Preachers Reply-Southern Baptist Convention Publishes Politically Correct, Gender-Neutral Bible

Recently, the piece published on the subject topic attracted some criticism (in Christian love, of course) from two ministers. My message began:

In a monumental departure from millennia of Biblical tradition, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—largest Protestant denomination in the United States—recently published a politically correct, gender-neutral version of the Bible.

Read about it here: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/southern-baptists-embrace-gender-inclusive-language-in-the-bible/529935/

The responding ministers referred me to:

https://cbmw.org/public-square/is-the-csb-really-gender-neutral/ and

http://www.dennyburk.com/have-southern-baptists-embraced-gender-inclusive-bible-translation-not-by-a-longshot/

The conversation was welcome and their points well-taken. They challenged my source and offered arguments that blunted the effect of the original source a bit. I chose to respond in principle with the following:

Thank you for the heads up and the article link as well as your detailed personal thoughts. It offers some good points. Your personal experiences with several key figures is very helpful. Another pastor also referred me to http://www.dennyburk.com/have-southern-baptists-embraced-gender-inclusive-bible-translation-not-by-a-longshot/

Clearly, I’m not a scholar of ancient Greek or Hebrew and Bible translators are flawed sinners like all the rest of us. Since their work product is presented to the public as the perfect, inspired, inerrant, Word of God, they have an enormous responsibility on their shoulders.

C.S. Lewis said, “For every new book you read, you should read at least one old one.” His reasoning was that every writer—or in this case translator—is subject to the biases of the culture of his time. Reading books—or perhaps Bible translations—helps neutralize or offset differing biases. When the Bible is translated, even a discussion of gender or gender inclusivity carries the risk of introducing the biases of our modern culture, despite the very best efforts to avoid it.

A writer of material in my morning devotions in the last two days, wrote, “Satan hangs out false colors and comes up to the Christians in the disguise of a friend, so that the gates are opened to him, and his motions received with applause, before either be discovered…Satan also tempts Christians in his gradual approaches to the soul…Thus Satan leads poor creatures down into the depths of sin by winding stairs, that let them not see the bottom whither they are going.”  William Gurnall, British Puritan preacher (1616-1679).

Denny Burk cites the Colorado Springs Guidelines so frequently, he practically elevates them to scriptural authority. The article I cited offers some interesting points; the two articles you referenced provide some powerful arguments. Rather than attempt a detailed compare and contrast, I believe we would agree that translating Gods Word, is risky and fraught with danger. It’s likely that Satan will attack Bible translators with greater persistence and subtlety than the rest of us.

It seems that translators should work with the objective of translating as close to the original language as possible, defining words as close to the original definitions as possible and as understood by the culture of that time. God inspired the original writers who were looking through the lens of their time. At the same time, a direct word-for-word translation can result in text that is unusually difficult or cumbersome for the modern reader; some smoothing of the language is necessary. The big caution is that any discussion among the members of a team of translators, driven by some aspect of our modern culture can lead to very subtle forms of error that become compounded over time.

If you’re still with me, thank you very much.

 

3 thoughts on “Preachers Reply-Southern Baptist Convention Publishes Politically Correct, Gender-Neutral Bible

  1. I pray for those who live in confusion.. it must be painful..
    But my KJV Bible tells me that God created male and female.. by grand design..
    Deuteronomy 22:5 tells us not to swop clothing.. so I feel it must have been an issue way back then, if not why would scripture bring up the subject?
    They took a KJV and created “The Queen James Bible” for the churches who welcome all preferences.. not through modern translation, but by totally removing scriptures..
    I hope those who struggle with these issues realize they are fearfully and wonderfully made.. God makes no mistakes.. Any attraction outside of His design of marriage, can be taken to God for counsel and healing..
    Sorry for preaching to the choir 🙂
    God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Preaching to the choir” is always welcome on this blog. We need to be continually reminded of the basics of faith. As soon as we feel we are beyond the basics, we encounter a difficult-to-deal-with pride issue.

    Charles Spurgeon spoke to me this morning. Yeah, really! He said, “It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn my eyes away from self to Jesus, but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.” [C. Spurgeon, (1991) Morning & Evening: A Devotional Classic for Daily Encouragement. Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC, Peabody, MA, p. 360)

    Earthly wrongdoing and cultural chaos is the visible manifestation of the extraordinary battle between good and evil in the heavenlies. Years ago, when I first read about the spiritual battle in Scripture, I thought it was interesting and accepted it because it was in the Bible. Today, the earthly manifestation of that battle is in-your-face obvious.

    Godly believers are the only ones holding the answers to these mammoth personal and cultural issues, but the silence is deafening.

    What does it take to wake up the body of believers?
    What does it take to wake up the clergy?

    Enjoy an awesome and blessed day!

    Thanks for your comments.

    Like

  3. We worry excessively about the gender issues. It tends to even out.

    Inspired to do so, men wrote the Bible, but a woman gave birth to the savior.

    The 12 were men, but one was a traitor. Jesus called the Pharisees and scribes hypocrites. Yet He spoke with great kindness to women, and women were the first to discover the empty tomb.

    Men appear to receive a greater reward to work, but women rock the cradle and establish future generations.

    Men are stronger, but the beauty of women entrances men.

    We have different roles. Eve may have been fooled into eating the forbidden, but God put most of the blame squarely on Adam. It was Adam God told directly that he should not eat that fruit.

    Liked by 1 person

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