Inclusive Language

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Rippon, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    I think I need to present the following facts for low information folks. (My apologies to Rush).

    I want to compare the ESV, HCSB and NET Bible versions with one another to see how much or how little they have used inclusive language in 19 texts. I'll toss in the 84 edition of the NIV too.

    Symbols : E = ESV;H = HCSB;N= NET Bible;84 = the 1984 NIV edition.

    Romans 3:28
    E : one
    H : man
    N : person
    84 : man

    Romans 10:5
    E : person
    H : one
    N : one
    84 : man

    Acts 10:28
    E : person
    H : person
    N : person
    84 : man

    Matt. 12:12
    E : man
    H : man
    N : person
    84 : man

    John 1:9
    E : everyone
    H : everyone
    N : everyone
    84 : man

    So the score for inclusive language is :

    E : 4 out of 5
    H : 3 out of 5
    N : 5 out of 5
    84 : 0 out of 5

    To be continued...
     
  2. Rippon

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    Phil. 2:29
    E : men
    H : men
    N : people
    84 : men

    1 Cor. 16:18
    E : people [The 2001 version had men]
    H : people
    N : people
    84 : men

    2 Cor. 11:13
    E : men
    H : people
    N : people
    84: men

    Mark 8:24
    E : people [ earlier editions had men]
    H : people
    N : people
    84 : people

    So the score for inclusive language in these references is:

    ESV : 2 out of 4
    HCSB : 3 out of 4
    NET Bible : 4 out of 4
    84 NIV : 1 out of 4

    But the overall inclusive score for these translations --combining posts one and two is as follows:

    ESV : 6 out of 9
    HCSB : 6 out of 9
    NET : 9 out of 9
    84 NIV : 1 out of 9
     
  3. Rippon

    Rippon
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    E = ESV
    H = HCSB
    N = NET Bible
    84 = the 1984 edition of the NIV

    1 Thess. 2:4
    E : man
    H : men
    N : people
    84 : man

    John 12:43
    E : man
    H : men
    N : men
    84 : men

    Ro. 5:18
    E : men
    H : everyone
    N : all people
    84 : men

    Matt. 4:19
    E : fishers of men
    H : fish for people
    N : fishers of people
    84 : fishers of men

    Eph. 4:8
    E : he gave gifts to men
    H : He gave gifts to people
    N : he gave gifts to men
    84 : gave gifts to men

    Matt. 10:32
    E : men
    H : men
    N : people
    84 : men

    Matt. 10:33
    E : men
    H : men
    N : people
    84 : men

    Ro. 1:18
    E : men
    H : people
    N : people
    84 : men

    Matt. 12:12
    E : men
    H : man
    N : person
    84 : man

    Ro. 12:1
    E : brothers
    H : brothers
    N : brother and sisters
    84 : brothers

    Inclusive language used for these ten examples:

    ESV : 0 out of 10
    HCSB : 4 out of 10
    NET Bible : 8 out of 10
    1984 NIV : 0 out of 10

    Overall totals for the 19 examples in all three posts:

    ESV : 6 out of 19
    HCSB : 10 out of 19
    NET Bible : 17 out of 19
    1984 NIV : 1 out of 19

    So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the 1984 edition of the NIV the best because it used the least inclusive language? And following that line of thought is the ESV the second best?

    Is there a liberalizing of the text going on? Are Bible versions becoming "genderless" in a quest to follow the feminist movement?

    Or is it possible that in these cases at least, the language of the HCSB and NET Bible reflects the original and speaks with accuracy to the target audience.
     
  4. Rippon

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    Okay, I will go beyond the original 19 examples and expand on the idea.

    84 =1984 NIV
    E = ESV
    H = HCSB
    N = NET

    Matt. 6:5
    84 : men
    E : others
    H : people
    N : people

    Matt. 6:14
    84 : men
    E : others
    H : people
    N : people

    Matt. 6:15
    84 : men
    E : others
    H : people
    N : others

    Matt. 12:31
    84 : men
    E : people
    H : people
    N : people

    John 4:28
    84 : people
    E : people
    H : men
    N : people

    Titus 2:11
    84 : men
    E : people
    H : people
    N : people

    Subtotal for versions using inclusive language:

    1984 NIV : 1 out of 6
    ESV : 6 out of 6
    H : 5 out of 6
    N : 6 out of 6
     
  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Would say that the 1984 Niv was a superior translation, as it more closely gave to us what God thought on this issue, not what current culture and times do!
     
