A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

Biblical Translations, Agendas, and Gender Bias with Beth Allison Barr and Scot McKnight

July 13, 2021 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 28
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Biblical Translations, Agendas, and Gender Bias with Beth Allison Barr and Scot McKnight
Chapters
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Biblical Translations, Agendas, and Gender Bias with Beth Allison Barr and Scot McKnight
Jul 13, 2021 Season 1 Episode 28
Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker

In this special episode, we give Beth Allison Barr the floor.

Beth wanted to have a conversation with Scot McKnight about Biblical translations, how they come together, and how bias and agendas influence certain translations more than others (we're looking at you, ESV). We interviewed Beth in April about her brilliant book The Making of Biblical Womanhood. Beth has said numerous times that of all the questions about her book that she gets, most are about this topic.

Enjoy this brilliant conversation between two scholars who happen to also be incredibly fun. And check out the companion blog post here!

In this episode, we sampled Blade and Bow Whiskey made by the Stitzel Weller Distillery

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

Show Notes Transcript

In this special episode, we give Beth Allison Barr the floor.

Beth wanted to have a conversation with Scot McKnight about Biblical translations, how they come together, and how bias and agendas influence certain translations more than others (we're looking at you, ESV). We interviewed Beth in April about her brilliant book The Making of Biblical Womanhood. Beth has said numerous times that of all the questions about her book that she gets, most are about this topic.

Enjoy this brilliant conversation between two scholars who happen to also be incredibly fun. And check out the companion blog post here!

In this episode, we sampled Blade and Bow Whiskey made by the Stitzel Weller Distillery

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

NOTE: This transcript is for the unedited video version of this conversation, so what you see here will not match the audio-only podcast version. For the video version, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViRX4aljEyk

[Music]

00:05

hey guys

00:07

hey how are you good how are you

00:10

i'm good hey hey hi beth

00:15

hey scott how are you all right

00:18

you had it i saw your tv performance

00:21

this morning

00:23

oh my goodness that was weird

00:27

but it was fun it was fun it was a big

00:29

audience i think

00:31

yeah what was it cbn

00:34

700 club interactive

00:36

[Laughter]

00:39

you know my grandmother my grandmother

00:41

used to watch the 700 club so i

00:43

remember oh yeah a long time ago but

00:46

what was i i won't tell you what was on

00:48

the episode before us but it sounded

00:50

like fox news

00:53

probably so yeah hey kyle how are you

00:57

i'm doing okay good to see you again

00:59

yeah

01:01

i feel like i've seen kyle

01:04

you've been on our podcast scott okay

01:07

all right

01:12

yeah also probably seen images of

01:14

anglo-saxon jesus so this

01:16

might be bringing to mind some of those

01:18

yeah that's it yeah you look just like

01:20

that

01:21

oh who's the who's the painter of that

01:24

really famous one that hung in everybody

01:26

i can't remember the name solomon's head

01:29

of christ salman

01:30

and he was that yep evangelical covenant

01:34

pastor

01:34

in chicago so that really it was it was

01:37

right here yeah so

01:40

yeah i've been on over 100 podcasts

01:44

about tov

01:45

so how many of you got now beth wow this

01:49

is 87. you're

01:53

after about counting you start counting

01:55

yeah i have a spreadsheet

01:56

with my publicist um so

02:00

anyway yeah well i was going to say i'd

02:03

like to think that we rank in like your

02:05

top 20 or so but

02:07

remember it might be optimistic

02:12

i remember y'alls because i called

02:14

seminary cemetery

02:16

yeah complimentary cemeteries yeah

02:21

slip up tongue there that was one of my

02:23

favorites or was it

02:25

see the see what book i have behind me

02:27

there i do you're so good about that

02:29

scott i meant to bring

02:31

tove it's in my house next to my bed

02:34

and i meant to bring

02:39

she's been doing a lot of that she's

02:40

really good yeah that's pretty good

02:42

looking yeah

02:43

that's awesome oh um do you guys need to

02:47

walk through the recorder situation i

02:50

think i have mine recording

02:52

i turned it off i don't have mine how do

02:54

i do it again

02:56

it's on the right i think i'm good you

02:57

should hold the halt that button on the

03:00

right that says hold hold it down

03:02

until you see it come on okay

03:06

did you get it put together scott yeah i

03:09

did this

03:09

what somebody else is probably you yeah

03:12

that's me i sent it

03:13

okay all right so you might as well just

03:16

yeah it's it's

03:18

it it's not it's not it's not recording

03:21

yet though

03:23

should i start recording yeah may as

03:26

well

03:27

i went ahead and pushed mine just so i

03:28

wouldn't forget so the light is on yeah

03:30

i'm at two seconds now

03:33

okay we're ready so you did this before

03:36

all right

03:37

i i when i got this i said

03:41

i said to my daughter i said i've done

03:43

this before i don't

03:44

it was just like this so it didn't even

03:47

dawn on me

03:48

yes sir i think you're sorry because new

03:51

these are new recorders so these are

03:53

yeah

03:55

um yeah and it looks different

03:58

so i've got the outline in front of me

03:59

that you made beth um

04:01

any additions or subtractions or

04:03

anything like that

04:05

no and um i think though you can feel

04:07

free if you

04:08

i think scott's comfortable with it too

04:10

um if

04:11

you feel the call to ask us something as

04:14

the conversation's going along

04:16

or something i that's fine too right i

04:19

have some illustrations

04:21

ready for uh what i would call

04:24

uh anti-feminist translations oh do you

04:28

oh good

04:28

see i i'm i'm relying on scott because

04:31

one of my problems with being a

04:33

medievalist is i don't remember

04:35

versification so i'm relying on scott to

04:38

build to fill in all diversification

04:41

and yeah kyle do you have the outline

04:44

that beth made

04:45

yep yep okay excellent yeah so you don't

04:48

have to follow it rigidly it was just

04:52

since you were doing this for us i

04:54

thought i'd help you with uh i

04:55

appreciate

04:56

it no i mean in the script the fun that

04:58

we

04:59

that uh that we get to do this for you

05:02

um

05:03

any any requests beth in particular but

05:06

both of you as to like you know i mean

05:08

this is kind of your episode

05:10

no no no i mean really this was just

05:13

boring as i said you kind of

05:15

saw me at the moment when and we can

05:18

start to i'll tell this again but

05:20

i can't tell you how many questions i've

05:22

received

05:24

asking me what what to do now that

05:27

they are that people aren't going to

05:28

read the esv anymore you know that's

05:29

sort of

05:30

i think i've created a small mini mini

05:33

rebellion against the esv

05:34

and so that was i was like i and i kept

05:37

answering the same question over and

05:39

over again and so that was

05:40

i was like scott why don't you do

05:42

something with me so we can answer this

05:43

so

05:44

no i don't i don't permit esv's to my

05:46

classroom

05:48

do you not well you've got to say

05:52

that you got to say that you know

05:55

one of my students in my dmin class two

05:57

weeks ago brought in the biggest

06:00

version of the esv that he could imagine

06:03

it was about this

06:04

thick was it the study bible was it that

06:07

2000 yeah yeah i think it was almost

06:11

large print to get one that big it was

06:13

oh yeah

06:13

it was a door stopper

06:17

nice all right um i'm gonna bring us in

06:20

um okay tyler elliott do you want me to

06:22

like introduce the whole episode or

06:23

should we do that afterwards

06:24

we'll do that afterwards okay sounds

06:26

good all right

06:28

ready we're ready um no instruction

06:31

needed as far as like

06:32

voice recorder distance or anything yeah

06:35

we should be good as long as you're

06:36

uh as long as it's fairly close in under

06:39

uh

06:40

yeah that's unseen producer elliott by

06:43

the way

06:44

okay thank you

06:49

okay mine's fairly close it's right in

06:52

front of me

06:52

should be good thanks all right here we

06:54

go

06:56

well doctors scott mcknight and beth

06:58

allison bar thank you so much for

07:00

joining us on this

07:01

special episode welcome to pastor and

07:03

philosopher walking to a bar

07:06

thank you this is a lot of fun thanks

07:07

for doing it for us thank you good to be

07:09

with you and good to be with beth again

07:12

absolutely um so funny thing happened

07:15

about a month month and a half ago i

07:17

follow beth allison bart and you know

07:19

you follow someone a lot when

07:21

half the things on your twitter feed are

07:23

beth allison bar liked this

07:25

or beth allison barry tweeted my twitter

07:27

feed

07:28

and i was literally in my backyard and

07:32

beth you tweeted and said i get this

07:34

question

07:35

all the time about translations and

07:37

which translations are better than

07:38

others and which translations

07:40

need to be thrown away and i would love

07:42

to do a

07:43

host some space with scott mcknight

07:45

about it because he's a new testament

07:46

scholar

07:47

and i saw that at the right time and

07:49

said oh please please please could you

07:50

could you do that on a pastor and

07:52

philosopher walk into a bar podcast and

07:54

amazingly

07:55

within about an hour you both said yes

07:57

so thank you for saying yes

07:59

oh yeah no it was fun you you

08:02

like tweeted that like seconds after i

08:04

sent mine out because i saw it like

08:06

almost immediately

08:07

so and i and i saw and i thought hey

08:10

i just got invited to do something i

08:12

didn't know what i was

08:13

[Laughter]

