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March 05, 2005

Translating "Brothers" in the Bible: Anti-Feminist Doctrinal Implications

The Baylyblog has an interesting discussion of whether it is correct to change "brothers" to "brothers and sisters" in translating the Bible.

Tim correctly boldfaced this part of his post:

"But remember, it's not my usage under debate, but the usage of the Holy Spirit."

Suppose a person believes the following two things: (a) "brothers" is not inclusive of females, and (b) the Bible is the Word of God, correct as a guide to doctrine.

That person's conclusion should not be that wherever "brothers" appears in the Bible it should be replaced by "brothers and sisters".

Rather, his conclusion should be that God means to exclude females in all those passages. Thus, anyone who takes the Bible seriously has to realize that believing "brothers" is noninclusive will take him away from political correctness, not towards it. This isn't just important for translation; it has much more important implications for doctrine.

That is a surprising conclusion, but if whenever the Bible says something we disagree with we conclude that the words of the Bible should be changed, we aren't going to learn anything from it.

Under that philosophy, the reader can't take out anything more than he puts in.

Posted by erasmuse at March 5, 2005 09:24 PM

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