John MacArthur charges the TNIV with Altering the Word of God

Another attack on a bible translation by a new Calvinist -

Remember, this is a concerted effort by the new Calvinists to secure for the ESV, the same status the KJV has for a few. Will they do it?

There’s a fourth attack that I would just mention to you, just to give you some idea of the landscape…the attack that comes from the culture.  From the critics, from t he cults, from the Charismatics, from the culture.  We live in a day when culture is telling the church what the Bible will be allowed to say.  A great illustration of this is the publication of the TNIV, Zondervan Publishing Company produces a Bible called the TNIV, the TNIV is distinguished by its deference to the Feminist Movement.  It has altered the Word of God, changed the Word of God to make it compatible to the contemporary Feminist Egalitarian Movement and that is not the only one that has done that, there are others that have done it as well.  full sermon notes…

Go read TC’s take.

Oh, and Jeff points us here:

Barack Obama and the TNIV by John Piper

Post By Joel Watts (10,056 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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212 thoughts on John MacArthur charges the TNIV with Altering the Word of God

  1. Thanks for the mention.
    The “attackers” happen to be Calvinists. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it or not. I suppose they like their ESV.
    I’m Calvinist and like these preachers a lot, but their flaws are so glowing in this area.
    And why they attack the TNIV but not the NLT is beyond me.
    Jeff

  2. Jeff, I believe that Sproul did attack, slightly, the NLT.

    Not being a Calvinist – although I am still working on it, it seems – I do some of these preachers myself, but it does bother me to see them doing this.

  3. Polycarp, I don’t know if it is to secure the ESV for MacArthur since the NASB is his translation of choice.
    Neither is it his calvinism.  I think he considers himself a a custodian of the truth and read or heard about the TNIV and decided to attack it in this sermon of his.  That’s my impression.

  4. As I wrote on Jeff’s blog, I hold Dr. Packer, Grudem and Poythress responsible for all this. I interviewed Dr. Packer on this and I know that he has put his recommendation behind Grudem and Poythress and behind the NLT as well. He carries a lot of influence. I finally decided that I could not attend the same church as Packer. I could not respect his words on this.
    Personally, I don’t blame other theologians for believing that Packer knows what he is talking about. If you can’t trust him, who can you trust?

  5. Dr. Packer told me he thought that the NLT was a very good translation. I gave up trying to make sense of most of this argument some time ago. I would not recommend trying to make any of this seem consistent. Its painful.
    I just read a nasty thread in a forum somewhere, actually Puritan Board, on how terrible the TNIV was. The only example given was Matt. 2:16. I looked this up.
    KJV children
    TNIV boys
    NRSV children
    ESV male children
    I wonder which translation is adding words to the text.

  6. In the balance, I agree with Johnny Mac about the TNIV. The culture is KING today…postmodernism!  And the ESV is very good, it stands on its  own merit!
    Fr. R.

  7. Fr. Robert how do you know this is the reason that they decided to use gender inclusive language? And why pick on the TNIV when the NRSV did this in 1989?
    Jeff

  8. Jeff,

    A lot has come down the pike since 1989! I like and use the NRSV, but of course don’t need the gender issue therein. And as I said to Joel, the term “the brethren” has history. Not to mention the great evangelical revival, which was British first.  No the TNIV is being pressed by the “culture” and postmodernism!  It might appear small, but is real nonetheless!  My thoughts at least.

    Fr. R.

  9. Thanks for your thoughts, Robert. Do you think then that the ESV was pressured by culture to add the word “male” in Matt. 2:16, or to add the word his in 1 Tim. 5:8.
    I get the impression that it is considered correct to insert masculine pronouns and adjectives into the English text from time to time, even when they are not present in the Greek.

  10. Suzanne,

    In English, it has always been to the masculine use of pronouns.  “Men” etc., was never meant to exclude or diminish women!  But what the heck I will be 60 in Oct. (much of my reading was in the 20th century), and I am an Irish male.  Already suspect by todays culture! lol

    I cannot speak to the mind of the ESV translators, but I know their intent was to the real translation of the Word of God!

    We all need to back off just a bit I think?  But the question is will our postmodern culture allow us “both” too? And without loss to the Truth at times?

    Yours,
    Fr. R.

  11. Here is the preface to the ESV. I do think they intend to exclude women.
    “In the area of gender language, the goal of the ESV is to render literally what is in the original. For example, “anyone” replaces “any man” where there is no word corresponding to “man” in the original languages, and “people” rather than “men” is regularly used where the original languages refer to both men and women. But the words “man” and “men” are retained where a male meaning component is part of the original Greek or Hebrew.”
    Some people are making dishonest statements about the TNIV and we should just back off?

  12. I am surpised you categorize MacArthur as new calvinist, rather than complementarian. Because the argument does not seem to me to be between calvinists and non-calvinists. The argument seems to be between egalitarians and complementarians.

  13. Suzanne,
    I think the issue (right or wrong?) for the ESV translators, is their perception of truth in translation. No group of translators is without feet of clay either. If you like the TNIV? Then use it!

    Myself, I have no axe to grind (I don’t think?) just seeking to be faithful, in my little part, to the Word of God.

