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Suzanne

I am saddened to see you escalate what was supposed to be a discussion of fact into a name-calling session.

If you did not wish to know what was in the statement of concern against the TNIV, then perhaps you should not have asked me to comment on that. I responded to your request thinking that that was what you wanted, but I understand now that it was a rhetorical flourish.

Since you have not responded to that discussion specifically may I presume that you do not agree with the content of that statement.

JohnFH

Suzanne,

you do not have to presume anything. I have been clear that I am not anti-TNIV nor anti-ESV. How much clearer do I need to be?

Eric

There's something I can't put my finger on about waging debates on the internet that can lead to a one-up-person-ship that gets out of proportion with the issues discussed. I think the most that I could say of any of the major translations when read over the course of Genesis to Revelation might be that there miniscule differences in the level of just how much spiritual good they can do for a believer, all of them being the wonderful treasure of the Word of God (emphasis on the words "most," "might," and "miniscule"). I recall having to pull myself away from one of those translation websites where I got into a lengthy debate in which my own position was merely that I believe the word aner in Greek is not gender-neutral, but that the places where the TNIV translates it as such are rather innocuous inaccuracies. I thought I was being even-handed. But before long I found myself being a whole lot like this guy:
http://xkcd.com/386/

JohnFH

Thanks, Eric, for putting things in perspective.

Justin (koavf)

John,

A cursory glance shows that you haven't discussed your rationale about the ordination of women. I'd like to read about it if you have the wherewithal to write about it.

-JAK

JohnFH

I'll do that someday, Justin. Thanks for the invite.

Jeremy Pierce

John, I don't think it's mere name-calling to recognize that someone can have a vendetta against a translation but that others can merely prefer one to another while respecting both. As someone who respects both of these but prefers the ESV, I have often spent many fruitless hours trying to convince people that their anti-ESV arguments often go way too far and involve conclusions that aren't warranted by the evidence, sometimes reading the mistakes and motives of a small but influential few into the entire translation team of the ESV. So I have to agree with your assessment of the situation, and I don't think it amounts to name-calling.

JohnFH

Jeremy, thanks for making my point better than I did.

Suzanne

Eric,

On aner, is it possible that you are unaware of the extensive gender neutral use of aner in classical Greek. Here is one of many examples.

ποτὲ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς γίγνοιτ' ἄν, τὴν ἀνθρώπῳ προσήκουσαν ἀρετὴν τῆς ψυχῆς ἔχων .... , εἴτε ἄρρην τις των συνοικούντων οὖσα ἡ φύσις εἴτε θήλεια, νέων ἢ γερόντων

… in which a member of our community-- be he of the male or female sex, young or old,-- may become a good citizen (aner), possessed of the excellence of soul which belongs to man (anthropos). Plato's Laws 6. 770d.

As a classics student it makes me sad to see that the TNIV translators were taken to task for translating aner in a gender neutral way, since there is a long and well established tradition for this in Greek. I can supply many more such quotes.

When you say these are "innocuous inaccuracies" in th TNIV, you think of yourself as even-handed. However, the truth is that they are not inaccuracies at all. I simply want people to recognize that the statement against the TNIV actually contains information which has been misleading.

Kevin Sam

I'm with you on this too John and feel for you. Though I understand Suzanne's and Iyov's position, I never rail on any translation and refuse to do so even if they might be inconsistent in their gender-neutral renderings. There are mistakes in all translations-TNIV, NRSV, ESV, HCSB, etc, but I find all these major translations still reliable because they still communicate the living word in scripture.

Suzanne

I hope that my attempt to clarify the matter on aner is not taken negatively.

JohnFH

Kevin Sam,

I'm with you all the way. I want very much to see translations improved, not in one way but many.

In the meantime, let's make the best use of the ones we have. It should be possible to derive all important doctrines from any translation of scripture. It is indeed so, so far as I can see.

Suzanne

But what do you do when someone declares the friendship over after receiving the blows?

You tell me John. You have made a very public statement about our longstanding friendship. You tell me why you are behaving this way.

J. K. Gayle

J. I. Packer has written a tract

What if it were this:

"My friend Beppe notes that J. I. Packer has written a tract entitled Let's Stop Making Italians Presbyters. Presumably I am to be appalled by this, given that I support the ordination of Italians. But I am not appalled. I have many friends, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, evangelical, and Orthodox Jewish, who do not support the ordination of Italians. I do not pick friends or make enemies based on this issue. I know where I stand, but I have the unpleasant ability – or Pollyannish tendency, take your pick – of seeing a grain of truth, sometimes more than a grain, in positions I do not hold. A Manichaean approach to this and many other issues has never appealed to me."

?

JohnFH

I would just say, Suzanne, that I still wish to remain your friend. Those are my sentiments, and I feel it is a good thing to model that kind of unbreakable commitment, despite a serious disagreement, in public.

JohnFH

Kurk,

Thanks for pursuing me on this. Your analogy shows the limitations of my reasoning, which I do not deny.

But tell me, the alternative, that of making the issue of women's ordination a matter of status confessionis, is that how you go about making friends and enemies in life?

Doug Chaplin

Hmm, but isn't Packer on the way to making the ordination of women exactly this kind of issue, just as he has already made the ordination of gay people this kind of issue. Moreover, whatever the (de)merits of the ESV, I understood it to be the case that it's production was largely a reaction to the NIV embracing gender-neutral language. Its origins and translation policy are shaped by these concerns. It may or may not have transcended them. Personally I feel it hasn't, and is largely pedestrian. Equally, as you know, irrespective of these issues, I won't use any translation as a main Bible that declines to translate the apocryphal / deutero-canonical books.

JohnFH

Doug,

is that what Packer is doing? I honestly do not know. What was the status quo ante? Did his diocese once allow diversity of opinion and practice on the issue of women's ordination, but now, those who are against are being given the boot? That was the impression I got from a piece by Peter Kirk in which he protests the treatment of Packer. It is almost impossible for an outsider to understand the dynamics of these feuds.

As I see it, ESV is a reaction to a trend within Christianity which has included everything from a tendency to say "brothers and sisters" rather than "brethren," to substituting "Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer" for the traditional Trinitarian formula, to preaching on "Christa," besides the issue of the ordination of women as presbyters and bishops. All of these things can and do go together - I know, I serve in a United Methodist context. ESV is a reaction to all that, an over-reaction, in my opinion.

One might counter-argue that TNIV is an over-reaction in its own way to trends in linguistic culture. I think that's true, but not to the same extent.

However, people identify translations with causes, not with the contents of the translations themselves. They are the expressions of particular ideological agendas, as I pointed out. So then the question becomes, should the cause of the culture war be understood as status confessionis in nature?

I try to understand the reasons why people on both sides of the polarization think so, while disagreeing with both.

Peter Kirk

John, I don't fully, or anything like it, understand the dynamics of these feuds. But Packer has just left a diocese which (as I understand it) tolerates no diversity of opinion on such issues, that is, it requires its ministers not only to support ordination of women but also to perform gay marriages.

Packer has joined a new province which does not ordain women. But the irony of the situation is that that new province licensed some already ordained women at the same time as Packer, so is now no longer a province without women priests. I presume Packer accepts this situation, as at least his own viewpoint is now tolerated.

Suzanne

Thank you, Peter,

The present events in the Anglican Church of Canada has little to do with the ordination of women.

As you know the Anglican Communion has several levels of governance, national, provincial, diocesan and congregational.

