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Recommendation for a Patriarch's Study Bible?

October 8, 2019

I was thinking about how some of the most recent English translations of the Bible (thinking especially of the "NIV" revision) work so hard to remove male language and even "smooth over" any stumbling block or offense the Bible might present to modern feminist society. Read some of the key passages on male-female relations and you'll see what they do.

I started thinking maybe we need a new translation: The Patriarch's Bible. Instead of covering up or removing passages that are offensive to feminism, it would highlight them and use language that would make them stand out even more.

But then I thought, maybe that is over the top. So I wondered, what are your opinions on versions of the English Bible (and the year of publication/revision) that already do a good job of highlighting the differences between male and female as God has designed and revealed them? Which are most offensive/convicting to feminists or egalitarians? Or would you want someone to start The Patriarch's Bible project?

(On a side note, I have a suspicion that even translating "adelphoi" (brothers) as "brothers and sisters" may not always be the best. Who were in the inner court at the Temple? The men. Who took on speaking roles and discussion roles in the synagogues? The men. Who were supposed to instruct their wives in spiritual things in the privacy of their own home? The men. I have an inkling of an idea that even though the Bible is for everyone, it is first and foremost for men, who then have the responsibility to instruct their wives and children in God's ways; as God first gave his command to Adam, who should have passed it on to Eve. Simply "brothers" alone might be a more proper translation for that reason. Even though "brothers and sisters" could be understood from "adelphoi", it would also be possible to make the distinction perfectly clear as in Job 42:11 in the Septuagint where both "adelphoi" (brothers) and "adelphai" (sisters) are used. So if "brothers and sisters" needed to be clarified there if it was meant, surely it could have been clarified in the epistles as well if it were truly meant. Translating "adelphoi" as "brothers and sisters" may give rise to more prominence of the "sisters" idea in the mind of the hearer than the original audience would have heard.


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Post Information
Title Recommendation for a Patriarch's Study Bible?
Author Proverbs_31_2-3
Upvotes 2
Comments 8
Date October 8, 2019 6:34 AM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit /r/askRPC
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/askRPC/recommendation-for-a-patriarchs-study-bible.304659
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askRPC/comments/dew8b9/recommendation_for_a_patriarchs_study_bible/
Red Pill terms in post

[–]lololasaurus2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

So far as I know you won't go wrong with a KJV or Geneva translation. ESV and NIV have that stuff. I think NASB doesn't but I don't recall for sure.

Beware the KJV-onlyists though. Jesus didn't use it himself, lol, it's just a pretty good translation.

[–]GinoMan24402 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Ehhh. There are points that it could be better. Most modern translations are done by a committee that then cross checks the translations they produce with one another to make sure there's consistency (i.e. you don't have "Justified" in Romans, and "declared righteous" in John for dikaioo or something like that because two different sub-groups worked on each book). The KJV didn't have that, so you have a word translated one way in one book or set of books, and another in a different book or set of books.

There have also been recent developments in Greek language scholarship that isn't reflected in the KJV, such as the Grandville Sharpe rule (my God and my savior in literal greek = my God and savior, not, My God, and some other entity that is my savior). There was another example I had learned about where Greek syntax causes a phrase to mean something slightly different but I can't remember it but the point being that neither of these rules are reflected in the KJV translation.

Also the KJV is based off of printed editions of the textus receptus and since then we have discovered orders of magnitude more copies of these works that have changed what we can see to be original to the author and what was added or removed later by scribal error.

The KJV is a real feat of a work for its time but I would say that its value as a translation has been superseded over time by newer translations. The KJV translation scholars even said that this would need to happen as language changed over time and words that meant one thing in 1611 came to mean something different in later years, or certain syntaxes fell out of use or new ones came into use (like "would <object> <subject> <verb>..." now "<subject> want <object> <verb>..."). They understood that because they were language scholars and were well learned on how language changes over time.

By all means, the KJV is not a bad translation for this, it's just obsolete.

[–]GinoMan24402 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Well, I know that a lot of patriarchal societies will use a male collective word (brothers, sons, they in its masculine form if there's a gendered "they", etc) to refer to a mixed group or even a group that only consists of one male and the rest female. Also if you look at a lot of the texts they've translated it "brothers and sisters", it would be hard to imagine that the command wasn't to both:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ - Mt 25:40 - So, if I do good deeds to a fellow Christian, then it counts, but if I do it for a Christian woman it doesn't count?

The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. - Acts 11:29 - So they helped the Christian men but not the Christian women?

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. - Rom 7:4 - So the men have died to the law so they may bear fruit, but the women didn't?

