Comments On Mark Strauss’s Response -- By: Vern S. Poythress

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 74:1 (Spring 2012)
Article: Comments On Mark Strauss’s Response
Author: Vern S. Poythress

Comments On Mark Strauss’s Response

Vern S. Poythress

Vern S. Poythress is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary.

I would like to reply to Mark Strauss’s response (in this issue of WTJ) to an article of mine, entitled “Gender Neutral Issues in the New International Version of 2011” (in a previous issue of WTJ).1 In writing a reply, I would normally prefer to be short and to confine my remarks to the topics on which my original article focused. But Dr. Strauss’s response has raised issues that I chose not to discuss in the original article, and other issues on which I barely touched or that I presupposed. A thorough analysis of such issues would involve book-length discussions.

I. The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy

Fortunately, we already have discussions in print, and my original article refers readers to them in its opening footnote.2 Dr. Strauss himself has written one of the two major books that came out in 1998 in defense of gender-neutral translation policy.3 In 2000 Strauss’s book received a response from Wayne A. Grudem and me in a book entitled The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words.4 Our book was updated in 2004 to include a discussion of the TNIV.5

All of these books appeared as part of a larger controversy, the gender-neutral Bible controversy, the main events of which are catalogued in the books by Wayne Grudem and me.6 (I use the expression gender-neutral, rather than gender-accurate as Dr. Strauss prefers, because the latter expression begs the question.7) The controversy continues today, as can be seen from the present interchange between Dr. Strauss and me, and from criticisms of the NIV 2011 by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and the Southern Baptist Convention, to which the NIV Committee on Bible Translation responds.8

As far as I can see, no new principles or fundamental insights are introduced in Dr. Strauss’s latest response. In substance, Dr. Strauss is reiterating views and arguments that appear in his 1998 book—but of course they are now applied to verses found in the NIV 2011. So, rather than undertake a complete re-statement of the issues,...

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