broadly based than the ESV Study Bible, but until such is published, the ESV Study Bible will naturally be the Study Bible of choice of many people.

ElShaddai Edwards

I would wish for an evangelical Study Bible that is more broadly based than the ESV Study Bible

Uh... what about the NIV Study Bible? I see it everywhere. Or did you mean an "essentially literal" evangelical Study Bible?


If I'm not mistaken, Elshaddai, the NIV Study Bible is over 20 years old. It is dated, and furthermore, doesn't hold a candle to the upcoming ESV Study Bible in terms of scholar-power. The NIV Study Bible is middle- to low-brow, the ESV Study Bible is high-brow.

I reiterate my wish for an evangelical Study Bible that is every bit as scholarly and high-brow as, for example, the Jewish Study Bible, and the SBL HarperCollins Study Bibles, but more broadly based than the ESV Study Bible. I would want a number of those who contributed to the ESV Study Bible as contributors, but many others as well.

ElShaddai Edwards

I'm sure you're correct, John. I've not look at the NIVSB - I was just responding to your "broad based evangelical study bible" wish...

However, along that topic - the subject of John Walton's work on Genesis in "The NIV Application Commentary" has come up on my blog, especially in consideration of Genesis 1 with respect to ANE cultural interpretation. Do you have any thoughts or insight on Walton?


So sorry to interrupt this exercise in dilettantism with facts.

(1) The NIV Study Bible is over 20 years old. The NIV Study Bible is 30 years old, and had a complete revision in 2002. It is currently undergoing yet another major revision and will appear in September. Folks, you could have figured that out by googling.

(2) The NIV Study Bible is middle- to low-brow, the ESV Study Bible is high-brow. Well, that's a fairly amazing claim, for a work that has not yet appeared. I do think it calls into question the objectivity of your promised "prominent review." Why keep us in suspense? Why not publish your review now, before you even see it? (For analogous commentary, please see here.)

(3) The advantage of ESV over NASB . . . is that ESV deviates from the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV tradition less often. This could have been easily checked using Logos. It is not true. The NASB is closer to KJV than the ESV. The revision path was

KJV -> RV -> ASV -> NASB
KJV -> RV -> ASV -> RSV -> ESV



I haven't read Walton on Genesis 1, so I can't speak to your question directly. I've blogged on Genesis 1 before, so my own views are public. A Genesis 1 blogathon would be very interesting. I would be glad to participate should you organize one.



I appreciate your knowledge and interest in arcane information about the NIV Study Bible. According to information at my disposal, it came out in 1985, so it is now 23 years old, not 30.

The "full revision" of which you speak is a nice publisher's blurb. Have you spot-checked the claim for accuracy? I did: the claim is false.

My characterization of the ESV Study Bible as a high-brow Study Bible is based on information already released, and familiarity with the research of a number of the scholars who are contributing. There is nothing amazing about my statement.

You are, of course, free to polemicize against ESV as much as you like; your tone is such that your words could easily be used later on to boost the ESV Study Bible's sales. You know the old Hollywood saw.

I concede your third point. But the fact is, countless English-speakers around the world grew up on RSV and that was their access to the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV tradition. I think you pointed out already that ESV differs from RSV just over 10% of the time. That is one very important reason ESV is well-liked in many circles: as opposed to NASB, as you do well to note, ESV is a revision of RSV, not ASV.

ElShaddai Edwards

If you get a moment, John, swing by and take a look at this post, which includes a link to audio of a Walton presentation on Genesis 1.

Essentially he's presenting the notion that the original context of Genesis 1 in ANE literature is of the creation of universal "functions", e.g. time, weather and vegetation, rather than material objects or "structures".

That God organized these functions out of purposeless chaos and then created the structures that fulfill those functions is Walton's claim to the uniqueness of Genesis with respect to other ANE creation accounts.

It's all new to me, so I'd welcome any insight you have along these lines.


I'm not going to defend the NIV Study Bible, because it is, in fact, mediocre. However, I did in fact check several books and there were substantial changes from the first version and the revised version. The claim is made that the 2008 revision will be 25% further revised -- but we will have to see.

My amazement is over the claim that you have seen enough information about the ESV Study Bible to judge it.

Have you more information than that released on the web site?

Here is what I saw: a single double page of notes to a portion of the fourth gospel, and a high-school style diagram of Solomon's temple. I also saw a list of individuals who certainly come from a homogeneous point of view (which is not necessarily bad) largely dominated by a small number of third-tier institutions such as Covenant Theological Seminary.

The two pages had colorful diagrams and maps (again, much like a high school textbook). The design reminded me much of Zondervan's Archaeological Study Bible, which I also consider mediocre.

Now, if I compare that line up to the line up of commentators to the New Oxford Annotated Study Bible or the HarperCollins Study Bible? As you will recall, these works have contributors from first tier institutions, such as institutions where you studied, John.

Moreover, your mentors, such as Fox, contributed to works such as those. Don't you feel there is a bit of a gap between them and a work by a talentless hack such as Grudem?

But I will wait to actually see the ESV Study Bible before forming a final impression. You are a true Calvinist, John, certain of your salvation of your reference books before they appear.

Now, to be sure, the NOAB and H-C SB are middle-brow -- they are commonly used in undergraduate classes. I would like to make a wager with you John. Let's make a wager on whether the NOAB or H-C SB are used or the ESV Study Bible is used at places such as:

Harvard University
University of Chicago
Stanford University
Princeton University
UC Berkeley
Yale University
Duke University

Unless of course, you feel that these are not real centers of excellence in teaching and scholarship, and the real work is going on at Covenant Theological Seminary.



