Thursday, June 09, 2005

My thoughts and concerns about new translations - part 1

There is a brand new translation of the Bible available, it is a second generation NIV and there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. Some say it is great because it's target is to reach the teens of today, it's been formed to be user friendly and politically correct. So what's the big deal? The Bible isn't supposed to be politically correct, it is supposed to be spiritually correct.

A Bible who wants everyone who reads it to understand and feel included & unjudged? Traditionally the Bible has been something you can turn to to see exactly where God stands on an issue, there is no grey area with God. Wrong is wrong and right is right. Sexual immorality is wrong (1 Timothy 1:10, 1 Corinthians 6:9), the Bible tells us that so many times I've lost count. Murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, homosexuality is wrong (Romans 1:26-27), lust is wrong (Matthew 5:28).

So, if a Bible is making things more accessable to todays youth, what's the problem? One problem lies with the "inclusive language".

"LAWTON: In the TNIV, Mary is now "pregnant," not "with child." Jesus walks on water not during the "fourth watch of the night," but rather "shortly before dawn." In the crucifixion accounts, references to "the Jews" are changed to "Jewish leaders." The most comprehensive changes surround gender. The TNIV uses more inclusive language, beginning in Genesis 1, where instead of saying God created "man" in his own image, the TNIV says God created "human beings" in his own image."

Now, I could swear that man WAS created first and woman was created later out of Adam's side, therefore God created MAN in his image. I've got Genesis 1:27 (NKJV) backing me up, what do they have? A bunch of people who are not being held accountable for what they do. Just because someone has a PhD doesn't mean we take everything they say as gold. You have to do research, just because someone says God doesn't make them a Christian (Matthew 7:21). At best they are a theist who has been decieved, at worst a liar decieving millions. And the worst part is that it can be very difficult in knowing what catagory they would fall into.

As believers in Christ we have the responsibility to test the spirits to see if they are of God (1 John 4:1-3) and to test all teachings against the Word of God, (Acts 17:11). Sadly, a multitude of teachers today tend to allow anything and everything to come through the doors without any attempt to discern the truth. We are called to guard, to watch and to warn those within the church, of the dangers of false teaching, seducing spirits, doctrines of demons, destructive heresies and the philosophies of the world.

"The TNIV was translated by the same independent committee of evangelical scholars who translated the NIV 30 years ago. Professor John Stek, who has worked on Bible translation for 40 years, chairs the committee."

By the same independent committee to me says that they aren't accountable to anyone. If you have no one to answer to you can do what you want. And sadly this happens. People twist the meaning of scripture to fit into their own sinful lives, or ignore it all together. John said "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:15), yet how many of us hold grudges for months, even years on end? Jesus said to "Agree with your adversary quickly," (Matthew 5:25.)

"More than 100 evangelical leaders and scholars have signed a statement of concern about the TNIV. Much of the opposition has been spearheaded by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which criticizes the TNIV's widespread elimination of masculine words such as "he," "his," "brother," "father," and "son."

RANDY STINSON (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood): If you do that throughout the entire text of the scripture, what you do is you undermine significant things about fathers, about manhood, about brothers, about relationships between men and women, and the way that the Bible fundamentally teaches from cover to cover about the role of men leading in the home, about the role of men leading in the church."

Now, Randy Stinson has hit it dead on. There are things they shouldn't be messed with. I wonder what the TNIV says about the man being the head of the household and that wives are supposed to submit to them and that men are the authority over women? How are they going to get around that one? Obviously women being submissive doesn't sound very P.C., so what shall they do?

7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. (1 Corinthians 11:7-9 TNIV)

I guess there was no getting around saying that women came from man there. If you follow the link above you will see that it goes on to confirm that men are supposed to have authority over women (verse 10) because women are the glory of man.

Ephesians 5:22-24 (NKJV) tells "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the idea of making the Bible more accessable to new believers. I'll admit the KJV can be a bit intimidating when you aren't used to reading it (Though if you get used to it reading Shakespear will be a whole lot easier!) I just have issues with altering God's intent. There has to be a way to clearly express what the original texts said in a language that is accessable to today's youth.

I think that the translators should be held accountable, the people doing the translation should not be an independant committie serving their own agenda, rather they should be serving the people they say they are trying to reach. They should have to put out a Bible that accurately puts forth what God intended, the Bible was never ment to be twisted to fit our needs, we were ment to bend and conform to God's will. And ultimately anyone who distorts God's word will answer to Him (Revelation 22:18).

You'll ultimately have to judge for yourself though, just read the Bible with a heart that is open to God's direction. He'll always give it to you straight so long as you ask (Matthew 7:7-8) so I suggest you just ask for His guidence & discernment as you read.


The source for my quotes.

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