Thursday, September 22, 2011

10 Reasons Why the New 2011 NIV Is Bad for Women

By Mary Kassian

The new gender-inclusive NIV was published earlier this year. It contains thousands upon 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. Don't get me wrong. I like to be hip. And I enjoy cappuccino as much as the next person. But my biggest beef with gender-inclusive Bibles is that they lack doctrinal precision. If you mess with the words, you mess with the meaning. Respected Bible scholars have explained why inclusive translations such as the New International Version (NIV), New Revised Standard (NRSV), and Common English Bible (CEB) are deeply flawed. If you haven't yet considered their arguments, you might want to check out these Gender Neutral Bible Articles

Notwithstanding the doctrinal imprecision and blatantly politically-correct translating agenda, there are additional reasons why I dislike gender inclusive Bibles. Undoubtedly the publishers had good intentions, and genuinely wanted to help women, but in my mind, a gender-inclusive Bible is BAD for women. Really, really bad for women! I react to people reading from the new, gender-inclusive NIV the way I react to nails scratching down a black board.  

Here are ten reasons why:

1.  It obscures the profound symbolism of gender…
2. It exalts gender above that to which it points…
3. It diminishes the unique beauty of womanhood…
4. It is less inclusive of women…
5. It demeans women…
6. It patronizes women…
7. It calls God's attitude toward women into question…
8. It calls God's wisdom into question…
9. It encourages further changes to Scripture…
10. It leads women away from truth…

I understand that language changes over time, and that translation is not always an easy task. But I am saddened that Christians seem so eager to jump on the cultural bandwagon to update God's Holy Book with inclusive language. I don't think they realize what is at stake. I have had students struggle with understanding concepts about God because their native language did not lend itself to translating/expressing the gendered concepts that exist in the original languages of the Bible. We will lose something very critical and essential if we lose the linguistic concepts afforded us by the gendered nature of English. Retaining gender distinctiveness in our language is a battle worth fighting. There is a great deal at stake.

Please read all of this post here …