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Friday, 12 May 2006

The TNIV in Acts 4

Counter My readers my be tiring of my relentless attacks on the TNIV; I'm rather tired of it myself. But as I continue to read through the apologetic distributed by promoters of the TNIV, I'm continually struck by either the amateurishness or the disingenuity of the contributors to this book--I shudder to say which; perhaps it's a little of both. But their defenses of the TNIV ring hollow in view of the actual version itself. Witness the defense of 1 Timothy 2:5 by Pastor David Miller on page 66 of 'Perspectives on the TNIV from Leading Scholars & Pastors (Zondervan, n.d.)" (cf. pg. 43; an index of verses cited would have been more useful at the back of the book than the 2 pages of celebrity endorsements!):

"'For there is one God and one mediator between God and human beings, Christ Jesus, himself human.' The Spirit chose anthropos to stress our Lord's humanity, not his masculinity. The point of the passage is not that Jesus was a male, who mediates between God and males. Fuzzy translations make for fuzzy doctrine."

Come on now--what fuzzy doctrine ever came from calling Jesus a mediator between God and Man? Whatever it is, the paleontologist who described the austropithecine skeleton of Lucy as a good specimen of 'Early Man' is in no apparent danger of embracing it.

But what of the TNIV--does it elsewhere avoid using the masculine when masculinity is not primarily in view? Indeed not, as we have shown in Romans 4:1. But the opening chapters of Acts are also replete with masculine references inserted into the text by the CBT--in addition to the many feminine references we have come to expect. Let's start with the story of the impotent man in Acts 3-4. This is how the TNIV refers to the leading characters in this drama (chapter 4):

9 "If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame"
13 "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men"
14 "But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say."
16 "'What are we going to do with these men?' they asked."

Now, what's so emphatic about the masculinity of Peter, John, and the impotent man that the CBT had to translate anthropos in these verses as 'man' and 'men'? In at least half of the verses above, the CBT's gender-sensitive purpose would have been well served by using their usual 'someone' and 'people'.

One more point before we leave Acts 4. I earlier congratulated the CBT on their choice of 'Advocate' to translate paraklhtos in John 15. I should maybe retract that, as I see they failed to capitalize on their new hermeneutic in Acts 4:36 by translating paraklhsews as 'advocacy'. It was Barnabas' advocacy on behalf of Saul and John Mark for which he is famous, not any act of encouragement.

More later on unnecessary masculine references in Acts 5.

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