08:14

so i was watching too so beth you've

08:18

said i've seen you say this numerous

08:20

times but

08:20

um let us ask because it's been a while

08:22

since we've had you on and the book was

08:24

released right after

08:25

the episode was released how has make

08:28

the making of biblical womanhood

08:29

how's the reception been so um

08:33

it has been quite overwhelming actually

08:35

it's been

08:36

i mean you never know what's going to

08:38

happen when these go out and i think i

08:40

talked to y'all right before it was

08:41

released i'm trying to remember when

08:43

that was

08:44

um and so i really didn't know but

08:47

it has it's in its fourth printing a

08:50

little over two months out

08:52

and so it is um it is

08:56

it is being read by i guess

08:59

thousands of people lots of you know

09:02

multiple thousands of people and so

09:04

uh that that has produced some

09:06

interesting results

09:08

for me including and i thought maybe i

09:10

thought kyle would like this

09:12

um one of the things that happened early

09:15

on

09:16

is some people proposed a drinking game

09:18

to go along

09:19

with the making of biblical womanhood

09:22

and sort of

09:23

the challenge was it was it was which

09:26

part of the making of biblical womanhood

09:28

is going to get the most pushback

09:30

and so the you know so that was like

09:33

so every time you you know people said

09:36

what they thought was gonna get the most

09:37

pushback and when it got that pushback

09:39

they were going to drink

09:40

um so i've had a lot of alcohol pairings

09:43

with the making of biblical womanhood

09:45

too that i've seen so we'll have to do

09:46

that beer episode sometimes forgotten

09:51

but i actually i honestly thought

09:54

chapter two my paul chapter was going to

09:55

get the most pushback i really did

09:58

um and so but i was wrong about that

10:01

and all of the people who chose chapter

10:04

five

10:05

which is of course my bible translation

10:07

chapter

10:08

they were the right ones um i think that

10:10

and inerrancy

10:12

my use of inerrancy have gotten the most

10:15

pushback um so anyway which kind of led

10:18

us to where we are now

10:20

right right so something that has

10:24

happened within

10:25

i don't know you guys would know but how

10:26

in the last decade or so is that

10:28

it seems like everybody who has a scare

10:31

quote high view of the bible

10:33

um has a big thick esv bible along with

10:36

them in their arm and that's that's

10:38

their

10:38

version of choice and you you said some

10:41

things about the esv

10:42

translation of the bible can you just

10:47

ask scott scott what's your perspective

10:49

on the esv

10:51

so you're asking me i'm asking you

10:54

really

10:55

i was in the car with wayne grudem the

11:00

day

11:01

that he and john piper gained

11:04

rights to the old rsv

11:07

john piper and wayne grudem loved the

11:10

harper study bible

11:12

and harold linzel had sort of in charge

11:14

of writing the notes if i remember

11:17

and they got control of it and i

11:19

remember thinking

11:22

why i mean what difference does it make

11:23

you know there's a new rsv

11:26

well um i had then left trinity and i

11:29

was at

11:29

north park i believe when the esv

11:33

was produced i didn't even know about it

11:36

and i had a student who worked there and

11:38

she told me something about the esv and

11:40

i thought well

11:41

i don't know anything about it i i read

11:44

the greek new testament and i'm

11:45

perfectly happy with the nrsv

11:47

and the niv so so who cares well

11:50

uh as it turned out it became a very

11:53

well known translation

11:54

many people followed it i did a survey

11:57

one day on

11:58

an old blog and people were able to vote

12:02

and i got all kinds of um critical

12:05

emails or comments that i didn't include

12:08

the esv and i said

12:10

i've never seen it and i don't know

12:11

anything about it so someone sent me one

12:15

and uh i don't have that anymore but

12:18

anyway

12:18

um the esv was

12:22

a translation by the crossway people

12:25

uh spearheaded as i said by piper and

12:28

grudem and then

12:29

others were the main editors it is not a

12:32

translation it is an

12:33

editing of the rsv it wasn't a complete

12:37

refresh translation although i'm not

12:39

saying

12:40

that those who were involved didn't look

12:42

at the original text which they did

12:45

but it definitely has biases

12:48

and you know it leans in the direction

12:52

of the people who wanted to produce this

12:54

bible who were irritated

12:56

by the nrsv because it had inclusive

12:59

rendering language

13:01

so the esv has an agenda

13:04

it is designed for complementarian

13:06

calvinists

13:07

american white mostly baptist

13:11

uh types uh reform types who want a

13:14

translation

13:15

that they think is more accurate and

13:18

supports their

13:19

interpretations of scripture i don't

13:22

know if that's what beth

13:24

no i i just love that you were in the

13:26

car with them when they got a hold of it

13:28

i mean

13:29

you had the potential to stop this in

13:30

the very beginning

13:39

i really thought all he wanted to do was

13:41

to be able to reproduce

13:43

the rsv again i i don't remember the

13:45

conversation until later

13:47

and i they were so irritated by the nrsv

13:51

because it had inclusive renderings um

13:54

and they saw it as the creeping in of

13:56

feminism and

13:57

the next thing you know who knows you

13:59

know what they they run their slippery

14:01

slope

14:01

arguments especially wayne grudem and

14:04

they

14:05

they were really irritated and they they

14:07

produced this translation

14:08

you know i i'm not gonna totally trash

14:12

it and i it is true that

14:14

any student who tries to use it in my

14:16

class i give them a hard time

14:18

and sometimes i tell them the class the

14:20

translation is banned

14:22

in our classroom but

14:25

i don't think i don't think they pay

14:27

attention to what i'm saying one guy has

14:28

a leather one and it's beautiful bible

14:31

and he says i got it free and i'm gonna

14:32

use it

14:34

but i i try to give him a hard time

14:36

about it but it is

14:38

it is overall like most translations

14:42

reliable it is biased

14:46

but it is reliable and

14:49

people who use it are not going to go

14:51

astray but any claim

14:53

that it's the most accurate translation

14:55

is just it's nonsense

14:57

and it's tribalistic promotion rather

15:01

than

15:02

genuine egg the niv the nrsv the rsv

15:06

the esv they're all reliable

15:09

translations the

15:10

common english bible ceb i i haven't

15:13

paid much attention to the

15:16

what's the southern baptist one the

15:17

christian holman's the the whole yeah

15:20

yeah the holman standard i don't i don't

15:23

i don't think i've ever read hardly any

15:24

of it so

15:26

and it's not because i'm against it it's

15:27

just i've got what i need

15:30

you know um when you say they're biased

15:34

it's you think it's a

15:35

it comes from a biased perspective scott

15:37

explain that a little bit

15:39

well there's an agenda for instance

15:42

romans 16 1. we have this amazing

15:46

statement i commend to you

15:48

our sister phoebe phoebe's a woman

15:52

greek greek name uh she's from kencree

15:55

over by corinth

15:56

who uh the translation has

16:00

is in the esv is a servant

16:03

of the church that can create now that

16:06

word servant is interesting

16:09

um the niv has a deacon

16:12

of the church in king crab now the

16:14

minute you translate that with

16:17

deacon you've got a different category

16:20

altogether because at this time paul was

16:23

already

16:23

calling significant leaders in the

16:26

church deacons

16:27

so she sounds like a deacon but the esv

16:30

translated servant

16:32

because they don't think women were

16:34

first century deacons all right

16:36

in romans 16 7 this is a famous passage

16:40

greet and

16:41

greet andronicus and junia

16:44

and they have a footnote that says it

16:45

might be junious which is

16:47

impossible my kinsmen and my fellow

16:50

prisoners they are

16:51

well known to the apostles the niv

16:55

has greet andronicus and junia my fellow

16:58

jews

16:59

they are outstanding among the apostles

17:03

uh

17:04

well known to means they are not

17:07

apostles

17:08

so junior is not an apostle look

17:11

the chrysostom and he wasn't alone in

17:14

the fourth century

17:15

already was saying that this was a woman

17:17

named junia

17:19

and she was an apostle and she was a

17:22

superlative apostle

17:23

and when there was a realization that

17:26

junia

17:27

was a woman there was a conclusion by

17:31

some

17:31

translators then it can't be

17:35

among the apostles it must mean to the

17:37

apostles

17:38

so the translation to the apostles is

17:41

late

17:42

all right so ii timothy 3 6

17:45

here's one that's very interesting for

17:48

among them are those who creep into

17:50

households and

17:51

capture weak women all right this is the

17:55

esv so the esv has

17:57

a servant instead of deacon it has

18:00

um uh well known

18:03

to the apostles and a footnote to junius

18:07

as a man and it is a weak woman

18:10

the niv has who are uh

18:14

gullible women now here's what's

18:15

interesting the greek word

18:17

is gunai karya and this only can mean

18:22

little women and it would be either

18:24

little in size

18:25

you know gymnast typed woman you know

18:28

or or a point guard or

18:32

um and probably young or

18:35

immature but where did you get that word

18:39

weak that's not what the greek word

18:42

means

18:43

you can't get the word weak out of that

18:46

um

18:46

and then we have the amazing passage i

18:49

do not permit in

18:50

first timothy 2 12 i do not permit a

18:53

woman to teach

18:54

or to exercise authority

18:58

over a man this has led to

19:01

a very strong teaching among

19:03

complementarians

19:04

who are behind the esv that women are

19:07

not to have authority over men

19:09

and some of them would say in any

19:11

situation i got a funny story about that

19:13

but

19:13

probably don't have time for it we have

19:16

time

19:17

or to teach but the niv has to teach or

19:20

to assume

19:22

authority that's closer paul has a word

19:25

for authority

19:26

uh exousia that's not what he uses here

19:28

he uses the word alphantain

19:30

it is very rare and it probably well i

19:34

would say

19:34

the chances of it meaning anything other

19:37

than seizing authority

19:39

or dominating and controlling um

19:42

is that's what it means so to exercise

19:46

authority is a blanket

19:49

on permission for women to teach in a

19:52

church

19:54

and that's that's the rendering of first

19:55

timothy 2 12.