I'll take a look and get back to you.


as usual, despite all the fireworks, we agree on most points. Yes, the NIV Study Bible is mediocre. Yes, you might be right that the ESV Study Bible will fall into the same category. I think otherwise because I know the work of some of the contributors very well. We shall see; I look forward to reviewing the work when it comes out.

Yes, I agree completely that the ESV Study Bible would be a poor choice for a prescribed text in an Intro to Bible course at the institutions you mention. The approach is too sectarian. It wouldn't make sense to presribe ArtScroll publications either.

It's too bad that the quality of both the Oxford Annotated and the HarperCollins Study Bibles has not improved with more recent editions, or only spottily. In some cases, a deterioration in quality is evident. I'm pretty sure you agree with this as well.

So I can't accept your wager as you frame it. But I may choose to compare the ESV Study Bible notes, and those of whatever study Bibles Harvard, Yale, and Duke require, across a couple of select passages. My prediction: I won't have trouble finding passages in which the ESV Study Bible notes are as good or better than the ones provided in the others. I will also find plenty of passages in which the opposite is the case.


That's the most sensible thing you've said in this entire, unfortunate thread. I think it is fine to be excited about the contributors -- although I am also certain you can understand how others might not share your enthusiasm.

I think you have received so much criticism from Suzanne and I on the ESV that you have retreated to a position of simply lashing out rather than dealing intellectually with the arguments. In other words, you've gone native, John.

Frankly, I would be more excited if the ESV contributors, rather than claiming to produce a general study Bible, instead said that they were producing a theological study Bible reflecting a particular point of view. As an example, Grudem is not known as a Biblical scholar. (I also think he is mediocre as a theologian, but he at least has a following in that field.) As I discuss below, Grudem does not even know Greek.

On the H-C SB and NOAB

I do not fully agree with your theory of the deterioration of the H-C SB and the NOAB. I have actually spent many hours pouring over different editions.

(Why? Because I became interested in a certain set of pedagogical questions. I was not so interested in what those works had to say as how they said it. This is something I am pursuing in my non-pseudonym life, and is not relevant to the conclusions I reached.)

The H-C SB, 2nd edition was a limited revision (with the notable exception of the annotations to Genesis). The volume suffered though because of poor production quality (paper, map image quality, binding, typesetting), sloppy editing, and quite a bit of redundancy.

The NOAB 3rd edition in contrast, is largely a completely different work than earlier edition. It was a bit deceptive of Oxford to market it under the same name. I have used both editions, and they are good in different ways.

The Oxford Jewish Study Bible, which you like so much, is good for a completely different set of reasons. It is more focused, is specific to a particular theological view, and has a smaller base text, so annotations are longer and the supplementary material is better. In my opinion, the supplementary material (separate from the NJPS text) is far better than the actual translation itself. But still, the JSB still draws primarily from faculty at mainstream institutions, and includes a number of highly respected individuals (e.g., former SBL presidents).

On ArtScroll

Now, I need to digress -- because you have now taken quite a few gratuitous swipes at ArtScroll.
I have not spent energy defending ArtScroll, and I frankly, do not recommend it as a translation at all for Biblical works. I don't know of anyone who rates ArtScroll's Biblical translations highly. Those who praise ArtScroll praise it for its connection with classical Jewish thought (which it does present) and its Talmudic translations (which are, in fact, a relatively straightforward presentation of the typical "yeshiva" world view.) But, ArtScroll is considered rather basic -- anyone at a reasonable yeshiva would be forbidden from using ArtScroll works. In fact, using any English works in yeshiva is forbidden. Are there any all Greek Protestant high-schools in the United States? How about undergraduate schools? How about seminaries?

This brings me to another point. In Judaism, Hebrew (and Aramaic) have priority. One may perhaps explain a point in English or Yiddish, but the reading is done in Hebrew. ArtScroll's work are almost all bilingual. In contrast, the only ESV-Greek edition that I have seen is a Reverse Interlinear that reorders Greek words so they are in (get this!) English order. Now maybe you think that represents "cutting edge scholarship" which is admirable for Protestant scholarship. I think it is a huge step backwards.

Suzanne has more than adequately documented that Grudem, the general editor of the ESV, does not know Greek. I am sure that you, John, know Greek better than he does. (I'm pretty sure he isn't a Hebrew scholar either.) Is this someone who should be editing a major "academic" study Bible?

Indeed, there is a huge difference between Jewish studies and Protestant studies at US universities. Most students in Jewish studies -- even at secular, mainstream institutions, know at least a fair amount of Hebrew when they enroll as first-year undergraduates.

In contrast, it seems to me that most Protestants try to learn Greek in a single year of seminary. You've decried this in the past.

So, if you ask, are Crossway's publications (such as the Literary Study Bible that you "fisked") comprable to ArtScroll's? Well, my answer is this -- no matter what you think of ArtScroll, at least they are driven by the Hebrew (or Aramaic). And least ArtScroll's publicaitons are bilingual. I haven't seen any crap (and yes, I think that is a right word to use in the context) like the Reverse Interlinear from ArtScroll.

In fact, ArtScroll publications are used in a number of secular American universities for introduction to study of Talmud. But the truth is, ArtScroll is not at academic in the conventional sense. ArtScroll doesn't put a web page claiming that "so-and-so" has a Ph.D. from Harvard and "so-and-so" has a Ph.D. from Cambridge. Rather, ArtScroll draws on leaders from a completely different world. So, I do think ArtScroll is honestly marketed.