The Anglican Church of Canada has ordained women since 1976, when John and I were both at the U. Of Toronto. As far as I am aware this has not been an issue in Canada.

Anglican women ministers are as likely to be white-haired little old ladies as much as anything else. Women were licensed as layreaders in British Columbia during and after WWII so it was a common sight in isolated areas to see a woman in the pulpit and it was much appreciated.

Florence Li Tim Oi, ordained in China in WWII later lived in Toronto and was a testimony to the service that Anglican women offer the church. This has a long and continuous tradition and women have been highly respected in the Anglican Church.

In the local church that I attended women had also been welcome in the pulpit. One occasional speaker was Cathie Nicoll, a long-time Inter Varsity worker who received the Order of Canada. She was a mentor of my mother and a much respected Bible teacher.

However, about 10 years ago the local congregational climate changed toward women. The priest was from the diocese of Sydney and Jim Packer was an honourary assistant.

After Cathie Nicoll passed away, I believe that no other women ever stood in the pulpit on a Sunday morning. This was a deliberate decision of the priest although I am not sure that the congregation was ever consulted on this practice. It is contrary to the expectations of Canadian Anglicans.

However, the ministerial staff of this church made known their discomfort with women in positions of authority to the diocesan staff. Since Dr. Packer and the priest are both non-Canadians, I am sure that this played a part in their views on women not being found acceptable to the diocesan staff. It would normally be a condition of employment in the ACC to accept women as equals in ministry. It simply did not occur to anyone at the time that someone coming in from outside would bring with them a view of women not equal in function.

When a group of churches broke off to form the Anglican Network over same-sex blessing, churches which had women ministers were not excluded from joining. The two Canadian Anglican Network bishops have been overtly welcoming to women.

So this is the current situation.

The Province of the Southern Cone does not ordain women priests. The two Canadian Anglican Network bishops have accepted ordained women into the group and licensed them. The church which Dr. Packer attends does not ordain women.

We have yet to see whether women will be ordained in the Network. My expectation is that the bishops Harvey and Harding will ordain women, but Dr. Packer's church will not. The province of the Southern Cone gave a hand of fellowship to Canadian female priests yesterday.

What grieves me is that when I first attended the church which Dr. Packer also attends women were allowed to preach there. That was one reason that I was happy to attend that church. In the time that I spent there I was distressed by the theological, although not social, marginalization of women.

I was dismayed by the move towards preaching the submission of women without having a safe house and abuse ministry already in place. There seemed to be a very low awareness of abuse issues.

I was dismayed by Dr. Packer's signature on the anti-TNIV statement. I was dismayed by the stated interest in investing in the ESV Bible in which adam was always translated as "man" in order to justify the secondary representation of women and their subordination to male headship. I was dismayed by a priest who recommended to me articles by Wayne Grudem without his being aware that the evidence did not always support the conclusions.

I am happy to now attend a small local Anglican congregation where the scripture is read and the gospel is preached and secondary issues are not a matter of dispute.

I hope this helps. It is not my intention to make any critique of events in the ACC beyond those which affected me personally, the marginalization of women in one particular local venue.

JohnFH

That's amazing, Peter. I'm sure Packer is not without his own faults, but surely these are dark days for the Anglican communion.

JohnFH

Thanks, Suzanne, for a detailed and sensitive account.

Suzanne

John,

There is documented evidence that the ESV is a reaction specifically to the Inclusive NIV and the TNIV.

I do not know what the TNIV is a reaction to, nor am I aware of any reason to critique the gender language of the TNIV on any basis other than stylistic. My understanding is that the TNIV is an attempt at gender accuracy.

I think that if we looked at some of these details carefully and in a measured fashion we could dissipate some of the misconceptions which one so often reads, such as the notion that aner must have a male semantic component.

We could work through some of the linguistic issues and clear the air. We would need to stick close to the facts and follow each others arguments carefully and graciously.


Suzanne

My further comment in response to Peter is that the ordination of women was well established before Dr. Packer came to Canada. However, since Dr. Packer and the present priest have been here there has been a distinct move in their church away from ordaining women. They were not forced to accept a woman in the pulpit.

On the issue of same-sex blessing, it is much more complex and I am sympathic to certain aspects of both sides. However, only 8 out of 67 parishes in this diocese had performed a same sex blessing over a period of 6 years.

I cannot agree with Peter's assessment that Dr. Packer and his associates were in any imminent danger personally of having to either ordain women or perform same sex blessings. It is complex but not exactly as you perceive it. I do understand why they left.

JohnFH

Suzanne,

You make it sound as if TNIV, its translation team, and those who use it live in the land of objectivity, untouched by the culture wars that continually swirl through Christianity and beyond. This is not true.

TNIV is the expression of a ideological agenda. Indeed, it is the expression of more than one. I remember being in Ann Arbor, at Calvin College, on one of the first occasions it was discussed, still no more than a glimmer in the eyes of its future parents, at an SBL meeting. The proposal was savaged in that context by none other than James Barr. Is James Barr a reactionary? Hardly.

The ESV is also the expression of not one but several ideological agendas. Furthermore, Jeremy Pierce's remarks upthread are accurate, as anyone can attest who knows some of the ESV translators personally. If you do not qualify your statements on this, Suzanne, you end up mischaracterizing the positions of many people. You quote Grudem ad nauseam. But Grudem, in his books, speaks for himself, not for the ESV translation team as a whole. The distinction is important.

Both translations were and are subject to the forces of cultural polarization. I resist your attempts to put the ideological shoe on one foot only.

For example, some people who worked on TNIV did so out of a commitment to a middle-of-the road dynamic equivalence approach to Bible translation. Some people who worked on ESV did so out of a commitment to an "essentially literal" translation approach. I'm sure you will agree: it makes no sense to call one of these approaches reactionary and the other non-reactionary. The new ZB takes an "essentially literal" approach of sorts, but was produced by quite liberal people, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Among both TNIV and ESV translation team members, there are quite a number of people who belong to churches which do not allow diversity of opinion on the question of ordination of women, i.e., it's not allowed. Many belong to branches of Christendom which do not display the kind of openness to the ordination of women that the diocese of which Packer has become a part does.

Please do not assume that Grudem and/or Polythress speak for the people who contributed to the ESV revision of RSV, or in the upcoming ESV Study Bible. I imagine there are many who, like me (I am happy to recommend ESV, though I prefer TNIV, as I've said before), tend to agree with some things they say, and disagree with others. That is certainly my situation.

No, I'm not interested in specifying what my agreements and disagreements are in detail. I have better things to do. My positions on most of the more important issues are public already. I have no desire to join your crusade against them, a crusade I'm afraid may very well be counter-productive.

Suzanne

John,

I recognize that there is an enormous diversity on both teams. I admit that there is ideology on both sides and we should stand up for an ideology that we believe in. The fulcrum for my belief is that woman is the neighbour of man so you should "Love your neighour as yourself."

Also,

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

I am your "other," John, but I am your sister not your spouse. I do not exist as your complement, as someone whom you can never understand. I am your Christian sister and I ask that women be treated as men are treated.

I want to see the Bible translated in accord with this ideology. It hurts me to know that for αδελφοι the first entry in the Liddell Scott Lexixon, 1879, is "brothers and sisters."

John, if this is accurate and literal, why are "sisters" in the footnote? Why, John? Is this the way you love your sister as yourself? Why put the second entry in the scriptures and put the real meaning in the footnote.

