2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Si
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2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by Si » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:48 pm

https://opened-heart.com/2017/12/11/nas ... ease-news/
Gender Specificity

One of the big, emotionally charged issues in Bible translation today is how to translate the Greek word ἀδελφοί (brothers). Updated releases of the New International Version (2011), the Christian Standard Bible (2017), and others have, in many instances, changed the historical translation of “brothers” or “brethren,” to “brothers and sisters.” The NASB 2020 is doing the same. We’ll look at 1 Thessalonians 5:14 and Micah 6:8.

Detractors of this practice see it as an effort to force a gender-neutral inclusiveness upon the Scriptures where non-exists. The defenders say the practice is more accurate to the original in cases where ἀδελφοί is not being gender specific and is, instead, referring to all believers. One example is 1 Thessalonians 5:14:

We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. NASB 1995

We urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. NASB 2020

Personally, I prefer “brethren” in these instances because it reflects ancient unity among Christians, whereas “brothers and sisters” subtly perpetuates a modern division. However, I understand our times and the challenge that translators face.

A second example is Micah 6:8. A comparison of the 1995 and 2020 versions shows that “O man” was changed to “a human”:

He has told you, O man, what is good… NASB 1995

He has told you, a human, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? NASB 2020

The Hebrew word here is “Adam.” In this verse, and elsewhere in Scripture, the word Adam is being used collectively to represent all of fallen humanity. The verse emphasizes God as the divine and holy Creator, over against the created and fallen Adam and his descendants, particularly Israel. For this reason, I believe the original “O man” is clearer. Interestingly, the New International Version reads “O mortal,” which may be the best word choice of all. I think “a human” is noticeably awkward.
I don't know why bother, I already have an NRSV. Thankfully I have a few copies of the 95 NASB on my bookshelf. I won't be buying a 2020 NASB, they're basically abandoning the "most literal" niche they carved out in an already crowded Bible translation market. I pray the NKJV and ESV don't follow suit, because they're all that's left in the gender literal modern translation market that I know of.

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mattrose
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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by mattrose » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:42 am

While I prefer the translators to just translate words and trust me to do the work of understanding how words were used in the ancient world, I also recognize that the majority of bible readers won't be doing that work. Brethren/Adam in those cases do indeed refer to both men and women collectively. So it is possible to argue that switching it is part of the translation process. Like you, I do think it's good for some translations to stick with a strict word-for-word approach because that helps more people be aware of the fact that there's steps being taken by other translations (even if they are appropriate steps in some cases).

Si
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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by Si » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:10 pm

mattrose wrote:While I prefer the translators to just translate words and trust me to do the work of understanding how words were used in the ancient world, I also recognize that the majority of bible readers won't be doing that work. Brethren/Adam in those cases do indeed refer to both men and women collectively. So it is possible to argue that switching it is part of the translation process. Like you, I do think it's good for some translations to stick with a strict word-for-word approach because that helps more people be aware of the fact that there's steps being taken by other translations (even if they are appropriate steps in some cases).
Quite honestly there are more than enough translations for Bible readers who are beginners, or who aren't going to do the work of understanding how words were used in the ancient world, and fewer and fewer that stick to a traditionally conservative literal approach. I have been reading the RSV a lot in recent months, and it is funny how that translation was considered a liberal abomination when it first came out, and is now among the most conservative and gender-literal (aside from a few controversial verses). I'll take those controversial verses combined with an overall literal, traditional approach than an entire philosophy of liberalism. Clearly the culture war influences this. The word "brethren" is more than sufficient for gender-inclusiveness for adelphoi if someone takes five minutes to learn. I can even get behind the fact that perhaps a translation with "brothers and sisters" should be used for public reading during worship, so those new in the faith can understand better. But the NASB was always a Bible most suited for deep study, and was welcomed by me as being "woodenly" literal.

I will admit that for some reason when a translation revision changes adelphoi to brothers and sisters, it for me is crossing the line. Maybe it is because so many Christians still use brethren to refer to one another, and the Bible publishing houses are trying to remove it from our vocabulary, because they are letting the culture define their language, rather than sticking by what is right and trying to influence the culture, as salt is supposed to do. Maybe I am illogical or too emotional, but I resent these publishing houses who claim to be conservative doing what they blasted the NRSV for doing not long ago.

