Saturday, November 20, 2010

CBMW will not commend the NIV 2011

Surprise, surprise, CBMW writes,
So, though we are genuinely thankful for the many positive changes in the new NIV(2011), and though we are deeply appreciative of the very different process by which our friends at the CBT and Zondervan pursued and unveiled this new version, we still cannot commend the new NIV(2011) for most of the same reasons we could not commend the TNIV. Our initial analysis shows that the new NIV(2011) retains many of the problems that were present in the TNIV, on which it is based, especially with regard to the over 3,600 gender-related problems we previously identified. In spite of the many good changes made, our initial analysis reveals that a large percentage of our initial concerns still remain. CBMW will be releasing an exact percentage after we complete our full detailed analysis. We are also still concerned about the frequent omission of the words, “man,” “brother,” “father,” “son,” and “he.”

As the evangelical community turns to CBMW for trusted counsel on contemporary Bible translations that are faithful and accurate in their rendering of gender-language, we will continue to point them to the many translations available today that do a better job than the TNIV and new NIV(2011) – translations like the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), the New American Standard (NASB), the New King James (NKJV), and the English Standard Version (ESV).

If you want more information about gender-neutral translations we recommend that you look at the resources available at http://www.cbmw.org/Gender-Neutral-Bible-Resources. Though most of this material was prepared in relation to the TNIV, much of it still applies to our primary concerns about the new NIV(2011), and interested readers can still use it as a help in examining individual verses in the new NIV(2011).

The divorce is final, IMO. Complementarians will not share a Bible with egalitarians or middle of the roadians. Oddly, I consider myself one of the latter, in terms of Bible translation. I would share the Luther Bible, the KJV and the NIV2011 with a complementarian, but they will not share with me.

28 comments:

Blake said...

I wonder if this might be the beginning of the end for CBMW. I get the impression there are actually quite a few complementarians that are ok with the new translation. It will only take one bad business move by Lifeway to mess up people's opinion of the HCSB and I think that can be counted on in the current state of the SBC. If the HCSB goes down and the NIV 2011 proves more popular than the CBMW wishes...

Don said...

The HCSB and ESV are admitted masculinist translations, I do not know about the others.

CBMW is saying that attempting to be neutral on the gender issue is not enough, you must be masculinist for us to endorse it.

Let the truth be revealed.

William Watson Birch said...

. . . especially with regard to the over 3,600 gender-related problems we previously identified.

I see they're still spouting off the ONE category of the gender-related issue by counting each time it appears as a separate "mistake" from their view. Whatever happened to objective integrity?

Give me the NIV 2011. I'll buy it. I'll read it. I'll quote from it on my site and in my sermons and in my prayers. They wouldn't endorse the NLT or NRSV either, and that certainly hasn't hurt the sales of either.

God bless.

William Watson Birch said...

Furthermore, the New Living Translation beat both the ESV and HCSB in both dollar and unit sales for October (link). The only ones who take the CBMW seriously are the CBMW. No one in my Southern Baptist church back home has even heard of them, and my pastor is only vaguely familiar with them. (And my church is mostly complementarian.)

believer333 said...

I'll be using it in my Bible studies, have it as the extra Bible for those coming without a Bible. I'll be recommending it for new believers.

It's always a problem as to what to recommend to new believers. Depending upon it's notes, the NIV2011 might be a good one for that.

At some point their demand for masculine words is going to look absurd.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I used to think that no one in my former church had ever heard of CBMW. The name was never mentioned and none of the main personel. But then I found that the conferences were taking place and only pastors were invited. The pastors of our city were being taught by Bruce Ware how to preach that women are to always be obedient and submissive to their husbands IN ALL THINGS. My pastor would never mention Bruce Ware or CBMW but he had their teaching down pat. Most of the women were free agents, able to live a normal life. But for those whose husbands wanted a psychological means of control, it was a different story.

Don said...

I am looking forward to the NIV 2011 text in "The Books of the Bible" format, which previously used the TNIV text. I will be sure to get that.

