A recent article for The Atlantic online claims that the Christian Standard Bible is a gender-inclusive bible. Unfortunately, the article misrepresents the CSB and may be intending to create controversy at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting this week in Phoenix.
To set the record straight, the CSB Translation Oversight Committee consulted the Colorado Springs Guidelines, agreed upon in 1997 to ensure future translations would remain gender accurate. Readers can read the guidelines here: http://www.bible-researcher.com/csguidelines.html
You can also read an important post on this issue by Denny Burk. Burk lists several of the many misleading statements in The Atlantic article.
The Atlantic article begins by mentioning that gender-neutral translations change “father” to “parent,” “son” to “child,” and “man” to “mortal.” Readers might fail to notice that this was not the general practice of the CSB. Consider the facts.
The same goes for translating adelphoi as “brothers and sisters.” Again, the Colorado Guidelines agree. The word is accurately rendered “brothers and sisters” since the word “brothers” today suggests to many that just males are intended.
Readers of The Atlantic article would not know that the CSB continues to use the third person singular pronouns “he” or “him” or “his” instead of turning the pronouns into plurals. The CSB also uses the word ‘man’ in Gen. 1:26-27—the crucial text about Adam and Eve being created in God’s image.
Note also the use of the word “man” in 2 Tim. 3:17 or “faithful men” in 2 Tim. 2:2. The application of some of these verses is up for debate and discussion, but our point is that one can hardly call the CSB translation “gender-neutral” here.
The goal of the Translation Oversight Committee of the CSB was to be gender accurate. Sadly, the word “accurate” can’t be used with reference to this article in The Atlantic.
Dr. David Allen is Dean of the School of Preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Co-Chair of the Translation Oversight Committee for the CSB. You can follow him on Twitter @DrDavidLAllen.
Dr. Thomas Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Co-Chair of the Translation Oversight Committee for the CSB. You can follow him on Twitter @DrTomSchreiner.
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