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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Missing in Action: The NIV's Young Men in 1 Peter 5:5

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. --KJV (Cambridge)

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” --NKJV 1982, 1990

 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
-- NIV 1973-1984

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble and oppressed." TNIV, NNIV

   Back before the NIV had even gone to press--when we were both children--my elder sister, when wanting to get her way, used to remind me of the biblical exhortation to "obey your elders." Obviously she held to an egalitarian interpretation of this verse, one actually encouraged by the KJV as it was.

  The NIV, however, in search of accuracy, turned that notion on its head. Not quite all the way--though; they identified the gender of those submitting, but not those being submitted to! This, despite the fact that the entire preceding portion of this chapter of First Peter is talking about 'elders' who 'feed the flock' and 'take oversight,' not merely 'older people.' 

  Well, the gender police fixed that. Since 2001, the NIV brand has not only applied the command across the board to all young people, but it even calls those to whom they should submit 'elders.' But what about the rest of the verse? In the KJV family of versions, the elders have to turn back around and submit to everyone else--something the CBT was quite in favour of when translating Ephesians 5:21, but instead, here they are advocating nothing more than an all-around equanimous dose of humility. This turns out to be the result of them using a 'superior' Greek text, which lacks the second occurrence of the word for 'submit.'  But is it really? As I read the Greek, the missing word is still understood by the context--so they must have some other reason for omitting it.

What it is, I have no idea.

1 comment:

  1. My study tools will take me back to the Greek in either the KJV or the NASB. Both show that the KJV is the most accurate. Neither word is gender specific.

    My translation of choice is the NASB. In spite of that I consider the KJV an excellent translation. As I continue to study Proverbs I am more impressed with it all the time. I consider the NIV a very poor paraphrase.

    Good exegesis.

    Grace and peace.


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