A few thoughts on why I chose the ESV over the NRSV

This post is sort of a spin-off of the recent post Is your choice of a Bible based on your Beliefs? You see, I was duly challenged by the capable Suzanne McCarthy:

“I am terribly curious about your reservations regarding the NRSV….

Would you consider posting on what you dislike about the NRSV, especially regarding gender, since you have several times recently remarked on this without examples….”

Below are three reasons why I ultimately chose the ESV over the NRSV:

1. As someone who is decidedly impressed with Paul’s Letters, in comparing the NRSV against the ESV in Paul, for me, the ESV came out the winner but not by a great margin.  In fact, if not for a few hiccups in Romans, 2 Corinthians, and Galatians, in my opinion, the NRSV and the ESV would be neck and neck.

2. The ESV is somewhat better in its use of contemporary language (of course some would dispute this).  I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say that NRSV is due for an update in this regard.  For example, no modern Bible translation I know maintains the old “fornication” for porneia.  Besides, porneia has a wider range than what is normally meant by “fornication.”  For the moment,”sexual immorality” is a better choice.

3. As already mentioned above, even someone like N.T. Wright, who is considered pro-NRSV, objects to some of the gender-decisions in the NRSV: ““The NRSV is increasingly accepted in both church and academy. It is not without its faults, and not all of its attempts to avoid gender-specific language are as felicitious as they might be” (The Last Word, p. 143, emphasis added).  Perhaps a few examples are in order: 1. As I’ve argued herehuiothesia is better rendered “adoption of sons.”

The NRSV has serious problems at Galatians 4:4-7.  Just ask N.T. Wright!  In fact, this is one of the places where N.T. Wright objects to the NRSV’s effort to avoid gender-specific language.  But of course this gender-objection by N.T. Wright will not be the same for everyone who has a gender-issue with the NRSV.

For example, the generic “he” is still in use.  And I’m not impressed with “brother or sister” for the Greek adelphos to simply avoid gender-specific language at places like Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 5:11, and the like.  Adelphos is a familial term.  But if we don’t want to use “brother” to translate it, fearing misunderstandings, then we need a new term that will preserve that familial nature of the Greek.

And neither is the ESV without its faults…

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72 Responses to A few thoughts on why I chose the ESV over the NRSV

  1. Matthew says:

    I use the NRSV as my normal English Bible, and I generally like it – but I do agree it sometimes gets confused in its enthusiasm for gender-inclusivity. In fact, when it calls the 12 sons of Jacob the 12 “children” of Jacob, it effectively dismisses the significance of Jacob’s daughter.

  2. Peter says:

    I love you, my brother, and I bless you with peace about your choice of Bible translation-whichever you may choose.

  3. I am a backer of the NRSV but your support for the ESV are pretty reasonable. Your reason #2 has given me something to think about.

  4. T.C. R says:

    Matthew,

    Yeah, go catch.

    Peter,

    Ditto.

    Rod,

    Well, I’m glad I got you re-thinking. 😀

    Mark,

    I know… 😀

  5. @TCR,

    quite funny. but I am keeping an open mind, but remain loyal to the NRSV. 🙂

  6. Sue says:

    TC,

    Thank you! This is very useful. I will be responding to that and other particulars soon. I do think “fornication” is outdated and inaccurate, BTW.

    While I appreciate your points fully, especially with regard to Gal.4, I do have a full rebuttal prepared. However, I am very busy right now, doing motherly stuff, so later.

    Matthew,

    I think you are right on about Jacob’s sons.

  7. T.C. R says:

    Rod,

    The NRSV remains quite appealing. To be honest, with a bit of tweaking I would probably be using it as my main text.

  8. TC,
    Why don’t you like “brother and sister” for adelphos? Would “sibling” work?

    • T.C. R says:

      Dan,

      Yeah, I’m all for “brother and sisters” for the plural, but rather simply “brother” or something else for the singular, not “brother or sister.” A technicality, mind you. 😉

      • I guess I do not understand why? In Rom 14.15 and 1 Cor 5.11 it seems clear that Paul is not simply talking about a man. Brother seems to relegate those statement (in our cultures language) to men only.