    And I would tend to agree with WB Moore, as to Johnny Mac. Mac is a preacher, and not really a hard theolog also. For myself, I can only thank God that the Reformed are changing some. Again my thoughts anyway.

    Fr. R.

  14. Robert,
    When I was a young woman, I memorized 2 Tim. 2:2 in the NASB.
    “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
    Since I was raised on the KJV I understood that “men” meant “human beings.”
    One day, I was copying the book of 2 Tim for a manuscript copying experiment, and I cross-checked part of it with the ESV which was still relatively new at the time. I read first the preface, as you see above, and then this,
    “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
    I went to Dr. Packer shortly after, having read Poythress and Grudem’s book on the TNIV, and I asked Dr. Packer what this meant. He said at first that he thought it meant “men” that is males only. Then, seeing my distress, that he had just ripped a verse out of my personal Bible, he said, of course, one could say that perhaps it meant “people.” But it was too late. I had sat under his ministry, and my eyes were opened. Some men do actually intend to actively deprive women of parts of God’s truth.
    I can only suppose that some men have no idea what harm they do to God’s children. I am no longer young, and I regret the years spent under complementarian ministry very much.

  15. Suzanne,
    I have met Packer myself, he is another fallible human being. But in the main, he is a fine Christian man. Just because he may not have ‘put it all together’ for you, does not demand his removal in your life. You might want to consider your own “Christian” scruples here? Just a thought, okay?

    Fr. R.

  16. Robert,
    I think rather that he took it all apart. I was not looking to him to put anything together, but I realized that he wanted to take it apart. Perhaps he did not realize that women are attached to the Bible. I really don’t know.
    I had several long conversations with my pastor before leaving that church. I realized finally that the ministry team had put their trust in Grudem, and I did not feel that it was beyond my scruples to leave.

  17. <i>You might want to consider your own “Christian” scruples here?</i>
    Do you think that as someone who could no longer assent to complementarian doctrine, I was not considering my Christian scruples in leaving. It seemed like the only honest thing to do.

  18. Suzanne,
    First, thanks for taking my challenge well. I did fire across your bow!
    One can only follow their conscience also. As you appear to have done.

    You would not like the Anglican Communion that is for certain, however. There we have everything and anything…very sad! 

    Finally, what do “you” see in postmodernism? Does this apply here to you at all?

    Fr. R.

  19. Thank you, Robert, I attend a very pleasant and moderate Anglican Church at the moment, without any difficulty.
    I don’t think postmodernism has much to do with my beliefs, although I must be influenced as  much as anyone, in some ways.
    I am of your generation, Robert, and was taught Greek and Latin in high school. I was influenced then by Grace Irwin, who went on to be a minister after she retired from teaching classics. She died recently at the age of 100.
    One thing that moved my belief along very promptly was when I read that Poythress and Grudem had not checked with the Liddell Scott lexicon when they drafted the Colorado Springs gender language guidelines. I used to teach high school French and I studied translation for some time as well. It boggles my mind what Poythress and Grudem did, and how Packer assented. The state of language education today is sich that Poythress and Grudem don’t even seem to realize where they have missed the boat.
    I am reacting against the state of modern education, rather than having swallowed some pomo package whole hog. Where do you seem post modernism in my comments? I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

  20. I don’t think it is ‘wrong’ per se, to use ‘brother and sister’ in context. But the question does arise, does this change the message. Sometimes making something more gender neutral does not hurt, and actually helps. Sometimes it changes the message. I need to do more research on this again, as its been a while. But I recall reading, and verifying, that in the first version of the TNIV, there were verses where the message changed entirely. I recall this being fixed with the second version.

  21. Suzanne,

    I think some people are ignorant of their presuppositions when they read the text, and just because one is a pastor or has a ThD or PhD does not make one immune to such things. This does not make them bad, just ignorant.

    I tend to use multiple translations, because I do not easily read Greek and even less of Hebrew. But I read in both English and Spanish (and teach in both), which I think can give one a deeper appreciation for the problems in dealing with translating. I’ve also taught ESL, and often have to tell students the rules in dealing with pronouns and such.

    Perhaps because I speak two languages, I’ve always understood the term ‘men’ to include both genders, unless the context shows otherwise.

    But as Fr. Robert and Polycarp have both said, it is better to read the version you will read than no version at all.

  22. Suzanne,
    It is my opinion that the whole Western world and culture has been effected by postmodernism!  Without following MacArthur whole hog, I do believe his statement about “Culture” shaping the Church today.  I see this on every front!  From situational ethics, to the full blown feminist ideology and theology. Not to mention the loss today in the creational roles of men and women. 

    Perhaps, I am somewhat sensitive to the constant soft blowing on what I believe to be an attack on the Holy Scripture? But it is constant, and now is coming from the so-called Judeo-Christian scholarship. I for one, am fed-up with such masking of both scholarship and theology!

    This is my “bug-a-boo” if you will!
    Fr. Robert,
    D. Phil.,Th.D. 

  23. WBMoore,
    I don’t think the word “men” was a problem. However, I attended an Anglican church in which there was supposed to be an acceptance of the ordination of women. I found that the ministry was strongly opposed to the ordination of women. However, they did not make this clear until they opened the dialogue on acquiring for the church.

