Opponents of TNIV compared to those who burned Tyndale

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Chris Temple, May 22, 2002.

  1. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    Opponents of TNIV compared to those who burned Tyndale
    By Gregory Tomlin

    IRVINE, Calif. (BP)--Those who oppose the Today's NIV version of the Bible will be remembered and spoken of in the same breath with those who
    burned William Tyndale at the stake, according to a professor at Bethel Theological Seminary.

    Mark Strauss, professor of New Testament at Bethel Theological Seminary in San Diego, Calif., made the comment during an Internet webcast
    debate about the TNIV with conservative scholar Wayne Grudem May 21.

    "I guess we should be grateful -- as Bruce Metzger points out -- that at least today they only burn the translations and not the translators. I'd be afraid if I saw them building a bonfire outside tonight," Strauss said.

    Grudem, research professor of theology and Bible at Phoenix Seminary, who has opposed the TNIV, responded to Strauss' comment, saying that
    those who opposed Tyndale and his translation did not want the Bible in the hands of the laity.

    "They thought lay people could not understand Scripture. That was a wrong motive," Grudem said. "It really troubled me when Dr. Strauss
    said that I and those who oppose the TNIV will be remembered along with those who opposed William Tyndale. Those were terrible motives to keep
    the Word of God from people and terrible moves -- burning people at the stake. It troubles me that he could say that about those of us who are
    opposed."

    Strauss, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, said that he was deeply concerned about the precedent being set by
    those who were attacking the TNIV. Critics, he said, "are, after all, attacking a highly accurate expression of God's inspired and
    authoritative word."

    Worse than that, Strauss said, was that criticism of the TNIV was unfounded and based on misperceptions. Most critics, he believed, had
    never even seen the TNIV. Strauss has seen the translation and referred to it as "intentionally gender accurate and not gender neutral."

    "Much of what I have read about the TNIV is often unfair, unwarranted and simply untrue," Strauss said. "Gender accurate translations like
    the TNIV seek to accurately convey the sense of the Hebrew or Greek original while utilizing the language people use today. That is the
    best possible goal for Bible translation."

    Strauss said that such a goal was what the translators of the King James Version had in mind when they wrote the preface to their 1611 edition.

    "Keeping the Bible current was critically important to the King James Version translators. It was critically important to William Tyndale,
    whose magnificent translation captured the hearts of the English people in their own words, and it is critically important to the TNIV
    translators."

    Strauss emphasized that a number of New Testament scholars had endorsed the TNIV, among them Darrell Bock and Don Carson. Bock is professor of
    New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and Carson is professor of New Testament Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity
    School.

    But Grudem countered Strauss' assertion, saying that he had spoken with Bock and that he had refused to endorse the TNIV. Carson also was said
    to have rejected the translation.

    "I don't think you should use them if they haven't made a public statement," Grudem said.

    Grudem, who holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, provided a list of over 20 conservative evangelical scholars who had rejected the TNIV, among them Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological
    Seminary; Paige Patterson, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; and R.C. Sproul and Verne Poythress.

    Grudem noted that changes in gender language made by TNIV translators revealed a systematic agenda with the goal of "muting the masculinity of Christ" and attributing traditional male roles in Scripture to women.

    "1 Timothy 3:11 (TNIV) says, 'In the same way, women who are deacons are to be worthy of respect.' That's a debatable question exegetically, and doubtful, but the TNIV puts it there and we have women deacons required and no longer debatable," Grudem said. "These are big changes revealing a systematic agenda."

    The changes, Grudem said, were evidence that the translators had succumbed to political correctness and a feminist agenda.

    Strauss, however, said that the application of "gender accurate" phrasing was neither politically motivated nor representative of any
    agenda. "The TNIV is not trying to make God into a woman," he said. The translation, according to Strauss, was only an attempt to bring the
    sense of Scripture into the modern vernacular.

    "Why are we fighting about this?" Strauss asked. "Let's not let an issue like this divide and breakup the body of Christ."

    Grudem answered that he, too, was for promoting the full equality of male and female in the sight of God, but the risk of altering meanings by applying "gender neutral language" to the Bible was to change the words of God. "I want to be remembered with William Tyndale, who would not alter one syllable of Scripture contrary to the meaning of God's Word. ... I stand before God with a clear conscience. I struggled long and hard before speaking out publicly against this, but I thought it was necessary because the purity of the Word of God was at stake," Grudem said.
     
  2. DocCas

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    This vicious attack by Mark Strauss reminds me of the vicious attacks against all non KJVOs by Peter Ruckman who calls all such people "apostate," "liberal," and other much less socially acceptable names.

    To accuse those who have sincere and honest differences with the TNIV of being of the same type of people who murdered William Tyndale is scurrilous at best and libelous in the extreme, in my not entirely humble opinion!
     
  3. Monergist

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    Assuming that his quotes aren't taken out of context, it seems that Mr. Strauss is avoiding the real issues. There have been legitimate concerns raised about this release that should be answered in a responsible manner.

    From the article:
    I find this statement particularly disturbing. For one thing, there obviously hasn't been such major changes in the common usage of the English language that would render other recent translations obsolete. Surely he doesn't mean changing God's Word to keep it "current." But I fear that is exactly what's happening.

    There will be need for further translations. As our NASB or ESV would have been inferior to the KJV for the seventeenth century Englishman, as the KJV is now difficult because of its language, so will our best translations need to be replaced.

    I hope and pray that this trend will not continue,
    that in "keeping the Bible current" we take the liberty to change God's Word.
     
  4. TomVols

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    One way to draw people away from the real issues at stake is to play the martyr act which Dr. Strauss seems to do well here. This is akin to liberal Baptists equating us conservatives with the Taliban. Hopefully, people will see through this canard and see to the real issues at stake, not the least of which is IBS's political, non-translational agenda, and IBS's outright deceitful treatment of the Colorado Springs agreement.
     
  5. Chris Temple

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    TimothyW said:

    Quite right. English does not change significantly that often. I am well pleased with the ESV, and believe it filled a needed niche. But had it not been published, there's nothing seriously wrong with the NASB, NKJV, NIV to make them "obsolete".

    Exactly Tom. Its called poisoning the well. It's an attempt to discredit your opponent before the debate even begins. Its a lousy debate tactic and should not be engaged in by any Christian.
     
  6. Marathon Man

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    One thing you all may find interesting is that, here in central Illinois, the Berean bookstore chain, a regional Chrisitian bookseller, issued a statement that they would not carry the TNIV in stock due to the controversy surrounding it. They would handle special orders if a customer desired, though.

    They also made it clear that they had no problems with other Zondervan and/or IBS material, just the TNIV.

    I don't know if any other booksellers have adopted a similar approach.
     
  7. TomVols

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    I wonder if Berean carries the NLT or NRSV?
     
  8. Marathon Man

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    Tom Vols, I know they carry the NLT. Not sure about the NRSV, although I've not seen any indication that they don't (just don't see any of them, at least when I've been in a store).

    This was the first instance I've seen of a Christian bookstore refusing to stock a specific Bible translation (although to repeat, they would special order one if a customer requests).
     
  9. Gayla

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    What is the ESV?
     
  10. Chris Temple

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