(Tim, w/thanks to a longtime friend of Baylyblog) Over at another blog, Denny Burk does a good job exposing just one of many hundreds of places where the recently-released New International Version 2010 deletes or changes God's words in order to make Scripture more palatable to postmoderns. The verse in question is 1Timothy 2:12 which has, up until now, always been translated in such a way as to make clear to English speakers that, through the Order of Creation and the Fall, God has made clear woman is not to "teach" or "exercise authority" over man.
Now, though, such a message is horribly embarrassing, so it must be changed. This, of course, is precisely what Doug Moo and his colleagues paid by Zondervan and Biblica are eager to do, so it's a serendipitous set of associations. Thus this latest Bible product they're trying to sell, the New International Version 2010, gives us a much more approachable text:
I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;b she must be quiet.
b Or over her husband
Yes, it's one thing to "assume authority" and something else entirely to "exercise authority." That's the point, dear readers. But hey, you can justify your change with a whirlwind of words as Doug does in the comments under Mr. Burk's post...So go here and read the post, followed by Doug Moo's comment below the post. Then come back and read this response to Doug's defense of his work.
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Doug Moo writes: "As one of the NIV (2010) translators, let me just (say) there is so much uncertainty about this key word (authentein) that the accusation of 'mistranslation' is simply not fair." Actually, Doug, it's both fair and necessary. In fact, those who refuse to see and warn the sheep against your NIV 2010 repudiation of the clear meaning of the text of Scripture here in 1Timothy 2:12 are unfaithful shepherds. When the enemy approaches, pastors are commanded to blow the trumpet with a clear note of warning--not mince and prance and equivocate in an effort to win the approval of their seminary or college profs.
Like most claims of "uncertainty" concerning texts of Scripture dealing with areas of conflict in our postmodern culture, this one too is bogus. Two thousand years of godly church fathers knew the meaning of the word, and your claim that it's not clear--in fact, that it's surrounded by "much uncertainty"--tells us much about your cultural context in your home and church and college there in Wheaton, as well as during meetings of your Committee on Bible Translation with egalitarian ideologues like Gordon Fee sitting next to you; and nothing at all about the original Greek or its proper translation into English.
Doug Moo writes: "(It) is our intent to provide a translation that is faithful to the text, bowing to no particular theological agenda (in this case, neither 'egalitarian' nor 'complementarian'). Our rendering of 1Timothy 2:12 was sincerely intended as our best effort at rendering this very obscure word in a way that would not be driven by either theological agenda."
Actually no, Doug. Your rendering of 1Timothy 2:12 is of a fabric with hundreds of changes you've made in this politically correct translation you and Zondervan and Biblica are trying to sell to the people of God. And what is the fabric? It is to neuter and delete and amend and bowdlerize any text you can get away with neutering and deleting and amending and bowdlerizing to the end that the words of God become more palatable to our twenty-first century postmodern ears.
Since we're all infinitely sensitive to being called "anti-Semitic," delete the word 'Jews' from the text of the Gospel of John where "Jews" are said to be the enemies and persecutors of Jesus. Since we're all infinitely sensitive to being called "homophobic," delete the Greek word translated 'soft ones' from the text of 1Corinthians where this sin is listed as one of the two kinds of sodomites (malakoi and arsenokoitai) who can't inherit the Kingdom of God. Since we're all infinitely sensitive to being called "sexist," talk about 'authentein' being surrounded by "much uncertainty" and how it's a "very obscure word." Then simply change it to a phrase that will hide what God was saying, leaving souls free to claim the Name of Christ as they join the world in rebelling against God's Creation Order of Adam first, and then Eve. Since no woman wants to read her sex being included in a male inclusive, expunge them all--thousands of them--from God's Word. Zap and they're gone.
Some will fault me for accusing you of sin. Let me answer that the trumpeter blowing a clear note of warning is not principally concerned over waking the babies or irritating the babies' mothers. Today, there's grave danger to the city of God, and Bible translators and their Bible products are critical components in Satan's effort to breach the wall. Those of us with a calling to shepherd God's flock, rather than to award degrees, need to do our work faithfully, trusting God with our reputations and future security. I consider it a blessing we don't have tenure because this helps us trust God more--which is always good.
Anyhow, what sacrifice is it, really, to give up the fear of intellectuals for the fear of God and the love of the sheep and their lambs?