  24. Robert,
    I believe you are going to have to make some substantive comment in order to continue a dialogue. I personally looked up the word adelphos in the 1871 Liddell Scott lexicon and found that in the plural in referred to “brothers and sisters.”  This is my example. Poythress and Grudem did not refer to a lexicon in determining that the TNIV was influenced by culture. If culture can influence a translation to be more accurate, how is this a fault?
    I can give you many more exact and substantive examples if you like. Perhaps you would be so kind as to give me some concrete example of what you mean by the masking of scholarship and theology.

  25. Robert,
    I will tell you quite frankly that I have several concerns about this issue of the TNIV. First, that the criticism is deliberately fostered by those who wish to see the termination of women’s ordination in the Anglican Church.
    Second, that Dr. Packer has offended Bruce Waltke and Gordon Fee. These men are older now and it is becoming likely that they will die without reconciliation. I do not feel comfortable having continued communion with Dr. Packer considering the details of this situation.

  26. Sorry about switching from Suzanne to Sue. I have been switching laptops with one of my kids throughout the day.

  27. Sue,
    As concerns just a lexicon and or dictionary, the Strongs has both the adelphe (fem.) sister; and adelphos, a brother. If we look at E.W. Bullingers Critical Lexicon, etc. It is also “brother” or near “kinsman”. In 1 Peter 2:17 it is “brotherhood”! And even the NRSV has in the footnote here: Gk. Love the brotherhood.

    Also, I am one of those that believes in biblical revelation ( and in conscience), that women should not be ordained as “presbyter”! ( 1 Tim. 2:11-15…note verses 13-14!)

    Fr. Robert 

  28. I don’t find that a conflict between the Strong’s, etc. etc. to be an example of post modern thinking. It is not as if anyone started a campaign to criticize those translations that used “brothers.” Not at all. The campaign was originally to prove that those translations that used “brothers and sisters” was wrong. On what basis?
    There should have been an immediate acknowledgement that scholarship supports both views, and that should have been the end of it.
    Regarding women’s ordination, the Anglican Church has had a tradition, beginning with the ordination of Florence Li Tim Oi in Macau in 1944 of ordaining women. I had expected this to be the practice in the church I attended. However, instead I met a group of men dedicated to removing women from spritual leadership. I do not see how this can be packaged in any way that can honour women.
    I understand the position of men who have always been in churches that do not ordain women, that they need time to consider the issue in depth.
    Women’s ordination has not been a pomo sort of affair in Canada. There was a tradition going back to when women evangelized the frontiers of having women as licenced lay leaders who lead congregations. It is to my thinking quite ahistoric to think of the ordination of women in the Anglican church as post modernism, an anachronism in fact.

  29. In any case, I hope that once over 50, I won’t have to learn about how women are saved by childbearing. Spare me this, please. A little decorum.

  30. Fr. Robert,
    From my perspective of life in the colonies, :) I must say that I agree with you concerning postmodernism affecting our culture. And I would say to its detriment.

  31. I feel as if you two are speaking some kind of secret code. ;-) Could you give me some example of how this relates to the TNIV? Bruce Waltke is not exactly pomo! What a funny thought.

  32. First, thanks Joel to bring me up to speed on the ESV and “some” of the Reformed people therein. Since I am not an American, it does not effect me as much, etc. Though I am in California right now. And yes, I have had an ESV as far back as 2000 myself. Even the Reformation Study Bible, with RC Sproul as general editor. 

    Sue, I have to live and work with women in the priesthood in England. So my position is my personal belief. I don’t go about pounding the issue however. In the Church of England, one must endure many things that are simply not biblical!  But I cross both places in my ministry, those for and those against woman’s ordination. Every one knows my personal belief.  I have been an axillary bishop, and know the aspect to the political. 

    Sadly however, it should not exist!  If we will be driven by the historic biblical text, the issue is plain.  No women ordination!  And this has nothing to do with women equality, but with the different roles that God has chosen for men and women in His creation and Church. In context, this is St. Paul’s argument in 1 Tim. 2:8-15.  Also we can see this in the reality of the relationship between man and wife (Eph. 5:22-24).

    Again Sue, just my opinion, but your persupposition against the ESV seems to be driven by your attitude toward the women’s issues. And it is just that simple!  And I will not respond to personal issues between Packer and company, etc.  This is a best but ad hoc, but tends toward ad hom.

    Sincerely In Christ,
    Fr. Robert

  33. Robert,
    I am so sorry that you have ignored the fact that my issue with the ESV is lexicon based.  My understanding of 1 Tim. 2:12 etc is also based on an academic study of the vocabulary. But I sense that there is little interest in these linguistic details at the moment.
    I was fortunate to have visited St. Martin’s in the Fields last week and saw the memorial to Florence Li Tim Oi. As I have mentioned, women’s ordination has an honourable history.
    I think that at this stage in life, a women’s role is better no longer defined in terms of the males who surround one. I regret ever holding to these views myself but now I have happily moved on. As we age, it would be nice for men and women to be friends and siblings rather than role fillers. This is just my opinion.
    Thanks for the dialogue.
    Suzanne
     

  34. Suzanne,
    If you are married?  That one male should surround you!  I am also married, with our two teen son’s (both of my son’s were born in my 40′s). My wife, is the love of my life, we both surround each other in so many ways!  And in reality, we can never run from our roles in life, these are creational and God given. Yes, I might be an old “fossil” (as CS Lewis also called himself) and always a Royal Marine too, but I hope I am a loving one? lol

    God bless lov..
    Fr. Robert

  35. From one old fossil to another, I don’t usually answer questions of this sort online, nor do I usually ask them.

  36. Suzanne,
    I was but responding to your points about men and women, role’s in life etc.  You also had mentioned your “kids”. I was not really asking, but making a rhetorical question, etc.

