But my daughters don't like Scripture's male markings...

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One defender of the TNIV writes:"My teenage daughters are especially disturbed by this. The use of masculine pronouns to refer to practically everyone in the Bible grinds on them over time. My 16-year-old has told me that she grew up believing that the Bible was for boys. It bothers me that this trivial language issue is being made a stumbling block for young women who are made to feel like second-class Christians when they read the Bible. And it bothers me that it doesn't bother everybody."
To which Michael Marlowe responds:"Now, you say, 'It bothers me that this trivial language issue is being made a stumbling block for young women who are made to feel like second-class Christians when they read the Bible.' But what do you mean by 'second-class Christians'? And have you faced the fact that the Bible does indeed use the kind of 'offensive' language that the feminists hate? It is not just a figment of translations that we are talking about here -- it is a feature of the original text. And who taught your daughters to be offended at language which a generation ago aroused no offense.... What else are your daughters being taught to be offended at? Eventualy, we have to recognize that this idea of making the Bible inoffensive is a rather dangerous idea. It will not end with pronouns. This is only the beginning of endless accommodations to those who are 'offended' by things in the Bible..."

And Tim Bayly responds:When the first efforts were made to stop the neutering of Scripture back in the late nineties, Leighton Ford went public with a statement to the effect that he supported the neutering of Scripture because he wanted his granddaughters to be able to read the Bible and know it included them. My own daughters were quite disgusted by how patronizing of women his statement was and one of them, Michal, actually took the time to write Ford and take him to task for his statement.

Women who want to get it do get it. Women who don't want to get it don't. And mothers and fathers (and grandfathers) have much to do with whether their daughters and granddaughters get it. Really, it's quite easy to teach daughters what God's purpose is in calling them "sons," "brothers," and "adam." And teaching them these things innoculates them against...

And teaching them these things inoculates them against the siren-call of feminism that is, after all, nearly the heart of this movement against Scripture.

As for those women who have not grown up as Covenant children, within the Church, our church here in Bloomington has had a steady succession of women come into our fellowship with every feminist prejudice our culture demands. But when they live among, and love, other Christians who care for them enough to teach them the ways our culture has deceived them, guess what?, they quickly come to embrace not only being called "sons" and "brothers," but femininity and submission.

In other words, every attack upon Scripture can be met in one of two ways. The Church can fudge it, appeasing the Evil One while assuaging her conscience that it's all done in the name of evangelism. Or the Church can stand unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing that though it is foolishness to the world, to those being saved it is the power of God to all who believe.

Those wanting to rid Scripture of sex-specific grammatical markings and words (such as the word 'adam' used throughout the Old Testament for this race made in the image of God into which we have been born) are fudging around the edges, and their constant defense against those who point it out is to say that evangelism demands it--or their daughters and granddaughters demand it.

We must not give in, though, because the appetite of the beast of appeasement only grows larger.

Back in the mid-nineties, I was standing in my father-in-law's kitchen arguing with my brother-in-law, Mark, over the decisions he and Dad had made to neuter the New Living Translation. At that point, the NLT was a couple years from publication and advance copies of Romans were lying around the house.

Seeing they had adopted the policy of translating the Greek word 'adelphoi' "Christian friends," instead of "brothers" as all previous versions of Scripture had translated it, I tried to explain to Dad and Mark how awful this decision was. I told them that, as a pastor, I was not only opposed to the neutering of the text but also the destruction of the family context of the Church this would usher in.

Finding them both impervious to arguments based on the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture, I asked Mark where he thought this would end--the appeasement of cultural forces in the translation of Scripture--and I tried to open up to him where it might lead next. "For instance," I said, "why not get rid of all the texts that people accuse of being anti-Semitic? I mean, if we can remove thousands of places where feminist sensibilities are offended, can't we do it with Jewish sensibilities too? Let's clean it all up--now!"

At the time, it never entered my mind that Mark, Dad, and their academic employees (specifically Wheaton College's Gary Burge who handled the Gospel of John for them) had already done it. I was still somewhat naive and thought it would take at least ten years before this next step would be taken.

Move forward seven years or so and I was reading about the work of a Jewish gentleman who was trying to get Bible publishers to change the Gospel of John so it didn't have so many places where the actions of "the Jews" figured prominently in the persecution and death of our Lord. (Interestingly, he used his grandchildren as the justification for these changes in the article I read about him in the secular press: he said he wanted these changes so his grandchildren would not be accused of being "Christ-killers," and of course each of us is sympathetic to his concerns.)

Passing this article detailing this Jewish gentleman's crusade on to Mark, my brother-in-law, I reminded him of the warning I had given years earlier, concluding my E-mail, "I tremble for the destructive forces you and Dad have unleashed in the church."

Mark responded by defending this man's arguments, saying that he thought the Greek word 'Ioudaioi' ought not to be translated "Jews" if the context indicated it was Jewish leaders being referred to.

Reading his defense of this Jewish gentleman's demands, it hit me that the only way Mark could be so familiar with the subject is that he had already dealt with it and was, in fact, defending his Bible--the New Living Translation. In other words, it hit me the NLT had already given in to this pressure and changed the Gospel of John.

Quickly I checked the text and--sure enough!--without any notice in the broader evangelical world, Tyndale House Publishers had not only cleaned up the places open to charges of sexism, but also those portions of the Gospel of John open to charges of anti-Semitism.

Liberals hate slippery-slope arguments, but they're true. Killing babies really does lead to killing newborns, which in turn leads to killing the defective and elderly. Legalizing fornication and adultery really does lead to the legalization of sodomy, which in turn will lead to the legalization of pederasty and bestiality. Attacks upon the authority of husbands over their wives really do lead to attacks upon the authority of fathers and mothers over their children, which in turn will lead to attacks upon the authority of elders and pastors over the church, and finally--likely the caboose at the very end of the train--professors over their students. Things fall apart.

Removing grammatical usages in Scripture that are open to the charge of sexism really does lead to the removal, also, of other usages open to the charge of anti-Semitism, which in turn will lead to an endless succession of the silencing of the Word of God.