Re: "The Stealth Bible Exposed"

From: Perry L. Stepp (
Date: Fri Jun 20 1997 - 00:58:21 EDT

The fact of the matter remains: communication is not one sided.
Translators who refuse to use inclusive language should realize that their
work is ambiguous, possibly inflammatory, and open to
misinterpretation--none of which, IMHO, characterize a good translation.

Besides, are gender-inclusive translations really "misleading" or
"non-literal"? Commitment to literal translation principles should lead
translators *toward* gender inclusivity, not away from it. For example: if
I know that Paul's language is inclusive, and I know that part of my target
audience will misconstrue a word-for-word equivalent translation of Paul's
words to be exclusive, then why in the world would I want to allow for such
a misconstrual?

In this specific area (gender exclusivity), English has changed over the
last few decades. IMHO, we shouldn't translate the scriptures into 1950's
English any more than we should translate them into 1600's English, and for
the same reasons. Translations are in general meant to be read and
understood: translations of the scriptures, even more so.

Translators (and writers in general) need to be aware of their audiences.
Too much of our debate here has taken the attitude (at least as I perceive
it) that translations are written for the linguistically and theologically
literate. Such is not the case. [WARNING: statement of theological
conviction coming up!] People approach the English text from a wide
variety of backgrounds and contexts, and anything that can make the text
more understandable and more accessible (and thus more easily applicable to
their lives) has my vote.

Grace and peace,

Perry L. Stepp

(Permission granted to quote any or all and to name the writer.)

Pastor, DeSoto Christian Church, DeSoto TX
Ph.D. candidate in New Testament, Baylor University

I've railed against a mountain with a pickaxe and a file
there's no minefield like presumption,
there's no deathwish like denial

there's no gunshot like conviction
there's no conscience bulletproof
there's no strength like utter weakness
there's no insult like the truth
          --Charlie Peacock


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