Desiderata for "high-brow" Study Bibles

Now, if you want to claim the ESV Study Bible is "high-brow" (your words) then I expect (a) it should deal at a deep level with the Greek and Hebrew -- a diglot would really be most appropriate -- with original languages receiving priority; and (b) should have some of the world's best experts contributing; and (c) should be appropriate for study in advanced undergraduate or first year graduate classes. An example of what I am thinking of is the JPS Bible/Torah Commentary series (which I know you use). That's a high-brow work. While they are not diglots, I also think that some (but not all) of the Anchor Bible, Hermeneia, or International Critical Commentary series. Some people claim that the Word Biblical Commentary series is also as good -- I think that is a notch below, but at least it is a serious work.

Now, you may claim I am being elitist, but you are also elitist when you bring "brow-ratings" into it. I am interested in works people like you and I can learn from -- I really can't get excited about people who are not even willing to make the effort to even try to deal with original languages.

In contrast, I am sorry to say it, but, the ESV Study Bible looks like a wildly sectarian work, and it looks more like a colorful magazine or high school textbook. And, we haven't seen it yet. So, that's why I say: let's wait and see it before judging it. But, I hope my thoughts set out a desiderata for a set of works appropriate for deep study.

Meanwhile, I say, don't follow the hype. Instead of being sheep, lead around by the nose by what is obviously an advertising web page, let's actually wait and read the book.


As an example of how out-of-control the hype on the ESV Study Bible is -- consider the following -- there are dozens of blog posts praising the excellent paper on this edition. Finally, Mark Bertrand posted some photos of the actual mock-up of the Bible. You know what? Those photos showed pages with terrible bleed-through. So, dozens of people were praising an objectively measurable quality.

But photos showed a different story altogether. And all of those people could have saved themselves from telling a fib if they had just bothered to wait a few months and see how the book really looked.

Now, I don't suggest judging books primarily on physical qualities. My point, again, is the hype is out-of-control.

And, John, I think you would especially be particularly sensitive to this point: the exact same pattern happened with the ESV Literary Study Bible -- and I know you think little of that.


֡I think very highly of ArtScroll, actually. But, just as no one would think of using a Bible translation of ArtScroll in a secular university classroom, no one would think of using the ESV Study Bible, or countless other study bibles I can think of, some of them excellent in their own way (the Renovare study Bible, for example), outside of the religious tradition for which they are intended.

So I just responded in kind: you made the gratuitous assumption that the ESV Study Bible was to be judged as if it were designed to be used in an intro to Bible course at Harvard. I made the gratuitous assumption that an ArtScroll publication might be also so designed. It's your premise, Iyov, that is all wet.

You go on to define high brow in a way I did not intend, but I appreciate your desiderata very much. Perhaps you would be surprised to find out how many of the ESV Study Bible contributors have produced high brow scholarship at precisely the level you praise.



I did look at the general editor. He's not someone I respect. I won't embarrass you by asking if you think he is an intellectual leader in Biblical studies.

As I said, ArtScroll is designed for a limited community. But no one blogs about "ArtScroll's translation is the best way to interpret Isaiah." No one even says their publications are "high-brow" (I can assure you, any ultra-religious rabbi will assure you of the opposite -- they are for BEGINNERS.) No one blogs and says "I know this is going to be great, even though it hasn't been released yet." And, as I mentioned, at least ArtScroll includes Hebrew. And ArtScroll includes page references to the work of classic Jewish works, such as the Talmud, the medieval commentators, and the greats of the 19th century.

Will there be even be a single sentence of greater than five words of Greek (or Hebrew) in the ESV Study Bible? I'm willing to wager not. Will the ESV Study Bible include page references to the Apostolic Fathers, to Augustine, to Luther, to Calvin, to Barth? Again, I'm willing to make a wager not.

I suspect that the ESV will be typical of Protestant educational materials -- basically, they aim low. Really low.

If you want to recommend the ESV Study Bible for high school students, then I think that is appropriate although I think you would be advised first to (a) wait until you get the book before publishing a gushing review of it; and (b) recommend that bright students spend their time learning Greek rather than reading a study Bible edited by a man who knows neither Greek nor Hebrew.

But I'm still disappointed. You talk such a good game about learning original languages. But in the end, you embrace a work that looks to fall exactly into the category of mediocrity that you criticize. And you extravagantly praise a translation, which, I suspect, you have not bothered to read in full.


By the way, I would be happy to be proven wrong about my claims that traditional Christian sources won't be quoted, or that the work will seriously engage the original languages.

I did note that in the sample pages provided, there was a mention of Colwell's rule (not deep, but it was there) in reference to John 1:1, and there was a reference to Josephus. Again, not exactly what I would hope for in engaging tradition. Still, I am happy to reconsider my comments when I actually see the book. My point, once again, is that it is premature to judge the book before it appears.

Finally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a book for beginners to Biblical studies, or a book for high school students passionate about learning Biblical studies. However, there are quite a few strong works in that category.


Back-tracking so quickly, Iyov? Perhaps it was the name of the general editor that predisposed you negatively toward the work itself.

If my one-paragraph non-review of the ESV study Bible got you going this much, wait until I actually review it when it comes out. Perhaps your predictions will prove accurate; if so, I will be sorely disappointed, and it will show.


Since your praise of the work is based solely on the names associated with it, you could hardly blame those who look at the same names and reach opposite conclusions. But you are right -- just because the general editor knows neither Greek nor Hebrew does not necessarily mean that the study Bible will be insipid. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

If there is a single comment in which I have not said "wait until it comes out" then I have certainly misrepresented my view.