  6. Rippon

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    Y1, please don't quote a long post only to say a line or two of insignificance. Just post a reply without a quote.

    "What God thought on the issue" is an amusing line.

    I had made this suggestion before -- don't use the exclamation mark so much. It's as if you think you have scored an amazing point when the reality is that a simple period would have done nicely.

    So, I am asking you the following: In my examples, do you think that the 1984 edition of the NIV was the better choice and that the ESV,HCSB and NET were inferior because those versions used more inclusive language?
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    Some Greek words have within their range of meanings both man and human (or people). So if the context points to humans, male or female, rather than a particular entity, i.e. Jesus is a man, not a female, the gender inclusive translation is the most accurate. However, many times a word not within the range of meanings is substituted for the word chosen by the inspired writer, and thus the controversy over "inclusive language."

    Lets review some of the examples:

    Romans 3:28 has the singular masculine Greek noun "anthropon" so it can refer to any human or person. Thus to translate it as person rather than as "a man" is not a mistranslation, but rather seems probably a better, more accurate translation for the context. So only the ESV mistranslates the word into another Greek word, i.e. mono. Note that "one" is not within the range of meanings for G444. On the other hand, the NET does a better job of conveying the meaning as used here.

    The same Greek word meaning human occurs at Romans 10:5, with many translations being consistent (i.e. translating as man) but the NET if consistent would have translated it person, but instead went with "one."

    At Acts 10:28 again Jewish "man" or Jewish "person" are both within the range of meanings for G435. However, the come into phrase seems idiomatic for a sexual or at least intimate relationship with a Gentile, and therefore the best translation seems to be Jewish man, but later in the same verse the unclean man or person should be person.

    Bottom line, many of the translations reflect an overly paternal bias, but as yet, there seems to be plenty of room for improvement such that the same Greek word meanings are translates both concordantly and contextually.
     
  8. Rippon

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    From The Book Of Job

    5:17
    84 : man
    E : the one
    H : the man
    N : the man

    17:8
    84 : Upright men
    E : The upright
    H : The upright
    N : upright men

    17:12
    84 : These man
    E : The upright
    H : They
    N : These men
    NLT : These men

    18:20
    84 : Men of the west
    E : They of the west
    H : Those in the west
    N : People of the west

    19:14
    84 : My kinsmen
    E : My relatives
    H : My relatives
    N : My kinsman

    21:25
    84 : Another man
    E : Another
    H : Yet another person
    N : and another man

    31:2
    84 : man's lot
    E : my portion
    H : what portion
    N : one's lot

    35:9
    84 : Men
    E : people
    H : people
    N : people

    36:8
    84 : men
    E : they
    H : people
    N : they
    _______________________________________________________

    In the examples above I really hesitate in using the term "inclusive" --just not masculine-sounding like the 84 NIV. I hope no one holds the 84 NIV to be the standard that must not be tampered with regarding its "gender language." None of the other versions are liberal or "feminizing" the biblical text just because they use more inclusive language.

    Notice how I tossed in the NLT for one reference.

    Here are the results for using non-exclusive language.

    84 NIV : 0 out of 9
    ESV : 9 out of 9
    H : 8 out of 9
    N : 4 out of 9
     
  9. Van

    Van
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    Again the issue is not going from masculine to inclusive, the issue is replacing the word meaning used by the inspired writer as determined by context with a meaning not intended by the inspired writer.

    In John 1:9 we have the Greek word "pas" which means all, or all of the group in view. Since the context is giving light to people, male or female, translating "pas" as "all people" does not violate the context or the range of meanings for the word.

    In Philippians 2:29, "men" is not even in the text, so "honor those like him" conveys the message, no matter who receives honor.
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    The Niv 1984 would be more accurate to what was the original intent of the authors of scriptures....
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    Does anyone here really have a problem in understanding that when the Bibles states that He gave them the rights to be called the sons of God, that it refers to both male/females?
     
  12. Van

    Van
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    Not to put too fine a point on it, but "them" is a gender inclusive word.

    At issue, in John 1:9, not John 1:12, is did Jesus just give light to "every man" or "all people" as the best translation of the Greek "pas." I claim "all people" best translates the word meaning in context.

    And I am fairly sure many agree with that view.

    Older translations seem to reflect a paternalistic bias, using men when people was actually intended. So just as a Calvinistic bias corrupts the translation, so does a paternalistic bias.
     