19:57

but everybody knows that this greek word

19:59

alfentane

20:00

is the center of the debate and it is an

20:02

unusual word so

20:03

there we go so to me that's what i mean

20:06

by bias look at the esv

20:08

you can't say the niv which i was the

20:10

other translation i looked

20:12

is anything other than conservative

20:15

almost entirely white evangelicals

20:18

it was originally translated all by

20:20

males i believe

20:22

now there are women women involved in

20:24

the translation

20:25

you can't say it's anything other than

20:27

conservatives well the esv

20:30

makes it clear that it pushes in the

20:31

direction every time it can

20:34

so that male headship whatever you want

20:36

to call it is exalted

20:38

and women authority is diminished

20:44

quick follow up a couple things so when

20:46

you say you can't say the niv is

20:48

anything but conservative

20:49

what do you mean by conservative a lot

20:51

of our listeners might hear politically

20:53

conservative i don't think that's what

20:54

you mean so what do you mean when you

20:55

call the anti-conservatives yeah

20:57

um i suppose i suppose that's involved

21:00

too but i

21:01

i've never thought about that it's a

21:03

it's a an evangelical

21:05

group of mostly white males

21:09

translating the bible and it's it's

21:12

going to sound like that

21:14

if you ask americans to translate the

21:16

same text

21:18

and women to translate the same text

21:20

there's going to be differences

21:22

from what the niv has now they have

21:25

worked hard

21:26

at trying to broaden their translation

21:29

base so i commend them for that but it

21:32

is

21:32

what i mean is it's not like i chose

21:35

some liberal translation you know that

21:37

doesn't make it except in mainline

21:40

churches

21:41

this is the niv the esv is to the right

21:44

of the niv

21:46

uh on on the theological spectrum

21:51

of translation right is that fair kyle

21:54

yeah i have more follow-ups but beth go

21:57

ahead i'm sorry you see me sitting here

21:59

i'm like there's so many things

22:00

um no well one of the things that the

22:04

esv has done

22:05

is it has started to soften language

22:08

about slavery

22:09

and this is something that you can also

22:11

follow um

22:12

samuel perry's done some really great

22:14

work on this where he's taken all of the

22:16

different translations

22:18

um and the esv is one of them and

22:20

they've started

22:21

you know they they started adding in

22:22

footnotes and

22:24

trying to make slave not sound like you

22:27

know trying to suggest that it could

22:28

also be a servant and that there was

22:30

different levels

22:31

and so i mean but very clearly a push to

22:34

soften what slavery meant

22:37

um in the bible yeah yeah and part of it

22:40

too

22:40

i think there's a gendered element to

22:42

that as well because

22:44

if um you know one of the the problems

22:46

with the household codes

22:48

is that if you hold up um that women

22:51

are to be under the authority if that if

22:53

you go if you say slavery

22:56

that even though it says you know slaves

22:57

obey your masters if that's not true

22:59

then why do women have to obey their

23:01

husbands if you take those very sort of

23:02

literal renderings of it

23:04

but if you soften slavery so that it's

23:07

more you know talking about just simply

23:09

servants

23:10

and hierarchical order in the household

23:12

then

23:13

you can keep the household codes intact

23:16

um without you know slavery sort without

23:19

supporting

23:21

chattel slavery and so i think there's a

23:23

gendered element behind the

23:25

the softening of slavery um in the esv

23:29

too

23:29

so i was recently reading sam samuel

23:31

perry on that and so it's really

23:33

fascinating

23:34

where does he where do you write about

23:36

this beth i'll send it to you it's in

23:38

the

23:38

journal of american religious history

23:41

okay

23:41

um you know a slave a slave is an owned

23:45

body involuntary owned

23:48

body and

23:51

i don't care if you want to say new

23:54

world slavery was worse than rome

23:57

my own body is an owned body and

24:01

the the evidence of first century

24:04

slavery

24:06

is bad and i think we should translate

24:07

doulas dulos

24:09

in the new testament with the word slave

24:12

and i don't know if

24:14

if uh our kind hosts

24:17

know that i'm trans i've translated the

24:18

new testament or not but

24:20

i have a transformation sitting at

24:22

intervarsity

24:23

and i've translated dulos as slave every

24:26

time it appears so

24:28

what would it be if it wasn't slave

24:30

whatever they'll

24:34

they use bond servant too uh domestics

24:37

sometimes they'll use the word domestic

24:41

yeah it's attempt to soften

24:44

yep uh that sense of slavery but i think

24:47

we have to feel it

24:49

uh with that word with that word we feel

24:51

it

24:52

and that's that's what we need to do

24:55

it's the journal of the american academy

24:57

of religion i have that pdf up right

24:59

here so 2021

25:00

it's very recent um his article here

25:03

yeah it shows this stuff

25:04

so you know one of the things that

25:08

really surprised me scott

25:09

about um the making of biblical

25:12

womanhood

25:12

was how little people knew about the

25:15

history

25:16

of the trends of the esv that actually

25:19

really surprised me

25:20

because it's something that i've known

25:22

from the very beginning

25:24

um i guess i was paying attention to

25:26

those conversations

25:28

i was early in grad school when it was

25:29

going on and my

25:31

uh we'll get to this at the end but one

25:32

of my favorite bibles just because i

25:35

attached to it is my today's new

25:37

international version my tniv

25:40

the tniv was what was in that

25:44

controversy with the esv

25:46

and so i think maybe that's why i was

25:48

attuned to it

25:49

and also because of the gender inclusive

25:51

language which i thought was really

25:52

funny as a medievalist you know people

25:54

getting upset about this

25:55

so anyway but i was really shocked by

25:57

how many people did not know

25:59

that the esv um had a very particular

26:03

slant to it and it was to support

26:06

complementarianism

26:07

um in fact they say this on the council

26:09

for biblical manhood and womanhood

26:11

website

26:12

they say it's unapologetically

26:14

complementarian

26:15

is the word you know

26:18

beth this is uh this is the realm of a

26:21

sociologist

26:22

which i'm not but just ask yourself

26:26

who carries the esv who carries the niv

26:30

who carries the rsv or the nrsv

26:33

uh and see who's carrying them and the

26:36

esv is carried by passion

26:38

conference going john piper listening

26:41

and reading wayne grudem systematic

26:44

theology believing

26:46

crossway books you know the it's a tribe

26:49

now that's not to say that the niv the

26:52

ceb the r and rsv

26:54

aren't tribes too they are but it's

26:58

it's a little unnerving to people to

27:00

realize

27:01

that translations today are tribal

27:05

and um i would like to see us work

27:08

at transcending that and in a sense get

27:11

everybody irritated

27:15

and make translations feel a little

27:18

foreign uh like john

27:20

john goldengate's uh first testament

27:23

uh it feels a little odd and that's

27:26

it should it's hebrew it's not

27:30

you know the niv listen to this this is

27:32

this is a theory

27:34

they they have a lexicon

27:37

of some electronic digital one

27:40

of words that are known i think at the

27:43

12th grade level

27:44

and they don't use language above that

27:47

now now why is that the case why is that

27:49

the case do you think

27:52

acts 1 1-4 by luke or

27:55

the book of hebrews or the greek of

27:58

first peter or actually the greek of the

27:59

pastoral epistles

28:01

is understandable to a common person

28:05

in the first it was those those were

28:07

sophisticated

28:09

uh uh grammatical syntactical

28:12

constructions

28:13

why do we decide that it has to fit

28:18

the group of people that we want to hear

28:20

this

28:21

some of the texts need dictionaries

28:25

and when i found when i was translating

28:27

and i saw some

28:28

greek words that were very unusual even

28:30

in the ancient world

28:32

i made sure to try to find an english

28:34

word

28:35

that people would have to look up

28:38

that's good i like that that's the way

28:41

it was

28:42

so many questions here so there's a very

28:45

very common at least it was common in

28:47

all the churches that i went to growing

28:48

up

28:49

common idea amongst maybe especially

28:52

protestants

28:53

evangelicals particularly that the

28:55

bible's supposed to be accessible to the

28:57

average person it's supposed to be the

28:59

sort of thing you could pick up and get

29:00

it

29:00

and just read and get at least the core

29:03

idea out of it without help

29:05

and what i'm hearing you say is that if

29:07

you're translating properly

29:09

you should need some help you should

29:10

need to look up some words you should

29:12

maybe have to rely on some expertise

29:14

yeah is that fair to say a reformation

29:17

idea i believe

29:17

may is medieval beth can tell us

29:19

perspicacity perspicuity of scripture

29:22

basically said the average person should

29:25

be able to hear or read

29:27

the average person couldn't read

29:28

remember hear or read

29:30

the text and understand the basic

29:32

message of salvation

29:33

that's all it meant it doesn't mean that

29:36

you can

29:37

read the book of hebrews and understand

29:39

it and come on

29:40

how many people can read the book of job

29:43

and comprehend what's going on there

29:45

i mean it's it's complex why why do we

29:48

think

29:49

we decide it's going to be

29:51

understandable

29:52

if we in making it understandable

29:55

to a junior hire or a high schooler

29:58

um this overrun and override

30:03

the sophistication of a greek

30:07

expression then we are not letting the

30:10

bible

30:11

be what it is we make we decide

30:14

that that we are the judges

30:18

of how this translation should come off

30:20

i don't i don't like that

30:22

i think so how do we i'm a big fan of

30:25

these translations i use them all

30:28

you know i'm not i'm not criticizing the

30:31

niv the esv the rsv the

30:34

i'm not i'm just saying we i don't know

30:36

where these theories come from but i'm

30:38

not too keen on it

30:40

so how do you as a translator avoid that

30:43

how do you avoid

30:44

putting your own spin so to speak on it

30:47

i mean

30:48

you know you've said all of these kind

30:49

of have agendas or their translations

30:51

are tribal or something

30:53

are you aiming at objectivity when you

30:54

translate like what how do you avoid

30:56

your own bias

30:57

um all right i i don't think it's

31:01

possible not to have bias um

31:04

i think we're going to have that for

31:05

instance the greek word

31:07

adelphoi used throughout the pauline

31:10

letters

31:10

is usually translated brothers the in

31:13

the uh

31:14

i think the esv does that i'm not sure

31:16

the niv

31:17

often often uses brothers and sisters

31:20

when it only said brothers in greek and

31:23

it's masculine

31:24

i use the word siblings

31:27

um i think that's a little biased

31:31

toward inclusive rendering i had to make

31:34

that judgment when i think it's only men

31:37

i would use the word brothers but i

31:40

think that we have

31:41

i've tried in my translation

31:44

to offend all sides and to

31:49

make it sound make it feel and sound the

31:52

way it sounded

31:53

in the original language even if it

31:56

doesn't

31:57

if it's a little clunky in english

32:00

it's our attempt to make it sound like

32:03

english that does the damage

32:07

um i mean

32:10

we want we wanted to to you know to

32:14

sound like our language because we're

32:15

translating it everybody

32:17

who studies translation theory knows the

32:20

expression that a translator is a

32:22

traitor

32:23

yeah um the so so i i wanted to

32:27

be as traitor as little as possible but

32:31

i'm going to be there's a you know

32:32

there's a greek word andrea

32:34

that's that really means manly

32:37

and it's in it's in paul's letter you

32:40

know and i

32:41

i want to translate it manly but i feel

32:45

you know everybody says it means courage

32:48

yeah but it means manly and men

32:51

were the courageous ones in that in that

32:53

sense

32:55

so i'm really fighting that one beth i

32:57

want you to support me

32:59

be strong and courageous that's the

33:02

first

33:02

design to be strong and courageous and

33:05

be manly

33:05

[Laughter]

