Click here to read Part I
Some take issue with the 2011 update of the New International Version; I respect that, we can talk about that. For example, here’s the official statement from the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:
As the evangelical community turns to CBMW for trusted counsel on contemporary Bible translations that are faithful and accurate in their rendering of gender-language, we will continue to point them to the many translations available today that do a better job than the TNIV and new NIV (2011) – translations like the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), the New American Standard (NASB), the New King James (NKJV), and the English Standard Version (ESV).
I do not agree with the CBMW’s position, but I have to respect the measured, wise attitude.
But if you listen closely, you can also hear sounds of breast-beating, garment rending, bursts of outrage and charges of blasphemy and apostasy. You can hear slogans in place of careful study. And I’m afraid that the alarmists are outshouting those who are reasonable:
The Bible teaches a masculine Godhead….[But feminists] have fabricated their own theology that attempts to portray God as having a feminine side. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible speaks of God the FATHER, and of Jesus Christ the SON, and of the Holy Spirit Who is referred to with the pronoun HE is the faithful King James Bible (John 16:13)…The NIV 2011 attacks the masculine authority of God, the ruling husband, and the authoritative preacher.
The Devil’s feminist, homosexual, abortionist crowd wants to produce a unisex Bible that doesn’t condemn the sin of homosexuality.
The NIV 2011 attacks the masculine authority of God…The NIV 2011 is evil, catering to the homosexual agenda.
The new gender-inclusive NIV…contains thousands of changes to the Bible’s male-gendered language. Having a gender-inclusive Bible appears to be the latest trend amongst cutting-edge, cappuccino-slurping Christian hipsters.
And while I dislike posting another site online, the page http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/ is about the worst example I have seen of disinformation, ignorance, exaggeration and uninformed writing that I have seen with respect a whole range of themes, and to Bible translating and the NIV in particular; I mention the site because, unlike most reputable bloggers, they do not provide any means for people to comment on their posts – otherwise I would have interacted with them on their own turf.
Now, when people say that a Bible is “evil” and the work of Satan, they had better tread with extreme caution. If you dislike a particular version – as does the CBMW – that’s fine; but you had better do your homework. You had better be certain that God stands with you before holding up a Bible and calling it a product of hell or, as one site instructs its readers, to use the Bible as “toilet paper”. This is God’s precious Word we’re talking about.
I cannot imagine that those who have written such comments have given any serious attention to the text of the NIV 2011, which is freely available online. Let’s begin by sweeping away the wilder claims:
Does the NIV 2011 remove God’s “masculinity” and replace it with a feminine goddess? Goodness, no! Our proof: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV 2011) and every other relevant verse throughout the Bible. (more…)