    Finally,  the situation is bigger than just a meaning from a lexicon. Thus my point to the culture and postmodernism. The whole of history and Scripture, especially the Judeo-Christian heritage is most certainly not egalitarian, but theocatic.
    Fr. Robert

  37. Uhhh, did anyone else get emailed every comment that has been added to this post? I have so far gotten an email for every comment other than my own. That is 59 emails, what is going on?

  38. Mike Aubrey,
    I think this issue and question has gone well beyond the balance of seeking truth and good judgment. Have you sir read the WHOLE preface to the English Standard Version? Translation Philosophy and also Translation Style most importantly? I bet not!  And even so, if you don’t believe their intent, then don’t use or read it…simple!  So go buy and read the TNIV.

    If you cannot see the battle of culture and postmodernism against the Church?  That is your problem, not mine. Blog space will certainly not change you either. I will say it again, “culture” is leading the Church, rather the Church the culture!  One would have to be blind not to see this!  The loss today in objective truth is tremendous, not to mention the reality of the loss of the objective of God’s revelation…HIS written word!

    I am not going over the same ground as to Lexicion’s!  Read Bullinger’s: A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek N.T. 

    Fr. Robert

  39. Fr. Robert, why would you assume Mike didn’t read the whole preface? (I know he has)
    If it’s a matter of simply reading what you like and not what you don’t like, then why are you making so many comments on the TNIV?
    Is it not possible that someone can believe that gender inclusive can be the best way to translate some passages without it being an issue of postmodernism or radical feminism (in its negative sense).
    I also still wonder why the TNIV is attacked and not the NRSV or NLT that came before. Why was it not an issue then?
    Jeff

  40. Robert,
    Let me explain. In the preface to the ESV it says,
    “A recurring note is included to indicate that the term “brothers” (adelphoi) was often used in Greek to refer to both men and women,”
    In the text there are notes which say “or brothers and sisters.”
    HOWEVER, on June 2, 1997, when the initial Colorado Springs Guidelines were agreed on, Guideline B 1 originally read,

    “Brother” (adelphos) and “brothers” (adelphoi) should not be changed to “brother(s) and sister(s).”

    In The TNIV and the GNB, 2004, p. 425 – 426, Poythress and Grudem write, “Examination of further lexicological data (as indicated in chapter 12) showed that this guideline was too narrow.”

    The following refined guideline was approved on Sept. 9, 1997,

    “Brother” adelphos should not be changed to “brother or sister”; however, the plural adelphoi can be translated “brothers and sisters” where the context makes clear that the author is referring to both men and women.

    What was the ‘further lexicological data’? In Poythress and Grudem’s own words,

    “in fact, the major Greek lexicons for over 100 years have said that adelphoi, which is the plural of the word adelphos, ‘brother” sometimes means “brothers and sisters” (see BAGD, 1957 and 1979, Liddell-Scott-Jones, 1940 and even 1869).

    This material was new evidence to those of us who wrote the May 27 guidlines – we weren’t previously aware of this pattern of Greek usage outside the Bible. Once we saw these examples and others like them, we felt we had to make some change in the guidelines.”

    FROM THIS DISCUSSION we can see that Poythress and Grudem did not refer to the Liddell Scott lexicion when they drafted the guidelines.
    This is an example of the lack of academic rigour that permeates the discussion about the TNIV.
    If this seems trivial, I can cite a dozen examples of this kind of carelessness.

  41. So, yes, this one error was corrected. But how about the criticism that the TNIV uses ” children of God”  instead of “sons of God.”  “Children of God”  was the usual expression in the Tyndale, KJV, Luther tradition. Why was it criticized?

  42. If someone wants to criticize the TNIV for using a singular “they” construction, let’s look at the mayhem that ensues when it is not used.
    Regarding 1 Tim. 5:8, I heard two sermons explaining how this referred to men.
     
    εἰ δέ τις τῶν ἰδίων
    καὶ μάλιστα οἰκείων οὐ προνοεῖ,
    τὴν πίστιν ἤρνηται καὶ ἔστιν ἀπίστου χείρων.

    If anyone does not provide for his relatives,
    and especially for his immediate family,
    he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
     
    Someone needs to tell me how the Greek says “his”  and why two men supposedly trained as ministers were not aware of the gender neutrality of this verse.
     
    Here is what Calvin wrote about this verse?

    Erasmus has translated it, “If any woman do not provide for her own,” making it apply exclusively to females. But I prefer to view it as a general statement; for it is customary with Paul, even when he is treating of some particular subject, to deduce arguments from general principles, and, on the other hand, to draw from particular statements a universal doctrine. And certainly it will have greater weight, if it apply both to men and to women.