33:07

well you know i mean in in

33:11

in the medieval world um the way women

33:15

gained authority was becoming like men

33:17

and so

33:18

you know women women and god be men that

33:20

was one of the phrases and so it's this

33:22

sort of idea of transcending their sex

33:24

but the idea was they could transcend

33:26

their sex whereas you know the modern

33:28

notions that's less possible for women

33:30

yeah so what do you think of a

33:33

translator who would look at that and

33:35

say

33:35

let's say they agreed with you and they

33:37

thought okay at the time probably the

33:38

best translation if

33:40

if you were to get inside paul's mind

33:41

somehow would be something like

33:43

manly but also they have an eye on the

33:45

audience that's going to be reading it

33:47

and let's say they're sensitive to

33:48

patriarchy

33:49

and they're against it what do you think

33:51

of a translation decision to say okay

33:53

i'm going to translate that courageous

33:54

even though i think manly is technically

33:56

closer to the original is is that an

33:58

acceptable decision to make for a

34:00

translation

34:01

i mean i would say to you that it's not

34:04

only acceptable it's what everybody's

34:06

doing

34:07

okay so so anybody who translates it

34:10

other than that

34:11

feels like they're betraying the cause

34:15

but yet it it it had you know the

34:17

traitor has already

34:19

gotten through the door um

34:22

i you know there's a what there's

34:25

something about the word

34:26

manly that works

34:29

that the word uh it evokes something

34:32

that courageous doesn't courageous is

34:35

more neutral

34:36

it's more of a moral virtue um

34:40

so there's an image there and i i

34:43

haven't

34:44

i don't think my editor is going to ever

34:45

permit me to use the

34:53

kyle to me it's acceptable that's that's

34:55

deciding

34:57

what it means in our culture

35:00

and that's part of translation theory

35:03

true

35:04

you know if anyone could get away with

35:06

using manly

35:07

it would be you scott because you have

35:10

made it quite clear

35:12

where you stand on women in ministry so

35:15

i you know i i think you could get away

35:18

with it

35:18

um you would still get criticism for it

35:21

but i think you could get away with it

35:22

well i saw

35:23

you know i saw someone make this comment

35:25

online the other day

35:26

and it was a woman who who's very

35:28

skilled at this whole issue

35:30

said it does nothing for me to say manly

35:34

and i thought to myself so we're going

35:36

to translate

35:37

by what does something for you is that

35:40

what we're doing

35:41

so yeah i i here's i guess that was

35:44

the word manly will people go oh does it

35:47

mean that why did he do that

35:49

now i've won culture

35:52

yeah that's why they're thinking they're

35:54

thinking

35:55

yeah that's exactly right i think that

35:57

is um

35:59

you know i think there's some

36:01

anti-catholicism

36:02

in this um sort of idea that the bible

36:05

should be completely accessible to us

36:07

i think some of this is not only born in

36:10

the 16th century but in the 19th century

36:13

um you know there's an explosion of

36:15

translations

36:16

after you know late 19th early mid 20th

36:19

century

36:20

and i think some of it is part of the

36:21

anti-catholicism this idea that

36:24

scripture is not controlled by anyone

36:25

else um especially

36:27

the pervasive myths about how the

36:29

catholic church controlled the english

36:30

bible

36:31

um and so i think part of it is tied

36:34

into

36:34

that sort of we are not going to be

36:36

catholic um

36:38

and and the bible is going to be

36:39

translated in a way that

36:41

everyone can read it um

36:44

you know even even sunday school kids

36:46

can read it and understand it

36:48

you know in their own language so what

36:51

kind of translator can make romans

36:54

7 understandable to anybody

36:59

see i i think that the idea that it's

37:02

going to be

37:03

accessible to everybody i i want to

37:06

make it feel like the way paul or

37:09

matthew

37:10

wrote it i want him to feel that

37:14

so all right so beth you started talking

37:16

about the history of

37:18

biblical translations but get us into

37:21

that world you two if you can and just

37:22

just so we remember if anyone's like ah

37:24

these guys sound biased

37:26

let's just remember we're talking to

37:29

a medieval church historian at baylor

37:33

university that's a baptist university

37:34

let's keep that in mind as well

37:36

and then we're talking to one of the

37:37

foremost new testament scholars

37:39

there is right now so just just

37:43

hold that who we're talking to

37:47

neither of you are like flaming liberals

37:48

right no

37:50

no um

37:52

[Laughter]

