Does Jesus ask us to become fishers of “men” or of “people”? And does it even matter?
This question has become a heated one, as the International Bible Society and Zondervan recently announced the release of Today’s New International Version Bible (TNIV). Based on the New International Version (NIV), this Bible offers clearer language, including gender-accurate language for people.
Many are nervous about tampering with the Word of God (and rightly so!), but I’ve noticed that many people have misconceptions about this Bible. Is it eliminating gender differences or submitting to a feminist agenda? Or is it offering a more accurate picture of what the original texts are saying?
In working on the TNIV, the translators looked carefully at the specific words that were used in the original languages, as well as the context of the verses. When it was clear that the biblical authors were not referring to a specific gender, they used words like “people” or “humans” instead of gender-specific words like “men” or “brothers.” These Bible translators are merely translating the Word of God with precision!
I’m grateful to have a translation that is uncompromising in its accuracy. Not only does it give me a clearer grasp of what each passage is saying, it also helps me communicate the gospel more effectively. Language is always changing, and while in the past it was understood that a word like “men” could mean women too, this isn’t true today.
I’m glad I can share TNIV passages like Titus 2:11 with my friends: “for the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.” Precise wording in a verse like this is essential, because I’ve heard too many stories of women who rejected Christianity because the Bible seemed to be a book only for men.
We know that God loves and honors both men and women, but stories like these help us realize what’s at stake. We’re not just talking about words, but about how people understand their relationship with God. Suddenly gender-accurate language seems pretty important. I, for one, am glad to be a “fisher of people.”