Re: "The Stealth Bible Exposed"

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Tue Jun 24 1997 - 19:28:19 EDT

I was planning on staying out of this one, but a couple of things which
were said *really* caught my eye...

The first is the use of "you" to replace masculine and indefinite pronouns.
I agree with something Stephen Carlson said, namely that we have perfectly
good English words to represent the genderless use in Greek, namely
"person" or "people". I've always felt that using "you" in English did not
accurately reflect the "feel" of what Greek was trying to do, nor was I
convinced that "you" was truly used in English to represent this kind of
indefiniteness; I always have had the feeling that I was being forced to
accept "you" as genderless and indefinite, when it really wasn't. What I'm
really interested in knowing is how some real "readers" of Greek (which
some of those complaining in print--I'm not speaking of those on this
forum--about the gender-neutral translations are not), like Profs Conrad,
Hobbs, and Krentz feel about the use of "you" to represent genderless
masculines and indefinites ??

The second thing is that there is an assumption that the various attempts
at genderless translations are dealing only with pronouns and ANQRWPOS, but
that is not the case. In the article from World magazine they mention
several passages where either ANHR is being translated in a gender neutral
manner (eg., Act 20:30; James 1:12) or ISH is so translated (Ps 1:1; Prov
29:3). Wayne Grudem, who wrote this part of the article, claims that ANHR
never refers to gender neutral situations or women (BTW, I am neither
defending his claim, not the article; I'm just reporting what he said to
get to a point...). My question is whether our "Greek readers" feel that
ANHR can be used in a gender neutral manner ?

Another problem raised by Grudem is the use of plurals to translate
singulars; he lists as examples John 6:44; 11:25; 14:23. In 6:44; 11:25 he
points out that the plural seems to teach corporate election (and while no
self-respecting theologian would use the NIV to prove that point, some
layman might read it as such--I'm not arguing for or against corporate
election, but it seem clearly not to be in these passages at least). In
14:23 he points out (and the same is true for Rev 3:20) that Jesus'
relationship with believers would be made to appear to be corporate and
experienced primarily (exclusively ?) in a church/group setting. I find
myself as uncomfortable with plurals as with "you" to try to "solve" the
gender problem...I wonder how others feel ?

On a lighter note, the gender neutral approach creates its own interesting
quirks, like another passage Grudem points out (though he doesn't make this
point!); Prov 29:3 in the NIVI is: "Those who love wisdom bring joy to
their parents, but companions of prostitutes squander their wealth."
Changing "A man who..." to "Those who..." in an attempt to make this
passage refer to women as well is, to say the least, misguided, and creates
several humorous (or shocking, depending on your perspective, I guess)
scenerios which were clearly not in the mind of the original author ! What
would these young ladies as "companions of prostitutes" in fact be doing
??? I dare not go any further, since it really doesn't have anything to do
with Greek, esp., since its in the OT !! (-:


Dale M. Wheeler, Th.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:19 EDT