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Thursday, 20 April 2006

The TNIV in Hebrews 11:35 and Luke 12:14

CounterHebrews 11:35 "Women [gunaikes] received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. "

Why 'women'? If 'men' can sometimes mean 'men and women' in context, then why, in the name of gender sensitivity, can't in contexts like this 'women' mean 'men and women' too? Do the CBT really believe that only women can be bereaved? Did not both Abraham and Jacob receive their sons back, as it were, from the dead? Were they not both men? How about the Prodigal's father?

Update: It was starting to look like the CBT always translates gyn- as 'woman', but never anthrop- as 'man,' when I ran across Luke 12:

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions."

Jesus' first word in v. 14 is anthrowpe, which the CBT usually avoids translating in the male gender whenever possible--even when referring to Jesus if it is his humanity that is primarily in view, rather than his masculinity. But this instance is ironic. Nothing in the passage itself, nor in its immediate context, indicates that the person Jesus addressed, or even that person's sibling, was specifically male. Only a cultural understanding of Jesus' audience would have indicated that only sons inherited from their fathers (but see Job 42:15 for several notable exceptions!). That same cultural understanding, however, seems to have failed to inform the CBT that the women in Acts 1 did not vote in church business meetings!

Once one breaks free from the moorings of normal meanings of words, anything is possible, but nothing is certain.

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