You admitted to me that you were unaware that ανηρ had a well established gender neutral meaning. This makes me suspect that you, like many others, are not aware of the exact meaning of many words in the Greek scriptures.

I have offered to go through these words with you and in a measured way show you the established meaning of many Greek words in the scritpures and you tell me that you have better things to do with your time.

I am very sad for you, dear friend.

JohnFH

There are more ways than one to love one's sister as oneself.

One way might be to encourage the Marthas, but still choose twelve men as your core group of disciples. Another way might be to accept women in charismatic roles - prophetesses and missionaries - but exclude them from higher official roles, allowing, however, deaconesses.

Another way might be to claim the prophecy of Joel for today, and reorder church polity accordingly. The church I am ordained in has been following this route for about a half a century.

In my context the issue is not how to empower the sisters for leadership. They already run the show. The issue is how to empower the brothers. That, too, might be a way to love the sisters. What do you think?

In my context, whether the translation reads "brothers" or "brothers and sisters" is of little consequence. The sisters learned long ago, as United Methodist Women (UMW), to inclusivize in practice. And if the brothers didn't get it, they set up their own societies, and sent out double, triple, the number of missionaries the brothers did, and/or raised ten times as much money for the causes they believed in, like abolition of slavery, mission work overseas, and prohibition of alcohol.

But that model fell apart a generation ago, pretty much with the onset of the "new" feminism. The amount of collateral damage the "new" feminism has done remains a taboo subject-matter in my context. It's not the new feminism per se that has sent United Methodism into decline. That would be confusing relative correlation with cause. It is adherence to new feminism which has caused its decline, insofar as that adherence is part of a larger trend towards a stance in relatively low tension over against the surrounding culture as opposed to relatively high tension. Sensing the emptiness of acting as a cheerleader from the sidelines for new feminist tropes, UMW leadership has tended to radicalize further, to the point that its understanding of UMW's mission has become incomprehensible to the rank and file membership of mostly 70 and over women. Talk of the Goddess and milk and honey rites were more than the old guard bargained for. In this way, the decline has been intensified.

As I've recounted before, given a choice between NRSV, ESV, and (T)NIV, these same United Methodist women will, after careful comparison, choose ESV. I have seen it with my own eyes. They are not concerned about the "brothers" where you would like to see "brothers and sisters." They simply prefer the translation that is more rooted in the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV tradition.

Suzanne

You know that "brothers and sisters" is more literal, and I know this. Are these women equally familiar with Greek? Have you informed them of how this tranaslation strays from the literal in Rom. 16:7, 2 Time. 2:2.

Yes, we used to have women preach n our church on occasion, missionaries and so on, but no more. Because this church has seen the light of women's subordination, of the servant-helper role for women, of not one woman being at the front of the church for the ceremony.

A young woman came home in tears last night from Dr. Packer's church, where the boys told her about being under the head authority of the male. A young man, a new Christian had the scriptures opened to him and the facts of the lower role of women were explained to him. It was part of his essential training as a new Christian that he know the subordination of women.

She could be a Martha, of course, and she usually is. She bakes cookies and helps serve the supper because she is a young woman and has been encouraged to be a Martha.

Thanks for your endorsement of the Marthaship of women. How glad I am you were not my professor but only a fellow student long ago, Johh.

These boys also said that they had been told that the "other" Bible did not contain new life, the Bible that I gave my daughter was not a vehicle of new life, because the editor of the accepted Bible had said so.

But the young people are perplexed by this teaching. They don't understand but they follow anyway n the teaching of the editor, the exclusivity of the one accepted translation, and the untrustworthiness of the other Bibles.

John, let me ask how to train a daughter to be a Martha? What is your personal experience?

JohnFH

I have encouraged my older daughter to consider full-time ordained Christian ministry. I don't emphasize it though. She has enough pressures to deal with, as the daughter of two ordained ministers. There are both young men and women I mentor in training for full-time Christian ministry.

With this 'brothers' versus 'brothers and sisters' issue, with all due respect, you are making a mountain out of a molehill. In the contexts you mention, 'brothers' is easily understandable in the inclusive sense, if that is the rendering provided. When I read from the NIV, my current congregation's pew Bible, I sometimes ad lib 'brothers and sisters' where it has 'brothers,' and sometimes I do not. It doesn't seem to make a hoot of difference. It just is not that important. People understand that the reference is inclusive either way. Maybe I have an exceptionally bright congregation, I don't know, but that is my experience.

Suzanne

I somehow don't remember Martha in that role myself.

I was brought up in a context where no woman ever entered a "brothers" meeting. The women were excluded from all activities connected to being a "brother." The word brother was a word of excusion.

I realize that the context in which women are isolated and exluded and kept away from leadership is foreign to you. Those of us who deal with the subordination of women are fighting a tough battle. Sadly the exclusion of women is gaining steam in certain places and the ESV is part of that movement.

JohnFH

Suzanne,

I realize now you misunderstood my reference to Martha, and it's my fault. I was unclear. Jesus encouraged Martha in the sense of encouraging her to accept the choice of her sister Mary. In so doing, Jesus also encouraged Mary, though he does not speak directly to her.

JohnFH

I have friends, Suzanne, for example, in Roman Catholicism, who are now excluded from leadership which they once were allowed to exercise. The friends I have happen to go about remaining true to themselves without directly challenging the new rulings. Nor do they cry foul because they are excluded from the priesthood. If the priesthood were opened up to them, of course some of them would choose to become presbyters. I for one am convinced it would be a good thing, but I make things worse for them, not better, if I make a scene about how short-sighted I think the RC hierarchy is with its current stance.

I have Lutheran friends who are working hard to conserve spaces for women in leadership that have recently opened up. They do not share your tactics at all. They cite ESV in support of their positions. It can be done, precisely because ESV is more accurate in some key passages than you have ever admitted.

So this is not only about differences in experience. It's about timing, method, and perspective.

JohnFH

When you say, Suzanne, that "ESV is part of that movement," your argument is symmetrical to those who skewer NRSV because its translation team and supporters include people who do not exactly stand on the side of biblical orthodoxy.

To which I say: look at the translation, find what is praiseworthy in it, and lift that up. In those cases in which the agenda of some on the translation team has resulted in unfortunate choices - I can think of some - it might be worthwhile pointing it out. In any case, I'm not going to rail against NRSV by way of guilt-by-association arguments.

When I get my copy of the translation Iyov is touting, I plan to practice what I preach. The agenda of the translation, insofar the translation preface itself makes clear, will be duly noted, but then, I will judge the translation on its own merits from more than one point of view.

Suzanne

John,

YOu explicitly said to encourage the Marthas. I have no idea how you wish me to interpret this. Naturally a woman may be a Martha, but is that the only role of women? You are too obscure for me.

On the RC church, I was not aware that women had lost a leadership role in the RC church.

I freely admit that there are some praiseworthy aspects of the ESV. However, it is not gender accurate.

1. Does adam mean "man" and not "human beings?"

2. Does adelphoi mean "brothers" or "brothers and sisters?"

3. Does aner mean "man" or sometimes " person?"

4. Does huoi mean "men only" or both male and female?

5. Does anthropoi mean people or men?

The problem is that in a church where the teaching of the minister is above the word and interprets the word, where women are not told to subordinate themselves to man, the "masculine only" address to people is not as disturbing.

However, in a church where women are told in the pulpit that they are only the "servant-helpers" and may never be more than a helper to man, women go directly to the English scriptures for a sense of their own value, they need to find God's word addressed directly to them in gender accurate terms. These women will never be affirmed in the pulpit. They need a gender accurate Bible desperately.

