"Pretending they're not slaves..."

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If you had the stewardship of the English Standard Version, would you have allowed this discussion to be filmed and put up on You Tube? Here these men are discussing whether or not to allow the words inspired by the Holy Spirit to be used in their Bible product. Ah yes, it was an august assemblage seated in the rarified atmosphere of Tyndale House, Cambridge. This must be history in the making.

The epicenter of scholarship in the English-speaking world and here the English Standard Version men do their work. Wayne Grudem is flown over from Phoenix, Arizona. Jim Packer is flown over from Vancouver, B.C. Kent Hughes is flown over from Spokane, Washington. Add to the mix the Wheaton men. They all roll up their sleeves and the battle is joined. But there's no battle--it's a fizzle...

The Greek 'doulas' means "slave." Yes, it's really that simple: 


It you look at the dictionaries, it's quite clear that the person is owned... I think we're getting confused and reluctant to use the word 'slave' because we think that because there is the word 'slaves,' that the Old Testament approves of slavery. And I think it's very much better to say that the Old Testament is trying to improve the life of slaves, rather than pretending they're not slaves.

Then Wayne Grudem responds, and there for all the world to hear is his explanation why the word 'slave' must be silenced:

The word 'slave' has irredeemably negative associatons and connotations.

God didn't know how negative the connotations of 'doulas' would be today so we need to help Him do a better job of communicating.

Someone once said blunt language cannot hide a banal conception but apparently banal language is quite effective at hiding a blunt conception. In the process of hiding the blunt conception of slavery, though, these men left behind the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture.

The vote is nine in favor of ridding Scripture of the word 'doulos,' three in favor of keeping it. I take comfort seeing that Vern Poythress didn't vote with the majority.

Honestly, if we can rid ourselves of words in Scripture that have iredeemably negative associations and connotations, why mess with 'doulas' when we can get rid of 'metanoeo?' 'Repent' is much nastier than 'slave.'

(TB, w/thanks to...)