International Bible gets word makeover

It was bound to happen: the world’s most printed and translated book is getting a more politically correct version.

On Monday, The International Bible Society stated that America’s best-selling modern Bible, the New International Version, is about to get a makeover using “gender-neutral wording.” Despite the controversy surrounding the idea, the latest version of the New Testament goes on sale in April with the full Bible expected to be finished by 2005.

The original New International Version, which has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide since 1978, will remain on the market. However, a revision will be called “Today’s New International Version,” or TNIV. Both versions, the work of evangelical translators, are especially popular in the conservative, Protestant heart of America’s competitive Bible market.

Changes will be made to approximately seven percent of the Bible to show that modern-day scholars have determined that the Bible’s message does indeed include women. “Sons of God,” for example, will be changed to “children of God.” “Brothers” will be expanded to “brothers and sisters.” Mary will no longer be considered “with child” – she will simply be “pregnant.”

Is any of this really necessary? Sure, the Bible is the pillar of the Christian faith, but there probably has not been a more sexist book written, with or without the $2 million changes.

1 Timothy 2:11-12 states: “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 declares: “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.”

In the book of Exodus, Lot offered his two virgin daughters to men to be used for sex, rather than having these men have sex with other males.

Women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton said about the Bible: “I know of no other books that so fully teaches the subjection and degradation of women.”

Neither do I, and I don’t think changing “he” to “he and she” and “brothers” to “brothers and sisters” is going to make things any better.

-J. Danielle Daniels for the Editorial Board.