So if minister is over the Bible, then use whatever version you want. But, if the Bible is a greater authority than the minister, then women MUST have a gender accurate Bible. This is the only way these women can have access to God's word to them.

Read this post and the links and comments. They seem to share my concerns.

Suzanne

I have been campaigning against the anti-TNIV statement because it contains information that is false.

I have not, to my knowledge, said anything false about the ESV.

Does this matter at all to you? Do you have any concern for what the truth is in this matter? So far you asked me to explain the content of the anti-TNIV statement and then you mocked me for doing so.

If you don't want to know the truth just say so. I will accept this.

Suzanne

Beyond Words said,

"If it’s a matter of taste, I think you have good taste. And I think it does raise theological issues.I have no problem with Father image if it’s balanced with trinitarian language. And I’m weay of mentally editing all the “man” “son” and “brother” language I hear in church (and ESV scripture) to remind myself it includes me, too.

I wonder if any men mentally edit exclusively masculine language to remind themselves it includes theiri sisters, daughters and wives?"

Judy commented,

"Like “Beyond Words”, I also get sick of mentally editing “son” and “men”, so I tend to avoid churches where I have to. I certainly couldn’t sing this song because I am very, very sure that I am not a son. While I understand how Mike might use it to sing children to sleep because it certainly gets boring, I am not sure how included his daughters are going to feel when their father keeps telling them he is a son of God but doesn’t provide them with an opportunity to affirm that they are daughters of God. Most children have the gender thing fairly well worked out by the time they are four or five."

There aren't a lot of other women in this bibliosphere to quote. In fact, that should be a concern in and of itself, the sure minority of women in this space.

JohnFH

Suzanne,

I'm not going to stop you from commenting here. Fire away if you wish. But I'm moving on.

I am glad to hear that you have found a congregation that suits you better. It sounds a lot like my own, a more pluralistic atmosphere than what what you had before. Hopefully, that doesn't translate into indifference for the truth. I don't think it will, so long as you have anything to say about it.

I did notice one thing in your last comment that sent off alarm bells: the assumption that in a context like mine, the teaching of the minister is above the word, whereas in a setting like the one you have known, the minister and everyone else is below it.

With all due respect, the assumption is fundamentalist claptrap. You asked me to stand up for what I believe. Now I will. Women and men who hold to this assumption do not need a "gender-accurate" translation. They need a whole new hermeneutic, one in which scripture, tradition, experience, and reason relate to one another in a healthier way.

"Gender-accurate" translation is precisely not the problem. It's not only possible to read your Bible in TNIV dress and still exclude women from ordained ministry and other positions of leadership. It's exactly what goes on in many contexts. There is much more at stake here than how best to translate aner, huoi, and anthropoi.

Now maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe your war against ESV will produce fruit for the Kingdom. But you have not convinced that it is. I therefore ask that you refrain from asking me to join your war.

Suzanne

The women I know are deprived of a whole hermeneutic and they cannot move on as I have done. They live within the contrains of fundamentalist claptrap, as you put it. These women cannot be rescued from fundamentalist claptrap all that easily. A gender accurate Bible would be of some use to them. They are not allowed to let tradition, experience and reason interact with the Bible in a healthy way.

The youth group believe that the editor of the ESV has told them that "new life" cannot be found in a gender accurate Bible. He has some influence and his determination to inform women that they must be represented by men is causing no small concern among the girls and women of my acquaintance.

I did not once ask you to join my war, I answered your question to comment on the anti-TNIV statement. Why did you ask that if you had already decided that you did not want to know?

The women I minister to need a gender accurate Bible, and it would be ever so helpful if people simply acknowledged what that would look like before they went on to choose a Bible on other terms. That is all.

Debbie

Suzanne,

You ask whether adam means "man" or "human beings" ... whether adelphoi means "brothers" or "brothers and sisters" ... etc. It sounds like you are insisting on gender accuracy without any regard to historical accuracy. Back when the Bible was written, adam probably DID mean "man" ... adelphoi probably DID mean "brothers," etc. Are you trying to rewrite the Bible? I, a woman, personally don't have a problem reading the Word as it was originally written. Just because women weren't always highly respected back then has nothing to do with the way we live today – I think that most women know that. Factually, women were primarily subordinate in the days the Bible was written.

You really aren’t giving much credit to women AT ALL by saying that a woman needs to see "brothers AND SISTERS" in print to understand that it includes them as well. Yes, there are different translations that make reading and understanding the Bible easier, but you seem to be saying that we need women's Bibles dumbed down enough for them to understand that the message is to include them. I think that the number of women who don't understand the language intent in the ESV has got to be miniscule or you really aren’t giving women much credit at all.

I think there is perhaps a point at which someone starts to analyze every word to the point that they miss the whole point of the message that contains them. Do you know what I'm saying? The WORDING is more important than the Word of God that one should be getting when one reads the Bible. I’m sorry, but what you’re saying doesn’t represent all women with the comments within this post.

JohnFH

Come to think of it, I can see why TNIV is attractive to women who remained tied to a hermeneutic that is unable to adjust for differences in context, between what one finds in a comment meant to address a specific problem and a statement of principle, between the genre of Genesis 1-3 and science as we know it, etc.

But for those who have a hard time making such distinctions, a gender-accurate translation will not be enough. It might even have the opposite effect, that of lulling them into thinking that the hard work of interpretation is still unnecessary. On a simplistic hermeneutic, all one has to do is sit down with the Bible and read it according to its plain meaning as if it were all meant to apply with equal relevance to one's own situation. But that is nonsense.

I still prefer TNIV to ESV. But it is not ESV's quaint and sometimes inaccurate translation of gender terms that makes me prefer TNIV to it. I prefer TNIV's middle of the road dynamic equivalence translation approach.

In my ministry, my efforts concentrate on providing a context in which the fusion of horizons of which Anthony Thiselton speaks may take place.

If that is done properly, I believe, women don't feel, e.g., like they have to wear a head-covering today because Paul said so somewhere. Of course there are risks in a historicizing hermeneutic, but I think the risks of an ahistorical hermeneutic are greater.

Suzanne

John,

I agree absolutely with you that the risks of an ahistoric hermeneutic are great. At the same time, I believe that accuracy is also necessary. I don't think that we can just toss accuracy overboard because of our hermeneutic. They are both important.

Debbie,

I have to take a break and answer soon.

Suzanne

Debbie,

You write,

You ask whether adam means "man" or "human beings" ... whether adelphoi means "brothers" or "brothers and sisters" ... etc. It sounds like you are insisting on gender accuracy without any regard to historical accuracy. Back when the Bible was written, adam probably DID mean "man" ... adelphoi probably DID mean "brothers," etc. Are you trying to rewrite the Bible?

Perhaps I have been misunderstood. I do not ask whether adam means "human being?" I ask those who know that it does to affirm this.

In Numbers 31 there were 32,000 young women who had not "lain with a man" and they were labeled adam for the very simple reason that adam means "human."

Since this cannot be contradicted, in this chapter, adam is translated as "persons" in the ESV.

In this same chapter the beni Israel is translated as the "people of Israel" and not the "sons of Israel" also in the ESV. This phrase is translated huoi Israel in Greek. I think it would likewise be appropriate to translate the phrase huoi theou as the "people of God."

On the matter of adelphoi Electra and her brother Orestes were called oi adelphoi, and this is translated as "brother and sister." This is in the play Electra written by Euripides in the 5th century BC. I studied classics for many years before studying Septuagint and Koine Greek.