37:55

scott's getting me in trouble

37:58

uh can you bring us into the history of

38:01

biblical translation what was

38:03

tell us about that yeah so i can do

38:06

a little bit and i'll let scott you know

38:08

he can jump in and fill in where i

38:10

mess up um so my

38:13

not you know when i start teaching about

38:15

bible translations

38:17

um i start with the most significant

38:20

bible translation

38:22

of that of the medieval world really

38:24

really up until the 16th century and

38:26

that was the bulgate

38:28

by jerome it's not a true translation

38:31

either i mean

38:32

some of it does go back to the original

38:33

text but jerome also built it on the

38:36

septuagint

38:37

and he did look at some hebrew text you

38:40

know that went along with it but he he

38:42

wrote

38:42

a lot of it was from the was from the

38:44

greek um

38:46

text there and so we have to remember

38:48

that as well

38:49

but it became the most pervasive used

38:52

bible

38:53

and most of the vernacular translations

38:56

of the medieval period and there were a

38:58

lot of vernacular translations that's

38:59

another cat

39:00

that's another myth of protestants is

39:02

that people couldn't read the bible in

39:04

their own tongue before the 16th century

39:06

and that's just not true

39:07

uh there's a lot of vernacular bibles

39:09

floating around there

39:10

as you know early as the early medieval

39:12

period we have bible

39:14

being translated into english um as well

39:17

as

39:18

you know as well as into french and

39:20

german you know so

39:21

vernacular bibles are a thing um before

39:24

the reformation

39:26

for the non-biblical scholars in their

39:29

own in your own language

39:31

so bibles in english bibles in french

39:34

um so for for ordinary people and latin

39:36

but the vulgate was originally

39:38

i mean that's it was a vernacular text

39:41

it was translating the bible

39:43

um from greek and hebrew into latin

39:46

which was

39:47

uh you know the common tongue at the

39:48

time and so

39:50

this was this text was the base text

39:53

that that was used and in fact it

39:56

influenced

39:56

some of the early 16th century

39:58

translations you know the the vulgate

40:01

greatly

40:01

influenced um tyndall um that we often

40:04

you know think about

40:05

and as well as of course tyndall of

40:09

course um

40:10

influenced the kjb and the kjv so i mean

40:13

the the vulgate continues

40:15

to influence the translations that we

40:19

have today

40:20

um one of my favorite things about the

40:22

vulgate

40:23

is that it wasn't just the work of

40:25

jerome

40:26

it was the work of women too and so i

40:29

love the fact that the most

40:31

pervasive and the most influential bible

40:33

translation ever

40:35

was not only translated by a man but was

40:38

translated and was actually

40:39

funded by a woman named paula and her

40:43

daughter yustokium

40:44

who worked with who worked with jerome

40:47

on the translation became

40:49

scholars themselves and paula funded

40:52

she was you know she was the money

40:54

behind the the translation of the

40:57

vulgate and so i really liked that from

40:58

the very beginning

41:00

bible translations that women were

41:03

involved

41:04

in the translations of bibles so that's

41:06

that's where it kind of begins

41:08

um i don't know how much you want me to

41:09

talk about but

41:11

no that i mean that's incredible when re

41:15

refresh our memory when was the v when

41:16

did justin right

41:17

look it was the sorry jerome fourth

41:19

century i'm sorry about that fourth

41:21

century

41:21

he died around 4 20. um and so the

41:25

vulgate he was commissioned to write the

41:26

vulgate in the late

41:28

4th century and then he ends up going on

41:30

this very extended pilgrimage

41:32

with um paula i talk about paula in my

41:35

in the making of biblical womanhood

41:37

but he goes on an extended pilgrimage

41:39

with paula and eustochium

41:40

and they end up in the holy land and

41:42

that's actually where they end up

41:44

finishing the

41:45

translation of the bible and during

41:47

their whole time together

41:49

jerome teaches hebrew to paula and

41:52

eustochium and they become biblical

41:54

scholars also

41:55

and and they they edit his translation

41:58

and they also make suggestions for his

42:00

translation

42:01

and paula finds a lot of the original

42:03

manuscript or not original i hate the

42:05

word original

42:05

but she finds a lot of the ancient

42:07

manuscripts that help

42:09

jerome make a translation of the bible

42:11

and so she buys them

42:12

she's essentially his collector she goes

42:14

around to all the antique stores and

42:16

buys

42:17

um you know manuscripts and of course

42:19

i'm

42:21

making that accessible to us in the

42:22

modern by saying antique stores but

42:24

um but she she finds the manuscripts for

42:27

him to make it she's like

42:34

oh my goodness okay so i want to give

42:37

paula

42:37

i want to give paula more credit

42:41

than i would have said um i think maybe

42:45

she was a little more ethical in her

42:47

dealings with the manuscripts can i say

42:48

that

42:50

so she was more like constantine lover

42:52

god friedrich von tischendorf

42:55

who discovered on mount sinai do you

42:58

know this story about finding

43:00

uh codex sinaiticus he

43:03

he ends up at mount sinai and this is

43:06

all told in bruce metzger's famous new

43:08

testament

43:10

a book um he finds this

43:13

uh this this abbott gives him a

43:15

manuscript wrapped

43:16

in in red in a red velvet i believe

43:20

and tischendorf starts to read it and he

43:22

realizes

43:24

he's got maybe the oldest

43:27

uh complete new testament on the planet

43:31

earth

43:32

and so he goes to his room at night with

43:34

the manuscript he gets permission

43:36

and he says in his diary in latin of

43:38

course

43:40

which i i don't have quoted i used to

43:42

know what it was

43:44

it seemed a sacrilege to sleep

43:47

so he read it all night long realizing

43:50

the value of this manuscript eventually

43:52

it gets purchased by the russians and

43:55

then

43:56

the british museum has it but

43:59

um these these translate these

44:02

manuscripts were are a big part of the

44:04

whole thing about translation once

44:06

right once the vulgate in a sense is uh

44:09

is

44:10

let's say knocked off its perch then

44:13

they're trying to find greek manuscripts

44:14

and get the best translation

44:16

so the king james is a response this is

44:19

one of the more interesting

44:21

beth you may be able to tell this story

44:23

better than i but the king james is one

44:25

of the more interesting stories because

44:28

the english church was

44:31

uh furious over the impact of the geneva

44:34

bible

44:35

which was a bunch of reformed people uh

44:38

and they had

44:38

they had study notes a study bible i got

44:41

a copy in the other room i love this

44:42

study but yeah

44:43

but they have a study bible in which it

44:45

which

44:46

it is against the divine right of kings

44:50

so king james and all his buddies they

44:52

get together and they

44:54

they translate and it really is a

44:56

gorgeous translation

44:58

with beautiful poet uh poetry in english

45:01

um

45:01

it's it's very serious stuff um

45:05

and so it is an attempt to

45:08

knock out the puritan movement in

45:11

england and to give a bible to

45:14

the churches that would knock off

45:18

some of this anti-divine right of kings

45:21

and

45:21

so but there's there's several bibles at

45:24

the time

45:25

uh in the 20th century

45:29

the the major denominator i mean

45:32

everybody was using the king james

45:33

version

45:34

some people i grew up with some people

45:36

who like the asv

45:38

when i was a in high school uh a senior

45:42

in high school

45:43

i liked the nasb the new american

45:46

standard bible

45:47

and my youth pastor said i could read it

45:49

at home but don't bring it to church

45:53

because we used the king james and then

45:56

when i was in college the niv started

45:58

coming out and that really

46:00

rocked the situation it displaced the

46:03

king james

46:04

as the bible yeah american evangelicals

46:08

i i think you know i was looking at this

46:10

recently i think the kjv's still

46:12

the top selling bible but i think that's

46:14

globally too but the niv is the second

46:17

and then the esv is the third what is it

46:20

so

46:20

yeah so that's where you know yeah and

46:23

it's i'm

46:24

i'm hoping we'll see what happens with

46:26

the esv but those are

46:28

how much of that is due to the gideons

46:30

who just exclusively used the kjv and

46:32

put it in every hotel room

46:34

well it's free too it's free yeah it

46:36

doesn't have a copy right

46:37

somebody's gotta buy them do they print

46:38

those themselves

46:41

yeah yeah i mean they they get donations

46:43

and

46:44

put them in all the on the hotels as

46:47

long as it's not

46:48

yeah the only copyright of the kjb is

46:51

the authorized version in the uk

46:53

but as long as you're you know otherwise

46:55

you can technically still

46:56

do it yeah do whatever you want it's

46:58

funny scott could you

47:00

take our listeners quickly through uh

47:02

the different

47:03

kinds of text types and traditions that

47:05

the translations are based on so

47:07

uh it seems particularly funny that your

47:10

youth pastor

47:11

was okay with the king james but not

47:12

with the nasb given what little i know

47:15

about the traditions of those things

47:16

isn't it the case that the nasb is based

47:18

on much

47:19

much older and more well-attested

47:21

manuscript tradition is that is that

47:23

accurate yeah

47:24

yeah the uh but he wanted the king james

47:27

because

47:27

everybody was using it it would be

47:29

disruptive

47:31

um we we have thousands

47:35

twenty thousand thirty thousand pieces

47:37

of evidence of manuscripts

47:40

that can be filtered into making

47:42

decisions

47:43

on what word is the most reliable word

47:48

that we can reconstruct every word

47:52

in an english bible is a translation

47:55

of a word chosen by a bunch of expert

47:59

textual critics who examined manuscripts

48:02

and decided that this word was better

48:04

than that word and there are a lot of

48:06

variants

48:08

none of which are all that significant

48:10

but uh

48:11

right i mean you're not going to change

48:12

christian theology by changing so

48:15

um and there is there's a general

48:17

consensus

48:18

of some manuscript types and there's

48:21

always

48:22

people get really fussy about this but

48:24

there's one tradition that is often

48:26

called the byzantine text type

48:28

that is the majority text it has

48:31

the most number of manuscripts

48:34

and it is a prototype of that kind of

48:38

text

48:39

was behind the king james version so

48:41

when you're defending the king james

48:43

you're actually defending a prototype

48:46

set of manuscripts there's only

48:47

like six or seven originally um

48:50

manuscripts that were behind the king

48:52

james and they're byzantine types

48:54

but we discover manuscripts in the holy

48:56

land we discover manuscripts

48:58

in egypt um we've discovered manuscripts

49:01

enough and widely enough that we know

49:04

that there were better manuscripts more

49:06

accurate

49:08

according to text critical criteria

49:10

which is pretty technical stuff

49:12

so we then kind of get into

49:16

arguments about families which group of

49:19

manuscripts

49:20

is the more reliable of let's say the

49:22

three four five or six

49:25

and um which one should we use for this

49:28

one and

49:28

how do we weigh the the judgment but i i

49:32

think

49:32

i think we can say that new testament

49:35

scholars

49:37

have come to a consensus

49:40

on the best texts that we can

49:43

reconstruct

49:44

right now it will be adjusted every few

49:46

years

49:47

a word here a word there not much

49:50

and that's behind all the modern

49:53

translations

49:54

so yeah it's

49:58

i like i like text criticism but i don't

50:01

do it

50:02

you know today um because

50:05

it's done by experts and they do a

50:07

better job than i can do but i love to

50:09

read their stuff

50:11

so i mean so most of the modern

50:13

translations that's one of the reasons

50:15

we have an explosion of translations in

50:17

the in the

50:17

in the 19th and 20th century is because

50:19

this is also when we start having

50:21

you know some of these discoveries that

50:23

led to more of these manuscripts is that

50:25

correct

50:26

scott that's one of the things that

50:27

began yeah but then most of the

50:29

translations still today

50:31

are really just there there's only small

50:35

variations

50:36

between them um most of them are pretty

50:40

much

50:41

you know the message of the bible um is

50:43

still pretty consistent

50:44

in all of them and they're mostly based

50:46

on the same

50:47

group of manuscripts so yeah

50:51

so they mo so it comes down to really

50:54

those translator decisions

50:56

about key about key concerns

50:59

about things that we're concerned about

51:01

and i think this is one of the things

51:02

that i really want people to hear when