  9. T.C. R says:

    Dan,

    That’s why retaining “brother” is so problematic, but I have a hard time with “brother or sister.” I wish there was a single term out there that would do justice.

    But you know, Paul is gender-specific at Gal. 5:3, but I don’t think any interpreter would just limit the application to males.

  10. TC,
    Could you give some explanation of your discomfort with “brother or sister” what is uncomfortable?

    • T.C. R says:

      Dan,

      As I said above, it’s really on a technicality. I also noticed the NET Bible doing the same thing at Rom. 14:15 and 1 Cor. 8:11. Wow!

      My objection is more of a reaction to what seems an overly-zealous move to avoid gender-specific language.

  11. Steve L says:

    Some quotes come to mind…

    ‘Methinks he protesteth too much’. Shakespeare

    ‘Never complain, never explain’. Disraeli

    It almost sounds like you are trying to convince yourself…. 🙂

    Steve (tongue in cheek…)

  12. Colin says:

    Easy to over emphasise the odd example. But to pick up on your point 2, have a look at Hosea Chapter 1 in the NRSV. Is there anyone out there who uses the term “Whoredom” on a regular basis?

    An update with some tweaking to its choice of contemporary English does seem in order!

  13. Kevin S. says:

    Okay, I’ll step out and say that ESV is up there in my top 3 translations. It’s actually NRSV, NLT and ESV being #3. I do have some problems with the ESV.

  14. T.C. R says:

    Steve L,

    I was simply responding to a challenge by Sue, as noted above. By the way, I’ve ready posted on why I chose the ESV. But you’re right that I complained too much in the past about the ESV. 😀

    Colin,

    Yeah, some tweaking definitely needed in the areas mention above, at least in my opinion. The ESV has some leftovers from the RSV too.

    Kevin,

    Nice combination with the NRSV and the NLT.

  15. Sue says:

    I will agree that the NRSV has some outdated language. However, the ESV has some other problems which make it difficult to read aloud fluently.

    ” 22Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand(X) and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden(Y) to work the ground from which he was taken.” ESV

    “22 Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever’— 23therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.” NRSV

    Although the NRSV retains the language of the King James Bible in these verses, it does not create the grammatical constructions which make the ESV hard to read aloud, like “lest” “behold” and “sent out from” “take also of the tree of life.”

    Here is another example,

    children of your bereavement ESVIs 49
    children born in the time of your bereavement NRSV

    It seems that the NRSV keeps the older language but tries to make sure the passages are meaningful, not just Biblish.

    I have posted my response to TC here,

    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2010/07/adoption-of-children-nrsv-and-esv.html

    My main point about the NRSV is that using an expression like “children of” or “adoption of children” both provides continuity with the Old Testament and was used by the Reformers. These Bibles used “children of God” and “adoption/adoption of children.” Luther, Calvin’s Latin translation, the French Bible de Geneve, Coverdale, Bishop’s Bible, and so on.

    If we want continuity between the old and new testament, if we consider ourselves building on the foundation of the Reformers, if we want to dig deep like Luther et al, we will use the appropriate gender inclusive terms as they did, and create a Bible for the people of God. This is our heritage, why waste it?

    Even Gal. 4 in the NRSV is exactly like Luther’s German translation. This was the foundation of the Reformation, that all of us, male and female are a part of the family of God, and that women do not have to become “sons” nor do they have to be represented by male terms in order to come to Christ. Rather than teach women that “in this case” they have the status of males, but in “all other cases” they do not have have the status of males, let us create a bible for the family of God, not the sons of God.

    • Steve L says:

      Good points Sue.

      In my view, even though the NRSV is older than the ESV and contains a number of antiquated expressions (for many target readerships), it often, perhaps more often than not, reads better than the ESV.

      Sometimes I sit in church and listen to the ESV being read, and follow along with say the NRSV, NET or TNIV on my iPod. I continue to be amazed at how awkward the ESV is in places, seemingly unnecessarily so. The other thing that strikes me is that even very fluent and capable readers very often stumble when reading the ESV out loud. (But strangely I still enjoy my times reading the ESV: go figure).