These examples which I give you show that at least 5 centuries before the writing of the New Testament the gender neutral meaning of these terms was well established.

In fact, the meaning of these texts would be completely lost if we did not know that these words were the normal way to talk of both men and women together. Therefore, I suggest that these terms be translated by the equivalent gender neutral terms in English.

I guess I am wondering where you got information that adam meant "man" and adelphoi meant "brothers." I suppose when you see the words "brothers" and "sons" and "man" in a Bible translation you would think that this is historically accurate. This is exactly why I would prefer to see these Bibles not used for congregational reading.

The fact is that when you see "brothers" you don't should not have to think that God simply intended sisters also, the word in Greek means in concrete terms "brothers and sisters." This has been in the lexicons since the 19th century.

I feel deeply hurt that you would ask me if I am trying to rewrite the Bible. No, I am not. I simply want the Bible to be translated in accord with the literal meaning of the words.

Suzanne

I still prefer TNIV to ESV. But it is not ESV's quaint and sometimes inaccurate translation of gender terms that makes me prefer TNIV to it. I prefer TNIV's middle of the road dynamic equivalence translation approach.

Thank you for this. Now I wonder how people like Debbie can get accurate information on gender terms. If there was agreement on the accurate rendering of gender terms it would create a more positive climate. There are still places where the inaccuracies in the ESV are used as proof texts to keep women in subordination. Surely that is not necessary.

Debbie

Suzanne - It wasn't my intention to hurt you, but after reading your own blogs and comments on John's blogs, I've gotten the impression that you would rather all scripture be gender-neutral or PC. You may, indeed, just be looking for gender accurate renderings of scripture, and I welcome scripture in its most accurate form. I still don't see how the usage can constrain women. I personally do not let any male-centric scripture hamper or minimize any aspect of my life. I receive blessings from scripture regardless of the gender form it is written in, and apply it to my life as I interpret it. Just my two cents worth, and I apologize for any offense I may have caused you.

Suzanne

All I have ever wanted is simple straight forward accuracy, nothing more or less. Why is that PC? Why should I have to suppress the knowledge that I learned by studying in one of the foremost classics programmes in this continent? I feel ostracized by people who simply refuse to believe the facts.

Debbie,

Do you think I have promoted anything that is not accurate? Do you think I should not talk about what is accurate for fear being called PC?

Since I was in Dr. Packer's congregation I got used to hearing the human race ought to be referred to as Man, to keep in view that Man represents woman.

Unfortunately men reading male centric scriptures do constrain women, but I am glad that you have not had that experience.

However, would you not agree that accuracy is desirable in Bible translation? Surely we can agree on that.

Yes, I am constantly hurt by people who simply cannot believe that I am working for accuracy and not so called "feminist presuppositions." I have been called lots of things simply for wanting accuracy.

JohnFH

It's not true, Suzanne, that you are only after accuracy. You yourself say you have an ideology, that women should be treated like men.

I do not wish to quibble with your ideology. But it is clear that the writers of the New Testament did not draw the same practical conclusions that you draw from the "love your neighbor as yourself" rule. They countenanced slavery and forms of male authority, for example, which you regard - and I regard - as less than ideal instantiations of the above principle.

Accuracy involves being able to admit those kinds of differences. Accuracy - and honesty - involves admitting that both egalitarian and non-egalitarian approaches to gender relations can appeal to scripture for support.

What is needed is a hermeneutic that is both more modest and more daring than the one found in some circles that espouse the sola scriptura principle. More modest in the sense of realizing that the Bible as we have it is, legitimately, the Bible of the Amish, the Mennonites, and the closed Brethren just as much as it is the Bible of fully assimilated Christians living in a big city like Los Angeles or Vancouver. More daring in the sense of realizing that it is possible to distinguish within the Bible between statements of principle and statements that relate more to specific and no longer relevant situations in the Bible.

There always has been and always will be differences of opinion about how best to put cardinal biblical principles into practice. There always have been and always will be differences of opinion as to what those core principles are.

To illustrate with a non-Christian example. I am impressed by the journey of someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I am proud of my government for providing her with a safe haven. But I am also impressed by the journey of the blond, blue-eyed former Lutheran I hired while a manager of a Christian coffeehouse. She had converted to Islam, now wore a veil, and lived willingly under her husband's authority. I asked her why she wanted to work at the coffeehouse, and not at the Rathskeller, a more popular student venue. She said that when she was there, besides the smell of beer which she found distasteful, she felt all male eyes upon her. In the coffeehouse, she said, it was different. She appreciated an environment that was less hormonally charged.

I hired her. She worked side by side with others of both sexes who witnessed to the love of Jesus as best they knew how in the coffeehouse ministry, just as she witnessed to her devotion to Allah.

I realize that her story and the story of Ali are opposites. But I want to live and speak in such a way that I do not dishonor the journey of either.

Suzanne

John,

Apart from my one excursion into the Inclusive Bible which was intended to be playful - (That offended you deeply, I realize now, but I did not know that at the time) - please indicate anything at all that has not been straightforward and accurate.

Yes, I have an ideology of the equality of the sexes, and I am distressed at our differences on this topic,

But, in terms of the translation itself I promote the most accurate wording. Where have I deviated from this? Do you find my knowledge of Greek to be faulty? Do you find that adam does not mean "human being?"

Are you trying to tell me that adam is not best translated by a generic word such as mensch? Are you saying that Electra and Orestes were not adelphoi?

Can we please talk about facts? Why are people so reluctant to admit the simple facts. I am pleased to see that Ben Witherington is not double minded on what type of translation he recommends.

I simply cannot respond to your extreme relativism when it comes to values. I don't understand your position. You do not seem to promote Christianity over Islam. I cannot live in your "anything goes" world.

I care about you as a friend so I am not going to make a post with the intent of maligning you as you have done to me. I am not going to retaliate in kind, John.

I did not post against you in the first place and have not exposed you to ridicule as you have done to me.

I can only assume that you have your private reasons for not admitting in public that the meaning of many of these Greek words does need to be clarified first and then we can move on the ideology.

It was my grounding in Greek and the King James Bible that first made me wince when I saw that the general seminary student was being taught that anthropos means a man, and not the 32,000 young women. It was these factual differences that first attracted me to this debate. I am sorry that you do not share this concern.

JohnFH

I won't respond, Suzanne, to your last comment because I think my previous posts and comments speak for themselves and are a sufficient reply to your objections to my non-anti-ESV stand.

I distress a lot of people with my views on this or that. But I'm sure I'm not the only one to watch a movie like Witness and wonder if the society of which I am a more or less assimilated component truly is superior to the Amish one to which it is juxtaposed in the film. The Amish one with, among other things, a strong version of the teaching of male authority. I've heard women voice this sentiment as often as men. Obviously, when push comes to shove, we want it both ways. But "both ways" doesn't exist in real life.

That's why, for every woman that, to take another example, escapes from the confines of orthodox Judaism and its rigidities with respect to women, and embraces Reform Judaism, there is another woman who escapes from the tepidness of Reform Judaism and voluntarily submits to the ancient and "retrograde" traditions of orthodox Judaism.

This new claim of yours, that I am a cultural relativist, is also over the top. Of course I desire that both Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the young Muslim woman I describe come to a full knowledge of the truth, which I understand to coincide with Jesus Christ. In the meantime, I respect the journeys they have taken so far. I have no difficulty in understanding why both made the choices they did.

