Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve: How the TNIV Cuts Off the Ancient Conversation -- By: Peter R. Schemm, Jr.

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 10:2 (Fall 2005)
Article: Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve: How the TNIV Cuts Off the Ancient Conversation
Author: Peter R. Schemm, Jr.

Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve:
How the TNIV Cuts Off the Ancient Conversation

Peter R. Schemm, Jr.

Editor, Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Dean, Southeastern College at Wake Forest
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Michael E. Travers

Professor of English
Southeastern College at Wake Forest, Wake Forest, North Carolina


So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen 1:27 ESV).

The “conversation” we address in the present essay is as old as God’s creation of “man” (’dm), for “male and female he created them.” Christian theology rightly invests everything in the fact that God has spoken and that he has done so perfectly and authoritatively. The ancient conversation begins in God’s word before man fell into sin, and it continues to this day. Sin distorts the conversation, but it does not negate or abrogate it. Unfortunately, the ancient discourse has been hindered recently in an unexpected manner. Some have chosen to cut it o intentionally because its language is said to be no longer an effective means of communication. Indeed, the translators of Today’s New International Version (TNIV) have cut o the ancient conversation.

In order to sustain the ancient conversation about the “Sons of Adam” and “Daughters of Eve,” we offer this essay. In it we hope to (1) introduce the reader to C. S. Lewis as one who tutors us in the conversation; (2) suggest the importance of the conversation in the great literature of the ages; and (3) argue for the value of retaining such language in the English Bible today.

Lewis as a Tutor in the Conversation

We take our title from The Chronicles of Narnia. The “Sons of Adam” and “Daughters of Eve” are the human children who enter C. S. Lewis’s imaginary world of Narnia. The terminology Lewis chooses to describe the humans in the stories is significant, for it points to gender and heritage. Sons and daughters become husbands and wives, and, in these stories, kings and queens. They are the only characters in the Narnia stories who are “man” (’dm) and as such the only ones descended from Adam and Eve.

The Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve are present at all the important events in Narnian history. In The Magician’s Nephew, they witness the creation of Narnia. In this story, Aslan calls Digory a “Son of Adam” and a few pages later add...

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