  43. Jeff,
    I am a Irishman, who lives and has ministry in England, so this issue of the TNIV is not that foremost for me. But, as I have tried to state, the reality of a culture that is running the Church around in circles is!  I value several men on the ESV contributors, Roger Nicole, Gordon Wenham and Leon Morris.  They are not anti-women, or men who have an axe to grind, period!  This seems to be an American reaction to the ESV, and something of some of the Reformed therein?

    But as I said, there is a soft wind or breath blowing against the Holy Scripture, even among those who should see it.  The gender issue is much larger than it appears.  Perhaps I have been battered within this struggle? But I stand on what I have said. I will leave it at that!

    Fr. Robert

  44. Robert,
     
    As far as I can see, no one is criticizing contributors to the ESV. This post is about those who attack the TNIV. That is the topic of the post.
     
    However, I am not sure how your other comments relate to the TNIV. I feel that you want to say something, but without examples, it is not clear to me what you are trying to say. I’m sorry about that.
     

  45. Suzanne,
    As I said, “in the balance” I agree with John MacArthur here!  The aspect to the “culture” running and teaching the Church!  And the gender issue, though seeming trivial,  is a subtile attack on the Word of God!

    Fr. Robert

  46. Robert,
    I realize now that you did not ask me if I was married, but simply punctuated your assumption with a question mark. I should have passed on this without comment. Sorry about that.
     
    As for culture teaching the church, I am not sure how this applies to the TNIV. However, suppose culture influenced someone to look a word up in the Liddell Scott lexicon and then alter the translation. Would that be a bad thing?
     
    On the other hand, the ESV has altered meaning considerably. They have stated that “men”  refers to males. This is quite a shift from the KJV. But perhaps culture has caused this shift. Maybe culture is a bad thing afterall. Perhaps culture can have a positive or negative influence.

  47. Suzanne,
    Perhaps it would be helpful for you to get a few Christian books on the aspect of Postmodernism as it touches our culture. There are several, I will leave that to you?  Just looking at the past verses the present, and how it has effected the Church.  Again, the roles that men and women are given in Scripture are certainly changing in todays culture. Perhaps some of it is positive, but in the main it is negative to my mind and experience, especially as a pastor, etc.  The Family is certainly under attack in today’s culture! 

    Perhaps the ESV translators (and there was one woman…Marion Ann Taylor, Ph.D. Wycliffe), thought that the gender language issue was a grave problem for the Church? (The NRSV, etc.) So they perhaps over reacted?  I don’t know? But, as I maintain the gender issues are but the tip of the iceburg towards what the culture is doing in the negative to the Church.

    Sincerely,
    Fr. R.

  48. Perhaps it would be helpful for you to get a few Christian books on the aspect of Postmodernism as it touches our culture.
     
    Are you making this recommendation in lieu of offering a concrete example as to how postmodernism has influence the TNIV?
     
    I went to school with Marion. Have you read her book Let Her Speak for Herself? I am aware that Marion is a contributor to the Reformation Study Bible, as is Roger Nicole, but I am not aware that either of these people are translators of the ESV.
     
    http://www.knoxtoronto.org/bulletin/2009/2009-03-15.pdf
     
    This bulletin indicates a service lead by Marion recently.

  49. Suzanne,
    My point was to anyone that has anything to do with the ESV translation, Reformation Study Bible, plus the New ESV Study Bible. Many good people etc. Your charge that the ESV is a male dominant job is very ad hoc and ad hom.

    Nothing I can say will change your mind here, I can see that!  If you note, I have not sought to play “translator” here either.  If you feel this issue is as important as you state it is, then you should write Crossway, and state your case as to the ESV and translators. Blogdom is not the forum really.

    During our conversations I am still convinced that you really see almost nothing to my point as to the dominance of culture over the Church as to scripture understanding and use. (Thus Postmodernism) But with your presupposition to use this same kind of thought (as you mentioned) no doubt with 1 Tim.2:8-15, we will never be on the same page I am afraid.

    I have seen the wars over the Book of Common Prayer also,  28 verses the 79, etc. In the end, we always must return to the biblical text, and to the  best historical position. And this always involves good theology therein.

    Fr. R.

  50. My point was to anyone that has anything to do with the ESV translation,
     
    I thought you said that they were translators of the ESV. I must have misunderstood.
     
    During our conversations I am still convinced that you really see almost nothing to my point as to the dominance of culture over the Church as to scripture understanding and use.
     
    I am not aware of where you developed this idea in any specific way. It seems to be an a priori assumption that you have made. Correct me if I am wrong.
     
    But with your presupposition to use this same kind of thought (as you mentioned) no doubt with 1 Tim.2:8-15, we will never be on the same page I am afraid.
     
    Here is 1 Tim. 2:12 in the Vulgate.
     
    docere autem mulieri non permitto neque dominari in virum sed esse in silentio
     
    Two things to notice, first Jerome has translated hesuchia as “silentio”  for some reason. It is no longer the practice to keep women silent in the assembly, at least, although I was raised this way in the Plymouth Brethren, women seem to be allowed to be lay readers and soloists in the Anglican church.
     