      The major obstacle for me regarding the NRSV (apart from the fact that it is not de rigueur in evangelical/reformed circles) is that it does not appear well supported in the markets to which I have ready access ie there is not a great choice in NRSV-based products, unlike the ESV which seems to be very well supported by Crossway.

      ‘Gender accurate’ language is now important for me, a position I came to 3-4 years ago, in part stimulated by the sometimes ugly polemic of some in the ESV-only camp. (They helped to make me more open-minded about the argument they opposed). The NRSV trumps the ESV in this regard, even if, arguably, the inclusiveness is over-done in places.

      Alas, there is no perfect translation, so I remain conflicted and uncommitted (especially as the TNIV has been orphaned) with respect to choosing a main version to read. (And I find excessive flitting between translations unsettling rather than helpful).

      I also feel a little shame and guilt when I agonise over choices from among a plethora of versions at my disposal, when many don’t have the Bible in any language let alone their mother tongue.

      Steve

  16. Sue says:

    It really ticks me off when people say that gender inclusive language is some kind of concession. It is not my fault that most conservative theologians today do not read German, French and Latin and are entirely ignorant of their Reformation roots.

    Please excuse me for sounding off, but the male langauge trend is a “Johnny come lately” and needs a swift burial. This is not a Christianity for the people of God, but some kind of … never mind, many innapropriate images come to mind, as men obsess over being male, and put at the centre of everything their own manhood.

  17. T.C. R says:

    Sue,

    I’m with you that at times the NRSV reads better than the ESV. In some places the ESV remains a challenge to read.

    Regarding Luther and Calvin’s arguments for “adoption of children,” I have a few questions: 1. What continuity with the OT are we talking about here? 2. Are we simply to dismiss the obvious referent behind Paul’s choice of huiothesia for some homilectical point by some of the Reformers? By the way, the Reformers have been proven to be wrong at several turns. 😉

  18. Sue says:

    TC,

    Paul’s point was that just as the offspring of Abraham were the “children of Israel” so we are the children of God. The Greek and Hebrew terms for the people of Israel was ALWAYS translated as either “people of Israel” or “children of Israel.” The continuity is destroyed in English.

    Beni Israel was the term for the people, and had no connection with maleness. Where is Paul’s point about maleness, I just miss that one every time, as did the reformers apparently.

    Pauls used the term huiothesia because that was the normal term for adoption of any kind. There is no other kind of adoption, so that was the word he used. You can write whatever footnote you like, but just translating as “adoption of sons” is not going to add anything to the understanding of the reader.

    It sounds as if you are trying to lose Paul’s point that we are a “people.”

  19. Sue says:

    “By the way, the Reformers have been proven to be wrong at several turns. ;-)”

    You are the one who said that we should not be shallow and dumbed down but we need to dig deeper. But when I do dig deeper and show you our linguistic history, it is not wanted. Frankly, women just turn off half their brain around these things, because it hurts too much to admit the truth, that men put themselves at the centre of the Bible.

  20. Sue says:

    TC,

    You seem to have the impression that huiosthesia is a term that can only apply to males. It is the normal term for adoption of any child at all, besides having other uses. In fact, if you look up this term in the BDAG from the 1970’s it is clear that the meaning is “adoption of children.” And still today this term is used for adoption of children both male and female.

  21. T.C. R says:

    Sue,

    What’s wrong with disagreeing with someone even if you agree with them on somethings? Nothing. C’mon! You know better that.

    Perhaps you should read F.F. Bruce, who was no slouch, on huiosthesia in Gal. 4:4, in his The Epistle the Galatians, pp. 197-99. In fact, he renders the term “instated as sons,” and F.F. Bruce as an egalitarian.

    Regarding BDAG, I believe we need to make a distinction between a word’s historic meaning and theological meaning. That’s what is going on in BDAG.

    Notice “Adoption” in quotes and of children.

    • F.F. Bruce as an egalitarian? I don’t think so, I knew the man (RIP). He was also in fellowship with the Open Brethern in England.

      • Sue says:

        Yes, he was an outspoken egalitarian.

      • Well I knew him, but I did not see him daily at Manchester (years back). So enlighten me..