I thought I made it clear that even if you are right (and I think you are) that, e.g., TNIV is preferable to ESV in its translation of uioi some of the time (not all: you may be aware of conversation Peter Kirk and I have had on this topic), it doesn't follow that ESV, and other translations on the market like it today, NASB95 and NIV, for example, should be condemned and pulled from the shelves. No matter what translation one uses, the hermeneutical approach one has matters far more. If one has a decent hermeneutical approach, the imperfections and inaccuracies of any translation can usually be neutralized without great difficulty.

JohnFH

Perhaps someone reading this thread will find it interesting to see what my “distressing” approach to gender relations amounts to in practice.

Just last night, I was counseling a young couple in preparation for their wedding day. She comes from a large Roman Catholic family, and is making the switch to United Methodism without rancor towards her religious past. He is United Methodist. We talked a lot about the decision-making process within marriage. In accordance with Ephesians 5:21, I illustrated the principle of mutual submission within an egalitarian framework. We talked about the difficulties of that, since it is not clear ahead of time who should yield to the other in a given situation. “It’s different for my mother,” the bride-to-be said. “She always defers to my Dad” (in accordance with Ephesians 5:24: “wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (TNIV). “I bet your mother usually gets her way just the same,” I replied. She smiled with a bit of mischief in her eyes and said, “You’ve noticed that, too.” She and her husband-to-be agree that an egalitarian framework is the one that suits them. Within that framework, furthermore, it is also clear that the fundamental things will still apply, and she will usually get her way.

Suzanne

it doesn't follow that ESV, and other translations on the market like it today, NASB95 and NIV, for example, should be condemned and pulled from the shelves.

I did not ask for that. Let me clarify.

The NIV and NASB do not create the kind of tension the ESV does by translating anthropos as "men" some of the time and "people" other times. They simply use "men" to mean "human beings" and I find no fault with this other than the fact that it is dated.

I don't think you can find me criticizing these translations. However, I agree with Witherington, that we should now use modern English and the word "humankind" when that is what the Hebrew and Greek mean. This is not an issue for me. So don't misrepresent my position on this.

Next, I criticize the ESV in certain details, for example, 2 Tim. 2:12, Eph. 4:8 and Rom. 16:7. These are examples. Possibly the use of "man" in Gen. because even sites like Pen and Parchment are happy to use the fact that humans are called "man" as a sign of male only authority.

I have also made clear that I seek the agreement of other people that the anti-TNIV statement is factually incorrect. Since the two most visible and influential of the editors of the ESV have signed this statement, I think that someone who wished to use the ESV and understands the wrong done to the TNIV, would simply be happy to make some statement themselves to the fact that this has happened. I personally would not attend a church that uses the ESV, but I would never ask that it be withdrawn from circulation. That is a ridiculous misrepresentation of my position. Again, you disappoint me.

It is an ongoing distress to me that I am still acquainted with those who are told that the ESV is more representative of God's word to women than other translations. This is just the circumstance that I am in. I myself have disassociated from this teaching.

I don't think the ESV fills a real niche in the market. The TNIV and NRSV are not as literal as the ESV in places. However, the ESV is not as literal as the NASB, RSV or KJV. So if a very literal version is required for study purposes, in my view the ESV is not sufficiently literal, and ... its not gender accurate.

On hermeneutical approach, in the male only authority communites, women both accept teaching without question, and sometimes the opposite, they create their own home grown hermeneutic. Women in male only authority communities negotiate their understanding of the scriptures in a variety of ways.

I came from a tradition that is not dissimilar to the Amish, as you know. I was from one of the most exclusive groups of the Brethren. I owe much to my upbringing and do not want to criticize my home assembly because it is an intense part of my identity. I am who I am because of that community. However, I think that when one is still in the situation of subordination, there is an extreme amount of denial of pain. There are some things about living a subordinated life that are hard to describe. I fully realize that some women are in subordinate situations that allows them to negotiate survival. I was not. I don't think it is appropriate to encourage any human being to live a life of permanent unilateral subordination. Naturally some women will disagree with me. That is their right. I understand that some people sell themselves into slavery as well. It happens but it is not a good thing.

I am intensely grateful for the those who won the vote for women, right to a profession, equal pay, charge of rape in marriage, non-beating of the wife, divorce, protection by the law, and many other things. I am so grateful that someone did this and created a way out for me. I really don't even want to contemplate the alternative. I am incredibly grateful for those who stood up for the equality of women. These people, whether in my life, or in books I read, helped me escape.

Sometimes you just don't know when an aggressive and forthright proclamation of what is just can contribute to someone else's emancipation. There is a woman somewhere who wants to know that God did not create her to be veiled and silent, all personal ambition sacrificed to the male.

I looked back at all those outspoken women I knew when I was younger and I drew on that for strength.


Suzanne

I should add that the first expression of unhappiness I ever felt with the exclusive community was the excommunication of an older man I knew. This touched my life deeply.

There are things about the severely exclusive groups that are very painful to talk about. It is by no means only the women that suffer.

We do not do better deprived of community. We all need healing and balance, acceptance mixed with personal freedom. These are very difficult issues.

I have known male initiates to certain cultural groups that are trying to recapture their identity, to be painfully beaten. Cultural identity is important, the integrity of personal autonomy over your own body is more important.

Anything at all that influences women to believe that they are of lesser value than men or that God wants them to be under man is not a good idea for either men or women, in my view.

JohnFH

Suzanne, your passion for detail amazes me. Please take that as a compliment. In honor of that passion, I will respond in kind.

You say:

The NIV and NASB do not create the kind of tension the ESV does by translating anthropos as "men" some of the time and "people" other times. They simply use "men" to mean "human beings" and I find no fault with this other than the fact that it is dated.

You forgot to mention “brothers” where you want “brothers and sisters.” The tension that ESV creates for you, but NASB and NIV do not, though they translate along the same lines over and over again, cannot be ascribed to the fact that ESV is the more recent translation, and NASB and NIV the older translations. NASB was revised in 1995. Therefore, any criticism you direct toward ESV perforce should be directed toward NASB95 insofar as they agree. NRSV was published in 1989. NIV could have been revised around the same time to be just as inclusive in its language. Oh wait, it was! That’s the NIVI, not available in a bookstore near you.

You say:

I agree with Witherington, that we should now use modern English and the word "humankind" when that is what the Hebrew and Greek mean.

Par of the egalitarian in me agrees with this, part of it does not. The poet in me rebels. (I’ve posted about this in the past). I like the word “humankind.” I really do. But I don’t think “man” and “mankind” should be banished from use. You will notice that despite the intense campaign against these words by the PC language police, they continue to circulate widely. The PC people miscalculated here. I say: let all the words be used, with “men” used in both inclusive and non-inclusive senses, as in the good old days, and “mankind,” of course, always used in an inclusive sense. Use all the words in creative ways, like Mary Daly does. Add, but do not subtract. Do not be a school marm about language. It backfires. The poet in me wants a one-syllable, a two-syllable, and a three-syllable word to describe the human race.

You say:

Next, I criticize the ESV in certain details, for example, 2 Tim. 2:12, Eph. 4:8 and Rom. 16:7.

