Day: June 22, 2009

putting gender on the agenda

A friend and I were chatting all things ministry the other day. In the spirit of Andrew Katay’s ‘If I ran the diocese…’ series, one question we entertained was If I ran a church, what Bible translation would I choose for public reading?


To my friend’s mind some of the key factors to be reckoned with included:

  • displaying a basic faithfulness and liveliness of translation,
  • finding an appropriate level and accessibility of language, and
  • highlighting OT allusions/verbal linkages wherever possible.

I agreed with pretty much all of this. But I wanted to add ‘attempting not to offend (or alienate) people through unnecessarily conservative translations of gender constructions — e.g., retaining references to the brothers or to being adopted as sons of God‘.

What’s your feeling? How much play should we give to an agenda like this when choosing a Bible translation for public reading? Am I being over-sensitive about something that most people just don’t really care that much about? What other factors should enter in?