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New German “Bible in Fair Language” takes brazenly feminist liberties in translating the text

February 28, 2007

The translators of a new edition of the Bible into German are not ambiguous with regards to their approach to the text: they will err decisively on the side of feminism.

The translators of a new edition of the Bible into German are not ambiguous with regards to their approach to the text: they will err decisively on the side of feminism.

Called "The Bible in Fair Language," the new translation was presented last fall at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest meeting of publishers and booksellers in the world and it brazenly rejects the traditional approach to Bible translation. The new Bible’s stated purpose is to purge Scripture of its so-called "gender and anti-Semitic biases."

The translation committee is composed of 42 women and 10 men, all Protestants. The committee states that one of its main goals is to publish a translation that is more accessible to women.

Frank Cruesemann, an Old Testament scholar and professor of theology involved in the project says the translation committee is giving God a gender makeover.

"We are used to speaking about God in the masculine," he said. "In the new translation, however, a feminine God received equal treatment."

Committee member Claudia Janssen said translators are merely attempting to recover the main theme of the Bible.

"Justice is the main topic of the Bible," Janssen said. "And we're trying to do justice to the topic in our translation. For us, that justice has different aspects: We wanted to do justice to the text and the language about the sexes."

Translators go to seemingly absurd lengths to preserve what they perceive as "gender equity." Some examples—courtesy of David Alan Black, professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.—include:

· Psalm 1:1, which is rendered, "Blessed are the women, the man, who…" instead of "Blessed is the man…"

· Mark 6:30, in speaking of the 12 apostles—all men—whom Jesus sent out, is rendered, "The apostles (feminine form in German) and the apostles (masculine form in German) gathered around Jesus and reported to him what they had done and taught."

· Matthew 16:17, where Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, this knowledge is said to be revealed to Peter by Jesus’ "Father and Mother in heaven."

· John 20:18, Mary’s cry after seeing the risen Lord—typically translated "I have seen the Lord"—is rendered, "I have seen Jesus, the living one."

Black further points out the translators’ inconsistency at places such as Hosea 11:9 which is translated "For I am God, and not a man." Consistency would seem to demand that the passage be rendered, "For I am God, not a man, not a woman," he points out.

The translation committee may not be far off the mark with their press release statement predicting that, "Not since Martin Luther meticulously translated the Holy Scriptures into vernacular German has a new translation of the Bible sparked so much interest."

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CBMW Gender & Sexuality Curriculum Male and Female He Created Them: A Study on Gender, Sexuality, & Marriage, by Denny Burk, Colin Smothers, & David Closson

This new curriculum is aimed at Christians who are facing challenging questions with the rise of LGBT ideology on topics like homosexuality, transgenderism, gender dysphoria, intersex conditions, preferred pronouns, and more. The study is broken down into eight chapters that guide readers through the Bible’s teaching on gender, sexuality, and marriage. Male & Female He Created Them gives Christians with a biblical foundation that starts in Genesis 1 and 2 with God’s good design in making mankind male and female in His image.

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