      • T.C. R says:

        Fr. Robert,

        F.F. Bruce was one of the first guys I read on Gal. 3:28 with an egalitarian understanding, via the principle of “no male and female.”

        See his commentary on Galatians 3:28 in the NIGTC, p. 190 and this.

        I recommend you do a bit of research. 😉

      • T.C.
        Well I read the book years past, but I did not remember him using the “term” egalitarian? Did I miss it? Remember I am the old man around here at 60! lol

      • Sue says:

        It is fascinating to me that you can discuss the fact that women are not entirely redeemed until the afterlife, that women must suffer the effects of sin by divine mandate. Odd really. Why are men allowed to use technology in the workplace, or anywhere at all? I am astonished.!Back to button up trousers and no electronics, you guys. 😉

      • Sue,
        I never said “women” were not redeemed until the afterlife. That’s your take. I have always stated that men & women have different creational roles. And us men, have had to fight the majority of all the wars for freedom, at least in the west. So we have been very affected too by this fallen world. Your not the only one with emotional scars!

      • Sue says:

        Robert,

        Men pay a terrible price in war. I do not argue with that. It is also very sad that we suppress talk of the pain and cruelty our men suffer because it is so painful. How do we feel at home in safety when men are at war. It is deeply painful and I appreciate you mentioning this.

        But, in fact, on a global scale, women suffer just as much through rape, torture and death.

        We all agree that war is an evil, not mandated by God. Or do we think war is mandated by God? No, I believe, it is sometimes an appropriate response to another evil, but war is not God’s will for our life.

        However, the subordination of women cannot be justified as a response to evil. If that were true, then we would subordinate men instead because they are responsible for the vast majority of violent crimes. We could subordinate men to women, and reduce violent crime significantly. I wish!;-)

        But women do pay, every woman pays in blood in her own body, by giving birth to children. Every woman sacrifices her body to give birth. Not just some of the time, not just during war, but the normal condition of women is sacrifice of their own bodies.

        To add to that the notion that women must be further subordinated by men, and must suffer the consequences of the fall in their own homes by unequal treatment, is simply adding insult to injury.

      • Sue,
        We are never going to see this equally, not you and I together. We both have different presuppositions, and beliefs. We can only, as I have said, seek to place our conscience before the Word of God! I pray this for both of us, “together”…here!

        The Peace of Christ,
        Fr. Robert +

      • Sue says:

        Thank you for your response, Robert. Very meet. Of course, I am like an escaped slave who wants libery for others, even those with kind masters. But it took 30 years for me to become aware and repent of my compliance with sin.

  22. Sue says:

    TC,

    I don’t object to anyone using the term “adoption of sons.” It is perfectly fair to use it. I think that either one are correct. They are simply two different options.

    What I disagree with is when someone takes a passage in the NRSV, like Gal. 4, which is exactly like the way Luther translated it, and then go on about how this language is a concession to feminists, shallow, over-zealous and so on. As you know., the TNIV has “adoption of sons.” For me, the phrase “adoption of sons” is not a deal-breaker, I can use either the TNIV or the NRSV.

    You have made this term the tie-breaker, did my former minister. I accord respect to those who use the term “adoption of sons.” But others do not accord respect to those who used “adoption of children” those being Luther, Calvin, Coverdale etc. all those reformers who were in thrall to the feminists.

    This term, adoption of sone, was the reason my former minister gave for not using the NRSV. But I did not realize until some of these interactions taht we had as we parted ways, that my life had been steeped in the misogyny of his sermons for many many years.

    I did not resent the term “adoption of sons”- my life had room for men, but he resented the term “adoption of children.”

  23. Sue says:

    “a word’s historic meaning and theological meaning.”

    This is fascinating. You are claiming that we should not translate the word of God according to the word’s historic meaning, but rather according to its “theological” meaning. Is that why we have Catholic Bibles and Protestant Bibles? Yes, this is exactly what is going on, of course. There is not such thing as a Bible that is intended for everyone. Actually that is why the NRSV has so many different people on the translation committee – the only Bible to do that and try to avoid theological translating.

    What I get out of this is that people do not want to know what is really in the Bible historically, they just want something that has been pre-chewed by the theologian of their choice.

