Posted by: proregno | June 7, 2011

Geslags-‘neutrale’ Bybelvertaling ?

In 2011 gee Zondervan a ‘gender-neutral’ NIV vertaling uit. Die NIV (1984) is die Engelse vertaling wat tans die meeste verkoop regoor die wêreld, maar daar is baie ongelukkigheid oor die nuutste uitgawe (2011).

Sien die volgende deeglike evaluering deur die CBMW:

An Evaluation of Gender Language in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible

Hier is ‘n paar aanhalings wat die aard van hierdie vertaling uitwys (beklemtonings bygevoeg), met ‘n vraag daarna:

The 2011 NIV adopts feminist-leaning translations in several key verses dealing with women’s role in the church 

We expect that evangelical feminists who claim that women can be pastors and elders will eagerly adopt this 2011 NIV because it tilts the scales in favor of their view at several key verses. This is especially true because the new NIV changes the primary verse in the debate over women‘s roles in the church.

1984 NIV
1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

2011 NIV
1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. (same as TNIV, but with modified footnotes)

Evangelical feminists will love this translation because in one stroke it removes the Bible‘s main barrier to women pastors and elders. As soon as a church adopts the 2011 NIV, the debate over women‘s roles in that church will be over, because women pastors and elders can just say, “I‘m not assuming authority on my own initiative; it was given to me by the other pastors and elders.” Therefore any woman could be a pastor or elder so long as she does not take it upon herself to :assume authority”.

The NIV‘s translation committee says that the translation “assume authority” is “a particularly nice English rendering because it leaves the question open.” In other words, “assume authority” could be understood in two different ways: a negative way (meaning “wrongly assume authority on one‘s own initiative”) or a positive way (meaning “begin to use authority in a rightful way”). But in saying this the NIV translators fail to understand the full force of what they have done:  They have given legitimacy to a feminist interpretation that did not have legitimacy from any other modern English translation (except the discontinued TNIV). ”

Several other verses have also been changed from the 1984 NIV, and all the changes have moved in the same feminist direction.

1984 NIV
Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

2011 NIV
Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. (same as TNIV, except for footnote)

This verse changes “Junias” (a man‘s name) to “Junia” (a woman‘s name; the Greek spelling could refer to either a man or a woman), and now says that “Andronicus and Junia” are “outstanding among the apostles,” thus making the woman “Junia” an apostle. This is a highly disputed verse, but the NIV now clearly gives more weight to the feminist argument that says there was at least one woman apostle, and if a woman could be an apostle (like Paul or Peter, presumably), surely women can be pastors and elders as well.”

” Making Phoebe a deacon in Romans 16:1 will be of concern to churches where male deacons have a governing role over the church  

In a somewhat related verse, one other change should be noted that will be of concern to some churches:

1984 NIV
Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea.

2011 NIV
Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon [footnote: or servant] of the church in Cenchreae. (same as TNIV)

This verse changes Phoebe from a ‘servant’ to a ‘deacon’ of the church at Cenchrea, and thereby it endorses women as deacons. Both translations are possible meanings for the Greek word diakonos, and the decision must be made from the larger New Testament context. (In the entire New Testament, the TNIV translates diakonos as ‘deacon’ only 4 times out of 29 occurrences: here in Rom. 16:1 and in three verses where no individual is named but a church office is clearly in view: Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8, and 12.)”


The 2011 NIV makes several noteworthy improvements over the 1984 NIV and the 2005 TNIV, including 933 improvements in accuracy in translating gender language in places where CBMW had criticized the TNIV in 2002 and 2005. And the entire translation process was carried on in a commendable spirit of transparency and openness, for which Zondervan and the NIV‘s Committee on Bible Translation are to be appreciated.

However, the 2011 NIV was based not on the current NIV (1984) but on the TNIV (2005). The 2011 NIV retains 2,766 (or 75%) of the TNIV‘s problematic gender-related translations that led CBMW, and eventually the larger evangelical world, to reject the TNIV in 2002 and 2005. We still consider these 2,766 examples to be inaccurate translations of terms that have male meaning in the original Hebrew or Greek, male meaning that is lost in this new NIV. Therefore, this translation cannot be considered sufficiently trustworthy in its translation of gender language or in its translation of singular and plural pronouns generally. We consider this too high a price to pay for attaining gender-inclusiveness in a translation.

In addition, the 2011 NIV changes some key verses on women‘s role in the church so that they favor an evangelical feminist position, especially in translating 1 Timothy 2:12 in a way that differs with all other commonly-used modern English translations and that gives women a wide open door to serve as pastors and elders in churches, contrary to the actual teaching of the New Testament. 

We regret, therefore, that we cannot recommend the 2011 NIV as a sufficiently reliable English translation. And unless Zondervan changes its mind and keeps the current edition of the 1984 NIV in print, the 2011 NIV will soon be the only edition of the NIV that is available. Therefore, unless Zondervan changes its mind, we cannot recommend the NIV itself.”

Nou is die vraag: wanneer gaan ons in SA ons eerste ‘geslags-neutrale-feministies-vriendelike’ vertaling kry ?

Of word daar gewag totdat die moelikste suster, die GKSA ook nou uiteindelik (amptelik) ingee voor die feministiese polities-korrekte tydsgees.  Januarie 2012 is om die draai, sodat al die susters (amper sê ek die ‘three ugly sisters’, maar ek sal nie), saam kan werk aan ‘n vertaling wat almal akkomodeer en tevrede stel, behalwe bybelsgetroue gelowiges ?

