Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media.
This week’s item is from WorldNetDaily.com, September 29, 2003, with the headline, “Bible for Feminists:
“To demonstrate there’s no glass ceiling in heaven, the German evangelical church has undertaken the ambitious project of retranslating the Bible in gender-neutral terms. Ananova reports more than 50 translators are hard at work on a new edition of the Holy Book. They’re rewriting passages seen to discriminate against women, using biased and unjust language.
“Specifically, the term disciple is to be changed to ‘disciples and disciplesses.’
“Translators will also remove references to ‘Lord’ and ‘Our Father.’
“The project is expected to take up to a year. Gueterslohe publishing house is expected to print 10,000 copies of the revised Scriptures.”
Tom: Dave, the reason I picked out this News Alert—you know, the absurdity of this. Not so much that these people take it upon themselves to come up with this version. We’ve had other versions neuter-gender, so to speak. Why would they do that? They don’t care about the Bible anyway. I mean, it’s not important to them, but it’s important enough to put this time and energy into it. They don’t go by it.
Tom: It’s crazy!
Dave: It’s like the little saying, Tom, “I don’t see why so many people change churches. What church does it matter that you stay home from?” And so why are they tinkering with the Bible that they don’t pay any attention to anyway?
Tom: And, you know, 10,000 copies—who are they going to sell them to?
Dave: Tom, it’s quite dishonest, because on the one hand it says, “Fifty translators.” What do you mean? They’re not translating. Then it says, “10,000 copies of the revised scriptures.” This is not a translation. You are not going back and saying, “Oh, that should have been translated ‘disciplesses.’” No, you’re going back and changing what the Bible says.
So, they are showing their absolute contempt for the Bible. It’s a nonsense issue. For example, are they going to do away with the word “woman”? Woman has “man” in it. What are we going to do? This is, as you said, absurd! But now we’re going to force our absurdity upon the Bible—in contempt of the God who inspired it—who wrote this through man—and it has stood the test of thousands of years, okay? It’s been around a long time. Suddenly, because some women’s libbers feel offended…
Tom: Now, Dave, that’s a good point. Are they going to run out and say, “Oh, here’s a Bible I want. This one’s really going to make me feel better. I’m going to live by this because it elevates my self-esteem.”
Dave: Tom, there’s a difference between men and women. Men cannot bear children. We can’t nurse babies. Okay? There are big differences. And because of these physical differences, there are differences in the role that men and women have traditionally played. For example, down through the centuries, women don’t generally go to war. The man goes running off to war. Now do these women’s libbers want the right so that they can go out there and go to war too?
Tom, this is an opportunity for a little pet peeve that I have. How about that?
Tom: Well, go for it…
Dave: The women tennis players—and there are some of them are very good. But they keep agitating, “Well, how come those men get a bigger prize than we do?” Well, the men do struggle through five sets. And the women only have to play three sets. Now I think, therefore, that the men ought to get a proportionately larger prize, should they not?
And then it comes now onto the Bible. And we’re going to—they talk about, “Oh, this is biased?” No! You guys are biased. You don’t want to face the facts of what God himself has said.
And “Lord”? We’re going to do away with Lord? And our Father? What do you want to say, “Our mother?”
Tom: Well, of course, they do!
Dave: Well, isn’t that biased? To say “our mother”? Now, Tom, let me just pause for a moment and explain why it’s not Mother God but Father God. Because a woman gives birth out of herself. So the baby is really an extension of the mother. It’s really part of the mother. It comes out of the mother. God does not create the universe out of Himself. The universe is not part of God. It’s not an extension of God, and man does not come out of the womb of God. We are separate and distinct from God. God is transcendent. He is totally “other.” And you begin to tinker with this and use “mother,” it destroys the truth of what the facts really are of the relationship between God and man.
Tom: Dave, if that were the case, God would be flawed, because look at us. Look at our problems. He’s got to be totally other, or He couldn’t be God.
Dave: Exactly. So Tom, what is the purpose of this? So, what great truth are we uncovering by actually changing what God said? But supposing we have “improved” upon the Bible. Now, what improvement have we made? What improvement have we made? I would like to know about it? Now what does this do for a person? “Oh, I could feel that God is my mother now instead of my father….Or, no, no, He’s not mother or father—He’s some kind of a neuter thing, and I’m not going to call Him Lord anymore.”
Well, Tom, it’s nonsense, I’m sorry. They’re wasting an awful lot of time. But this is the sort of thing that people take pleasure in, and what are we going to do about it? We’re going to stick with the Bible.
Dave: As God wrote it.
Tom: They’re trading perceptions, which are lies, for the truth. That’s the grievous thing about it. Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Not some erroneous perception.
Dave: They’re destroying God’s Word. So it’s no longer His Word. God must have said it the way He said it for a reason, one of them being this is the truth—these are the facts. And we need to submit ourselves to it.