ESV 1 Tim 2:12 is better than TNIV 1 Tim 2:12. ESV paragraphs correctly, subsuming 2:12 within the larger 2:8-15. TNIV does not. The difference in translation, “exercising authority over” versus “assuming authority over,” is a hairsplitting difference. The LCMS Majority Report rightly cites ESV 1 Tim 2:12 in its efforts to preserve recently won niches in which women are allowed to lead. ESV 1 Tim 2:8-15 is a praiseworthy translation to a greater degree than TNIV 1 Tim 2:8-15. If you are not willing to acknowledge this, I don’t know what to say.

ESV, NAB (revised not that long ago, 1986), and NASB95 Eph 4:8 read ‘men’ rather than ‘people’ (NRSV, TNIV, and HCSB). ‘Men' sounds fine to me. Excuse me, but you have to be dumb as a doornail not to take “men” in an inclusive sense here. Furthermore, ‘people’ is a crude translation. The poet in me rebels. NJB ‘humanity,’ though, is just fine. I would go for ‘humanity,’ if a long-standing friendship of mine depends on it. Come to think of it, I prefer it anyway. In any case, if you want to tar and feather ESV for translating with ‘men,’ justice requires that you treat NAB and NASB in the same way.

ESV, The Message, NASB95, NJB all read ‘Junias’ in Romans 16:7. I think the evidence favors ‘Junia,’ but guess what? Men and women of good will differ on the question. Looking at the facts, rather than imagining what happened “under the hood” and imputing evil motives to the responsible ESV, NASB, and NJB translators, not to mention Peterson, one simply has to admit that an honest difference of opinion is possible here. But at least the two of us agree on the preferable translation. That’s something.

I could go on like this, Suzanne. I will if you want me to. I don’t want to be accused of dismissing your detailed queries.


You say:

There are things about the severely exclusive groups that are very painful to talk about. It is by no means only the women that suffer.

That is true, and you have the right to say it with a measure of authority: I don’t. I can, however, speak with a measure of authority about the damage that the “new feminism” has done. But I won’t. I would rather find ways to make the “new feminism” work in favor of ordinary people, rather than rail against it too much. It is, after all, here to stay. You do well to point out its positive aspects.

Suzanne

John,

I appreciate what you offer on 1 Tim. 2:12. Thank you.

I am not as dumb as a door post or door knob or any other part of a door (oops that was doornail.) I had no problem with the word "men" until the editor of the ESV told me personally that it meant "men" that it was intended to exclude women.

So please do not attribute to me gross ignorance of the most offensive kind. I regret that you do not accord me enough credit for attention to detail.

Please attribute this exclusive reading of "men - the males" to the editors of the ESV. The NIV and NASB do not have this opaque and complex system of translating anthropos as "people" here and "men" there.

If you personally think that "mankind" means people fine, use it, I don't mind, but the editors meant that women are created as secondary members of the race of mankind.

If you think that there is evidence for Junias as a masculine name you are simply dreaming in technicolor. It has never existed.

You could read Epp's book on the topic. Surely you know that in the accusative case, masc. and fem. are identical without accents. When accents were introduced it was accented ONLY according to the fem. and never once the masc.

There never was a masc. name Junias, and the notion of a masc. Junias turned up in the late Middle Ages. There is not even one scrap of reputable evidence for it. No one who is informed on the matter thinks that a masc. Junias ever existed. There is simply a story of how the N-A 2 text dropped the ball on this one and labeled all unaccented manuscripts as evidence for a masc. Junias by default. The translations that followed that edition took on the masc. Junias.

I am actually befuddled that you are not aware of this history. I thought it was common knowledge. It was in the aftermath of this "discovery" that Junia was a female, that Dan Wallace sat down and constructed his theory that Junia was only well-known TO the apostles. However, in order to do that he had to take a citation found elsewhere and mistranslate it, accidentally, of course, to construct evidence, .

The ESV and some other versions bought Wallace's research. Linda Belleville discovered the faulty citations and tried to set things in order.

I blogged on the topic adding considerable data to Belleville's and proving that there was not, and never had been, evidence that Junia was not a female apostle. I discussed this with Dan Wallace and he said that he was aware that he and Mike Burer needed to respond and he would ask Mike to do so. Mike has not contacted me about this since Dec. 2006.

They are well aware that there is an extraordinarily weak case for Junia being well-known to the apostles rather than being one of them.

Epp, Bauckham and Belleville concur, and I think all egalitarians have decided to move on and forget Dan Wallace.

John, do you want to know how much evidence there is for a masc. Junias. One late middle ages commentator Aegidius of Rome (1245-1316, and one late middle ages Latin translation of Origen.

Please do not underestimate my attention to detail. Better yet, read Epp.

I would welcome an open exchange of information but you say you don't have time.

Suzanne

I am delighted to share some breaking news with you. In 2001 Wallace and Burer, JBMW Fall stated,

"we will treat this name as feminine."

Naturally they wanted to be on the side of the majority of scholarship. They then proceeded to construct a case against her being an apostle.

They were so sure of themselves that they concluded,

"Thus Junia, along with Andronicus, was recognized by Paul as well known to the apostles, not as an outstanding member of the apostolic band."

They were completely sure of their data so they said,

"one has to wonder how there could be such a great chasm between the scholarly opinion about rom. 16:7 and what the data actually reveal."

However, after I had proved to Mike Burer on the internet in Dec. 2006 that the data did not reveal what they had said that it did, he emailed to me that he would respond to my posts and would show that Junia was indeed "well-known to the apostles."

Apparently that has proven to be too difficult, because today the CBMW blog has announced an new review by Burer,

"In "Reassessing Junia," Mike Burer responds to Eldon Epp's book Junia: The First Woman Apostle and argues that Epp has in fact not proved that the Junia of Romans 16:7 was a woman."

That is pretty silly because Burer had not thought that there was any evidence that Junia was a man in 2001. (But now, this article has been removed from the hypertext edition of the archives of the JBMW 2001. They have actually removed that article out of that edition online. It is still in the pdf.)


What has changed? Burer can't prove that she was only "well-known to the apostles" so he has to take another attempt on the masculine form of the name.

This is all part of a special study of what is called by Wallace and Burer "biblical gynecology." I only discuss gynecology with my doctor and the last time I checked gynecology meant,

The study of the reproductive system of women

Call me lacking in humour, John, but this obsession with proving that Junia is not an apostle when the Greek church has recognized her forever is very disrespectful.

From the earliest manuscripts right up until our present day scribes and translators want to bias the text against women - for 20 centuries, ... and you counsel quietly working for incremental change. I would not know what I know today if I had not taken this on.

I do know what has happened "under the hood" as you say through interviewing Packer, Fee, Waltke, and by email, Wallace and Burer and reading Eldon Epp and Ben Witherington and others.

I realize that Junia is no big deal but I enjoy drifting through ancient Greek literature at random anyhow, so it was all the more fun when there was something to look for, Wallace and Burer's elusive and ultimately non-existant evidence.

But we see that many Bible translations do not know which end is up on Junia. Sad really. Anyway, NIV etc. followed the N.A 2 critical text and the ESV, HCSB followed the NET Bible and Wallace and Burer.

And you don't think that women need to be included as authors in study Bibles. Wake up, John.

JohnFH

I am thankful that you recognize that ESV 1 Tim 2:12 is superior to TNIV 1 Tim 2:12. Your credibility will rise with ESVers if you point that out early and often. Otherwise it might seem that what you really want to do is single out ESV for criticism even though TNIV also deserves criticism.

