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Q28 : NRSV and Liberalism

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Q28 : NRSV and Liberalism

You state:

We respond to all sincere questions by those who are truly interested in learning. This is not intended as a forum for debate, but for edification and learning. If your question is of general interest, it may be edited and added here for the benefit of others.

Is there a forum for debate, or do you avoid this as you appear to avoid certain Bible translations (i.e. NRSV) and commentaries which you regard as "poison in the water" I read your website and gained the impression that you read and listen to those with whom you agree, and that you deliberately avoid conflicting or new points of view. Granted, God never changes, but have you considered that our collective understanding of God DOES change? Certainly, our comprehension of ancient languages changes, given that revisions of the Greek New Testament occur somewhat regularly with footnotes regarding questions of accuracy in the text due to variety among known manuscripts, both old and new. It occurs to me that a nearly 400 year old translation has little chance to be as accurate as a translation done in the last decade. To be sure, the quest for gender-neutral language and the appropriate placement of that language is problematic however it isn't the ONLY issue which should be considered when evaluating the accuracy of a particular translation. Perhaps you could re-consider your sweeping avoidance of all things labeled (by whom, I wonder?) as "liberal"

Don't forget, the Jewish leaders considered Jesus to be a very liberal threat to THEIR status-quo. Good thing, liberalism. It led to the formation of a new country a couple hundred years ago where people were free to practice religion in a manner free from government dictation or interference and where people are free to express themselves.

A28 : by Tony Garland

Our comments regarding Bible translations necessarily reflect our own personal opinions based upon our own limited use. We do not claim to be the final word on the suitability of various translations, but respond in good faith to those who have asked us for our opinions. Surely each man must own his own opinion and this is what we attempt to do for those who are interested. No doubt there will be some who disagree.

Regarding the benefits of new points of view and liberalism, I suppose it all depends upon one's definition of "new" and "liberal." Within modern Christianity, liberalism has come to mean the reinterpretation of that which was once believed in order to throw off the fetters of divine restriction in accordance with the sinful desires of humankind. This is not always the case, but in modern times such has been the pattern. In that case—where "new" means "novel" in a way which is not tied to the plain grammatical-historical interpretation of the text—we oppose such damaging trends.

In regard to the NRSV, it is our opinion that the motives behind translation decisions have less to do with the Hebrew and Greek text and more to do with political correctness and modern trends in society which would prefer to modify the original message of Scripture. That we are not alone in this opinion is clear from the citations we included in our discussion of this translationa.

In regard to the KJV being a 400 year-old translation: although we believe it to be an excellent translation which has stood the test of time, you will not find us championing it as some do. We prefer modern translations such as the NKJV and NASB for the reasons set forth in our Bible Versionsb topic in our Question and Answer section.

One of the beautiful things about our society is that each is free to choose from among the various Bible translations according to one's personal preference. If you prefer a translation such as the NRSV, so be it. But when people ask us our view, it is our duty to express the reservations we have with it and to let them decide for themselves.

As to our disinterest in debate, this stems from hard experience. First, we have very limited bandwidth and personnel to devote to interacting with the large variety and number of views which happen upon our site. Second, it has been our experience that extensive written dialog is neither efficient nor fruitful as a means of interaction. Third, we view our calling as expositing the Word of God to the best of our ability for those who are interested in our free resources. Time-consuming debate distracts from this goal so we elect to leave such apologetics matters to the many existing internet sites which sponsor forums for this purpose.


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