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Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 08:11 GMT
Bible goes 'gender accurate'
Old-fashioned language was seen as lacking relevance
By the BBC's religious affairs reporter Mark Duff

The biggest-selling Bible in the United States - the New International Version - is getting a face-lift.

The revised edition of the world's best-selling book - to be called, somewhat confusingly perhaps, Today's New International Version - has been launched amid some sensitivity over what its publishers insist is its "gender accurate" terminology.

A spokesman for the International Bible Society (IBS) at its Colorado Springs headquarters was at pains to deny earlier reports that the new version of the Bible featured "gender neutral" language.

There is another generation of people today who do not see the Bible as relevant because they don't understand the language

Larry Lincoln, spokesman for IBS

The spokesman said nothing could be further from the truth.

Some reports had spoken of the new translation having stripped away male-only references.

Thus: the "Sons of God" in St Matthew's version of the Gospel become the "Children of God" in the new version, while the "man" justified by faith in St Paul's Letter to the Romans becomes simply a "person".

That much was true, the spokesman said. But such changes were nothing to do with political correctness.

Rather, they reflected the faithfulness of the new translation to the original Greek and Hebrew texts.

Far from introducing a politically correct agenda , he said, it stripped away a previous generation's cultural trappings, which more often than not introduced a male perspective unjustified by the source.

To prove his point, he highlighted the way the new Bible refers to God and to Jesus. No question of gender neutrality there, he said: God was male throughout - and that was final.

See also:

22 Nov 00 | UK
Gutenberg Bible goes online
19 Mar 99 | Education
Anglo-Saxon goes online
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