With the release of the whole-Bible edition of the gender-neutral Today’s New International Version (TNIV) on the horizon, a book on gender-neutral Bible translations by Wayne Grudem and Vern Poythress has been significantly expanded and republished.
With the release of the whole-Bible edition of the gender-neutral Today’s New International Version (TNIV) on the horizon, a book on gender-neutral Bible translations by Wayne A. Grudem and Vern S. Poythress has been significantly expanded and republished.
The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy was released last month by Broadman & Holman. Entitled The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words when published in 2000, the new book includes six additional chapters in which the authors interact with scholars who wrote in defense of the TNIV New Testament.
The TNIV New Testament was published in early 2002 by Zondervan and the International Bible Society (IBS), setting off a spirited debate among scholars opposed to and in favor of the use of gender-neutral language. Within the next few weeks, Zondervan and IBS are expected to release an updated edition of the TNIV that includes both the Old and New Testaments.
The Grudem/Poythress volume includes the original 14 chapters and six appendices that composed the original volume. These chapters deal with such translation issues as use of the generic “he,” unacceptable changes that eliminate references to men, and permissible changes in translating gender-related terms, among a myriad of related topics.
The updated edition includes the work of the two authors regarding the TNIV New Testament. Here, Grudem and Poythress offer a brief summary of concerns about the TNIV and interact with gender-neutral advocates such as D.A. Carson, Craig Blomberg, Darrell Bock, Peter Bradley, and Bruce Waltke. Additionally, the authors present a categorized list of 900 translation inaccuracies in the TNIV.
The book also shows how the TNIV avoids using the generic “he” and lists more than 100 evangelical leaders who agree that the TNIV is not sufficiently trustworthy to commend to the church.
“Vern Poythress and Wayne Grudem have presented a well-reasoned and level-headed argument for their case,” Valeria Becker Makkai writes in the forward. Makkai is associate professor of linguistics at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
“Indeed, they are a voice of reason in a dispute that is fraught with emotion and misinformation. They clearly understand the fluid and changing nature of language and their arguments are based on sound linguistic principles…”
The weighty book, which checks in at 484 pages, is accessible to the lay reader as well as the reader with theological education. The authors seek to couch the issues in ordinary language and attempt to stay clear of technical terms as much as possible.
The authors write in their preface: “Both of us authors think that the issue of Bible translation deserves careful reflection, and that Christians need to be aware of the problems with gender-neutral translations.”
The book is available through the CBMW webstore at https://www.cbmw.org/cgi-bin/store?show|509|Gender_Issues.
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