May God curse the NIV committee and its owners!

I have, just this instant, come across an example of how the NIV is being corrupted deliberately, for politically correct reasons, in order to deceive.  It nearly caught me out, as I was doing a bible study. 

I was asked to do something on St. Paul and leadership of women (why me?!).  So I looked up 1 Corinthians 11:34 in the bible gateway.

34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

OK, that’s fair enough.  But then I noticed something relevant to my bible study of the place of women in a congregation:

26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.

And that clarifies the subject, and is relevant to my subject: that “sisters” are taking part in the service, speaking and giving instruction, revelation, etc.

At this point a warning bell went off, and I went to consult my old printed NIV.  And I find … that “and sisters” is a modern interpolation!  It isn’t there in the Greek, which simply reads “adelphoi”, and which would never be translated any other way but “brothers” except through special pleading.  Verse 26, on this highly controversial subject, does NOT contain a relevant statement.  Yet I could have taught on this, to a congregation who knew no better, something that is actually not in the bible.

This is not trivial.  This is deliberate corruption of the scriptures, on a subject where the world is demanding that Christians follow its dogma.  I confess that I am furious.  The people who will be receiving this teaching are under every kind of moral pressure.  We should be able to rely on our bible translations!!!

Let us pray that God will vindicate his judgement on those who have chosen to do this evil, who have chosen to corrupt the word of life and to poison it with material designed to mislead and disarm Christians faced with urgent temptation by the evil one.  May these wicked men endure every evil that can befall a man; for they have chosen to pour contempt on the Holy Spirit.


9 thoughts on “May God curse the NIV committee and its owners!

  1. What about 14.31. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged?

  2. Hmm… I’m not so sure I’d start singing imprecatory psalms in the general direction of the NIV translators… IMHO, translating adelphoi as “brothers and sisters” is not off the mark at all (though it can be taken as inflammatory in this context, understandably). See the BDAG entry on adelphos. I blogged about translation decisions concerning adelphoi in the Epistle of James a year or so ago.

    Looking over the NIV2011’s translation of adelphoi in 1 Corinthians, it seems like this instance of being ‘inclusive’ is not an exception (see 1:10-11, 26; 2:1; 3:1; 4:6; 6:8; 7:24, 29; 10:1; 11:33; 12:1; 14:6, 20, 26, 39; 15:1, 6, 50, 58; 16:15, 20). There are exceptions: 8:12 (uses inclusive ‘them’ rather than ‘your brothers’); 9:5 uses ‘brothers’ in the context of post-resurrection appearances to “the Lord’s brothers”; 15:31 adelphoi is bracketed by the NA27 and is not translated at all by any of the NIV texts; in 16:11-12, interestingly enough, a more gender-exclusive translation is used in the context of visiting church leadership – translating the plural as ‘brothers’. Overall, however, the NIV2011 is consistent in translating adelphoi as ‘brothers and sisters’ and if anything they’d have to make a theologically motivated exception were they to follow a ‘complimentarian’ view of Paul’s teaching on women in the church in this particular instance of adelphoi.

  3. “if anything they’d have to make a theologically motivated exception were they to follow a ‘complimentarian’ view of Paul’s teaching on women in the church in this particular instance of adelphoi.”

    The problem did begin with objective making the text of Scripture “gender-inclusive.” That decision was motivated by considerations external to the text. There may be times when translating “men” as “people” (for example) is helpful when the population is too stupid to understand that “men” has a generic usage. But blindly translating all references to “men” as “people” is just stupid. The context has to determine whether a generic sense or a “male” sense is intended. In this case, the translators should have realized the context and properly used the “male” sense. If they didn’t want to get into determining which sense is being used, they should have maintained a literal convention and put the burden on the reader to distinguish between the cases. But they can’t impose the wrong sense on the passage and then say that they were just imposing a general gender-neutral policy.


  4. Agreed. Translating “brothers” as “brothers and sisters” is done for one reason only, which we all know.

    What angered me was finding myself being misled as to what God’s word actually says on this subject, precisely because of this.

    If the translators had added a footnote, that would be one thing. To change the text is another.

  5. Did they believe in the equality of men and women before God? There were such characters as prophetesses. And apparently all could prophesy. So, did the later christians change the text?

  6. You can be a prophetess without doing your prophesying in church services. We don’t hear that Anna in the Temple or prophetesses in the rest of the Bible were getting up into the priests’ faces while they slaughtered animals, after all.

    Now, even today, there’s a world of difference between how you behave in, say, a synagogue service, and how you behave at the meal afterward. (To pick out a more formal occasion than a post-Mass coffee and donuts.) People share all kinds of stuff freely at the meal (particularly songs), whereas the synagogue service is much more liturgical and formally worked out. So it’s possible that one meaning might not conflict with the other (me not knowing the Greek for come together, and whether we’re talking church or agape meal or what); but it’s probably safer to go with the older interp.

    If women were reading the readings in Greco-Roman synagogues, I think we would have heard about it….

  7. The text is ambivalent, which is why I think it has been changed in places, so that it is now inconsistent. This raises the question which version is correct?

  8. Just read The Message version of the bible if you want to be furious… That man claims that he knows Greek very well and is giving you the best translation into modern English. I am certain that man is excluded from the Kingdom.

    Doesn’t take someone long to figure out what corruption was added to this verse in Romans 8:

    “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:”

  9. That looks very dubious, doesn’t it? But the Message version is well known to be a paraphrase. People study the NIV under the impression that it is a translation.

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