Die Nuwe Vertaling filosofie het reeds die weg daartoe begin baan.


‘n Beoordeling van die Nuwe Vertaling

Die Nuwe Afrikaanse Bybelvertaling


  1. Gaan lees gerus by vir ‘n artikel oor die uniseks kultuur.

  2. At least one of the Directors of the CBMW was the directing force behind the supposed alternative to the NIV, namely the ESV. It is therefore sadly ironic that the proposed alternative, suffers from exactly the same problem, and is sometimes even worse.

    Spot the Popular Androgyny in Romans 3:4:

    God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

    By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

    Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”

    and there are many more…

    …but then again, neither the NIV nor the ESV can be regarded as complete as they are both include incomplete New Testaments based on the bowdlerised Westcott & Hort.

    At least Afrikaans does not have quite as many pretenders as the Language of Angels [Die Taal van Engels 😉 ]

  3. OAV: Rom 3:4 4 Nee, stellig nie! Maar God moet waaragtig wees en elke mens leuenagtig, soos geskrywe is: Sodat U geregverdig kan word in u woorde en oorwin as U gerig hou.

    Shaun, die woord in die Grieks is ‘antropos’, wat mens of man kan beteken, so ‘every man’ of ‘every one’ is nie verkeerd nie.

    My standpunt is, bly by die oorspronklike in die vertaling van die geslagte, so as die woord ‘geslags neutraliteit’ (bv. ‘elke mens’) toelaat, dan het ek nie ‘n probleem daarmee nie, solank die konteks dit ook regverdig.

  4. Thank you for pointing that out. I didn’t know that, but wondered what was in the background. I can only hope that the other “neuters” have been translated faithfully.

    Apologies for starting a sideline commentary, but what do you make of translations based on the “abridged” Westcott & Hort? Would you use a translation with missing parts?

    …or what would you say is the main problem with the 1983 Afrikaans translation?

  5. Shaun, in the article above, at the end, click on the link ” ‘n Beoordeling van die Nuwe Vertaling”. There you will see my view of the 1983 ‘translation’, specially the second part of the article.

  6. Shaun, hier artikel van my gaan spesifiek oor die grondteks debat:

    “God se voorsienigheid, die kanon en die grondteks”

    My konklusie is:

    1. ons glo dat God in sy voorsienigheid vir ons 66 boeke gegee het, wat die kerk deur sy Gees ontvang het in die geskiedenis.

    Implikasie: daar sal nie deur die geskiedenis ‘n 67ste boek wees om by die kanon te voeg nie.

    2. ons glo dat God in sy Voorsienigheid reeds deur die eeue betroubare manuskripte gegee het van die oorspronklike. Ons soek nie nog ‘beter’ of die ‘beste manuskripte’ nie, ons het dit reeds deur die eeue ontvang.

    Implikasie: daar sal nie deur die geskiedenis vir ons manuskripte gegee word wat die voriges verbeter in die sin dat dit sekere dele weglaat of byvoeg nie.

    3. Tekskritiek en vertalingsimplikasie: die ouer manuskripte wat die kerke deur die eeue gehad het is die grondteks wat gebruik behoort te word vir vertalings (ook die nuwer vertaling wat nou aan gewerk word deur die Bybelgenootskap), terwyl daar wel in voetnotas bloot vermeld kan word dat manuskripte wat later ontdek is, wel hierdie of daardie vers in het of nie in het nie, sonder om ‘n waarde-oordeel of uitspraak oor die vaste kanon/manuskripte te maak, in navolging van wat ons bely in NGB artikel 2-7.

    “Die gras verdor, die blom verwelk; maar die woord van onse God hou stand in ewigheid.”
    – Jesaja 40:8

  7. I just read through it.

    on p12, you suggest that reading the NIV compares to the OAV.

    That might be true as far as faithful translation goes, but on p9 you point out an interesting omission in the NAV:
    “Die Onse Vader In Matt.6:13 eindig die Onse Vader met: “Want aan U behoort die koninkryk en die krag en die heerlikheid tot in ewigheid.” Die NAV laat hierdie woorde weg. Die vertalers oordeel dat dit ‘n valse byvoeging by die woorde van Christus was. Daarmee verklaar hulle dat die Kerk van die vroegste eeue af misgetas het en trek hulle ‘n streep deur o.a. ‘n gedeelte van die Heidelbergse Kategismus en die bestaande Formuliergebede.”

    “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” is also missing from the ESV and the NIV (or at least reduced to a footnote), I suspect for the same reason.

    Spot Acts 8:37 😉

    From what little I know, this has to do with the work of the “Darwin Disciples”: Westcott & Hort.

    For this reason I currently group the bible on the bookshelf in our dining room like this:
    the OAV with the KJV, NKJV, (don’t have a Geneva Bible Yet);
    the NAV with ESV, NIV, TNIV

    Just like the codexes Sinaiticus & Vaticanus, the second group is being better preserved by the dust of disuse.

  8. Shaun, die ESV is soos die OAV ‘n letterlik vertaling, maar verkies ongelukkig die kritiese tekslesings. Die NAV is eintlik ‘n parafrase. Die ESV (en die NIV in ‘n minder mate), is nog heelwat nader aan die OAV, as wat die NAV is.

    In Afrikaans: OAV.
    In Engels: Geneva (ek het een), KJV, NKJV

    Ek gebruik al die ander vertalings as ‘kommentare’ (goed of sleg)

  9. […] Sien ook: Geslags-neutrale Bybelvertaling? […]

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