    Second, Jerome has translated authentein as dominari. This word is used elsewhere in the sense of the wrong way for male leaders to behave in 1 Peter 5:3.
     
    neque ut dominantes in cleris sed formae facti gregi et ex animo
     
    I feel that the difference here is that you perceive authentein to be the proper exercise of male leadership, whereas I understand it as no way for any person to treat any other person. 1 Tim. 2 is a situational text, responding to the behaviour of specific men and women doing specific things that are wrong for Christians to do.
     
    I regard the narrative passages relating to actual practice in the church to be fery informative. Women were householders, hosts, patrons, deacons, apostles, prophets, and so on. This was the reality. What shall we do with it?

  51. Sue,
    My mistake if I said “translators”..and I think I did.  For the sake of this blog, perhaps we should take our discussion to e-mail?  Let me know?  I am sure people have heard enough of me! lol
    Fr. R.

  52. PS…Me greatgram (Irish & Scot) was PB also (Kelly Brethren). She died when I was 15. Many stories here….!  She was later baptised in Spurgeon’s Tabernacle, by A.T. Pearson.
    Fr.R.

  53. My great grandparents were Irish Anglicans, then converted to PB. But now many of us have left PB and are now Anglican. Many people see these as two very different traditions, but IMO they have in common a  view of the reading of the word as being central and above the exposition of the word, which is a more reformed perspective.

  54. Suzanne,
    I have read almost everything published about the “history” of the Plymouth Brethren, “the Brethren”. My last name is Darby, (no relation to JND, that I know of?), but with my greatgram, came this interest. I have read many books, articles, etc. about John Nelson Darby. He was an Anglican and minister therein. Many of the early “Brethren” were or came out of the Anglican Church, FW Grant, etc.  So though I do not hold to their views much at all, eschatology etc. I do find some of their leaders…JND, and William Kelly to be of interest.  And both Darby and Kelly were of Irish descent also. But this is hardly my reason. I am just a student of history, and of course the history of Christianity in the UK. I am also a student of certain Roman Catholic people, both Irish and English. The likes of Cardinal John Henry Newman and Cardinal Manning, etc. As too the Tractarian movement, with Keble, Pusey, Froude, etc. Thus also the history of the Anglo-Catholic movement, FD Maurice, and later Charles Gore, etc. Here is also one of my very favorite Anglo-Catholics, one Evelyn Underhill! (I have a signed copy of her book on the R. Catholic mystic: Ruysbroeck, London First Ed. 1915).

    Anyway, we have gone afar from our post and subject! Sorry…

    Fr. Robert

  55. I am familiar with most of those names. I was just introduced to Evelyn Hill’s writing recently. Are you familiar with the story of Florence Li Tim Oi?
     
    http://www.ittakesonewoman.org/lto.html
     
    My sister attended the first ordination of women in Hong Kong in 1971. She studied theology herself in London, but then took a vow of silence on theological matters which she kept for 30 years and is now reconsidering in her retirement from a successful academic career as a Sinologist.
     
    Theology has been a very traumatic experience for our family, first in relation to some of the splits of the Brethren, and then because of our treatment as women.
     
    My sister is older than you, but because of being a woman she may open her mouth at some time in the future on theological matters. I think some people have very little conception of how the way women are treated as not having equal function, not being able to function according to their spiritual and intellectual equality with men,  shapes their life in dramatic ways. But the church can treat men very poorly too, as I am well aware.
     
     

  56. I think I garbled that sentence. My sister is retiring from a successful academic career because she is the age of retirement. That’s all good.
     
    She also receives invitations to speak in theological/spiritual venues, but has been reticent to take this up so far. This is what she is reconsidering. Should she accept invitations to speak within the Christian community?
     
    Here is a story about her that I wrote a few years ago. Silencing people either through excommunication or because they are women has an effect on people and I think those who do this need to be aware of the emotional impact. It is easy to shrug it off as just the way things are but there is a huge cost attached to the treatment of women as functionally unequal.
     
    http://silenceistheornament.blogspot.com/2006/06/edge-of-silence.html

  57. Suzanne,
    I can understand now a bit better why you feel the way you do with the women’s issues in the historical church. The PB’s, and especially the more ‘ ‘exclusive Brethren’ have taken a very hard line on the silence of women.  This sadly has truncated and maimed too many women!  However, I still mantian that one cannot exegete 1 Tim. 2:8-15 culturally.

    Again, the profound woman Anglo-Catholic Evelyn Underhill give many talks to both general Christians and also the clergy, but always from her reteat house personally, or in print. See her historic message: ‘God Is the Interesting Thing’ Evelyn Underhill to Archbishop Lang.

    As to your sister speaking? Yes indeed, to the whole Church in her particular gifts and charism, but not as a “presbyter”. This is the biblical position I believe, and the historic place. Again too, this has nothing to do with the equality of women and men, but the different roles God has given to each.

    My views are historic in Judeo-Christian theology and revelation. (1 Cor. 11:3-16, etc.)
    Fr. R.

  58. Robert,
     
    It is too facile by far to relegate this problem to the PB’s. I left the PB’s and joined an Anglican church because they did ordain women, and treated them as equals. At university I saw this in action. But, eventually I came to realize that in the Anglican church which I had attended for the last 15 years, they had the ultimate goal of removing women from leadership.
     
