Welcome to CBE’s Library

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The theme of this issue of Priscilla Papers is Bible Translation. We featured this same theme four years ago, in the spring of 2015, but it is an important topic and worthy of considerable attention.
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Most people read a translated Bible, a domesticated Bible that by means of translators’ mediation has crossed time, space, language, and culture. Bible translators strive to provide people with access to this ancient text.

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Romans 16:7 presents two interpretive issues. Was the person named Iounian a man or a woman and was Iounian counted as “highly regarded among the apostles” or only “highly regarded by the apostles”?

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Maasai believers need a Maasai Christianity within which they “feel at home" to “enable women to view the Bible through African eyes and to distinguish and extract from it what is liberating.”

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First Corinthians 14 contains the only passage in the Bible that at face value silences women or restricts their ministry in the churches. It is important for all who believe Scripture to understand the truth about this passage.

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Does 1 Timothy 3:8-13 discount the possibility of women deacons? Not at all.

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Most evangelical egalitarians know that the Bible has words that mean “man/men” and words that mean “person/people, human(s).” Many egalitarians also know that some Bible translations use “man/men” to translate words which aren’t limited to men. This is especially common, for example, in the King James Version and the pre-2011 editions of the New International Version.

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Language matters. It impacts our ideas. It reflects our biases. It influences those we speak to. As I sang on Christmas Eve that all men are to employ their songs, the picture in my head was of men singing praises to God. Not one woman was among “all men” in my own imagination! It’s crucial that women see ourselves in what we sing, in what we read, and in what we hear.

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It is often suggested that using a gender-accurate translation is giving in to political correctness or feminism. Sometimes the resistance is based simply on personal preference, as in the case of the pastor who told me he was “too attached” to his Bible translation to make the change. Whatever the reason, we need to realize that our language choices have consequences.

If you are still on the fence about giving up your ESV or NIV1984 for a gender-accurate translation, here are some reasons to make the switch.

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Evangelical tradition places a high value on the biblical text, which is a good thing. But too often, we buy into a myth that our favorite translation is God’s true Word, pure and untainted by bias. Changes are seen as a threat to God’s truth, motivated by a social or political agenda.

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