I also hope you will read at least a significant portion (preferably all) of the Bible before you post your review. Your review of the ESV, based on how much it agreed with on the 12 lines discussed n Barre's monograph, was certainly an extrapolation extraordinary.


I would like to add that I am familiar with many of the names on the contributors page and I have every expectation that the contributions of some of these contributors will be excellent.

However, that does not negate the fact that the general editor is not adequately familiar with either Greek or Hebrew to discriminate between what is acceptable scholarship and what is not.

I am not aware of making a blanket statement against this publication. What I did say was that Bruce Ware, one of the contributors, has this to say about women,

"Man is the image of God directly, woman is the image of God only through the man… Because man was created by God in His image first, man alone was created in a direct and unmediated fashion as the image of God, manifesting then the glory of God in man, that is male man…"

He also writes, referring to 1 Peter 3,

while she(the wife) is fully equal in essence (3:7b), she likewise is constitutionally different from him as a woman (3:7a),


"Male and female were created by God as equal in dignity, value, essence and human nature, but also distinct in role whereby the male was given the responsibility of loving authority over the female, and the female was to offer willing, glad-hearted and submissive assistance to the man. Gen. 1:26-27 makes clear that male and female are equally created as God's image, and so are, by God's created design, equally and fully human. But, as Gen. 2 bears out (as seen in its own context and as understood by Paul in 1 Cor. 11 and 1 Tim. 2), their humanity would find expression differently, in a relationship of complementarity, with the female functioning in a submissive role under the leadership and authority of the male."

What concerns me even more is this,

"And the substitutionary atonement was carried out by one who submitted freely to the will of His Father, thus demonstrating the joy and beauty both of authority (the Father who sent) and submission (the Son who obeyed)."

This is not the only time that we find complementarians comparing the husband to the "father who sends" and the wife to "the son" who dies on the cross. This comparison is rather frequent as a matter of fact.

Note that the joy and beauty of authority is reserved for men. Now let me quote from a thread I read elsewhere very recently,

"One thing that Chuck Swindoll said, which I believe should be the foundation for these discussions, is that submission is part of the christian life. Jesus submitted to the Father, Jesus submitted to the humiliation of the cross."

Now the context for this comment was that women should "submit more" than men. I think men need to reflect that scholarship which equates the role of women to Christ on the cross and the role of men to the father in heaven should not be encouraged. It runs directly counter to the teaching that the husband, in some sense, has the role of Christ and the wife, in some sense, has the role of the church.


On the conclusions of the report that you mentioned on authentein, I will respond soon, probably later this evening. There is no evidence that authentein means "to have/exercize authority" as in the ESV, and it pains me to realize that this issue has not been given greater attention.

I would like to repeat, yes, some of the contributors have impeccable qualifications, and, others do not.



you are free to speak your mind on authentein as you please here. I am not in the habit of censoring comments. But I will be sorely disappointed if you continue to single out ESV for criticism on this detail and others when you might just as easily place ESV's translation in perspective, as one among many translations that render in a certain way. Furthermore, I already pointed out why ESV in this passage is superior to TNIV. You thanked me for the analysis then, but now seem intent on ignoring it.

A whole range of translations render 'have/exercise authority over' in 1 Tim 2:12. Examples on my shelf include NCV, NASB, NIV, NJKV, NLT, ESV, NRSV, NAB, NJB, and HCSB. Criticize one, you must criticize them all.

My deeper objection to your approach is the way in which you overlook the probable sense of 1 Tim 2:12 quite apart from the question of the correct rendering of authentein. The new ZB (2007) catches it well, I think:

"Zu lehren gestatte ich einer Frau nicht, ebenso wenig ueber einen Mann zu bestimmen."

"I do not permit a woman to teach, even less to exercise authority over a man."

This is the best translation I have yet seen of this verse, though I will, for the sake of argument at least, grant that it might be improved still further if its last words read "even less to domineer over a man." The new ZB is a careful, literal translation, though/and - take your pick - it translates adelphoi with "brothers and sisters" where appropriate. The translation was produced by people who belong to a church which ordains women and is PC in every way. The church approved the translation, and its translation of this passage has not, so far as I know, caused any controversy whatsoever. Why?

It has to do with having a healthy hermeneutic whereby statements made in an occasional letter reflecting a specific situation need not be considered binding for all times and places. For the same reason, people with a healthy hermeneutic may think it fine for women to wear head-scarves in worship if conscience so dictates, but will not consider someone who doesn't to be out of line.

Or perhaps I am wrong about that. Perhaps 1 Tim 2:12 is to be understood as binding for all times and places but, nonetheless, circumscribed in terms of its force to the context of worship as the context itself suggests. This is how the passage is interpreted and applied in many RC dioceses today, in a number of Lutheran denominations, etc.

My point is that the real question is a hermeneutical one, not a translation issue. You solve absolutely nothing by endorsing TNIV 1 Tim 2:12 over against translations like NRSV and the new ZB. But at least ESV and NRSV get the paragraphing right, whereas TNIV does not. The new ZB puts a title over all of 1 Tim 2:8-15: "Manner und Frauen in Gottesdienst." "Men and Women in Worship." The title is entirely appropriate.



I have responded to the LCMS authentein report here.



As Iyov has pointed out, you put a great deal of emphasis on learning the original languages. So I have been baffled at your reluctance to publicly recognize that my research on aner, kephale, adelphoi, anthropos, and authentein is accurate. Surely you want to promote accuracy.

Can you not appreciate that part of my frustration is that so few people share my focus for detail? It seems to be a failing but one which I do not wish to part with.