Kristen said...

Well, I won't share the ESV with the comps, either. I have my standards. (grin)

diamondnell said...

Hi, I am new to your blog. What is your take on the NASB, and why does the CBMW like it?

Peter Kirk said...

There is a good reason why CBMW opposes NIV 2011 as well as TNIV. That is because it clearly points out the lack of proper basis for their heretical and generally repugnant theology. I refer to their novel concept of “male representation”. The basis of this is certain people’s misunderstanding of English Bible translations, misunderstanding what the translators intended as generic use of “he”, “man”, “brother” etc. These half-baked theologians, reading English translations like RSV in the late 20th century, misunderstood the words as intended to have male meaning components, and read their misunderstanding back into the Greek. And one of these people is considered one of today’s leading systematic theologians!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

The NASB is one of the previous generation of Bibles, in which the word "man" and its plural "men" referred to both male and female.

The preface to the ESV states that "men" translates a Greek word which has a male semantic component. It is this preface which makes the ESV a faulty translation in terms of gender. There are many times that "men" is used for anthropos in the plural, a word which is of common gender and therefore does not have a male semantic component. THe preface denies this.

However,, the NASB, which lacks the preface of the ESV, is not strictly speaking inaccurate, but has a different style of language. The TNIV is not inaccurate either and reflects gender in a way that is consistent with the Greek.

I hope that helps. I have no argument with translation which argue that "he" really does refer to both male and female. However, the ESV editors do not argue this. They argue that the text refers to males, and since women are represented by men, women can also be saved, but because a woman must be represented by a man, a woman cannot be a leader.

E said...

And one of these people is considered one of today’s leading systematic theologians!

You mean Wayne Grudem? It didn't take long reading and/or skimming his Systematic Theology for me to realize it would never find a place on my bookshelf. Totally inadequate and simplistic, or at least in the parts that interested me.

Don said...

One of their basic mistakes is making too much of grammatical gender, which works as a plausible argument for those that only know English.

Don said...

CBMW also insisting that they and them are plural, which is not correct.

diamondnell said...

So if I were to approach the ESV as I do the NASB, and ignore the ESV's preface, I might be okay? :)

I have heard it said (by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, in "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth," p. 50) that adults under *60* these days tend to assume that masculine pronouns refer to men only. How can this be? I am well under 60 and am completely comfortable with assuming gender neutrality absent evidence otherwise.

Is it only because I majored in English that I am familiar with the concept? I am pretty sure it was understood even at the public school level (in the 1980s). Am I way off base here?

believer333 said...

Because of the many times I've heard "well it says MEN!", I'd have to say diamondnell that you're out of touch with the average reader. Perhaps that is because you majored in English. Soon enough they will have to address the issue in English classes.

Anonymous said...

"I have heard it said (by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, in "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth," p. 50) that adults under *60* these days tend to assume that masculine pronouns refer to men only. How can this be? I am well under 60 and am completely comfortable with assuming gender neutrality absent evidence otherwise."

My 10 year old thought it was only men....when she was about 6, she asked me while reading a passage to her: Why does it only say "brothers"? I had to explain but vowed right then and there, we would seek another translation. I could see my explanation made no sense to a concrete thinker as most 6 year olds are. Food for thought with the young ones.

Peter Kirk said...

DiamondNell, I think the answer to your question is that there are significant geographical and cultural distinctions in this kind of usage. From previous discussions on blogs etc some of us concluded that generic "he" is not really acceptable in parts of USA, also much of Canada, UK and Australia, but still quite common in the conservative southern states and Midwest. I'm sure that is an over-generalisation but it does explain some individual differences in usage. I have no idea where you are from - could it be the South or the Midwest?

E said...

Speaking again of Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology, I glanced at it last night at Borders Books, and happened to open it to the pages where he was arguing for the Eternal Subordination of the Son (and that this didn't contradict equality within the Godhead) and said that this was taught by Nicene Trinitarianism. From what I saw, to support his position Grudem quotes something from Charles Hodge and (James?) Strong re: this, but not once does he reference any Church Fathers re: what Nicene Trinitarianism says or doesn't say about the Eternal Subordination of the Son.