    Sorry, TC this is not about you, but about the male Christianity, the male dominated world from which I escaped. A mainline church and a civil society on the surface.

  24. T.C. R says:

    Sue,

    I believe you’re misunderstand what I’m saying: 1. I’m one who values concordance in Bible translation: “adoption of sons” at Rom. 8:15; Eph. 1:5; and Gal. 4:4-6. The NRSV tends to depart from this. A deal breaker for me. I’m not taking the same approach to the matter as your former pastor. I’m not trying to suppress women. Far from it.

    You are claiming that we should not translate the word of God according to the word’s historic meaning, but rather according to its “theological” meaning.

    You need to re-read my comment. I never said this. I was simply offering my interpretation of your citation from BDAG.

  25. Sue says:

    “I’m one who values concordance in Bible translation: “adoption of sons” at Rom. 8:15; Eph. 1:5; and Gal. 4:4-6.”

    Also Romans 9:4 –

    The ESV uses “adoption” and “adoption as sons,”

    The NRSV uses “adoption” and “adoption as children”

    It is interesting that the ESV translates beni Israel, as “people of God” and as “children of God” but only once as “sons of God.” It does not actually value concordance as we can see in many other places, with anthropos, and other expressions. The preface SAYS that it values concordance and gives a wrong impression, IMO.

    Perhaps, the reason why you are not taking the ame approach as my former pastor, and Dr. Packer, is simply this. These two men were in a church which had already been ordaining women long before they came to Canada. So it was an uphill battle to get into a complementarian position, and slowly phase out women, and teach the new ministry trainee young women, that they had to take a subordinate position. They had to do this without saying too much out loud because they were technically in an egalitarian church. So they needed to have a Bible that really made sure that there was no loophole for women, it had to have Junia out, it had to have Phoebe as a servant and not a deacon – these were necessities in their Bible, in order to make the changes that they wanted to make. No wonder they could not use the NRSV.

    Of course, the Southern Babtists used to ordain women also ….

  26. Sue says:

    I know that you cannot want to know these things. My honest opinion is that you should at least inform your listeners that the ESV is not accurate in terms of gender language all the time. Just let people know that the ESV has made some gender decisions that are not transparent to the Greek, especially regarding anthropos. Do not deprive women of a good part of the Bible. It does not seem right.

  27. T.C. R says:

    Sue,

    Your advice is duly noted.

    Regarding concordance, no translation seems to be perfect. But it’s still something I value. 😉

  28. Sue says:

    TC,

    I have seen this all along. No real reason given for chosing the ESV over the NRSV. Nothing in the ESV that is not in the NRSV except for male oriented language. All of this is normal. It is normal as Grudem says, see my recent post, that male should have more prominence and priority. Women are not surprised at this. It was not a deal-breaker for me. The deal-breaker was that those who chose a different translation, a gender inclusive translation, have been called all kinds of names, and discredited in the worst way. When a pastor says they can not preach the gospel as well with “adoption of children” as with “adoption of sons” I can only ask how Luther and Calvin managed with such an inferior Bible.

    The truth is that people simply do not want a gender accurate and gender inclusive Bible. They don’t want it for some other reason that they are not willing to say.

    • T.C. R says:

      Sue,

      Many well-received pastor I know use either the NRSV or the TNIV. In fact, DA Carson still makes good use of the TNIV.

      Steve L,

      Yeah, I too stumble while reading the ESV – it continues to throw. Someone recently spoke of another revision of the ESV – perhaps this is to smooth out some of awkwardness, making reading out loud rather difficult.

      • Dan Reeves says:

        Just wanted to throw this out there…when Carson writes a book published by Crossway, the scripture text is actually the NIV. I have purchased 5-10 books of his in the last year that I have noticed this (Scandalous=NIV, recent edition of How Long Lord=TNIV, for example). I am guessing this is a Crossway decision, not a Carson decision. Just trying to stoke the embers. 🙂

        Really enjoy your conversation…incredibly fascinating. Would have to agree with a previous poster that reflected on how hard it is to commit to one version over another. I fall more on the TNIV/NRSV side of the gender issue, but use the ESV also because it is the translation of my church. Best (or worst) or both worlds.