Before I could pronounce myself on the accuracy of your word studies, I would have to plow through a lot of primary data in a field in which I have no particular competence. All I have are hunches, but since you insist on having my opinion, not that of, say, Al Pietersma, whose opinion actually matters - here goes.

You are right that aner is sometimes used (like ish in Hebrew) to mean an individual as of either gender; thus, each case must be examined on its own merits. The situation is similar with anthropos and adelphoi. Since 'man' and 'brothers' in English can also refer to an individual / individuals regardless of gender, however, this is mostly an argument about style and now, ideology. For every person who says that we MUST render adelphoi with 'brothers and sisters,' there is someone else who says we must NOT - that would be an unnecessary concession to the language police - but continue to understand 'brothers' as inclusive (as my congregation does when the NIV is read during worship).

As far as kephale and authentein are concerned, it seems to me that you demonstrate weaknesses in the arguments of others, but overstate your own case. Furthermore, your modus operandi will be judged suspect by many since you never point out clear cases in which Paul is, from the viewpoint of our age, intolerably patriarchal in his thinking. If you don't do that, one cannot help suspecting that you cannot admit the obvious.

But that's just me. Publish your research. Let it become a part of the larger academic discourse.


Since 'man' and 'brothers' in English can also refer to an individual / individuals regardless of gender, however, this is mostly an argument about style and now, ideology.


I shall from now on introduce to others Electra and Orestes as two brothers. Perhaps we could also meet the Osmond brothers, Donnie and Marie? Did you know that Shirley MacLaine was Warren Beatty's brother?

Clearly, if I say that we should call these people brothers and sisters, that would make me the language police and not an ESL teacher.

I don't know what to say. We don't share a common view of language?

You possibly don't have the expertise to comment on kephale and authentein. You don't find errors but you can't agree either.

You think that I can't know about authentein and kephale because I haven't taken the time to point out where Paul is patriarchal!!!

You think that just because I agree with Linda Belleville and Richard Cervin this is PC. Since you claim that I overstate my case, please give even one example of error of fact. It all sounds like you are not interacting with facts at all. You are not interested n facts.



I imagine you wish the inclusive language question could be decided by a jury of peers of your choice, but that is not how language works. Expressions like "brothers' and "man' continue to circulate widely in an inclusive sense. Do you deny this?

I remain convinced that it is important that you point out instances in which Paul teaches a version of male authority. It's a question of intellectual honesty.



Upon further reflection, I think the main reason we continue to talk past each other is that we tailor our discourse according to diverse expectations. It may seem strange to you that I ask you for proof that you are able to historicize Paul. But that is what scholars expect from other scholars in the field.

I've been treating you as if you want to be treated as a scholar. But maybe I should simply accept your words as expressive of your stance in the comp-egal debate. Scholars also engage in this debate - don't get me wrong, but for me and in accordance with my training, it's important to do exegesis first, and theology second. Both sides of that debate, after all, are not interested in historicizing Paul or pointing out the vastly different cultural presuppositions that separate us from Paul. Both sides tend to ignore that aspect, and look to Paul and other parts of the NT for prooftexts in favor of their positions. Both sides of course want to proof-text in a responsible manner. But the task of exegesis in the strict sense must be kept distinct from this. It's another realm of discourse.

The NT is not my research focus; the most recent intro to the NT on my shelf is that of Raymond Brown (ABRL; New York: Doubleday, 1997).
I don't know what you use; I assume you are more up-to-date. Brown is used in secular universities like the UW-Madison for intro to NT courses because, notwithstanding the nihil obstat it bears, it is a thoroughly critical NT introduction. Brown's research has often led to him coming to conclusions that cast some doubt on official church teaching.

Here is an example of the kind of conclusion critical scholars come to, irrespective of their own position on the issues themselves:

Quoting Jouette Bassler, Brown says that some of the women the author of 1 Timothy had in mind "may have been insisting on greater freedom of expression. They would also have been the target of the more general corrections in 1 Tim 2:11-15 that want women to be submissive and, since they are already deceived, forbidden to teach men." (p. 659).

Note that Brown says clearly that women are forbidden to teach men in this passage. That's not a nice thing to say, but he says it, because that's what the text says. This is what I mean by intellectual honesty.

Later, he goes on to argue that "Thus, not women in general but women who became the spokespersons of the error to which thy had been enticed would have been the object of the prohibition of teaching and holding authority (2:12)" (p. 661). I do not find this argument of his convincing, but in any case, he is careful to point out in a footnote on the same page that "the expressions of the Pastorals (especially, for instance, 2 Tim 3:6-7) can be offensive and need to be qualified by an emphasis on the social situations of the time that affected the writer's outlook."

Note that Brown writes in a confessional mode here ("need to be"): in so doing, he goes beyond the task of critical exegesis per se, but his confession allows him to historicize Paul. Surely there are dangers in doing so. But there are dangers in treating Paul ahistorically as well.

So, my question to you is:

let's say the correct interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12 is: "I do not permit a woman to teach, even less, to domineer over a man."

Do you think the non-permission extends to women in general, or a subset thereof? In what contexts is the non-permission to apply?

These, I submit, are the important exegetical questions, not whether authentein means "exercise authority" or 'domineer" in this passage.



I will tell you honestly that I have never lived in a group where "brothers" was used inclusively. I will also say that I read a lot of Greek before reading the NT in Greek. One way to say "brother and sister" is adelphoi. It is not possible in English. You keep saying that it is. I am sorry but if you know of any brother and sister pair in English who call themselves "brothers" please let me know. If you know a group of women who call themselves "men," let me know. I don't know why you can't just admit a fact. Women may be "man" but they are not "men." And they are not "men" in the ESV either.

