Gender Neutral Bible Has Evangelists Running To Reclaim HIStory

The 2011 version of the New International Version Bible isn’t even available yet, but all of its additions of “sisters” and “she” where “brothers” and “he” once stood alone has a Christian evangelist group furious.

Hilariously, it’s the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood with the problem; isn’t this an organization who opted for a lengthier title to include women? The AP relays:

The 2011 translation of the New International Version Bible, or NIV, does not change pronouns referring to God, who remains “He” and “the Father.” But it does aim to avoid using “he” or “him” as the default reference to an unspecified person. The NIV Bible is used by many of the largest Protestant faiths. The translation comes from an independent group of biblical scholars that has been meeting yearly since 1965 to discuss advances in biblical scholarship and changes in English usage.

Before the new translation even hit stores, it drew opposition from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, an organization that believes women should submit to their husbands in the home and only men can hold some leadership roles in the church. The council decided it would not endorse the new version because the changes alter “the theological direction and meaning of the text,” according to a statement. Similar concerns led the Southern Baptist Convention to reject the NIV’s previous translation in 2005. At issue is how to translate pronouns that apply to both genders in the ancient Greek and Hebrew texts but have traditionally been translated using masculine forms in English.

An example from the translator’s notes for Mark 4:25 to show how the NIV’s translation of these words has evolved over the past quarter-century. The widely distributed 1984 version of the NIV quotes Jesus: “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” The more recent incarnation of the NIV from 2005, called Today’s New International Version, changed that to: “Those who have will be given more; as for those who do not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

I simply will not stand for a Bible that haphazardly throws around the pronoun “they” just to avoid an uncomfortable battle of the sexes. The terrorists won.

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  • Hyhybt

    Not sure why they’re upset; the parts about wives submitting to their husbands and women keeping their mouths shut and their hats on in church are still there.

  • Jeffree

    So, wait, God is still a dude though right?

    And they didn’t take out the parts on how to treat slaves & avoiding sex with menstruating non-dudes, I hope.

  • Shannon1981

    This is ridiculous. Exactly why are they mad? Do the women in the group opposing this WANT to be treated as pieces of property rather than as equals? Hell, as religious as they are, my mom wears the pants in this house, always has. This isn’t Ward and June Cleaver times, folks. The womenfolk have risen up.

  • Mario

    So they’re just making new stuff up.

    How exactly is that different from the people who originally wrote the thing?

  • CJ

    Interesting how Queerty and a few others want to slam Michael Lucas for his views on Islam… and yet Queerty looks left and right for ways to attack or belittle Christians and Catholics. Not that I always disagree with the criticisms. But, apparently some in the LGBT community need to recognize their own bigotry and prejudice. I guess that the demand for tolerance and prejudice is only applicable to some.

  • B

    No. 5 · CJ wrote, “Interesting how Queerty and a few others want to slam Michael Lucas for his views on Islam… and yet Queerty looks left and right for ways to attack or belittle Christians and Catholic.”

    QUEERTY belittles Christian idiots. The “few others” tend to have trouble with the idea that it is the idiots who are the problem, not most Christians (who may go to a church on a Sunday morning but just to sing a few hymns, sleep through a sermon, or listen to advise about being nice to others). It’s the loony ones, the ones who think the world will end in 6 months, that cause the problems. Unfortunately, the loonies tend to make the most noise, hence the term “bedlam”, which came from one name used in the past for an English institution that warehoused and mistreated people with mental disorders (the bad treatment is now ancient history).

  • CJ


    Queerty and others belittle more than just the idiots. As with Islam, not all Muslims are radicals, idiots, terrorists, etc. The same within Christians. Not all are anti-gay, Republican, self-haters, whatever. But, we end up with people who refuse to realize this… and just label all Muslims or Christians in a negative way.

  • damon459

    This “book” has been rewritten so many times nobody knows what was in it originally and frankly who cares? It started out as a collection of “books” most popular in religious teaching of it’s day and then was turned into a single book. It was written by men not this “god” so I see no reason to follow it. For all I know “god” is an atheist.

  • Jeffree

    @B: Yep, word “bedlam” comes from the name of a long-gone London mental institution, St. Mary of Bethlehem. And you’re right that we sometimes tar all people of faith with a too wide brush. Although I believe a big part of homophobia is couched in religious language, I think that’s often just a way people use to justify their own attitudes. It sounds so much more “respectable” to hate when someone can pull out a quote from a holy book !

    @Damon459: My old philosophy prof was fond of saying that the bible “isn’t a book, it’s a library.” And of course, Elaine Pagels wrote some books on the “gnostic” gospels and apocryphal (sp?) books not included in the OT or NT. Makes you realize that there was a lot of material to choose from…

  • MikeE

    @damon459: Your statement is inaccurate. The Bible’s “books” have been repeatedly translated (and usually MIStranslated), however, the original versions in Greek and Aramaic are still readily accessible if you can read those languages.

  • B

    No. 10 · MikeE wrote, “The Bible’s “books” have been repeatedly translated (and usually MIStranslated), however, the original versions in Greek and Aramaic are still readily accessible if you can read those languages.”

    Not exactly – the texts that make up the Bible were copied repeatedly by hand, and the texts, even in the original languages, changed with time – we know that because every so often an older version of the text is found (e.g., in some obscure cave).

    Also, our ability to understand these ancient languages has improved with time.

  • B

    No. 7 · CJ wrote, “@B: Queerty and others belittle more than just the idiots.” I said some of the others overreact. QUEERTY doesn’t as far as I remember. If you know of some cases where QUEERTY was blaming Christians in general instead of the evangelical types, provide some URLs to back up that claim.

  • Mikey

    I don’t think I’ll ever understand this huge push for political correctness. Be respectful, yes, but going out of the way to neutralize holy texts? That’s just a little too ridiculous for my tatses.

  • Alex

    Just swapping in ‘they’ in place of ‘he’ won’t purge the Bible of its misogynistic, ethnocentric, and genocidal overtones. It might make it more palatable for the liberal Christians who tend to ignore the shitty parts of the Bible anyway— you know, like the ENTIRE Old Testament— … but IMO, that’s just feeding their already present self-delusions. Say what you will about conservative Christians, but at least they’re more honest about what the Bible really says.

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