For the same reason, you need to be on Peterson's case to change Junias to Junia in his translation. The same goes for the NASB95 people, and the NJB people. This should be relatively easy, in the wake of Epp's Junia volume. He himself notes in that book that he expects his conclusions to remain disputed - that was my point upthread - but I think he has made an excellent case for Junia. You would probably soon be able to report changes in line with your convictions to those who read the Better Bibles blog. That is what we all want, after all: better Bibles, not just a better ESV. I look forward to hearing about your endeavors in this respect.

I continue to believe that you do the cause of truth harm by focusing exclusively on campaigning for a better ESV. Please campaign for a better TNIV, NASB, The Nessage, NAB, NJB, and so on. It might also be wise to focus on more than one issue, not just gender accuracy.

Finally, I want to encourage you once again to write up your research on authentein for a peer-reviewed journal. You are perfectly up to it. Of course, you would then have less time to go back and forth with people on these issues on the internet. That's a tradeoff, I think, that will eventually be a plus for your campaign.

Suzanne

Burer's article on Junia will not be online until Aug. 1 so that gives me a breather. I do not think that there is any evidence for Junias, but it will be disputed anyway.

I really do think that many Bible translators misunderstand the case with Junia. I have examined it in detail and caused Burer to reposition himself. As I mentioned CBMW has withdrawn the Wallace and Burer article from the online journal.

This is the encouragement that I needed that I was on the right track. I have argued on the internet as a way to get peer reviews in terms of reaction. So far I may have wearied many people and learned some new details but on the whole my research has stood up well to criticism.

I continue to believe that the anti-TNIV statement is simply wrong and I have asked people in a BBB comment to petition the editor of the ESV study Bible to withdraw this statement.

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a community of bloggers

  • Abnormal Interests
    Intrepid forays into realia and texts of the Ancient Near East, by Duane Smith
  • After Existentialism, Light
    A thoughtful theology blog by Kevin Davis, an M. Div. student at University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • AKMA's Random Thoughts
    by A. K. M. Adam, Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Glasgow
  • alternate readings
    C. Stirling Bartholomew's place
  • Ancient Hebrew Grammar
    informed comment by Robert Holmstedt, Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, and John Cook, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore KY)
  • Antiquitopia
    one of the best blogs out there, by Jared Calaway, assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Illinois Wesleyan University.
  • Anumma - Hebrew Bible and Higher Education
    by G. Brooke Lester, Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible, and Director for Emerging Pedagogies, at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston IL)
  • Awilum
    Insightful commentary on the Bible and the Ancient Near East, by Charles Halton
  • AWOL - The Ancient World Online
    notice and comment on open access material relating to the ancient world, by Charles Jones of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
  • Balshanut
    top-notch Biblical Hebrew and Semitics blog by Peter Bekins, Ph. D. student, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati OH, faculty member, Wright State University (archive)
  • Believing is Knowing
    Comments on things like prophecy, predestination, and reward and punishment from an orthodox Jewish perspective, by David Guttmann
  • Ben Byerly's Blog
    thoughts on the Bible, Africa, Kenya, aid, and social justice, by Ben Byerly, a PhD candidate at Africa International University (AIU), in Nairobi, Kenya working on “The Hopes of Israel and the Ends of Acts” (Luke’s narrative defense of Paul to Diaspora Judeans in Acts 16-20)
  • Berit Olam
    by a thoughtful Matt Morgan, Berkeley CA resident, grad student in Old Testament at Regent University, Vancouver BC (archive)
  • Better Bibles Blog
    Discussion of translation problems and review of English Bible translations by Wayne Leman, Iver Larsen, Mike Sangrey, and others
  • Bibbia Blog
    A Bible blog in Italian and English by former students of the PIB and PUG
  • Bible Background research and commentary
    by Craig Keener, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Bible Design & Binding
    J. Mark Bertrand's place
  • BiblePlaces Blog
    a spotlight on the historical geography of the Holy Land, by Todd Bolen, formerly, Assistant Professor at the Israel Bible Extension campus of The Master's College, Santa Clarita CA
  • Biblicalia
    The riches of orthodoxy brought online by Kevin Edgecomb, a seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline MA)
  • Biblische Ausbildung
    by Stephen L. Cook, professor of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible at Virginia Theological Seminary
  • C. Orthodoxy
    Christian, Contemporary, Conscientious… or Just Confused, by Ken Brown, a very thoughtful blog (archive). Ken is currently a Dr. Theol. student at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, part of The Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group studying early Jewish Monotheism. His dissertation will focus on the presentation of God in Job.
  • Catholic Bibles
    a thoughtful blog about Bible translations by Timothy, who has a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) and teaches theology in a Catholic high school in Michigan
  • Chrisendom
    irreverent blog with a focus on the New Testament, by Chris Tilling, New Testament Tutor for St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London
  • Claude Mariottini
    a perspective on the Old Testament and current events by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicagoland, Illinois
  • Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot
    by Tyler Williams, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature, now Assistant Professor of Theology at The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta (archive)
  • Colours of Scripture
    reflections on theology, philosophy, and literature, by Benjamin Smith, afflicted with scriptural synaesthesia, and located in London, England
  • Complegalitarian
    A team blog that discusses right ways and wrong ways Scripture might help in the social construction of gender (old archive only; more recent archive, unfortunately, no longer publicly available)
  • Connected Christianity
    a place to explore what it might be like if Christians finally got the head, heart, and hands of their faith re-connected (archive)
  • Conversational Theology
    Smart and delightful comment by Ros Clarke, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at the (virtual) Highland Theological College (archive)
  • Daily Hebrew
    For students of biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near East, by Chip Hardy, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago
  • Daniel O. McClellan
    a fine blog by the same, who is pursuing a master of arts degree in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC.
  • Davar Akher
    Looking for alternative explanations: comments on things Jewish and beyond, by Simon Holloway, a PhD student in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Deinde
    News and Discussion by Danny Zacharias
  • Discipulus scripturae
    Nathan Stitt's place
  • Dr. Claude Mariottini
    balanced comment by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard IL
  • Dr. Platypus
    insightful comment by Darrell Pursiful, editor at Smyth & Helwys Publishing, on the New Testament faculty of Mercer University
  • Dust
    A diary of Bob MacDonald's journey through the Psalms and other holy places in the Hebrew Bible
  • Eclexia
    The heart and mind of this Bible and theology blogger sing in unison
  • Eat, Drink, and be Merry
    The journey of a grad student with a love for ancient languages at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (archive)
  • Elizaphanian
    Rev Sam tussles with God, and limps away
  • Emerging from Babel
    Stephen investigates the potential of narrative and rhetorical criticism as a tool for expounding scripture
  • Evangelical Textual Criticism
    A group blog on NT and OT text-critical matters
  • Evedyahu
    excellent comment by Cristian Rata, Lecturer in Old Testament of Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea
  • Exegetica Digita
    discussion of Logos high-end syntax and discourse tools – running searches, providing the downloads (search files) and talking about what can be done and why it might matter for exegesis, by Mike Heiser
  • Exegetisk Teologi
    careful exegetical comment by Stefan Green (in Swedish)
  • Exploring Our Matrix
    Insightful reflections by James McGrath, ass't. professor of religion, Butler University
  • Faith Matters
    Mark Alter's place
  • Ferrell's Travel Blog
    comments of biblical studies, archaeology, history, and photography by a tour guide of Bible lands and professor emeritus of the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace (FL)
  • Fors Clavigera
    James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, thinks out loud.
  • Friar's Fires
    an insightful blog by a pastor with a background in journalism, one of three he pens
  • 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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    Copyright © 2005 by John F Hobbins.