51:04

they think about

51:05

choosing bible translations is that

51:08

you've got to pay attention to the

51:09

translators

51:10

because culture always comes through i

51:13

mean

51:14

scott said this very well you can't be

51:16

objective objectivity is not

51:18

a human is not part of the human

51:20

condition none of us are objective as a

51:22

historian i'm not objective

51:24

i've gotta recognize that um and so

51:27

translators aren't objective either you

51:28

know one of my favorite examples to talk

51:30

about with students to show how

51:32

translators are not of objective is one

51:34

of the versions of the geneva bible

51:36

um there's only a few of them that were

51:37

made but in genesis 3 they translated

51:40

after adam and eve realized they were

51:42

naked

51:43

they sowed themselves leaves together

51:44

and made breaches and that's what said

51:46

in the bible it's called the breaches

51:48

bible

51:48

and you know just it's hysterical

51:50

because we can see adam and eve wearing

51:52

you know 16th century trousers um

51:56

you know as i said it's really funny but

51:58

it shows how

51:59

cold i mean that made a lot of sense to

52:01

them that's what adam and eve did of

52:03

course they did they sewed together fig

52:04

leaves and made trousers for themselves

52:07

um and so we we have to think you know

52:10

that those that culture always comes in

52:12

i mean this is

52:13

one of the reasons why i think medieval

52:14

priests said

52:16

used gender inclusive language was

52:18

because they

52:19

when they in their services when they

52:22

preached

52:23

women said on one side and men said on

52:25

the other and it's really easy you know

52:26

they would just look and they would say

52:28

men

52:28

and women i mean it makes a lot of sense

52:31

why they would include that it's not

52:32

because they were feminists

52:34

it's because they you know it made sense

52:36

within their culture

52:37

so i think people need to realize that

52:41

that translators make decisions about

52:44

these

52:44

and so if you you want to know

52:48

what is influencing your translators um

52:51

you know who is on the trans who's on

52:54

the translation team who's on the

52:55

editorial board

52:56

where did they get their degrees from

52:58

who did they study under um

53:00

and not that you have to know it about

53:01

all of them but you can just look at a

53:03

few of them

53:03

and just read the preface to your bible

53:07

um read the preface to your bible

53:09

because they tell you

53:12

what manuscripts they're using and what

53:14

decisions they're making

53:16

what the major decisions and so i mean

53:18

you you will know

53:20

what is influencing your translators

53:22

just by reading the preface and it's

53:24

right there

53:25

it's not a it's you know it's not it's

53:26

not a secret

53:28

they put it there yeah yeah yeah i mean

53:30

it's it's similar to when i'm

53:32

looking for commentaries when i'm

53:34

preaching through a book of the bible on

53:35

a research who wrote it and what's their

53:37

what's their background what's their

53:38

theology what's their their biases um it

53:41

when you talked about

53:43

the geneva bible and adam and eve made

53:46

me go to

53:46

what if what if we at one point find a

53:49

translation or manuscript that actually

53:50

did have

53:51

not adam and eve but adam and steve yeah

53:56

well you know one of the one yeah stupid

53:59

joke

54:00

there was a funny bible there was a

54:02

funny bible where they left it was

54:04

called the wicked bible

54:06

where they left the not out of the ten

54:08

commandments

54:09

where it says he thou shalt not commit

54:11

adultery it says thou

54:12

shalt commit adultery and i mean it was

54:15

just a printer's error but

54:17

it's called the wicked bible so you can

54:19

go look there's all sorts of fun

54:21

yeah there's all sorts of fun it's in

54:23

the matthew 5

54:25

uh uh statement of the of the of the ten

54:28

commandments isn't it it's

54:29

the wicked bible is the wicked bible i

54:32

found one in david bentley heart

54:34

recently

54:34

uh where he dropped the word not and

54:38

it was pretty funny yeah yeah those

54:41

things

54:41

matter yeah so i was asked

54:45

a little bit ago i mean i hope our

54:47

listeners are finding this conversation

54:48

as fascinating as i am i mean we're

54:50

talking

54:50

it's like you guys are talking about how

54:52

to build this big complex

54:53

engine and what's gone into it except

54:55

you're talking about the holy scriptures

54:56

i mean this is just

54:57

right um but as you talked

55:01

particularly scott about the biases that

55:04

biases that these translators bring in

55:06

it made me wonder a little bit why can

55:09

we be confident

55:10

in what we have in the bible in these

55:12

translations that we have

55:14

because some of these some of the stuff

55:15

can sound really fascinating but some of

55:17

us can some of it can sound scary

55:19

that is very subjective and is it

55:21

reliable

55:22

you said it's reliable why why is the

55:24

scriptures that we have particularly

55:26

you said the niv that are you know

55:30

they're they're reliable because they

55:32

give us

55:33

a reliable translation it's reasonable

55:38

it's accurate translation of what the

55:41

greek

55:42

intends to say now no two people are

55:44

going to translate

55:46

identically so there's going to be

55:48

slight variations but the

55:50

the differences are not going to change

55:53

the gospel

55:54

they're not going to change the

55:55

significance of jesus they're not going

55:57

to change

55:58

that that there's a god and that the

56:00

holy spirit is at work and that

56:02

they were founding churches it's going

56:04

to change

56:05

minor points but the minor points seem

56:08

to be where people want to fight

56:10

right you know they want to fight about

56:13

women in the church

56:14

then they're they're gonna they're gonna

56:16

fight about the esv and the

56:18

nrsv if you wanna fight about

56:21

different theories of the atonement then

56:23

you're gonna get after the old

56:24

uh tev today's english version or the

56:28

good news bible whatever was called um

56:32

and if you want to get after titles

56:34

you're going to say the

56:35

the common english bible's use of the

56:38

word

56:39

son of humanity or the human one for the

56:42

son of man

56:43

is a little bit too much for some people

56:46

but these are still reliable

56:48

translations

56:49

now the i would not say that about the

56:52

jehovah's witness bible

56:54

i would not say it's reliable it's it's

56:56

just so

56:58

it's mendacity at work in there rather

57:00

than

57:01

an attempt to translate what the text

57:03

says so

57:04

overall i want to say they're reliable

57:08

they're helping us understand what that

57:10

text says they

57:11

vary and they vary in ways that the

57:14

translators lean

57:15

so you can see bias if you then use five

57:19

translations then you can see the

57:21

different biases come through

57:23

now i don't like people who can't read

57:26

greek

57:27

to say i prefer this translation

57:30

you know you know what they're saying

57:32

that's the one that i like

57:34

because it it tells me what i want to

57:36

hear i don't like that this should be

57:38

left up to people

57:40

who actually know what they're talking

57:41

about not to people

57:43

who are giving us their preferences so

57:46

what is a

57:46

what's the average reader to do then

57:48

what do you recommend for somebody that

57:50

wants to get you know they're afraid of

57:52

this bias and they don't want to read

57:53

the super conservative translation but

57:55

they don't want to be misled in the

57:56

other direction either so

57:58

should they read a selection and if so

58:00

how do they know which ones they should

58:02

choose

58:02

well i i think they need to talk to

58:05

someone

58:07

who is knowledgeable whom they can trust

58:10

and say which translation should i use

58:13

look

58:14

you go to a normal church a main line

58:16

church they're going to be using the

58:17

nrsv

58:18

or the ceb okay those are reliable

58:21

you go to a baptist church and they're

58:23

going to use the niv

58:24

or if they're influenced by the gospel

58:26

coalition the e-dsc

58:28

okay so or the christian holman bible

58:32

and they're reliable you know you're

58:33

going to get you're going to get you're

58:35

going to get a little bit of leaning in

58:36

all these directions

58:37

by these people but these are faithful

58:41

reliable intellectually sound

58:44

theoretically based

58:46

translations that differ but they

58:50

they're worth reading and you're not

58:52

going to be led astray from the gospel

58:55

the centrality of jesus christ

58:58

do you have a favorite either of you

59:02

other than your god so

59:05

um you know one of the things we were in

59:07

youth ministry for so long

59:09

and we would always tell the youth you

59:11

know because teenagers were often

59:12

you know they would be concerned and

59:14

when you start introducing about

59:16

different translations and stuff it

59:17

could be scary to them

59:19

so we would tell them you know that um

59:21

translations are 90 to 95

59:23

the same you know really i mean the

59:25

variations are in that smaller i don't

59:28

know if scott wants to push back on my

59:29

percentages there but

59:30

you know i mean they mostly it's it's we

59:33

used to tell them it's not the big

59:34

stories that translations change it's

59:36

the little stories

59:38

and um and so those are the things

59:41

so anyway but my favorite um

59:44

translations you know i have some that

59:47

i'm nostalgic about i'm nostalgic about

59:49

the niv because i grew up on it

59:51

um i actually like the kjv1611 because i

59:54

use that a lot in my research and i've

59:56

gotten very i used that and i also used

59:58

it because for

59:59

a little while we lived in kjv only

60:02

territory

60:03

but they had a kjv bible that didn't

60:05

have the apocrypha in it so i started

60:06

using the kjv1611 because it had the

60:08

apocrypha

60:10

um so i those those are two that i like

60:13

a lot

60:14

but mostly i use a lot of bibles i have

60:17

the tniv the esp

60:18

the niv the nrsv i use the nrsv mostly

60:22

now

60:23

um when i in church but i have all those

60:26

bibles and i use them all regularly

60:30

i um okay i i read the greek new

60:33

testament

60:34

and what if i'm writing the publisher

60:38

will usually decide which translation

60:40

they want to use so i'm doing something

60:41

right

60:42

now for zondervan so that's the niv

60:45

no debate asked

60:48

when i write something that's a little

60:49

bit more on the academic side i always

60:51

use the

60:52

nrs fee i like i like the nrsv that's

60:55

the what bible i taught

60:57

out of for 17 years at north park uh but

61:01

in general i use the bible that the

61:03

audience i'm speaking to

61:05

uses so in my church i use the niv so

61:09

that's the one i use all right i don't

61:10

want to spend my time

61:12

telling the people in the pew uh that

61:14

this is what your bible says but this is

61:16

what i think it should say that's just

61:17

confusing

61:18

it's unnecessary so

61:21

all right well i think we're coming to

61:23

the end of our time here i think scott

61:24

younis said you needed to

61:26

jump off uh real quick and we don't even

61:28

have to put this in but i'm just curious

61:29

what do you say to people like bart

61:31

airman who like to make it seem like the

61:32

bible is not reliable what's going on

61:34

there

61:37

you know bart even says i mean one of

61:39

the reasons i got that percentage from

61:41

was actually from bart ehrman where he

61:42

actually says that the

61:44

you know the changes in the text are

61:46

actually very small

61:48

yeah yeah he knows better

61:51

um i mean so i i he

61:55

anyway i'll let scott speak to that but

61:57

that yeah his dissertation

61:59

was probably called the orthodox

62:01

corruption of scripture

62:02

and what he wanted to show was that the

62:05

early church

62:06

messed with certain texts to lean it

62:09

toward

62:10

what was going on in orthodoxy but it

62:13

and so we now know of these variants

62:16

we fight over these variants some of

62:18

them uh people would lean where bart

62:21

goes

62:21

on some of them and others they disagree

62:23

with him he he favored

62:25

whatever was the least orthodox he liked

62:28

that idea

62:29

even though he was working with a

62:31

brilliant conservative

62:32

bruce metzger who was a beautiful

62:35

scholar

62:36

wonderful godly man um so

62:40

uh i think bart has magnified this to

62:42

kind of create a conspiracy theory and

62:46

uh he kind of likes doing that and you

62:48

know he

62:49

he he's he knows what he's doing when it

62:51

comes to textual criticism he's he's

62:53

gifted at it but

62:54

i think he maximizes the the the

62:57

tensions

62:58

and the issues right and and he builds

63:00

on fear

63:01

evangelicals are you know he this

63:04

conspiracy theory

63:06

i think is exactly what he's doing but i

63:08

also think he he knows that these

63:10

differences aren't as big

63:12