And do you really think that domineer and "exercise governing authority" mean the same thing? I read what other people say about this passage but very few people have actually looked at the evidence first hand. I have and Al Wolters has. He is a complementarian. We agree. The evidence is not very useful. I am happy to discuss the hermeneutics after the facts concerning the data are recognized. I have posted some of it on my blog, the rest is available online. Once the linguistic facts are agreed on then it would be time for the next step.

I simply do not want to decide on an interpretation before the linguistic facts. Grudem agrees that the hermeneutic is different if the word means "domineer" and not "have authority" and he makes this part of his vocal platform against the TNIV.

You know it would be a lot simpler, John, if you told me that you simply are not interested.

However, you seem to be saying that you have no idea what I am talking about, but you think that I am wrong AND you are also not interested.

So, let's leave it. Sorry to drag you away from your Hebrew. I realize that Greek is not really an interest of yours.


Your strength, Suzanne, is your focus on detail.

But I think you have chosen exactly the wrong detail on which to agree with Grudem.

Though I find the way you pose exegetical questions cramped and confining for reasons I have already made clear - it's a hermeneutical issue - I am interested in the details and the larger interpretive issues, and I will return to them in future posts.

But that is enough for now.



I don't agree with Grudem on the hermeneutic. I agree with him that word meaning is a valid unit of study.

You keep going back to the hermeneutic. I would be delighted to discuss hermeneutic with you once word level issues had received their due attention.

On my blog you write,

"impeccable post" but here you say that I overstate my case. You either believe or you don't believe that there are word level issues that need to be addressed.

It is time to leave this now. Maybe, on reflection, later you will be more interested in how a misunderstanding of Erasmus 1516 Latin translation of 1 Tim. 2:12 usurpare authoritatem gave rise to the sequence "to use/ have / exercise/ usurp authority."

But what did Erasmus know? He had no special access to NT vocbulary. We should go back to the debates between Jerome and Augustine, was the Vulgate really a good translation of the manuscripts Jerome had access to?

Look at this,

Gen. 3:16

mulieri quoque dixit multiplicabo aerumnas tuas et conceptus tuos in dolore paries filios et sub viri potestate eris et ipse dominabitur tui

1 Tim 2:12

docere autem mulieri non permitto neque dominari in virum sed esse in silentio

I think we are talking past each other because my interest is the history of biblical interpretation, that is, how these verses have been interpreted in the past, and yours is how do we interpret them now.

But I insist that my study comes first, and lays groundwork. On the one hand, I regret that few others others share my interest and like to leap straight into what appears to me to be a discussion of their ignorance, on the other hand, if you are arriving at the same conclusion, women function as equals, maybe it doesn't matter.

I am disappointed because few people are interested in digging deeper.

Justin Richter


This is an honest question. How do you see 1 Peter 2 and 3 from an egalitarian point of view? The whole line of thought develops the theme of subjection (ὑποτάσσω) to authority. It seems as if women are supposed to be subject to their husbands even though the reverse order is not explicitly mentioned (Although they are co-equally heirs in Christ). I am curious to hear your view on it. Thanks.


Clearly this is about submission to human institutions. So regardless of Eden, marriage is a relationship shaped by culture, in that sense a human institution.

There are several different submissions and they are explained as submission to someone in a position of power.

1. citizens to governors
2. slaves to masters
3. as Christ dies on the cross
4. Likewise wives to husbands

The theme is that we suffer greatly when we are in a position of submission to power. But we must endure this suffering because Christ also suffered.

I know for certain that some women remain in abusive marriages for some time because they want to do the right thing. So how do they deal psychologically with the certainty of being hit. That is what this is about.

How does the citizen, slave and wife deal with violent injustice? Peter says to submit. Many Christians have done so over the centuries.

However, Luther rebelled and won freedom from authoritarian church leaders, writing that elders hold authority on behalf of and not over.

Cromwell and those of the Parliament in England slowly won the right to participatory government.

The US revolted against England. They then set up government by the people and for the people.

Slaves eventually were emancipated.

In each case, the main players went against the teaching of 1 Peter to submit to injustice. How do Christians rationalize this? I do not see the male authority teachers giving up the right to vote, ask to return to the British crown, and remove parliament. No, I don't.

So, if men want participatory government for themselves, why on earth, if they love their wives, would they put their wife under something which they do not want.

Doesn't the gospel say to love your neighbour as yourself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don't you think? Don't women deserve a normal life like men have, of being able to make decisions and participate as an equal in decision-making?

Why should a woman's life be like Christ on the cross, but men have improved their lot in life? I know John would say - but not by much - but men are no longer under the unchecked and arbitrary power of another, 24/7. Well, maybe some are, but we don't preach this in church.


Concerning Iyov's comment:

"Will there be even be a single sentence of greater than five words of Greek (or Hebrew) in the ESV Study Bible? I'm willing to wager not."

I think that you misunderstand the purpose and audience of the ESV Study Bible. And to compare it with the JPS commentaries does not make much sense either (if I understand you correctly).

I have been using the New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV) for quite some time and I do not remember to have seen a sentence longer than 5 words in any language other than English...and I think that most of their comments are fairly mediocre (of course - some books are better than others). And I believe that this is one of those Study Bibles that you may consider fit for Harvard, Stanford etc. Am I right?


P.S. John - thanks for your answer. I do believe that the ESV is pretty good, and I am more interested now to take a look at the NJPS Study Bible. Are they offering a new translation too, or is it the same JPS translation?

