(Tim, w/thanks to Andrew) Working for its employer, Biblica, the Committee on Bible Translation has just announced a new line of merchandise labelled the New International Version 2010. Aimed at postmoderns who are quite sensitive to the charges of sexism and anti-Semitism made against Scripture, News Corp's Zondervan has purchased exclusive rights to what is likely to be a highly profitable product line. (The latest year for which stats are available, Zondervan paid Biblica $6,000,000 in royalties.)
David and I have long opposed changing Scripture to make it less offensive. Where does it end? If we're going to avoid offending feminists, what about post-Holocaust Jews? And if we're going to avoid offending feminists and Jews, what about the slaves? And if we're going to avoid offending feminists and Jews and the slaves, what about the gay community? What about all of us who hate repentance--can't they tweak things so repentance isnt' so prominent?
Where does it end?
But really, if we're going to sell Scripture short, let's skip all the secondary offenses and go straight to...
the Cross. The Bible's crowning offense is Jesus saying any man who comes after Him must take up his cross and follow Him. Get rid of that one and we're home free. Why fiddle around the edges?
Well anyway, they're off and running, and you'll soon run into all kinds of important persons, both male and female, hawking these PC Bibles. To help you weigh the decision whether to spend your hard-earned money buying into this latest and greatest, and recognizing how long a book the Bible is, now and then we'll put up examples of some of the texts that have been made less offensive so you tell if your own concerns have been sufficiently addressed.
Here's the first.
James 3:1NIV (1984)
: Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.TNIV (2001)
: Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.NIV (2010)
: Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
The Committee on Bible Translation orignally issued the TNIV
in 2001. It was intended to supplant the NIV
products, but for political reasons, sales of the TNIV
were limited to the United KIngdom. The TNIV
, then, served as a halfway step from the original NIV
to the just-released NIV 2010
Looking at James 3:1, we see that back in 2001 the Committee on Bible Translation deleted the Greek word 'adelphoi' (literally "brothers"). Postmoderns think it's sexist to refer to teachers as 'brothers," so the Committee on Bible Translation was happy to avoid offense by changing it to "brothers and sisters."
But even that wasn't sufficient because postmoderns find family language offensive, also. The CBT removed family language, leaving the text in tatters. Now they're selling an English text of James 3:6 in which both the sex marking and the family marking have been deleted.
What was originally "brothers" became "brothers and sisters," then "fellow believers."