as what he makes them out to i think he

63:13

was on a radio program one time i can't

63:16

cite the source here but um you know

63:18

went through his spiel and the

63:19

interviewer was like so what do you

63:20

think the original text said then

63:22

and his response was something like well

63:24

pretty much what you have there

63:26

in front of you like you would never

63:27

know that that was his opinion that's

63:29

right

63:30

you've got he interprets the new

63:32

testament on the basis of what everybody

63:34

else does

63:35

yeah so beth this conversation was

63:39

your desire your brainchild any

63:41

questions left

63:42

unasked or stones left unturned

63:46

yeah well i guess you know i just mostly

63:48

want people to know

63:49

is that our the translations you have

63:52

are very

63:52

reliable translations and i don't want

63:55

anybody to go and burn their esv

63:57

um what i want them to do is to

63:59

understand

64:00

that there are choices that translators

64:03

have made that affect

64:05

that affect stories that we are that are

64:08

culturally important and one of the

64:11

culturally important

64:12

stories right now is do women get to

64:15

preach

64:16

and so those are some our translations

64:19

um affect that even though that has

64:22

nothing to do with the gospel of jesus

64:25

so good excellent

64:29

beth ellison barr scott mcknight thank

64:31

you so much for

64:32

bringing so much clarity and just

64:34

letting us in on a rich conversation

64:37

it was fun thanks thanks for letting us

64:39

do this yeah

64:40

thank you beth yeah thanks scott thanks

64:43

for joining me for this and

64:44

i'll now now i know what to do for our

64:46

blog post so i'll be emailing you very

64:48

soon

64:49

man what a fun and kinda nerdy

64:51

conversation about bible translations i

64:54

i didn't really quite know what i was

64:56

getting into for this one i haven't

64:57

thought about bible translations for

64:59

several years

65:00

but that was a good deal of fun i'm

65:02

really glad we did it it seems like on

65:03

the surface

65:04

we're going to talk to a historian and a

65:06

new testament scholar about bible

65:07

translations that's some really

65:09

wonky stuff but i think it turned out

65:12

really awesome

65:13

i don't find that wonky at all that's

65:14

that's that's fun times right there but

65:16

hey i love wonk there's nothing wrong

65:18

with that there you go you know what it

65:20

makes me want to do

65:21

it makes me want to have a drink of

65:23

bourbon so

65:25

so one of the one of the things we do on

65:27

this podcast in case there are any new

65:28

listeners out there

65:29

is we like to feature a drink for every

65:32

episode usually whiskey but sometimes

65:34

beer

65:35

and so we've got something that we're

65:36

going to share here this is a

65:38

bourbon from kentucky as all good

65:41

bourbon

65:42

is this is called blade and bow either

65:45

have you ever heard of this

65:47

i've heard the name yeah so this is made

65:50

by the stitzel weller

65:52

distillery i'm sure you've heard of

65:54

weller at least

65:55

if not stitzel weller so this is a

65:57

solera

65:58

style bourbon which means they

66:02

take a little bit left from really old

66:04

barrels

66:05

and blend it with stuff from younger

66:08

barrels

66:09

and they they kind of keep it going uh

66:12

in the sense that like every bottle

66:13

produced has some percentage of

66:16

really old they won't tell you how old

66:18

but like really old bourbon in it

66:20

blended with some younger stuff uh to

66:22

kind of give it a complexity that you

66:24

wouldn't have from just

66:25

you know a freshly aged batch yeah i

66:27

didn't know are they doing that to keep

66:29

consistency so that they can kind of

66:31

have something that tastes similar from

66:32

batch to batch

66:33

i'm sure that's part of it and and you

66:36

know just the

66:36

prestige or sense of prestige from

66:39

having something

66:40

you know 20 some years old in it or

66:42

something like that because if you were

66:43

to just bottle that up

66:44

and sell it it would be outrageously

66:46

expensive but you can buy this for

66:48

i don't know 45 50 bucks and it has

66:50

something in there that's that's really

66:51

old back from the old days of the

66:53

stitzel weller distillery

66:54

cool so we'll find out if it's just

66:56

cooling conceptually or if it's actually

66:59

they take the idea from wine i think

67:01

some people

67:02

have been doing that in wine for a long

67:04

time so we'll see what you think of this

67:05

is the last of my bottle

67:07

i hope you enjoy it and knows

67:12

it smells more new than old to me

67:19

just to say hot like it yeah

67:22

gotta be careful how you smell this one

67:24

that's good

67:28

you should i would guess it's a lower

67:29

cut because it's not very hot

67:33

um i don't have the bottle next to me at

67:36

the moment

67:36

all right oh yeah it's uh

67:42

it's about 45 i think okay about average

67:50

yeah i agree with you there's not a lot

67:51

going on in the nose

67:54

a little a little bright i think but

67:57

on the palette i think everything

68:00

changes

68:00

it reminds me of you're gonna hate me

68:02

for saying this but it reminds me of

68:04

eagle rare

68:05

why would i hate that that's in

68:06

wonderful bourbon i don't know

68:08

people slam eagle rare but um it's very

68:11

clean

68:12

it doesn't have any to me huge

68:15

flavored profiles like it doesn't have

68:17

any overwhelming things

68:18

it just works well all together which is

68:20

fun because it comes from two

68:23

very different barrels in very different

68:25

ages but

68:26

yeah it works well you get some of the

68:29

shimmer of

68:29

like star anise or uh shimmer of star

68:32

anise elliot

68:34

that's a good band name or that should

68:35

be like the debut album of the 90s indie

68:38

rock band

68:39

if you're going to say shimmer of star

68:40

anise you might as well say shimmer of

68:41

star and nice

68:46

now i like this quite a bit i'd

68:48

forgotten that i had it

68:50

and went looking for things to taste

68:52

today and here we are yeah that's good

68:55

i don't know that it's quite worth the

68:56

price point personally i would prefer

68:58

to buy a woodford or something at this

69:00

price point oh yeah but

69:03

i will tell you i'm even though weller

69:06

has the huge following because it's so

69:08

hard to find i'm not a huge weller fan

69:10

um i might even like this better than

69:12

the regular weather

69:14

i think so this is uh this is not you

69:15

know this is not the same match built as

69:17

well or this is just made by

69:18

the same people or at least people

69:23

from what weller used to be i think and

69:26

it also has kind of a gimmick with the

69:27

bottle like the bottle comes with a key

69:29

on it and you there's like five

69:30

different keys that you can collect

69:32

i wouldn't say it lacks sweetness i

69:34

would say it lacks that like rich

69:35

caramely thing

69:36

um for me personally there's a lot of

69:39

citrusy lemon

69:40

going on there um it's good overall it's

69:44

just

69:44

again yeah it's just kind of one

69:48

one flavor profile yeah for me it's a

69:51

pretty clean pretty drinkable not very

69:55

i don't know not very complex but

69:58

feels like kind of a standard rye

70:01

forward bourbon

70:02

yeah yeah it's good if you're into that

70:05

i don't know what the mash build is but

70:07

that's what it tastes like to me

70:09

so one more time what is it this is

70:12

called blade and bow from the stitzel

70:13

weller distillery

70:14

excellent thanks for the treat

70:18

so you wouldn't say it lacks sweetness

70:20

but you would say it lacks something

70:21

almost entirely made of sugar

70:24

there's a difference between sweetness

70:25

and caramel caramelly

70:27

i feel like i so i said i said anise

70:30

and then i ding me in my sweetness note

70:33

do anything right no i mean you said

70:37

what was the phrase you said it was the

70:39

shimmer of star in

70:40

shimmer i like it i

70:44

i'm not i wasn't criticizing i was just

70:47

like it's like

70:48

when a shooting star goes by you're like

70:50

whoa yeah

70:51

it was a good tasting note that's what

70:53

happened with your with your simile

70:58

yep yep at the beginning of the episode

71:00

when scott was

71:02

going through romans 12 1 then romans 12

71:05

4 and then first first timothy whatever

71:07

it was and

71:08

when he's bouncing around bringing the

71:11

the differences

71:12

that the esv bible in particular the way

71:15

they've translated

71:16

certain words junior junius or um

71:19

servant

71:19

or uh deacon or

71:23

apostle or servant to the apostles are a

71:25

great among the apostles

71:27

it just struck me as he just kept going

71:29

i mean i'm sure he could have brought

71:30

more he knows this

71:31

yes and he didn't want to lose listeners

71:34

into the drudgery but

71:35

um it just struck me of how influential

71:39

those choices

71:40

are right like if if they're right

71:43

and i trust scott mcknight and beth

71:44

allison bar if they're right that

71:46

grudem and other esv translators had a

71:49

bit of a bias

71:50

and they even say they had a bias um

71:52

complementarian bias

71:54

it's so easy because i know so many

71:57

people

71:57

who proudly hold on to their esv bible

71:59

and when that thing came out they said

72:01

we found the net

72:02

the new best version the best

72:04

translation of the bible

72:06

and i didn't think anything of it was

72:08

like okay i don't particularly like it

72:10

but

72:10

it's fine and then all of a sudden you

72:12

start hearing about these little

72:14

tiny choices and translation that they

72:15

make and

72:17

then it starts making sense of why so

72:19

many people why

72:20

complementarianism is so rampant and why

72:22

patriarchy yeah it's just a normal thing

72:25

and we feel like it's god ordained

72:27

well when you have an agenda that wants

72:29

to make it seem like

72:31

complementarianism and patriarchy is god

72:34

ordained

72:34

you can do that because people just read

72:36

the bible and take your word for it as a

72:37

translator

72:38

without a whole lot of criticism that's

72:40

a little bit scary to me actually that

72:42

that was

72:43

that blew me away a little bit yeah

72:45

because you know it's right there in the

72:46

text

72:47

the complementarianism is baked into it

72:49

and if you don't know anything about the

72:50

history of these things

72:52

i mean a lot of christians i hope this

72:53

doesn't sound condescending but i think

72:55

it's really true

72:56

a lot of christians i don't think

72:57

realize that the text they're reading is

72:59

even translated

73:00

right you kind of grow up reading it in

73:02

english and you just assume okay that's

73:04

the bible

73:05

when people go to seminary it can be

73:07

kind of uh

73:08

startling to learn that not only was

73:10

this not written in english

73:12

it was written in languages that nobody

73:14

speaks anymore

73:15

right they're dead languages at least

73:17

than the versions that they were written

73:18

in

73:19

and so you have to rely on the expertise

73:22

of scholars who spend

73:24

their days doing what you call drudgery

73:27

right things that just seem

73:28

mind-numbingly dull pouring over these

73:30

ancient manuscripts trying to parse

73:32

you know is this that letter or that

73:34

letter and how should we translate this

73:35

here

73:36

we have to rely on their expertise to

73:37

even get the text in front of us

73:40

to begin with and that's not even

73:41

beginning yet the process

73:43

of interpreting it i mean it's it's

73:46

started to interpret it already right

73:47

because there's interpretation built

73:49

into

73:49

the translation but you know even to

73:52

just get the text in front of you where

73:53

it's accessible to any average english

73:55

speaker

73:56

all of this expertise went into that

73:59

just

73:59

you know decades and decades of

74:01

scholarship that we don't have any

74:03

access to

74:04

i remember hearing uh another textual

74:06

critic named gordon fee

74:07

say one time you know when people think

74:10

about it

74:11

uh and realize that they have to rely on

74:14

someone to even have an english text

74:17

they're not necessarily bothered by that

74:19

and yet they're very bothered by the

74:21

idea that someone would be

74:22

tampering with the interpretation of

74:24

that text not realizing that that's been

74:26

going on the whole time

74:28

like you know you you have to rely on an

74:30

expert to have the text in the first

74:31

place

74:32

what would ever lead us to the idea that

74:33

we don't also have to rely on an expert

74:35

to tell us what it means

74:37

this is this is something that a lot of

74:40

evangelicals a lot of protestants are

74:41

very uncomfortable with

74:43

and so one of the things i loved about

74:44

what scott was saying there is that no i

74:47

mean there's

74:47

there's some hard stuff in there it's

74:49

not easy to understand it's not the sort

74:50

of thing that the average here at the

74:52

time would have even understood

74:54

it requires knowledge that most of us

74:56

