Why "pregnant" doesn't cut it...
(Tim, w/thanks to Dave C.) Doug Moo has done a good recent commentary on Romans and is a faculty member at evangelicalism's Harvard, Wheaton College. So why are my concerns unabated when he gives us assurances all will be well with the 2011 updated NIV his Biblica Committee on Bible Translation is producing?
Defending the integrity of the sort of changes he and his people will be making, yesterday Fox News reported Moo saying:
Most changes will have nothing to do with gender inclusivity, Moo said. And the TNIV provides a glimpse of likely changes: In the '84 NIV, Mary is "with child," but in the TNIV she is "pregnant."
Why am I not reassured?
We're halfway to a billion babies slaughtered in their mother's wombs in the past few decades, and our best and brightest...
are changing Scripture's statement of Mary carrying Jesus in her womb from Mary being "with child" to Mary being "pregnant?"
Surely they aren't pro-abortion, so is it simply a question of being daft?
The Greek is "en gastri echousa" and has been translated "with child" for centuries, now. A barbarically literal rendering of it from Greek to English would be "holding in womb."
The KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV--even the radically sex-neutered NRSV--all render it "with child."
But now, the unborn child disappears and we're left with his mother's condition. Does anyone think such insensitivity to the meaning-change is purely accidental in our day of unborn child slaughter in the fifty-millions each year? In some ways, the fact that this change is trotted out as an example of the sort of work they're undertaking, along with their expectation that no one will object, is more sobering than the change itself.
To be clear: I'm not saying this translation is wrong in the same way taking the Hebrew 'adam' to the English 'human beings' or the Greek 'adelphoi' to the English 'siblings' are wrong.
But completely lacking pastoral sensitivity and wisdom?
No Christian in his right mind wants to facilitate the denial of the personhood of unborn children, today.
The Blessed Virgin Mary was not pregnant. She was holding Jesus in her womb.