Evangelicals Slam New Gender-Neutral Bible

New translation cuts down on the 'he's'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2011 2:21 AM CDT
Text from the New International Version Bible.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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(Newser) – God is still the Father in the latest version of the world's most popular Bible, but conservative Christians aren't happy with gender-neutral language elsewhere in the 2011 New International Version Bible. The new translation—which Biblical scholars say is a more accurate interpretation of the original Greek and Hebrew—uses "brothers and sisters" in place of "brothers" and tries to avoid using "he" or 'him" as the default reference to an unspecified person, replacing it with "they," AP reports.

But the changes alter "the theological direction and meaning of the text," complained a major Southern Baptist group, which has decided not to endorse the new version. "Evangelicals believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of scripture. We believe every word is inspired by God, not just the broad thought," explained a spokesman for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Some linguists, meanwhile, believe the new version doesn't go far enough and say verses like Matthew 4:4, "Man shall not live on bread alone," should have replaced "man" with "people." (Click for another updated Bible ... in which there is no more "booty.")

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