"All Bibles known to us"
Naturally, there are many statements in this article which I am concerned about. Here are some which I offer without comment. I don't want to comment. Duct tape, please!
- James I. Packer of Regent College in Vancouver ... recently told CC.com the translation grew out of discontent with other modern translations—which, he asserted, tend to “deviate from what was said in several thousand places,” in the interests of lucidity or easy readability.
In particular, he said, there was discontent with translations such as the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and Today’s New International Version (TNIV) which make such deviations to achieve gender-neutral renderings.
In contrast, said Packer, the ESV tries to be a “transparent” translation—in that the reader can see through it to what was originally written.
He said: “We think we have produced a version more precise than any of the alternatives.”
A deliberate attempt was made to use simple words when possible, and to make the text “dance along,” or read easily.
Packer said the producers were very careful to not make extravagant claims or get into a competition with other translations.
- ESV: Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.
- KJV: Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
- NIV: He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man.”
- NLT: He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them “human.”
- NASB: He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.
- Message: He created both male and female and blessed them, the whole human race.
- TNIV: He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “human beings.”
- זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בְּרָאָם; וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם,
וַיִּקְרָא אֶת-שְׁמָם אָדָם
Now this would not be such a problem if it were not that Gen. 5:2 has become one of the central verses in the "male representative" theology. Poythress and Grudem write,
- In any case, in Genesis 1:26-27 and 5:2 the word “man” occurred in all previous English Bibles (that is, all Bibles known to us prior to the inclusive language Bibles in the 1980's). Translators apparently thought that, in translating ’adam in Genesis 1:26-27 and 5:2, one might best use an English word “man” that is both a name for the human race and that carries male overtones.
Moreover, these Genesis passages in their foundational character create the potential for subtle connotative resonances with the total thinking of Hebrew speakers about sexuality. For example, the fact that Adam has a name that is also the name for the whole race suggests that he is a representative for the race. And of course, later passages, Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:21-23, directly assert that he is a representative, whose pattern passes to all his descendants.
Gender-neutral translations, while preserving the main point of God’s creation of the human race, nevertheless leave out the connotation of a male representative by translating Genesis 1:26-27 and 5:1-2 with “humankind,” “human beings,” or “people” instead of “man.”
In translating Gen. 1:27, Jerome, writing in Latin, translates אָדָם as homo - "human" and not vir - "man"; and Luther translated it as Mensch - human and not Mann - "man". The LXX has anthropos - human, and not aner - man.
I wonder what the expression "all Bibles known to us" is supposed to mean.
Post edited to remove final sentence. I had a relapse.