    #12 Van, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2014
  13. Rippon

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    Based on what criteria?
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    the Bible does have some male issues within it though, as didn't God ordain male leadrship within the home and church though?
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    Inclusive language issues...
     
  16. Rippon

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    Such as...what?

    In this thread I have been demonstrating that inclusive language is not the exclusive property of the NIV. Do you disagree with any of the renderings that I have listed from the ESV, HCSB and NET Bible? Of course it would be your job to find the texts and check the whole passage out for yourself. That's a little homework assignment you can handle. Right?
     
  17. Yeshua1

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    I will be comparing those listed with he nasv 1977 and the Niv 1984...
     
  18. Rippon

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    84 = 1984 NIV
    E = ESV
    H = HCSB
    N = NET Bible

    Romans
    2:3
    84 : mere man
    E : O man
    H : any one of you
    N : whoever you are

    5:18
    84 : all men
    E : all men
    H : everyone
    N : all people


    Luke
    2:52
    84 : men
    E : man
    H : people
    N : people

    3:6
    84 : mankind
    E : all flesh
    H : everyone
    N : all humanity

    5:10
    84 : men
    E : men
    H : people
    N : people

    6:39
    84 : blind man
    E : blind man
    H : the blind
    N : someone who is blind

    12:36
    84 : men
    E : men
    H : people
    N : people

    6:15
    84 : men
    E : men
    H : people
    N : men's

    I will regard "all flesh" as inclusive.

    In this post:
    The 1984 NIV : scores 0 out of 8
    The ESV : 1 out of 8
    The HCSB : 8 out of 8
    The NET Bible : 7 out of 8
     
  19. Van

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    Non germane deflection. Older English translations seem to have a paternalistic bias, translating words with the meaning of people as men.

    The inclusive language controversy arises from efforts in modern translations to correct that bias. Sometimes the efforts are flawed, such as making singular into plural for the sake of political correctness, or changing a veiled reference to a male (Jesus) into a reference to people.

    Here is how the NIV renders Psalm 8:4, what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
    And this mistranslation in the name of inclusive language goes too far because it obliterates the veiled reference to Christ, mentioned in Hebrews 2:6.

    But the NASB95 does not bend to the pressure, and renders Psalm 8:4 this way: What is man that You take thought of him,
    And the son of man that You care for him? Note that the veiled reference to Jesus, as mentioned in Hebrews 2:6 is not obliterated.
     
    #19 Van, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2014
  20. Rippon

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    Like your favorite translation --the NASB. It has that paternalistic bias.
    You are judging motives of translators, as you always do. Your accusation is false.
    You can call it a mistranslation, but you would be making a mistake.
    You've heard the facts before and pretend you don't know. You are dishonest.

    I will quote from How to Choose a Translation for all Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Mark L. Strauss. But rememember at that time they were quoting from the TNIV:

    "Does pluralizing the construction blur the application of this Psalm to Jesus in Hebrews 2:6?

    To address this issue, we must first consider the meaning of the psalm both in its Old Testament context and in its application to Jesus in Hebrews 2. It can hardly be denied that the psalmist is speaking inclusively rather than exclusively in Psalm 8. He does not mean, 'What are males...' but rather 'What are human beings...' All commentators agree that 'enosh and ben 'adam are generic references to humanity.

    Most commentators also agree that this same meaning applies to the use of the psalm in Hebrews 2:6-8. The author is not claiming that the psalm refers exclusively to Christ, but that the destiny of humanity as expressed in the psalm ('to be crowned with glory and honor,' vv. 6-8) has been fulfilled in Christ (v.9). The reference to 'him' in verse 8 is not to Jesus but to humankind. [2011 NIV 'them'] Though man's (= humanity's) original destiny was to be croned with glory and honor and for creation to be subject to him )see Gen. 1:28), 'at present we do not see everything subject to him.' In its present fallen state, humanity has not achieved its true destiny.

    Jesus, however, through his suffering and death has fulfilled the ultmate destiny of humanity by being made for a time 'a little lower than the angels,' but now 'crowned with glory and honor' (vv.7,9)...Psalm 8,both in its Old Testament context and in its context in Hebrews, is about God's intention for humanity. Jesus fulfills this destiny by acting as the true human representative. The plural references in both Psalm 8:4 and Hebrews 2:6-8 capture this sensse well." (pages 106,107)
     

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