Pageviews last month

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A vote for same-sex marriage: The TNIV and Mark 10:12

92, 821 views

The Committee for Bible Translation (known throughout this blog as the CBT) has closed the door for suggestions to improve the NIV/TNIV, as the two versions will be rendered obsolete by the newer and improveder NIV set to come out next year.

In one sense, this is too bad. In another sense, it's too late. There is only so much that can be done to improve the TNIV without either:

a) Reverting to the old reading of the NIV
b) Reverting to the reading (or at least the meaning) of the KJV
c) Violating the copyright of one of the other two dozen English New Testaments in print.

Take, for example, Mark 10:11-12. This is how it would read in a modern language KJV:

And he said to them, "Whoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her. And if a woman puts away her husband, and is married to another, she commits adultery.

The message is pretty clear. Whether a man or woman initiates a divorce, he or she becomes guilty of adultery by remarrying.

Now, I don't think this could be said any more plainly than the reading of the NLT:

He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.”

You can't get more gender-inclusive than that. But how does the gender-inclusive TNIV read? Well, the same as the old NIV did:

He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

Notice the difference? The TNIV, blind as ever to the need to make generic feminine constructions gender-neutral, leaves a glaring loophole for same-sex marriage by either partner. A loophole that never existed in the KJV. And doesn't exist in the NLT.

Ah, you say, but the TNIV most accurately translates the Greek here, which does specify the gender of the new spouse in each case.

So what?

The CBT has shown wanton disregard for any number of places where the Greek specifies the gender--specifically, masculine gender. On what grounds do they show such respect for it here?

They certainly can't claim that they are trying to make the Bible more understandable to Today's Young Person, who needs to know, and really should be able to find out from reading the Bible, the opinion of their Creator on "same-sex marriage." Not the opinion of gay and lesbian members of a translation team.

UPDATE OCTOBER 2011: There was no change to the NNIV. The loophole remains.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2016: Now that marriage between homosexuals is a protected right in a growing number of judicial and ecclesiastical districts, the NNIV is already out of date.
Wow, that sure didn't take long.

No comments:

Post a Comment

One comment per viewer, please--unless participating in a dialogue.