Gender Neutral NIV Bible Corrupts God's Word
by Allie Martin and Jody Brown
(AgapePress) - The newest English language edition of the Bible is drawing criticism from one prominent Christian activist.
Recently, Zondervan and the International Bible Society announced plans to publish Today's New International Version of the Bible. Zondervan officials say the new version uses generic language where the meaning of the text was intended to include both men and women. Examples offered include "sons of God" being changed to "children of God," and "brothers" becoming "brothers and sisters" when no specific reference to gender was intended in the original text. Author Philip Yancey and several New Testament professors have endorsed the TNIV.
But Janet Folger, with the Center for Reclaiming America, says the new version is nothing more than an attempt at political correctness.
"At least I'm comfortable that this version didn't give God a sex change - that's a good thing," she says. "To suggest that women are so frail and insecure that we can't recognize inclusive language, that we need a politically correct crutch, really makes about as much sense as taking a bottle of white-out to the Declaration of Independence because it says 'all men are created equal.' We don't alter historical documents - and I don't believe we should alter the Word of God."
Folger says a new version of God's Word is not needed. "I would think the Bible Society would care about what the Bible had to say about changing the Word of God. And it's very clear not to do that," she says.
"If we're going to change the Word of God to feel better, to make people feel better, why not get rid of those pesky commandments that people don't like so much - [like] the adultery thing?" she asks. "That makes people very uncomfortable."
"I think we leave God's Word as it is. As a woman, I'm not offended by what God says."
The New Testament TNIV will be available this spring. The complete text, with the Old Testament, is expected to be released in 2005.
Zondervan is owned by Harper Collins Publishers, which is a subsidiary of The News Corporation. The chairman and chief executive officer of The News Corporation is Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Twentieth Century Fox Films.