RE: Searchng for an agenda-neutral Bible

From: Kelley Mata (
Date: Tue Nov 24 1998 - 17:12:05 EST

It is most certainly a translation issue. The response by many who oppose
this paint it as a sociological or cultural issue whereby a feminist agenda
is influencing biblical scholarship as it regards modern translations. This
is clearly inflammatory and unscholarly, reaping the intended emotive
response from many conservative evangelical camps which are responding
rather than thinking.

There is a book recently released by IVP. It is written by Dr. Mark
Strauss, titled "Distorting Scripture". Dr. Strauss also has a article
about this topic in the June edition of the "Journal of the Evangelical
Theological Society".

I appreciate your email.

M. Kelley Mata
Western Seminary

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joseph A. Weaks []
> Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 12:02 PM
> To: Biblical Greek
> Subject: Re: Searchng for an agenda-neutral Bible
> >I am not trying to start a thread on this topic. ....hehe
> >...two men have caved in to political pressure on the issue of bible
> >translation.
> One issue, specifically, is the rendering of Masculine Singular
> Personal Pronouns, present and elided. This issue makes it clear that
> translation theory presupposes theological viewpoint. Indeed, translation
> *is* interpretation, so I need help understanding how there can be an
> "agenda-neutral Bible." As a pastor, who always wants a good,
> contemporary
> translation for use in the pastorate, I spend great time in contemplating
> translation theory.
> The simple fact is that the "generic he" is archaic in contemporary
> English. It is no longer generic. Now, one can sit by and lament this
> fact, and long for a translation using American English of the 50's, but
> that is not contemporary translation theory. It is the same as my
> parishioners sitting back, lamenting the fact that the word "Damn" is
> commonplace on TV. They do have the option of watching Lawrence Welk on
> PBS.
> I find curious the suggestion by Poythress that 1st century writers
> used the generic pronoun "he" as "male example to express a general
> truth",
> and would like to hear more about it. Rather, isn't the substance of
> revelation contained in the Word of God, unrelated to the (contextual,
> worldly, hence even sinful) human language to which we are unfortunately
> restricted?
> And Clayton, as you are "sick and tired of this issue," my prayer is
> that you, instead of responding to my inquiry, go treat yourself to some
> ice cream. But I welcome any others.
> Carl, et. al., I really see this as a translation theory question,
> simply (and calmly) stated, but if you deem it inappropriate fuel for a
> theoogical/ideological discussion, I apologize and retract all rights to
> exist granted to me by my Creator.
> *********************************************
> Joseph A. Weaks
> Minister of the Word
> First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
> Spearman, TX
> "Let unity be our polar star." -GMP KT
> *********************************************
> ---
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