    If it was uncomfortable to be in a place where women could not speak, I found it much more uncomfortable to be in a place where women could speak, but not have authority, that is where their authority was being actively discouraged, removed and downgraded. At our age, really, peace, brother. There are only so many more years left to recognize women as equals.
     
    Yes, I read Underhill’s message to Bishop Lang and enjoyed it. But I deplore the stereotyping of women as mystics and hymnwriters, as nurses and Sunday School teachers. I am proud to be a teacher of children, but my sisters are academics and administrators in the secular arena.
     
    We don’t necessarily have the option of sitting in a retreat centre and writing books, nice though that would be.
     
    It is evident that the different roles argument only applies inasmuch as it applies to unnatural and theologically constructed roles. Women have authority, leadership, and are sought as mentors and leaders in every way in the secular world. But the church asks women to hang about the fringes and contribute in some peripheral way, writing letters. Women have to work and have a central occupation just as men do. For all women to be relegated out of that field in the church is no longer a personal pain to me, but I do still seek female leadership, and the expression of Christian truth by women and for women.
     
    Regarding 1 Tim. 2:12 I can only ask myself these rhetorical questions. Do you really think women are more likely to be deceived? Do you really think that because Eve was created second, all women are less suited for leadership than any man? Do you really think that all women should be submissive and quiet in the church in ways that men are not required to be? Do you really think that the word authentein relates in any way to being a presbyter? I would be surprised if you assented to any of these details.
     
    I am surprised that this one passage, containing a poorly attested to word, and obscure grammatical constructions, can override the teaching of prophesy that both men and women shall prophecy.
     
    Forgive me for my plain speaking, but I see the older generation aging in their estrangement. We don’t have forever.
     
     

  59. Suzanne,
    First, yes peace.. but we can only find this in the grace & peace of God In Christ!  The world “age” we live in is very fallen!  “Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil world (age), according to the will of our God and Father.” (Gal.1:3-4, R.V.)

    I don’t see you working from this salvific place in your positions!  God is not really concerned with making the world (this fallen evil age), a place for Christian’s to settle. We in fact see in 1 Peter, that we are pilgrims or aliens in a strange land! (1:1 / 2:11)  Therefore, God has chosen very certain paths and places for His redemptive people to walk in, we must go to war with ourselves also – 2:11!  And in 1 Peter 3:1-7, we note the close relationship that wives and husbands have. And St. Peter calls ‘the woman’,  “as unto the weaker vessel [but] as being joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered.”  So God has put the woman “in subjection”.  You ask why?  And I say simply to protect her!
    This is the position of the all the redeemed, but in scripture the married women is protected by Christ in the headship of the husband, as well. The single woman, is protected by Christ, and her single commitment back to Christ. Without this biblical position and face, comes only discord and the lack of peace in the Christian community. St. Paul works on this in 1 Corthinthians chap. 6 and 7!

    Thus, rhetorical questions, as yours.. lack the biblical perspective, and just ask questions as did the enemy toward Eve, “Has God said?”  Yours, and mine, is to simply but profoundly obey God’s Word!  In the end, God wants faith, not brains!  Or to say it perhaps better, ‘faith seeking understanding’!

    Finally, I don’t see sound Christian mystical desire, and great Christian hymns, as some place of lower minded work in the kindgdom of God. They are gifts, for both men and women involved!

    Yours,
    Fr. R.

  60. Robert,
     
    So God has put the woman “in subjection”.  You ask why?  And I say simply to protect her!
     
    Are you deriving this from the Bible? Is there some passage which supports this view?
     
    What of Phoebe, Lydia, Chloe, Nympha and the elect lady. Were they distorting God’s will in their life by protecting and providing for men? What about women  who emulate these women?
     
    Finally, I don’t see sound Christian mystical desire, and great Christian hymns, as some place of lower minded work in the kindgdom of God.
     
    Neither do I, but all women are not hymnwriters and mystics. Why should they be?
     
    I fear you lack the biblical persepctive, brother.
     
     

  61. Oh Suzanne,

    Why are you fighting the Word of God? Sadly your question shows your lack of scripture reading and understanding here.  Certainly, my statement is biblical… I can see that you did not read 1 Peter 3:1, “In like manner (As Christ was a servant), you wives be in subjection to your own husbands…etc.” See also Eph.5:22-24.  It is not culture based, but Christian revelation and theology!  And all the redeemed are but “servants” one to the other, but woman, and especially married women are in deep service and obedience.

    As I write these words, my dear little Irish mother is in hospice. She has always been my model of “obedient Christian service”! 

    Yours,
    Fr. R.

  62. I do not accept your pastoral authority. ;-) How little you are acquainted with the culture of the Brethren! And you have so little knowledge of some one on the internet that you could only talk at cross purposes. Let us return to theology.
     
