The Junior Bible Quiz (JBQ) is a children’s discipleship ministry of the Assemblies of God that motivates kids to learn and love the Bible. We have taken the issue of gender accuracy and children’s faith development very seriously.
The JBQ Bible Fact-Pak has been planting God’s truth in the hearts of thousands of boys and girls for years. Updated and revised, this innovative Scripture memorization tool features 576 diverse questions covering people, places, events, and teachings of the Bible.
Over the years, many coaches had approached their district and regional JBQ representatives asking if the male-gender terms in the Bible Fact-Pak could be addressed and possibly changed. These coaches were finding that not only their young girls but also their young boys were confused over statements like, “Does God want all men to be saved?” They wondered whether all girls or all boys could also be saved, or was it only men?
Instead of having to explain this to the children year after year, the coaches requested that a change be made in the question cards, since the Scriptures cited in these questions often did not refer to any gender-specific term such as “men.” Coaches wondered: “Why must the cards be gender-specific where Scripture was not?”
As a result, members of the National JBQ Advisory Committee did a thorough search of the wording used in both the NIV and the KJV, as well as the original Greek and Hebrew. The Advisory Committee discovered 18 cards in which they felt a change should be made to more accurately reflect the wording of Scripture.
For example, Question #255 in The Bible Fact-Pak originally stated,
Q: Does God treat all men alike?
A: Yes, all men are equal before God. (2 Chronicles 19:7; Romans 2:11)
This question was changed to read, “Does God treat all people alike?” and “Yes, all people are equal before God,” because neither the NIV nor KJV versions of the verses cited for this question use the word “men.”
2 Chronicles 19:7
NIV: “…for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
KJV: “…for there is no iniquity with thee Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.”
The Hebrew word translated as “persons” (paneh) in the KJV literally means “faces.”
NIV: “For God does not show favoritism.”
KJV: “For there is no respect of persons with God.”
The Greek word translated as “respect of persons” (prosopolempsia) in the KJV and “favoritism” in the NIV literally means “respect of persons.”
As you can see in these Scriptures, it would have been more accurate to write The Bible Fact-Pak question and answer without the male gender reference. The changes were initiated and approved by the National JBQ Advisory Committee in order to make the Bible Fact-Pak more “Scripturally correct,” not “politically correct.”
These changes to Bible Fact-Pak questions also reflect changes in most Bible translations (including the New American Standard Bible), which are in the process of preparing gender-accurate editions if they haven’t already. For example, the NIVi (New International Version, Inclusive Language Edition, from Great Britain) or the TNIV (“Today’s” NIV) are gender accurate to the original text of the Bible. So also are the NIV Children’s Edition, New Revised Standard Version, New Living Translation, New Century Bible, The Message, etc.
Unfortunately, a lot of well-meaning Christians are misinformed about these translations. They oppose these modern Bibles because they think the translators are tampering with biblical truths, watering down doctrine, or compromising convictions to be politically correct. Such is not the case, however. The translations are much closer to the original biblical text, for many reasons—all the way from the antiquity of the manuscripts they are based upon, to the gender-accuracy of their translations.
For example, in the original Greek (the language of the New Testament), most of the verses translated “any man,” “he who,” “the man that,” etc., in traditional English translations actually mean “any one,” “the person who,” “the one that,” etc. These modern versions (that are receiving so much criticism), whose translations are gender-inclusive, are not changing the Bible. On the contrary, though parting with some traditional English versions, they are correcting translations, resulting in gender-accurate translations that reflect the original language texts.
Both Greek and Hebrew have two different words for man. One “man” should really be translated “human” or “person,” the other, less frequently used, means “male person” or “husband.” All the verses describing the incarnation, Jesus becoming flesh, for example, describe him with the first term, meaning human, not the second, meaning male person. Thus, the emphasis of the incarnation is not on his maleness, but the humanity of Christ.
Since in Greek and Hebrew there is no generic, gender-inclusive pronoun, collective plural references such as “sons of God,” “sons of Israel,” “brothers,” etc., are grammatically masculine. In their historical and biblical contexts, these terms usually have the inclusive meaning of “sons and daughters of God,” “children of Israel,” “brothers and sisters,” etc.
More information about the JBQ Bible Fact-Pak is available at https://biblefactpak.com/