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The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy Paperback – January 1, 2005
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This book does explain their side well. They did expose some questionable parts of the 2002 edition, and their critiquing of the TNIV is probably what drove some updates to be made of the 2005 edition.
I think this book illustrates why it is good to always have two opposites arguing an issue. Just like in politics, each side's constant critiquing of the other, only drives the final product to be stronger! If the Grudem like people did not exist, some real problems could have remained in the TNIV 2005 edition. On the other hand, if TNIV folks did not exist, our Bible translations would remain using language that does not address the changes of today's language. We wouldn't realize that "he\man\brothers" no longer means both male and females to those using today's language.
The TNIV does have some issues, but so do all Bible translations. Just like with any other Bible translation, you should have one or two others that you read also. Grudem's picking apart of the TNIV does not invalidate it as a translation, anymore than picking apart the nasb or kjv would invalidate them as translations also
Read this book, so your views on this issue can be sharpened. Then go buy a book favoring inclusive language and read that too!
Not even our Bibles have been left untouched by this. Translations have been coming out for at least 20 years pushing gender-neutrality. This has presented a whole host of problems.
For example, we have a complete re-working of entire sentences in order to make them gender-neutral. This means that when you are reading a particular gender-neutral translation, you are no longer reading what the the Hebrew, Aramic, and Greek manuscripts. The meaning of verses has been lost or changed because of gender-neutrality.
But, when we read the Bible and see Paul writing about tongues and he is using masculine words that women are exempt from what Paul is writing? Certainly not! No one thinks that way.
But, that’s not what the proponents of gender-neutral language want you to think. They are looking for anyway to remove masculine and feminine words from the language – they even go as far to start using “they” as a singular pronoun. Examples such as “they is sad,” “they is mad,” and, “they is happy.”
Now, we can go change some instances, but we can’t go changing all masculine words/stories to fit with gender-neutrality. And an interesting note is the fact that translators don’t even change feminine words/stories to gender-neutral.
This is what Grudem and Poythress wrestle with throughout the entire book. They show countless, and I mean countless, of examples on why making the Bible gender-neutral is not a good idea. Though, they do affirm some instances where the meaning is not lost and it is not directed to a specific gender.
Not only that, but they should countless upon countless of more “real-world” examples that show reputable places are still using masculine terms when referring to people in general.
They also do a detailed study in the history of the gender-neutral Bibles (even in Europe).
They do all this while representing the other side accurately. I believe they brought about a fair and balanced book on a refutation on why gender-neutral Bibles need to be stopped. They provide countless footnotes on information, stating their research, and there are even inserts stating that they did receive an advanced copy of the TNIV so it could be changed prior to release.
This may seem like a dated source, but it’s actually multiple sources from Grudem and Poythress revised and updated and brought under one binding. As dated as it may seem, it is still a wealth of knowledge.
However, they do not only stop at tearing down the opponents arguments, but they very briefly go over Bible translation and respectable translation.
This may seem like a gigantic book when you first receive it. Rest assured, you have permission from the authors to skip chapters and sections of the book because some of the information may be really in depth or repetitious to build a strong case for their side. I read the whole thing (including the multiple appendices), but I will admit that even though I didn’t skip any of it, I did find myself skimming parts of it.
To conclude, I highly recommend everyone have this on their book shelf due to the wealth of knowledge in it and the apologetics you can use against gender-neutral advocates.
They wrote in their Preface to this 2004 book, "Some people might wonder, 'Why do you spend so much time arguing about the Bible, for goodness' sake?'... Our reply is that when accurate translation of the Bible is at stake, it is hard to think of anything in the world that is more important to argue about..." They note that the dispute is primarily about the translation of only five terms: father; son; brother; man; and he/him/his. They authors note that neither the Greek words, nor the meaning of those Greek words have changed, so that "the real question (is) mostly one of English usage." (Pg. 24)
Observing that the Bible often points to a single individual as a way of teaching a general truth, they cite the 10th Commandment ("covet your neighbor's WIFE"), and state that "we can easily realize that the specific female example ... also applies to not coveting a neighbor's husband." (Pg. 27)
A key argument of theirs is that "Such pressure to change the text of Scripture will be relentless... If evangelical translators and publishers give in... this altering of the text of Scripture will never end. And then readers will never know at any verse whether what they have is the Bible or the translator's own ideas." (Pg. 299)
This is perhaps the most intricate and detailed critique of inclusive language translations that is available.