    Here is Chrysostom’s view on these things,
     
    For with us indeed the woman is reasonably subjected to the man: since equality of honor causes contention. And not for this cause only, but by reason also of the deceit 1 Timothy 2:14 which happened in the beginning. Wherefore you see, she was not subjected as soon as she was made; nor, when He brought her to the man, did either she hear any such thing from God, nor did the man say any such word to her: he said indeed that she was bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh: Genesis 2:23 but of rule or subjection he no where made mention unto her. But when she made an ill use of her privilege and she who had been made a helper was found to be an ensnarer and ruined all, then she is justly told for the future, your turning shall be to your husband. Genesis 3:16
     
    Of course, Chrysostom may have it wrong, but how am I to tell that you are right in your interpretation and C is wrong. If I simply say that I believe that C is an accurate interpreter of the text, does this display rejection of the word of God.
    But unlike C, I believe that redemption is for women too and that they are not permanently subject for the sin of Eve. Subjection endangers women, as statistics show on a world wide basis.
     
    As for willingness to assign deep obedience and service especially to others before oneself, that contradicts all the gospel. I don’t think one can build a pastoral service on such a theology.
     

  63. As you yourself have said, Robert, men have feet of clay. I do not depend on these feet of clay for protection. It is better too if men realize their feet of clay, and how little they were designed for the protection of women.

  64. Suzanne,

    Your own words are making my biblical and theological point!  You have not addressed my quoted scripture texts, you just shoot from the hip!  Anything to win an argument I guess? Really very sad actually.  Scripture and good exegesis, please! (I have addressed the adelphe (fem) sister, adelphos, brother, and adelphotes, brethren, brotherhood)

    But as I said, this blog has gone far afield! 

    What say Joel, should we continue?

    Fr. Robert
    PS… Sue, I know the history and culture of “the Brethren”, and very well!

  65. Sorry, Joel, I meant just that I was signing off this converation – that’s all. I didn’t see your recent comment when I made that remark. No problem – I just need to get back to work for a bit.

  66. Joel,
    Yes indeed some down time. I am down, but not out, hospice at home was not my choice, but mother’s and baby brother’s (he’s 48) lol.  God is good, always!
    But of luck with your computer woe’s. This here is a new Dell; my brothers.
    I wish you well also Sue, and great peace sincerely.
    Fr. R.

  67. It is appearant that the person who posted this video has an anti-calvinist/macarthur, pro modern day translation of scripture agenda. And the sad thing is that you most of you silly pragmatist swallowed the agenda! You are the kinda fools that believe the ecumenical/heretical narrative that has created it’s own christianity to continue to decieve that blind and please the carnal nature of fleshly “so-called” believers!

  68. I don’t see them as true conspiracies – but I believe that their attacks are motivated in favor of the ESV. I do not believe that they are balanced in their views – not saying that they have to be; however, I do wish they would present a better picture than the tired arguments already used by the TNIV. I don’t use that translation, but I do like the NLT, which they too from time to time attacks.

  69. You might be right, Bitsy. I learned a while ago not to outright attack a translation. I think we have to remember that the Translation is not necessarily the Word of God, so the ‘altering rule’ may not apply. Further, we have to understand what at Translation does – it is supposed to take the Word of God to people. Does the TNIV do that? Sure. Is it up to ministers to help guide the people past translational issues? I would say.

    I have tried to read the ESV, but it just lacks a warmth. The TNIV is okay, I reckon. But in the end, if the ESV, NLT, TNIV or the ABC gets the message to the people, who am I to complain?

  70. I’ll take your word, TC, but it seems to me that this is happening more and more by a select group of like-minded individuals.

  71. Sue, glad to see you back! I am unfamiliar with many in the new Calvinists, but I thought that most of them had turned against the NLT as well. Did Packer support it?

    As for trusting theologians…it’s like trusting pastors…

  72. I am convinced, Sue, that people will never be happy with another’s work and some, will never be happy.

    I do not use the TNIV, not for any reason – I like the NLT – but I have no problem believing that children over ‘sons’ is preferred in different places because of context. This is not altering the word of God, in my opinion, but allowing for a better representation of the author/audience.

  73. Fr. Robert,

    Is it wrong to allow for ‘brother and sister’ to replace ‘brethren’ in context? I mean, surely the blessed Apostle was speaking to more than just men.

  74. I’d say it falls on its own merit. The good things about it were already in the RSV. Most of the changes themselves were for the worse.

  75. To add, I may be sensitive to one side pushing one translation over the other because of my departure from the KJVO background.

  76. Finally, the situation is bigger than just a meaning from a lexicon. Thus my point to the culture and postmodernism.

    I think, then, you’ve missed the major point of the lexicon issue. “Brothers and sisters” has been listed in Liddell Scott since the mid 1800′s. How then can it be a result of post-modernity? –Not to mention the fact that you’ve only given assertions of the influence of post-modernity without much evidence at all.

  77. Jeff, Rick Mansfield pointed out to me that several Reformed scholars were on the Translation team of the NLT. Could this be a reason why it has not faced the swift opposition that the TNIV has?

  78. Understood – I might have misunderstood you to mean that she was retiring from speaking her mind (my mind being frazzled by the recent death of the hard drive.) Thanks for the clarification.

  79. Sorry, Friends, but when the destruction of my laptop, and my daily work – which is few and far between at times – I am not been about to continue with the discussion.

    Perhaps some downtime would be welcomed in this discussion.

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