    • Kevin S. says:

      I agree, the TNIV is still excellent. I refer to it as often as the NRSV, NLT and ESV (even though it’s no longer in my top-3 because they decided to dump it, which I was never happy about).

    • Kevin S. says:

      TC and Sue, this is a good debate between you two and I’m enjoying it immense; and I know the spirit of your debate is always friendly and helpful.

      You both bring up excellent points and I don’t know where to stand because I find that both of your views are equally and fully valid. All I can say is that both the NRSV and ESV are on my desk/laptop all the time. Thanks for the discussion.

      • Sue says:

        Thanks Kevin,

        TC is a very patient and kindly person.

      • T.C. R says:

        Kevin,

        When I think of the contribution of Sue regarding gender-issues, though we don’t agree always, I’m reminded of the Proverb about “iron sharpening iron.”

        Yes, I regularly consult the NRSV. 😉

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  30. T.C. R says:

    Dan,

    I just noticed that Carson thing yesterday with his new book coming out on the Bible and Scipture – a collection of essays, from Crossway.

    But Carson does interact a lot with the ESV in that Commentary of the NT use of the OT. But he’s definitely a NIV/TNIV guy.

  31. T.C. R says:

    Well I read the book years past, but I did not remember him using the “term” egalitarian? Did I miss it? Remember I am the old man around here at 60! lol

    Fr. Robert,

    He doesn’t use the term but the interpretation is there. In fact, his comments at Gal. 3:28 are often used by both complementarians and egalitarians – comps think he missed it, and of course, egals think he is spot on.

    • T.C.

      I used to see him in the great John Rylands library, he was retired then as I remember. Since we both had a background with ‘the Brethren’, we used to chat about that. We became friends! He died in 1990. And I was off into the Gulf War 1 soon after that. I was a reserve officer, but still quite involved with the RMC’s (Royal Marine Commando’s).

      Indeed, I don’t think Bruce meant his views in the fulness of the egalitarian sense, but as more “theological” acceptance, etc. Of course, it has not been as an issue for me. But I will have to re-read his book on Galatians, this text at least.

  32. T.C. R says:

    Fr. Robert,

    In earlier years, F.F. Bruce was my hero as an evangelical scholar (I still like the guy, but my loyalty belongs to another).

    F.F. Bruce was an egalitarian. Check out this site, where he’s listed with the likes of Gordon Fee: here.

    • T.C.

      Yes, as I remember now, Bruce was gone from the scene. But was used to advocate this egalitarian view. Aka, Fee. I am not a Fee fan myself, at least in the full theological sense. Nothing personal. It would be nice to get other former students of Bruce to come in here, and give their insights about this position.

      • T.C.

        I have re-read Bruce on Gal. 3:28. It would be a stretch for me to press this into the full “egalitarian” position! I am not one that believes Bruce would have gone this far, at least in this manner. My thoughts at least.

        As to Fee, since he is a “pentecostal”, his presuppositions place him in such a position.

    • Sue says:

      What is interesting, just one of those things, is that of all the theologians that I have met and heard lecture, Fee’s wife is more visibly supportive, a visible companion and supporter, than any other theologian that I know. I say this because often little is said in honour of the deep love and commitment that an egalitarian woman can make to a husband.

  33. T.C. R says:

    I have re-read Bruce on Gal. 3:28. It would be a stretch for me to press this into the full “egalitarian” position! I am not one that believes Bruce would have gone this far, at least in this manner. My thoughts at least.

    As to Fee, since he is a “pentecostal”, his presuppositions place him in such a position.

    Fr. Robert,

    Perhaps you should read Zondervan’s Two on Women in Ministry and the interaction with F.F. Bruce as an egalitarian and how other egalitarians have used his commentary at Gal. 3:28 to support their egalitarianism.

    Unless, they have also misunderstood F.F. Bruce. 😉

    • T.C.