To me, if you're going to make your case you need to use primary sources, and not selectively use what someone says that someone said or meant. If I read this part of his book correctly, this was another example of why I consider his Systematic Theology to be a poor book. Apparently lots of seminaries think otherwise, though.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if this might be the beginning of the end for CBMW."

I can't really get into details but I do know they were facing some serious financial problems a year or so ago. Donations drying up even though they have free space at SBTS, etc. Evidently, they got bailed out. I hate to think of SBC "tithe" money supporting it and hope this becomes an issue. Lots of big names being paid and double dipping on this one. It has also helped to launch a few careers for big money speaking gigs.

Peter Kirk said...

E, it is no coincidence that Grudem teaches the eternal subordination of the Son, although this is also a rather novel teaching despite his claim that it is Nicene orthodoxy. Surely the Nicene creed explicitly denies that Christ is any less than "very God". But somehow you have to believe nonsense about Christ being ontologically equal to the Father but eternally subordinate before you can believe the same about women relative to men.

E said...

It looks like those pages are available at Google Books.

http://books.google.com/books?id=DA8xl4eagDcC&pg=PA252&lpg=PA252&dq=wayne+grudem+systematic+theology+eternal+subordination+of+the+son&source=bl&ots=hBZyB4S2PY&sig=CUfT-1ZVOBik9qiEDJ52ulV8uMY&hl=en&ei=YQbsTOX9NMSp8AaB4eShAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

They're pages 251-252 in Chapter 14, God in Three Persons: The Trinity. Grudem quotes Charles Hodge and A. H. Strong in support of the Eternal Subordination of the Son, but he doesn't cite ANY Church Fathers for this doctrine or interpretation of Nicea as far as I can see in my brief glimpse at it.

On page 257, viewable at Google Books, he turns kephalĂȘ in 1 Corinthians 11 into "authority over."

I haven't looked at his entire chapter on the Trinity. Maybe he redeems himself elsewhere.

Peter Kirk said...

E, thanks for the details. Sadly, or perhaps not, the content of this book is not viewable in Google Books here in the UK.

diamondnell said...

Peter, yes, the South. Hmmm...

E, wow. I am under the impression that Scripture doesn't give us enough information to conclusively say yes or no as to eternal subordination of the Son. Does that sound about right to you?

Anonymous, are you saying that the SBC *does* give money from churches to the CBMW, or you are wondering if that is how they got "bailed out"?

Peter, maybe this explains why allegedly non-creedalists feel free to ask, "You do believe in the Nicene Creed, DON'T YOU?!?"

E, wow. Just wow. Grudem seems to be arguing that the members of the Trinity couldn't even be separate people unless there were subordination. Wow, wow, and wow.

Also, to argue that "The creeds... assert... subordination" (p. 252), shouldn't the word "subordination" actually appear in the creeds somewhere? I have some experience with academic writing, and I'm pretty sure that "assert" implies they used that word or a close synonym. If I were trying to make the same argument, I would have at least used the word, "suggest."

Anyone know which version of the Nicene Creed the SBC/Grudem are using?

E said...

diamondnell said...

Anyone know which version of the Nicene Creed the SBC/Grudem are using?


The Complementarian Version, of course. :)

Don said...

The basic reason CBMW will not endorse the NIV 2011 is that it is not translated in a sufficiently masculinist way for them. I see it as them giving it an award.

E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E said...

diamondnell:

This section of the Wikipedia entry on the Trinity:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity#Economic_and_ontological_Trinity

argues against the Grudem/CBMW doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son, but I don't know whether this reflects the correct Nicene/Patristic teaching, or just the Wiki authors' views.

The link may not fully display. If not, here it is divided into two lines:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity#
Economic_and_ontological_Trinity

It's section "5.4 Economic and ontological Trinity" on this page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity