Language: January 2006 Archives

Better Bibles Blog has three recent posts worth reading. Wayne Leman tackles the singular 'they' and 'them' in contemporary English with respect to inclusive-language translation. Read the comments, too. At one point he lists some very old uses of the singular 'they', including one going back to Chaucer in the 14th Century. This isn't some recent innovation.

Also, Peter Kirk decided to look into whether J.I. Packer's support for the ESV and criticisms of the TNIV amount to the kind of ideological rage that others who have criticized the TNIV have engaged in. He finds that Packer is much more balanced and simply doesn't like the way the TNIV does things but hasn't been calling it inaccurate or some of the other nonsense that has passed for a concern for purity in Bible translation. I hadn't looked into Packer's particular role in this discussion, so I'm relieved to hear this. He does soften his conclusion a bit in the comments, but I think where Packer is on this is much healthier than the position of some notable others.

Suzanne McCarthy isolates an interesting translation issue that has spawned a whole translation, the use of language that assumes knowledge of church history and current church practice, in A Non-Ecclesiastical Bible.

Also, not at the Better Bibles Blog, Kenny Pearce discusses the theological significance of linguistic facts. I agree with those who dismiss the idea, defended by Wayne Grudem and Vern Poythress, that facts about inclusive language in any particular language should be taken to illustrate a theological truth. But some of the issues Kenny points out soften the more general claim that some people use to support the dismissal of the Grudem-Poythress view.

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