So forth and so on. I left some results out that may or may not make sense to have it or even don't really contain a command or where it is reasonable to assume that sisters were in view here, but my point still stands. Ultimately the thing that is paradoxical about Christianity from a red pill perspective, at least in my view having only just started the red pill journey, is that the Bible absolutely teaches that women have a subordinate role to men especially in the church and marriage, but also women and men are ontologically equal to one another before God to the dismay of the male dominated societies around them.

Some in the first centuries even accused Christianity of being a woman's religion because of how it made this distinction between ontological equality and economic male headship. To the society, to have a male headship, in addition to being the natural order of things, was also to regard women as less than men. Christianity bucks against this trend, enjoining husbands to give their wives their own conjugal rights (if she wants to have sex, you don't say no either), to love their wives self sacrificially as Christ loved the church (that doesn't mean you put up with congruence tests, or live in a beta way), etc.

But all that to say, the Bible does teach some very red-pill things to men. It enjoins women to give in to their husband's sexual desires, to live without complaining, to keep the house, to submit to his masculine authority, to support him in his endeavors, etc.

I don't think we need to worry too much about, especially mainline translations, adding "and sisters" to the occurances of adelphoi, or anything like that. I think when we should be concerned is when a translation does something like changes the word "submit" to some sort of softer synonym like "agree" or something like that. Then we should be concerned. To my knowledge, no translation does this. In my experience, the mainline translations (ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, and some others) do a fine job of preserving the red pill message in scripture (though, I wish the ESV had said "Man-sexers and soft men" in 1 Cor 6 given the issues of the day, but that's a slightly different topic).

[–]rocknrollchuck1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Here is a good article that addresses these concerns in detail, and gives a list toward the end of Gender-specific versions and Gender-neutral ones as well.

Gender-specific is what you're looking for, obviously. Of those versions, here are my thoughts on each of the ones I've personally used:

KJV - King James Version (1611) - A word-for-word translation. Obviously you can't go wrong using this version since it is one of the oldest and best translations, but it can be quite difficult to understand at times because of the archaic language.

NKJV - New King James Version (1982) - A word-for-word translation. This is my preferred version, as it is the closest to the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, retains the original word order, and still uses relatively modern language. Some passages are more difficult to understand, but I think that is offset by the accuracy of the translation itself, as well as the fact that it retains all of the "disputed" passages that are missing from many translations for various reasons.

NASB - New American Standard Version (New American Standard Bible) (1963, 1995) - A word-for-word translation. This one is a good choice, and it retains all of the "disputed" passages that are missing from many translations for various reasons.

ESV - English Standard Version (2001) - A word-for-word translation (notice a pattern here?). I was using this one as my main reader with my family this year, and it is a great, accurate translation. However, there are many verses omitted or relegated to footnotes for various reasons, and there are passages where the wording is just clunky and difficult, so it loses flow when read out loud. But as far as accuracy it is a good version, I would recommend this one as well.

NIV - New International Version (1984) - A thought-for-thought translation. The 1984 NIV is not gender-neutral, and is an excellent translation as far as being easily readable and understandable. However, there are many verses omitted or relegated to footnotes for various reasons, and NIV's with a copyright date of later than 1984 have been gender-neutralized to various degrees, the latest being completely gender-neutral to a ridiculous degree. More can be found in this post and the comments underneath, but because of this the NIV is not a version I can recommend, although I do use the 1984 version as an occasional reference to bring clarity when needed.

NLT - New Living Translation (1996) - A paraphrased translation that is also gender-neutral. I don't recommend this for daily reading or study, but it can be useful for reference and clarity, and has been extremely helpful at times to allow me to understand difficult passages. However, there are many verses omitted or relegated to footnotes for various reasons in this version as well.

As far as other versions, I haven't read them so I cannot comment with any degree of certainty.

[–]startingoverthisname1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

The Modern English Version is excellent. It follows in the tradition of the KJV and retains the same feel and cadence, but is far easier to read and comprehend.

[–]rocknrollchuck0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

That's why I like the NKJV. It's the best balance for me because it retains the feel of the KJV so it's easier to memorize verses. But the MEV looks good too, I've never checked it out before.

[–]Red-Curious1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

There's going to be human error no matter how you translate it. But if you have to lean feminist or patriarchal, because the authors were writing in patriarchal societies, translations that lean patriarchal in their language choices are going to put you closer to what the author was thinking when he wrote it. This leads to more accurate interpretations.

As for an existing translation, I study out of the Young's Literal or a Greek-English Interlinear Bible. I read from the ESV. Personally, the KJV-onlyists have put me so far off of the KJV due to the research I've done against it, that I simply can't stand reading from it anymore. It's also part of the stereotype that gives Christians a band name today. 2011 NIV is total garbage - if you can get back to the 1984 NIV, I might prefer that to the ESV.

[–]OsmiumZulu1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The detail of the thoughts offered here are the sort that make me chuckle when people accuse RPC men of not taking the faith seriously.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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