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Paidion
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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by Paidion » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:53 pm

The NRSV has been rendering "brothers" as "brothers and sisters" since it was published in 1989. The phrase "brothers and sisters" occurs in 93 verses in the NRSV. Yet even the translators of the NRSV recognized the foolishness of doing it in every context—for example Acts 15:22,23.

Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the whole church, decided to choose men from among their members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among THE BROTHERS, with the following letter: "THE BROTHERS, both the apostles and the elders, to the believers of Gentile origin in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. (NRSV)

Bolding and all caps is my addition to the text for emphasis.
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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by steve7150 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:08 pm

I don't know why bother, I already have an NRSV. Thankfully I have a few copies of the 95 NASB on my bookshelf. I won't be buying a 2020 NASB, they're basically abandoning the "most literal" niche they carved out in an already crowded Bible translation market. I pray the NKJV and ESV don't follow suit, because they're all that's left in the gender literal modern translation market that I know of.
Si

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It seems to me that the goal is to make the bible more palatable based on changing cultural norms which I have a mixed opinion about. But what I anticipate will happen is that the next step will be to neutralize or sanitize verses condemning homosexuality. These changes of directions tend to not stop at any particular boundary and another justification will be created to explain why certain offensives verses need to be changed or modified once you decide to compromise the bible for cultural norms. Maybe i'm wrong?

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Homer
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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by Homer » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:52 am

But what I anticipate will happen is that the next step will be to neutralize or sanitize verses condemning homosexuality.

This has already been done in that abomination "The Message". Using The Message you can not show that homosexual sex is a sin.

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Paidion
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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by Paidion » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:27 pm

This has already been done in that abomination "The Message". Using The Message you can not show that homosexual sex is a sin.
I wasn't aware of this, Homer. So I looked up 1 Corinthians 6:9 in the Message. Then I looked at it in all my other Bible translations, and discovered four others who do not translate αρσενοκοιτης in that verse as "homosexuals" or "sodomites" or an equivalent. Those four are the BBE (The Bible in Basic English), RSV (1947 Revised Standard Version), Williams (1936 Williams New Testament), and WEY (1912 Weymouth New Testament).
Paidion

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mattrose
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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by mattrose » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:48 pm

To me, there is a big difference between trying to communicate what the original authors meant and trying to be politically correct. While there is overlap in some cases, the motivation is different.

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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by Si » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:55 pm

mattrose wrote:To me, there is a big difference between trying to communicate what the original authors meant and trying to be politically correct. While there is overlap in some cases, the motivation is different.
What about when rampant political correctness in the culture influences how people perceive norms of speech that have been established for centuries? Terms like "brethren" and "man" being gender inclusive when used generically is the historical English norm, and was when I was a kid, and I am only in my 30's.

It is sad how one can read articles and books about how much the KJV influenced the English language; nowadays translations keep revising themselves because a Godless culture keeps influencing them. What if Lockman or Crossway took a stand and said, "As it is our command to be salt and light, we are going to stick to a traditional understanding and definition of gender and use our language as such, and proudly affirm the patriarchal nature of the Bible, and try our best to promote these values." Take a stand instead of caving in.

As the NASB has been a bulwark of conservative Biblical scholarship for decades, I have to say I am disappointed. I don't buy that gender egalitarians didn't play a role in this. I don't buy that there is not some level of capitulation to the culture. The NIV going gender neutral is not a surprise, because they are dynamic equivalence. I never expected the NASB to fold, and it feels to me like I got poked in the eye by a publisher that has been supported and promoted proudly precisely because the perception was they were adamantly opposed to this sort of thing.

Even if it is not explicit political correctness, it is a surrender to it.

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Homer
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Re: 2020 NASB update will be gender inclusive

Post by Homer » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:24 pm

Paidion,

Consider the following:

Romans 1:26-27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
6. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27. and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.


Romans 1:26-27 The Message (MSG)
26-27 Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches
.

Notice how the problem, according to The Message, appears to be that the same sex relations Paul speaks of are wrong because they are based on lust, not love.

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