I am asking because personally I am not that impressed by the JPS translation, though I do expect the notes to be pretty good (obviously from a Jewish persepective just as the the ESV will be from a Protestant [reformed?] one).


And I believe that this is one of those Study Bibles that you may consider fit for Harvard, Stanford etc. Am I right?

No, I said it was middlebrow, and not for serious study, but suitable for beginners. John had claimed the ESV Study Bible would be highbrow, but we quickly determined that our calibration was different on these matters.

Still, the ESV, with its colorful illustrations and simple explanations, reminds me of a high-school textbook. I'll need to wait and see to find out what level it is actually on.


I quite reading at about half the comments. I know I'm late to this conversation but I hope someone will think about this: the Hebrew of the Bible specifically does talk to "sons" (male); just as does the Greek; when one reads "brothers" in the NT it's the men; in Greek the word underlying "brothers" is NEVER used of "brothers and sisters"; there's one conjugation that is one example that *might* refer to both...however in every case found in ancient Greek literature (no, I'm not kidding, EVERY) whenever "sisters" were meant to be included the Greek says "brothers and sisters" not "brothers" inclusive.

Sorry to bust bubbles. "Brothers and sisters", or "siblings", or just misleading, wrong, wishful thinking: unfortunately the Bible seems a bit uninterested in accomodating modernist imputations of what it should say founded upon preferences of rebellious polite society.

I'm now sick of the opinion-fest here...I prefer real scholarship; something which, though we probably don't agree on everything, I at least see this blogger actually engage in; his commentators, however, I'm not unsure of.

No offense; next time, however, careful about pushing ideas from others languages onto the biblical ones; adelphoi isn't the spanish "hijos", or the german "kinder"; suppose you unimpute the connotations of contemporary European language and look into the Bible's roots...and you'll realize that.

Then perhaps you'll quite libeling the editors of Bibles who know better than to meddle with its text to accommodate scoffers; haven't you ever read the various threats actually contained therein? If you're a believer I'd expect you'd take God seriously on those.


Well, Brad, your conclusatory statements show your ignorance of original languages res ipsa loquitur. However, I will point out that you certainly do not want to use the ESV, which does not hold that

in every case found in ancient Greek literature (no, I'm not kidding, EVERY) whenever "sisters" were meant to be included the Greek says "brothers and sisters" not "brothers" inclusive.

Indeed, if you would simply bother to read any ancient Greek literature (you can start with the Bible, or the references in LSJ) you might be in a position to speak of scholarship. In the meanwhile, may I suggest that you learn the spelling and grammar of English before you re-commence your unfounded manifesto on Greek and Hebrew grammar?


There was a line of theoi adelphoi, brother and sister rulers. Perhaps this helps.



you are right that we should not expect the Bible to conform to modern expectations but you are wrong - completely wrong - about how and when Hebrew and Greek are inclusive / exclusive with respect to gender. I would offer helpful bibliography if it interests you. But first, how much Hebrew and Greek do you know?


I'm no specialist in these languages, just a learning fellow; and I would love the bibliography; I know of the sense of "adelphoi" being used to refer to siblings like "they are brother and sister", however beyond that I know of only the distinctions; and even in the NT, for instance, Jesus even uses "adelphous eh adelphas" when referring to both distinctively; also kingly peruse the LXX forms, Job 42:11, etc.; any time "adelphoi" is neutral in any sense of the word, it is indicated by context (and not just by a general audience); thus I do assert that it is not inclusive in itself, but with more qualification than before, and for being too severely terse I apologize: in the instances of the NT adelphoi is not, accordingly as other examples in Greek of context indicating any inclusiveness, "indicted" as being inclusive; I'm aware of the sophisticate linguistic arguments, though not averse to seeing them.

I'm also unaware with waht particulars Iyov holds as problematic regarding informal grammar over the internet; and if it is merely a question of unstylish, non colloquial usage, remember the medium, res ipsa loquitur; consider too that we don't all have the same origins or tastes.

As to the ESV, I'm aware of the [improper] note, Iyon: and I'm also wholly aware also of Jewish preference to specifically address the males, if not kick-out the females altogether: whereas Paul specifically allowed the females to sit quietly and learn, but not even for them to speak; this suggests that his addresses to "brothers" is not inclusive, but rather quite contrary to modern sentiments. Res...

And forgive me if the above seems like a manifesto: Amantes sunt amentes.



I think for starters you need to realize that unless you know the languages in question, and you know them well, you are not in a position to fully understand a discussion on these matters.

With that proviso, you might begin with Hebrew, and with the Torah. Google "David E. S. Stein selected publications," and look at the documentation he provides with respect to the revisions made for the Contemporary Torah. You will learn a lot about many things in the process. I will then be happy to answer specific questions that may arise.

