Friday, July 30, 2010

A shocking example of proto-feminism!

Or one could also ask "Is it possible to preach the gospel in German?" Many pastors have told me that the gospel cannot be properly preached using a Bible which does not have the phrase "adoption of sons."

But of course, Luther's Bible does not have any such thing. In fact, there are very few sons at all in Luther's Bible. I have long wondered how such a Bible could be used to bring about salvation. In fact, I believe the entire Reformation should be reexamined on the basis of Luther's translation of Gal. 4:4-7
Da aber die Zeit erfüllet ward, sandte Gott seinen Sohn, geboren von einem Weibe und unter das Gesetz getan,

5auf daß er die, so unter dem Gesetz waren, erlöste, daß wir die Kindschaft (being a child) empfingen.

6Weil ihr denn Kinder seid, hat Gott gesandt den Geist seines Sohnes in eure Herzen, der schreit: Abba, lieber Vater!

7Also ist nun hier kein Knecht mehr, sondern eitel Kinder; sind's aber Kinder, so sind's auch Erben Gottes durch Christum.

(But when the time was fulfilled, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive being a child. 6Because you are children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, dear Father." 7So here is now no longer a slave, but a child; and since a child, so also an heir of God through Christ.)

Of course, I am still waiting for the statement against the Luther Bibel. But Calvin was no better. Nor Coverdale.

The image is from A compleat English dictionary: oder, Vollständiges englisch-deutsches Wörterbuch 1783.


Mabel said...

Keep up your good work. I check on your blog every day and am addicted to it. I learn so much from it. I thank God for sisters like you.

Anonymous said...

I echo Mabel. I read every post, but usually do not comment. I'm behind your work!

Paula said...

You went and made me dust off the old Luther translation I bought in Munich in 1976. :-) I recall seeing other such "surprises" in spot checks as well. Luther, who had no high opinion of women, nevertheless translated the Greek more accurately than many Protestants today.

Some egals make a big deal out of "sonship", not for the reasons you might think, but due to being convinced that the "son" part is essential to understanding inheritance rights. I'd like to see scholarly historical backing to decide, but certainly if even Luther thought "child" was the right meaning, it carries some weight.

Mabel said...

Good for you, Paula. I have lots of admiration for my scholarly egal sisters, and brothers :-)).

Don said...

I think in this case it depends if the translator is trying to be faithful to the original cultural meaning or is trying to map into the current cultural realities. I favor the latter as it is more easily accessible today, but want to know about the former also, so I can verify that I agree.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks for the encouragement.