Saturday, June 18, 2011

To CBMW Re: NIV 2011

Here is an email that I wrote to CBMW last week. I have not heard back from them.

Hi Chris,

About four years ago, I wrote to discuss some details on your website and you agreed at that time to link to an article I wrote demonstrating that aner had as established usage that was gender inclusive in ancient Greek. I have noticed that this link no longer remains. I have renewed the discussion here.

I remember that Dr. Grudem has said that he would be eager to acknowledge this evidence if it was presented to him, so I hope that you will make this information known to your readers, as I am sure it is the wish of all involved to be aware of the best evidence.

I noticed recently that Denny Burk has written an article on the NIV2011 in which he cites Dr. Grudem on 1 Tim. 2:12, and says,

In 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV adopts a highly suspect and novel translation that gives the egalitarian side everything they have wanted for years in a Bible translation. It reads, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man”....

I feel certain that you would like to add to this information that the King James Version had "to usurp authority" much stronger than "to assume authority." However, I think it is even more important to let your readers know that the origin of "to assume authority" is from John Calvin's Latin translation, which was translated into English in the 19th century and contained the English phrase "to assume authority."

In fact, the NIV2011 has remained close to the King James Version for both 1 Tim. 2:12, and Romans 16:7. Dr. Kostenberger's syntactic argument for the meaning of authenteo, is not supported by evidence, since didasko has a negative sense in Titus 1. There is little support for the claim made by CBMW on the meaning of authenteo, and the NIV2011 follows a much more conservative path choosing "assume" as a halfway point between "usurp" and "exercise." I would like to see the CBMW site make a formal acknowledgement of the conservative and mediating position of the NIV2011.

Regarding the use of the generic masculine pronoun, I am very concerned that many preachers cited on your website, are not able to understand the generic masculine. I noticed in particular this citation from Russel Moore.

Male headship is strictly defined in Scripture as the opposite of a grasp for power. The headship of men in the church and home is rooted everywhere in Scripture in protection and provision. This is why the apostle Paul calls the man who will not provide for his family "worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim 5:8 ESV).

In 1 Tim. 5:8, the English masculine pronoun "he" is generic and refers equally to men and women. The Greek lacks a pronoun entirely and is written equally to men and women. No word for "man" appears in this passage. It appears that Dr. Moore did not refer to the Greek for this verse, and misunderstood the generic masculine pronoun in the English.

While you may personally support the continued use of the generic masculine pronoun, among complementarian preachers, it is frequently misunderstood.

I hope you will understand that I would like most of all to see an acknowledgement of the truth that is in God's word, especially as it pertains to the NIV2011

Warm regards,

Suzanne McCarthy


Anonymous said...


What a great e-mail and godly attitude. Thanks for sharing.

I suppose you heard about the SBC resolution for their "Lifeway" bookstore to NOT carry the NIV 2011? (link)

Sad and silly. And did I mention hypocritical, since Lifeway still carries other gender-neutral translations such as the NLT, CEV, TEV, NRSV, God's Word, the MESSAGE, Living Bible, etc.

Donald Johnson said...

Thank you for your persistence in speaking the truth to power!