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  • Gentle Wisdom
    A fearless take on issues roiling Christendom today, by Peter Kirk, a Bible translator
  • Giluy Milta B‘alma
    by Ezra Chwat and Avraham David of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem
  • He is Sufficient
    insightful comment on Bible translations, eschatology, and more, by Elshaddai Edwards
  • Higgaion
    by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
  • Idle Musings of a Bookseller
    by James Spinti of Eisenbrauns
  • if i were a bell, i'd ring
    Tim Ricchiuiti’s place
  • Imaginary Grace
    Smooth, witty commentary by Angela Erisman (archive). Angela Erisman is a member of the theology faculty at Xavier University
  • James' Thoughts and Musings
    by James Pate, a doctoral student at HUC-JIR Cincinnati
  • Jewish Philosophy Place
    by Zachary (Zak) Braiterman, who teaches modern Jewish thought and philosophy in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University
  • kata ta biblia
    by Patrick George McCollough, M. Div. student, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA
  • Ketuvim
    Learned reflection from the keyboard of Jim Getz
  • Kilbabo
    Ben Johnson’s insightful blog
  • Kruse Kronicle - contemplating the intersection of work, the global economy, and Christian mission
    top quality content brought to readers by Michael W. Kruse
  • Larry Hurtado's blog
    emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
  • Law, Prophets, and Writings
    thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
  • Lingamish
    delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
  • Looney Fundamentalist
    a scientist who loves off-putting labels
  • Menachem Mendel
    A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
  • mu-pàd-da
    scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
  • Narrative and Ontology
    Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
  • New Epistles
    by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
  • NT Weblog
    Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
  • Observatório Bíblico
    wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
  • Observatório Bíblico
    Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
  • Occasional Publications
    excellent blogging by Daniel Driver, Brevard Childs' scholar extraordinaire
  • old testament passion
    Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog
    A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
  • On the Main Line
    Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
  • p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come
    seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
  • PaleoJudaica
    by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
  • Pastoral Epistles
    by Rick Brannan and friends, a conceptually unique Bible blog
  • Pen and Parchment
    Michael Patton and company don't just think outside the box. They are tearing down its walls.
  • Pisteuomen
    by Michael Halcomb, pastor-scholar from the Bluegrass State
  • Pseudo-Polymath
    by Mark Olson, an Orthodox view on things
  • Purging my soul . . . one blog at a time
    great theoblog by Sam Nunnally
  • Qumranica
    weblog for a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, taught by James R. Davila (archive)
  • Ralph the Sacred River
    by Edward Cook, a superb Aramaist
  • Random Bloggings
    by Calvin Park, M. Div. student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton MA
  • Resident aliens
    reflections of one not at home in this world
  • Revelation is Real
    Strong-minded comment from Tony Siew, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, Singapore
  • Ricoblog
    by Rick Brannan, it's the baby pictures I like the most
  • Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
    Nick Norelli's fabulous blog on Bible and theology
  • SansBlogue
    by Tim Bulkeley, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College (New Zealand). His Hypertext Commentary on Amos is an interesting experiment
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages
    texts and files to help people learn some ancient languages in self study, by Mike Heiser
  • Midrash, etc.
    A fine Hebrew-to-English blog on Midrash, by Carl Kinbar, Director of the New School for Jewish Studies and a facultm member at MJTI School of Jewish Studies.
  • Phil Lembo what I'm thinking
    a recovering lawyer, now in IT, with a passion for a faith worth living
  • Roses and Razorwire
    a top-notch Levantine archaeology blog, by Owen Chesnut, a doctoral student at Andrews University (MI)
  • Scripture & Theology
    a communal weblog dedicated to the intersection of biblical interpretation and the articulation of church doctrine, by Daniel Driver, Phil Sumpter, and others
  • Scripture Zealot
    by Jeff Contrast
  • Serving the Word
    incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Singing in the Reign
    NT blog by Michael Barber (JP University) and Brad Pitre (Our Lady Holy Cross)
  • Stay Curious
    excellent comment on Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language topics, by Karyn Traphagen, graduate, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA (archive)
  • Sufficiency
    A personal take on the faith delivered to the saints, by Bob MacDonald, whose parallel blog on the Psalms in Hebrew is a colorful and innovative experiment
  • The Sundry Times
    Gary Zimmerli's place, with comment on Bible translations and church renewal
  • Sunestauromai: living the crucified life
    by a scholar-pastor based in the Grand Canyon National Park
  • ta biblia
    blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
  • Targuman
    by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
  • Targuman
    on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
  • The Biblia Hebraica Blog
    a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • The Forbidden Gospels Blog
    by April DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
  • The Naked Bible
    by Mike Heiser, academic editor at Logos Bible Software
  • The Reformed Reader
    by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The Sacred Page
    a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
  • The Talmud Blog
    a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
  • Theological German
    a site for reading and discussing theological German, by Mark Alter
  • theoutwardquest
    seeking spirituality as an outward, not an inward quest, by David Corder
  • This Lamp
    Incisive comment on Bible translations in the archives, by Rick Mansfield
  • Thoughts on Antiquity
    By Chris Weimer and friends, posts of interest on ancient Greek and Roman topics (archive). Chris is a graduate student at the City University of New York in Classics
  • Threads from Henry's Web
    Wide-ranging comment by Henry Neufeld, educator, publisher, and author
  • Tête-à-Tête-Tête
    smart commentary by "smijer," a Unitarian-Universalist
  • Undeception
    A great blog by Mike Douglas, a graduate student in biblical studies
  • What I Learned From Aristotle
    the Judaica posts are informative (archive)
  • Bouncing into Graceland
    a delightful blog on biblical and theological themes, by Esteban Vázquez (archive)
  • Weblog
    by Justin Anthony Knapp, a fearless Wikipedian (archive)
  • Writing in the Dust
    A collection of quotes by Wesley Hill, a doctoral student in New Testament studies at Durham University (UK), and a Christian who seeks the charism of chastity
  • גֵּר־וְתוֹשָׁב
    by David Miller, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, Briercrest College & Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ואל-תמכר
    Buy truth and do not sell: wisdom, instruction, and understanding - a blog by Mitchell Powell, student of life at the intersection of Christ, Christianity, and Christendom
  • משלי אדם
    exploring wisdom literature, religion, and other academic pursuits, by Adam Couturier, M.A. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

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  • Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other media, are original and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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