Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical. by Kate Shellnut
…The latest chatter centers around one of the newest: the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). This translation came out in March as an update to the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), which Southern Baptist-affiliated LifeWay Christian Resources introduced about 15 years ago.
A recent article in The Atlantic compared the CSB’s use of inclusive language over masculine nouns for mixed-gender groups to the changes made in the 2011 New International Version (NIV) and the controversial Today’s New International Version (TNIV) before that, which Southern Baptists famously railed against.
…Gender inclusivity is a polarizing term among American evangelicals, especially those eager to preserve the distinctions between male and female that they see taught in Scripture. Now, CSB supporters have defended the translation’s “gender accurate” revisions as a means of faithful translation, rather than a progressive agenda.
…In Bible translations, not all revisions to gender-specific language reflect theological shifts. Such changes have more to do with the approach to translation. In this case, the 21-person team behind the revisions in the CSB aimed for “optimal equivalence,” a balance between the readability of thought-for-thought translation and the accuracy of word-for-word translation among today’s modern readers.
“The CSB team believed there were certain cases where it is indeed more accurate to indicate that both men and women are in view,” said Trevin Wax, Holman Bibles’ director of Bible and reference publishing and a member of the CSB translation oversight committee. “Romans 3:28 is a great example. It is accurate to translate the text the way the HCSB did: ‘For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law.’ But since Paul used a word that encompassed both men and women in its range of meaning, the CSB team believed it was more accurate to say that ‘a person is justified by faith’ and not narrow the scope of Paul’s reference.”
…“It should also be noted, furthermore, that the CSB has not gone very far in the direction of ‘gender accurate’ language,” according to Moo. “For instance, the CSB appears to continue to use he, his, and him in passages that are gender neutral—a decision that arguably preserves a masculine focus where it is not intended by the original authors of Scripture.”
…To see the inclusive wording within the actual text was profoundly meaningful for Reformed Christian blogger Rachael Starke, who discussed her impressions of the CSB in an April post entitled, “Women Are Not Footnotes in God’s Story.”
More, on other sites:
“A Trail of Translation Error: How Katharine Bushnell Challenged Distorted Bible Translations” (CBE, Google Cache Version)
Women, Bible, Translations (Jesus Creed blog)
Will A Truly Honest Bible Translation for Women Ever Be Made? (CBE, Google Cache Version)
Will A Truly Honest Bible Translation for Women Ever Be Made?: Part 2 (CBE, Google Cache Version)