Southern Baptists Embrace Gender-Inclusive Language in the Bible

 

Rodrigo Garrido / Reuters

PREFACE:
 
It is no longer “the Bible” when man or woman takes hold of God’s inerrant word and corrupts it, perverts it to fit the worldview of the evil days at hand. I clearly understand why in the past 40 years, or so, there have been, and continue to be, more Bible translations than in the previous 600 years when the first handwritten English language translation was produced. While we as true believers in Christ are not to worship the Bible or any specific translation, as that is idolatry, it is IMPERATIVE as true disciples of Jesus Christ we do not grow lax appeasing the worldview and permitting the corruption of the world to satisfy man rather than to satisfy God our Father.
 
Up until about 1970 a person could say with confidence and speaking the truth that any available Protestant Bible they preferred to read was the inerrant living Word of God.Since the early 1970’s the continued erosion and perversion of God’s word has been underway. A continual shipping away at the truth all done under the pretense — the cunning beguiling lie which when heard is difficult to refute it’s told so well — that in order to reach more people, to reach young people, to reach the modern-age person the Bible must conform to their standards and comfort level rather than they rising to the standards and comfort found in God’s true word.
 
There are at present well over 7,000,000,000 human beings on this earth. Not one of them — NOT ONE OF US human beings knows the true Holy Bible, the words of God, the words of Jesus, as well as the devil knows them.
 
Think on that a moment.
 
Of all the living beings in the universe, aside from God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit — that old dragon the devil knows Scripture better than any man or woman who has ever lived, is alive now, or ever will live.And Satan uses his cunning, as he did from the beginning in the Garden to confuse. To twist the truth. To create innuendo, double speak, euphemisms, twists and omissions and subtle additions. All under the pretense of making things easier to understand.And the world, and many professing to be believers fall for this lie. They are sucked in by the very powerful, seductive words and ways of the devil. He brings them a false comfort for a time and most never realize they have been caught in a snare and were prey to the father of lies and evil who gleefully misled them along their way.
 
This rapid worldwide push and embrace of all-inclusiveness, tolerance of all things, the misrepresentation of the word “love” and the misrepresentation of what it means to be  “a Christian” in the past 50 years, the continual erosion has led to the point we now reside. Which is on the precipice of falling over the edge into the abyss. The Great Falling Away. The Great Apostasy swallowing up the vast majority who once claimed to know Christ and know the truth of God.It began as all erosion does. With hardly any detection. To the point now where the main cross members of the structure have become so rotted, so corrupted, so neglected for so many years, so eroded over a period of 40, 50, 60 years that the entire structure is nearing total collapse to where what once stood for centuries will no longer be recognizable on earth.
 
The so-called “Christian religion” has already become so perverted, corrupted and apostate it is nearly impossible to find a body of true believers living and worshipping God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ in truth, in the Spirit anywhere on this earth.
 
The inclusion within what is called “the Christian church;” the tolerance of worldly philosophies from the abomination of homosexuality to embracing the murder of the unborn ripped from the womb, to allowing drug addiction, prostitution, pornography, and every vile evil under the sun is evidence that Satan has the attention and is leading the so-called “flock” and they have run from, turned from God the Father and Jesus the Lord and Saviour. 
 
Who mortifies sin any longer?
 
Who desires to obey and please God turning from this world and its ways?
 
The words of the prophet Amos ring true and with each passing week. The sound of his words given to him to write by the Spirit of God working in the heart. The Spirit of God moving Amos to write;Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

 
 

And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Amos 8:11-12 — King James Version

 
 

If one has faith? Truly believes in a God that could raise the dead, forgive all sins, have power over life and death, create all that is seen and known? If one believes those things? If one believes in heaven? Why cannot that same person have faith and believe the Holy Spirit of God will provide them discernment, understanding, and increase their knowledge and wisdom of the inerrant word of God if that person uses a translation of the Holy Bible approved prior to 1970?

Has the English language changed so drastically that approved English language versions of the Holy Bible can no longer be understood?

No, man and woman have grown so discontented, so disobedient, so rebellious, so embracing the world and its ways and teachings they prefer to lie and deny desiring to profess with their lips to be disciples of Christ all the while lusting to be accepted and approved of the world rather than hated by it and separate from it!

If we believe God created man and woman — distinct man and woman, and we profess to believe in God, in Christ, we profess to believe in the Great Flood, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in Moses, King David and the prophets, if we believe that God came to earth in the form of man known and called Jesus of Nazareth, of we believe in the accounts and miracles within the Holy Bible how is it we fail to believe the Holy Spirit of God will provide the insight, the discernment, the enlightening to know His word from an English translation of the Holy Bible approved prior to 1970?

Because we lie and we desire the world over God, that’s why.

Because we want to have our cake and eat it too. We want to delude ourselves we’re “good” and “holy” and “Christian” and “saved” and “everyone is going to heaven” while we live in utter sin, denial, rebellion, corruption, perversion and erosion of the truth following the world rather than obeying and following God!

Heaven will not be nearly as crowded as most people imagine.

