Thursday, April 06, 2006

Faithfully interpreted

Today I announce the addition of a new blog on my sidebar, The Scroll. This is the official blog of Christians for Biblical Equality, an organization that advocates for the full involvement of both men and women in all areas of Christian ministry. For those who do not believe that women should be ordained as pastors (to name but one of the roles women are often denied in churches), CBE is understandably considered a theological adversary. CBE is not by any means to be confused with The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), one such group of people opposed to women's ordination. Despite the claims (and honest attempts, in most cases) of both organizations to advocate a "biblical" stance, they hold diametrically opposed views.

It should come as no surprise, then, to note that CBMW, as well as many "complimentarians" (those who advocate a traditional view of separate roles for men and for women), attack certain translations of the Bible that, they feel, do not faithfully interpret the Bible in areas that relate to gender roles. The latest translation to be so attacked is the TNIV (Today's New International Version, a revision of the NIV, which has long been the favored translation in many evangelical circles). In a recent entry on The Scroll, these attacks are discussed as being largely an issue of control: "The critics of the TNIV want to control 60% of the church [read: the women]." This becomes even more apparent (and hypocritical) when it is noted that the TNIV was not translated strictly by "egalitarians" (those who advocate for equal access to all roles for both men and women), but that many "complementarians" were also involved in the creation of the TNIV.

This is not to say that the TNIV is perfect. No translation is, and the people behind the TNIV readily acknowledge this. However, it is a faithful attempt to accurately convey the word of God to God's people. To accuse it of attempting to change God's word to fit a modern agenda is nothing less than defamation.


  1. Well, I'm not too bothered either way about the NIV/TNIV debate; I tend to prefer the ESV to just about any other translation (and admittedly, the ESV isn't flawless either).

    Still, I dunno. I think CBE and CBMW are perhaps closer to each other than they think (in principles, at least). I find it easy to agree with much of what I've read at CBE, though I don't see those views necessarily conflicting with the conclusions purported by CBMW.

  2. No translation is perfect, of course, and I have no difficulty in favoring one version over another, but I'm curious as to your comments re: CBE and CBMW being "closer than they think." One exists to advocate for the inclusion of women in all areas of ministry, the other advocates for a distinction of roles, saying that the God does not permit women to hold certain roles. These positions put CBE and CBMW on exact opposite poles. Do you not see it this way? If not, what's your take?



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