Short description of various Bible Translations
Passages changed from Jews to Jewish Leaders John 10:31, John 19:12, John 18:20
From complete online book "The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God's Words LINKGender-specific Bible versions
KJV King James Version (1611)
ASV American Standard Version (1901)
RSV Revised Standard Version (1946, 1952, 1971)
NASB New American Standard Version (New American Standard Bible) (1963, 1995)
NEB New English Bible (1970)
GNB(1976) Good News Bible: The Bible in Today�s English Version (1976)
NKJV New King James Version (1982)
NIV New International Version (1984)
REB Revised English Bible (1989)
NIrV(1998) New International Reader�s Version (1998 revision)Gender-neutral Bible versions
NRSV New Revised Standard Version (1989)
NCV New Century Version (1987, 1991)
GNB Good News Bible: Today�s English Version Second Edition (1992)
CEV Contemporary English Version (1995)
GW God�s Word (1995)
NIrV(1995) New International Reader�s Version (1995)
NIVI New International Version Inclusive Language Edition (1995, 1996)
NLT New Living Translation (1996)
NLT revised edition New Living Translation (1996) (see chapter 8 for a discussion of the revision)Culturally adapted imaginative renderings of the Bible
Kenneth N. Taylor, The Living Bible�Paraphrased (1971)
Eugene Peterson, The Message (1995)
We need some special explanation of the REB, the Living Bible, and The Message. The Revised English Bible (REB), a revision of the New English Bible (NEB) published in 1989, showed some tendencies toward gender-neutral language, and made some changes of which we are critical later in this book. But on the most decisive issue, the use of generic �he,� it refused to engage in large-scale rewording; it did not eliminate generic �he.� On this basis, we have not classified it as gender-neutral.
The Message (1995), by Eugene H. Peterson, consists of the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs, rendered in a loose paraphrase and in culturally updated language. Kenneth N. Taylor�s The Living Bible�Paraphrased (1971) uses similar procedures. Unlike ordinary translators, Peterson and Taylor do not intend merely to represent an original meaning in another language, but to represent the message in another culture. Nuances are thus freely altered.
For example, corresponding to �Greet one another with a holy kiss� (1 Cor. 16:20), Taylor says, �Give each other a loving handshake when you meet,� while Peterson says, �Pass the greetings around with holy embraces!� Taylor updates 1 Corinthians to picture American churches where a handshake is customary, while Peterson thinks of American churches where hugs are common.
Peterson has given us�what? Not exactly the New Testament, but a creative modern evangelistic book illustrating what the biblical message might sound like when transformed part way into a modern setting. The book exhibits the problems that we discuss later in the area of cultural updating (see Chapter 9). But because it is entitled The Message, and the name of the author Eugene H. Peterson is found on the cover, the spine, and the title page (at least in the edition that we have), there is not so much danger that people will confuse it with an actual translation. In addition, the chapters have no verse numbers, a subtle hint that the book is not supposed to be used for detailed study, but only for general effect.
Peterson drops male meaning components on occasion. But this result is not widespread. It appears to be the unintended effect of loose paraphrasing, rather than a deliberate and systematic attempt to eliminate male-oriented language. Generic �he� remains in place. Hence, The Message should not be classified as gender-neutral. Similarly, The Living Bible is not gender-neutral.
Since these two works engage in imaginative updating, they make stimulating reading, but neither is reliable as a basis for detailed study.