• Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical. by Kate Shellnut

Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical. by Kate Shellnut

Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical.


…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

An Open Letter to the ESV Translation Committee

Women, Bible, Translations (Jesus Creed blog)

Will A Truly Honest Bible Translation for Women Ever Be Made? – CBE

Will A Truly Honest Bible Translation for Women Ever Be Made?: Part 2  – CBE


6 thoughts on “• Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical. by Kate Shellnut

    • It’s always good to study from an interlinear and include historical context and how a 1st Century audience would understand certain words, ideas, etc. A First Century audience had no concept of gender equality and was very caste system with slaves even having their own caste within a caste. My favorite example of Jesus’ radical approach to Gods intention god mutuality is Luke 8. It’s simply a passage about activity and setting that speaks volumes.

    • @ Megs.

      I have asked you this 2 or 3 times on 2 or 3 threads here, and you never answer.

      If I don’t get an answer, I am most likely going to block you from posting here.

      Are you in any way affiliated with the Wartburg Whiners blog, or are you the guy who runs it/owns it posting here under another name?

      Do you support gender complementarianism?

      I’m not sure I am open to having someone from “Whiners” blog post here. I’m also not terribly open to having this turn into a “debate gender comp” type site.

    • “Kate has an interesting article; but it actually doesn’t appear to deal with the verses themselves.”

      This has been done to death on both sides.

      While, I don’t like the terminology such as gender inclusive, i was including brothers and sisters or human or people when I read scripture to my children when they were vert young. As they got older I explained why translations were a problem. That the pronouns and descriptors used should refectory the audience or person in context. That it had more to do with old views of women as subclass than anything and that translators are not immune. I am about as far from a liberal, lefty or snowflake as one can get. In fact, I have been clear that as women obtained power, they abuse it as much as men do. It’s just that men had thousands of years head start. 🙂

      If anyone can find me a very clear command (God is always clear about commands) in the OT that women are prohibited from teaching men, I would love to see it. If not, then it seems strange God is more limiting in the NT. Perhaps the real problem is understanding context, word choices, etc. after all, being saved in childbirth is a “work” of salvation. (Wink) So that can’t possibly be right. Paul was referring to the birth of Messiah since the temple of Artemis was in Ephesus and focused on dying in childbirth. So much for literal without context.

      So sure, lets talk scripture. I have done my homework for years. It only makes sense since as a woman and I should know why I would be in sin by sharing the good news with a man or teaching them.

      Bring on your proof texts.
      Eat your wheaties.

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