      I am not unaware of the Egalitarian Movement, it reminds me what has taken place with many such movements in the church. I think of where the Church and scholars have taken Bonhoeffer, etc. That is one of the reasons I am really just an Anglican biblicist, seeking to be what is my own historical place as an Anglican Christian, in the via media, but always catholic & reformed. F.F. Bruce was a Christian theolog of the centre, seeking that place we call Evangelical. If you can find a copy? You might want to read his book: The Spreading Flame, The Rise and Progress of Christianity from John the Baptist to the Conversion of the English (The Paternoster Press, 1958, 432 pages, with Index). A wonderful book! It actually came from three earlier books by Bruce, in three successive volumes. Indeed Bruce was a great Christian man, once Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis in the University of Manchester. 🙂

  34. Sue says:

    I just received this in my email. I cried when I read it, to know that there is a group of women who are standing up and saying that we cannot take it anymore, that there may be some recognition of the deep damage that has been caused to women by the doctrine of male based authority, just as there has been damage to many other classes of the human race.

    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2010/07/asking-for-apology-from-cbmw.html

  35. Steve L says:

    ‘Good reading all the comments above, but I was reminded that this medium can be a poor way to communicate and it is all to easy for misunderstandings to arise.

    SL

  36. John Radcliffe says:

    Sorry to come late to the party, but as regards F F Bruce perhaps the following document might be of interest:

    http://www.theologicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/cbr/women_bruce.pdf

  37. John Radcliffe says:

    T.C.
    As I know you’re a fully-paid-up member of the NTW fan club (at the moment I’m bogged down in the middle of his “Justification”), here’s a link especially for you:
    http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Women_Service_Church.htm

    And talking of N T Wright, Kevin J. Vanhoozer’s “take” on the “New Perspective” debate is one of the funniest things I’ve come across for a long time. It’s the first talk on the Saturday listed here:
    http://www.wheaton.edu/wetn/lectures-theology10.htm
    Enjoy!

  38. T.C. R says:

    John,

    Thanks for these links. I’ll have to put aside some time to listen to the Vanhoozer’s lecture.

    I still disagree with NTW at various turns. 😉

  39. Pingback: N.T. Wright on the Background of 1 Timothy 2:12: A Female-Only Cult? | New Leaven

  40. martin says:

    As a Greek myself i can tell you that Yiothesia which is cintaining the words “Yios” -Sons and “Thesia” -to take the place of….nevertheless it is the only Greek word available to use for adoption and would be used for adopting a son or a daughter in Greek….
    So for example : Υιόθετησαν αυτό το κορίτσι. -Yiothetisan ayto to koritsi – they adopted that girl…but notice the word Yiothesia is used still.
    so it has nothing to do with Sons but more close to the meaning of Children

  41. The NRSV has serious problems at Galatians 4:4-7. Just ask N.T. Wright! In fact, this is one of the places where N.T. Wright objects to the NRSV’s effort to avoid gender-specific language.

    Please explain this one to me. Because I just took a look, and NRSV and ESV are exactly the same in Galatians 4:4-7, word for word, except that the NRSV says “child” or “children” a few times instead of “son” and “sons.” Big deal.

    I suppose your argument is that daughters didn’t inherit back then but only sons? That’s not true for every ancient society. And there were also exceptions,both in Roman law and in the Law of Moses. Remember the daughters of Zelophehad? (Numbers 27:1-11)

    My own view is that the ESV and NRSV and so similar that there is no reason to prefer the ESV over the NRSV, unless you also prefer the KJV over the NRSV, in which case, use the KJV or NKJV and don’t touch the ESV with a ten foot pole. The ESV carries too much baggage, from John Piper’s imprimatur to its copyright being owned by Crossway, to the horrendous rendering of Philippians 1:3 (and many other passages where it goes back to the KJV, but changes one or two words, enough to end up with both an awkward rendering for modern English, and something that is not even grammatically correct any longer for Elizabethan English).

    • TC says:

      Regarding Gal. 4 and “Son/Sons” vs “Child/Children,” we need to consider Pauline christology and the fact that our status before the Father is derivative, in his Son, and therefore “adoption to sonship” (NIV2011).

      You refer to an exception. Do you think Paul was referring to the exception or the norm. More likely, I think the norm.

      Yes, the ESV can be rather awkward. There are places where I definitely favor the NRSV over the ESV. No doubt.

  42. Pingback: N.T. Wright on the Background of 1 Timothy 2:12: A Female-Only Cult? | New Leaven

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