English Bible History
 
 
Ken Pullen
ACP
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017
 
 

Southern Baptists Embrace Gender-Inclusive Language in the Bible

By Jonathan Merritt and Garet Robinson

June 11, 2017

Reprinted from: The Atlantic

 
 

Southern Baptists have long defended literal approaches to the Bible, but their recent translation of the Good Book might have them switching sides.

Last fall, the publishing arm of the 15-million member Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) released the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). LifeWay Christian Stores, America’s largest Christian retailer, which is owned by the SBC, sells the translation at hundreds of its locations nationwide and touts it as a work of superior scholarship. But patrons are largely unaware that the denomination-approved translation is gender-inclusive.

Such news would presumably shock many in the evangelical body. The denomination has affirmed that the Bible commands wives to submit to their husbands and that modern notions of transgender identity blur the line between God-ordained masculine and feminine roles. The group has passed numerous resolutions since the late 1990s publicly condemning Bible translations that attempt to utilize gender-inclusive language.

When several revisions to the popular New International Version (1984) appeared to employ gender-neutral language, for example, Southern Baptists condemned the translation by name and chastised its publishers. A 2011 resolution even instructed LifeWay to cease selling the translation in its stores. (LifeWay has continued to sell the NIV despite the resolution to remove it; the translation remains the most popular among Southern Baptists with a 40 percent share.)

The rationale behind the rebuke was two-fold. First, inclusive translations abolish many gender-specific terms. For example, they may change “father” to “parent,” “son” to “child,” and “man” to “mortal.” And second, these translations added words and phrases not found in ancient manuscripts for the sake of inclusion. A common example is the translation of “brother” as “brother or sister.”

Some scholars defend translation decisions like these, arguing they most clearly express the meaning of each passage. But the SBC disagrees, seeing such translations as part of a larger cultural push to erase distinctions between genders and diminish masculinity. It believes political correctness is threatening the integrity of its holy scripture.

In response to this perceived menace, the SBC commissioned its own Bible translation, the Holman Christian Standard Bible, which was finalized in 2003. It was intended “to champion the absolute truth of the Bible against social or cultural agendas that would compromise its accuracy.” The translation was well received and the Bible battlefront quieted for more than a decade. But when a revision was released last fall, a number of the same “gender-neutral” elements that the SBC previously condemned were inserted into its own translation.

The CSB now translates the term anthropos, a Greek word for “man,” in a gender-neutral form 151 times, rendering it “human,” “people,” and “ones.” The previous edition had done this on occasion; the new revision adds almost 100 more instances. “Men of Israel” becomes “fellow Israelites;” when discussing Jesus’s incarnation the “likeness of men” becomes “likeness of humanity.” The CSB translates the term adelphoi, a Greek word for “brother” in a gender-neutral form 106 times, often adding “sister.” “Brotherly love” is translated “love as brothers and sisters.”

The gender-neutralizing pattern is also present in its translation of the Old Testament. For instance, where the NIV “gender-neutral” revision uses the term “human” or “humanly” for a masculine term, the CSB concurs with a “human” “humanly” or “human being(s)” 67 times. As the CSB translates the Hebrew term ‘dm (the word for adam), the generic “man, men,” it uses gender-neutral language of “human(s), humanity, human kind, people, person(s)” 242 times. The CSB also uses the term “mortal” or “mere mortal” to replace a masculine term 6 times. Numerous other instances of gender-neutral translations of masculine terminology exist across both testaments.

The FAQ page for the Christian Standard Bible explains that the translation committee “chose to avoid being unnecessarily specific in passages where the original context did not exclude females.” Such an approach is similar, if not identical, to those taken by inclusive Bible translators, and parallels the logic laid out on the New International Version website.

In email correspondence this week, Trevin Wax, Bible and Reference Publisher for Holman Bibles, defended the translation. He rejected the notion that the translation is “gender-neutral,” calling it “gender-accurate” instead. “It uses male pronouns for God, for pastors, and in places where its obviously male—and it uses male and female, where that’s what the author intended,” Wax said.

A gender-accurate approach often uses inclusive language, Wax said, but only in places “when the original would have been understood to refer to both males and females.” Such a defense of the CSB mirrors those offered by NIV defenders in years past.

Although the CSB’s translation isn’t totally gender-neutral, it’s difficult to deny its significant deviations from rigidly literal interpretation methods. Perhaps gender-inclusive would be a more accurate term. The examples listed here are not exhaustive, after all. In the CSB, there are hundreds of verses that fall within the “gender-neutral” category condemned in Southern Baptists’ own resolutions. Together, they provide an illustrative survey of the kinds of quietly progressive changes that have been inserted into this conservative denomination’s Bible translation.

Such changes in Southern Baptists’ Bible translation of choice are more than a mere denominational matter. The SBC is America’s largest Protestant denomination and one of its most conservative. If its leaders and members are tolerating a softer, more inclusive approach to gender, it might be a bellwether of things to come in the culture war over gender.

This week, Southern Baptists will gather in Phoenix for their annual gathering. Whether they ignore or resist the new version of the Good Book may tell us much about the future of gender debates in American society.

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