don't possess to

74:57

to read this thing well that's often

75:00

where it's been for me is i recognize

75:02

that it was translated

75:04

but it's been translated by experts and

75:05

i'm not an expert so who am i to

75:07

question

75:08

and really it starts at a very basic

75:09

like my my pastor who says that this

75:11

is the translation i should be reading

75:14

or certainly the biblical scholars who

75:16

did this translation i just uh it's it's

75:19

i've often kind of separated myself from

75:21

that responsibility because like i

75:22

am not qualified at all to do what they

75:24

obviously put in the work to do

75:27

yeah yeah i mean that that story of

75:31

of scott being in the car with piper and

75:33

grudem when they got the rights to the

75:35

rsvp with grudom yeah

75:37

um that first of all that's just

75:39

incredible that he was in the same car

75:41

but

75:41

um it's my it's a thing that ticks me

75:44

off about this

75:45

a little bit since reading beth ellison

75:47

barr's book

75:48

um and in this conversation this this

75:50

rub that some christians will give to

75:53

saying i mean the whole esv bible was

75:54

written as a response to the tniv and

75:56

the gender inclusive nature of

75:58

uh the translation and saying ah the

76:01

bible's not gender inclusive you know

76:03

it just blows me away that some people

76:06

in 2021

76:08

in america are willing to get cranky and

76:10

angry

76:11

about somebody putting a brothers and

76:14

sisters instead of just brothers

76:16

that just blows me away i mean it

76:19

honestly

76:20

it makes sense of the statistics

76:23

it to me that those kind of

76:26

silly straw man arguments about

76:30

you can't have brothers and sisters in

76:31

there it's got to be brothers because

76:32

that's the way paul said or whatever

76:34

it just tells me of course younger

76:36

people are walking away from this

76:37

from the christianity of course like who

76:40

who wants to read an ancient text that's

76:42

only written to a roughly 50

76:44

of the their readers because they're

76:47

male

76:47

like if where's that stuck in the mud

76:50

that we can't put

76:51

ancestors in there and we think that

76:52

that's sacrilege and that needs to be

76:54

completely put put a lid on that's

76:57

that's the kind of thing that irrelevant

76:59

people groups talk about and argue about

77:01

to be honest

77:02

with you yeah of course you know their

77:04

their rejoinder to that would be

77:05

well if we if we let in that kind of

77:08

liberal bias there

77:09

uh then we're going to end up letting it

77:12

in somewhere else and

77:13

you know where does it stop it's this

77:14

slippery slope kind of thing before you

77:16

know it feminism has taken over

77:17

christianity and we've lost the

77:18

essence of paulie in theology or

77:20

something like that you know trying to

77:21

think like

77:22

you know somebody like gruden would

77:23

think of course

77:25

people like scott and other new

77:27

testament scholars

77:29

have made the case convincingly that

77:32

many of those decisions like people you

77:34

know on the board of the

77:35

tniv made to to include gender neutral

77:38

language it's

77:39

it's not uh less faithful to the text

77:41

it's more often than not more faithful

77:43

to the text

77:44

but but that's goes back to my point

77:46

which was

77:48

deciding whether or not it is more

77:50

faithful to the text is not the job of

77:51

the average reader of the bible

77:53

it's not my job it's not your job it's

77:55

the job of people with phds right

77:58

and the people with phds have formed a

78:00

consensus

78:01

this is something that scott was

78:03

pointing to of what

78:05

the overwhelming majority of the text

78:07

says

78:08

and that consensus supports you know all

78:11

the standard translations including to a

78:13

great

78:14

degree the esv with minor changes here

78:17

and there that are often motivated by

78:20

identifiable kinds of agendas

78:24

and so you know my job as a non-expert

78:26

reader

78:27

is to look at the consensus of the

78:30

experts

78:30

see what they have agreed is the most

78:33

you know reliable

78:34

representation of this text and to

78:37

approach

78:38

places where they disagree with a little

78:41

bit of humility

78:42

and and say okay they don't even know

78:45

for sure

78:46

they haven't formed a consensus about

78:48

that part and so i'm not going to either

78:50

and this this goes back to what you know

78:52

pete ends goes on about all the time

78:54

we're going to have him on the show soon

78:56

which is let the bible be the bible let

78:59

it be an ancient text let it be what it

79:00

is let it be

79:02

difficult i love that scott said

79:05

i think you know my job as a translator

79:08

is partially

79:09

to make the texting foreign because it

79:11

is yeah right

79:12

that was interesting but it really

79:14

appeals to the kierkegaard in me

79:16

uh our job as scholars our job as

79:20

theologians our job as pastors even

79:22

is not to make this thing easier it's to

79:25

represent

79:26

christ or in this case to represent the

79:28

textual history of this book that's

79:30

about christ

79:31

um so yeah yeah i like that idea it's a

79:35

not what you would hear every day and

79:37

it's not necessarily comforting but

79:38

yeah and i i do want to also say you

79:40

know sometimes i've heard that these

79:42

conversations can be

79:43

a little bit uh deflating for

79:47

that that's this is a terrible thing to

79:49

say but the average christian

79:50

you know the average on seminarians um

79:54

christian who's just trying to do about

79:55

study read the bible like well i can't

79:57

read the bible on my own

79:58

first of all you can like you there is

80:01

beauty

80:02

in a you know reading of the scriptures

80:04

there is

80:05

the holy spirit who um i think is

80:07

inspiring i think this idea of

80:09

inspiration of scripture is an

80:11

ongoing active thing um that the holy

80:13

spirit is inspiring us in the moment all

80:14

the time but

80:16

also there are so many tools right now

80:18

if you are doing a bible study

80:21

you should be getting a commentary or

80:24

two

80:24

to really see what the experts are

80:25

saying because there are so many

80:27

resources out there right now

80:28

that any of us can open up a commentary

80:30

do a little reflection and say wow yeah

80:32

this is what some experts think and this

80:34

is what other experts think and this is

80:36

when when experts say i don't know those

80:38

are the ones that i trust

80:39

really to be honest with you but i just

80:41

want to say there are when they tell you

80:43

what other experts who disagree with

80:44

them have said

80:45

right that's a mark of truth you can

80:48

as i study the scholars you know for my

80:50

sermons none of my stuff is original

80:53

it's all based on what scholars have

80:54

said and experts have said and that

80:56

because i know i'm not an expert

80:57

but i can tell the good experts it's the

81:00

ones who

81:01

who lay all the arguments out and then

81:04

say here's what i

81:05

humbly say here's what i think or in

81:07

some cases say

81:08

no one knows but here's the best guess

81:10

here's the best argument

81:12

that's a good expert that's a good

81:13

scholar right there

81:15

yeah yeah i had a thought what was it

81:19

damn i lost it

81:23

what's interesting as well something

81:24

that struck me is as scott was talking

81:27

through

81:28

all these levels this complexities of

81:30

biblical translation

81:31

as he was talking he was almost making

81:34

almost convincing me

81:36

that this translation process of the

81:38

bible makes it so that it's unreliable

81:40

like as he was talking i was like wow it

81:42

almost seems like you're making a case

81:43

that

81:44

the bible really shouldn't be held as

81:46

authoritative or

81:47

reliable but then he kept talking and he

81:50

almost

81:50

went the other way where all of a sudden

81:51

he starts talking about thousands and

81:53

then he said twenty thousand

81:54

thirty thousand manuscripts that we have

81:56

and almost all of them agree and there's

81:58

just these tiny

81:59

little bit of words that they don't

82:00

agree on and that's where the arguments

82:02

happen because

82:03

as he brought us deeper into the world

82:05

then all of a sudden it felt like oh wow

82:06

this is this is a reliable process

82:08

that's trustworthy and we

82:10

that doesn't sound crazy it doesn't

82:12

sound completely agenda based that was

82:14

pretty fun yeah it's nice to be reminded

82:16

of that i mean you can kind of

82:18

get lost in the deconstruction weed

82:20

sometimes and forget that you know we

82:22

we have really good reason to think that

82:24

the text in front of us is the text that

82:26

was written

82:26

and that it attests to a real historical

82:29

person

82:30

and to you know the genuine testimony of

82:32

people who are

82:33

interacting with that person that's it's

82:35

nice to hear it's nice to be reminded of

82:37

that um

82:38

yeah to the person who wonders well

82:41

can't i just have

82:43

a simple bible study why does this have

82:45

to be so difficult that you

82:46

referenced yeah on the one hand you can

82:50

right and there's lots of good

82:51

translations you could use they named

82:53

several of them

82:54

in the interview there's lots of good

82:56

commentaries intended to be accessible

82:58

that you could use

82:59

but i also i think i wouldn't be

83:01

fulfilling my role as the resident

83:02

liberal if i didn't point out

83:04

that maybe we don't need that many bible

83:06

studies maybe it wouldn't be such a bad

83:08

thing if there were fewer protestant

83:10

bible studies

83:11

right uh if if at the end of the day we

83:13

decided

83:14

huh maybe i don't have access to the

83:16

amount of information that i need to

83:17

have

83:18

to to do the kind of thing i wanted to

83:20

do to this text

83:21

maybe i should just decide to not do it

83:23

and to

83:24

approach the text in a different way

83:27

interesting

83:28

okay so what's the different way so well

83:31

just to spin on that maybe

83:33

maybe it's not ultimately about

83:35

understanding this text and discussing

83:37

it as deeply as we possibly can

83:39

exactly living room setting yeah maybe

83:41

it's about applying the pieces that we

83:43

understand

83:44

and actually getting getting out and and

83:47

out of our

83:48

groups out of our cliques yeah there are

83:50

many many uses of scripture perhaps this

83:53

is something

83:53

we should have somebody on to talk about

83:55

specifically uh

83:57

the standard protestant evangelical use

83:59

of scripture that occurs

84:00

in a bible study the kind of bible study

84:03

that i

84:03

grew up in and that you probably grew up

84:05

in is one use of scripture and it tends

84:08

to have some pretty narrowly defined

84:09

aims

84:10

and i want to put forth that perhaps it

84:13

is not

84:14

the best use of scripture and perhaps

84:15

it's not uh the most humble use of

84:17

scripture

84:18

they're much more ancient uses what it

84:20

means to me

84:22

exactly right where we where we sit

84:24

around and we decide what it means

84:25

together

84:26

um yeah i'm not going to say there's no

84:28

value in that i think sometimes there is

84:30

with the proper

84:31

strictures in place but there are much

84:33

more ancient

84:34

and much more liturgical uses of

84:36

scripture that

84:37

you you don't need the kind of expertise

84:39

to to perform those practices

84:42

that you that you kind of force yourself

84:44

to need when you do this evangelical

84:46

bible study thing

84:47

oh man one of my favorite things to do

84:50

in college was to bring the big

84:52

beautiful insight on the scripture

84:53

the bible study and have the eyes go

84:56

wide open

84:57

i'm pretty sure i got a girlfriend that

84:58

way yeah layoff right yeah

85:00

did you know that you know this greek

85:03

word in

85:03

context meant this thing yeah give me

85:06

let me give you one quick example

85:07

just very simple is the ancient lectio

85:10

divina practice

85:11

right you don't need to know anything

85:12

about original languages or the

85:14

historical critical method or

85:16

any of the debates amongst experts about

85:18

you know where this text type came from

85:19

and which one's more reliable

85:21

you just look at the phrase and you

85:22

contemplate the phrase

85:25

yeah and you try to meet jesus in the

85:26

phrase that's a use of scripture that's

85:29

ancient that

85:29

many christians have found value in that

85:32

doesn't require any kind of

85:34

expertise and there's no like gotcha

85:37

moments

85:38

in that process right yep i would

85:41

highly recommend if you're thinking

85:43

about studying about starting a bible

85:44

study

85:45

lectio divina is your method of of

85:47

getting your way through it

85:49

or at least a supplemental way highly

85:51

recommend

85:53

uh let's let's land this puppy huh yep

85:58

i thought i wish we could have ended it

86:00

when we were saying how

86:01

it is encouraging that how this process

86:04

actually is fairly reliable

86:06

um we never we don't usually well

86:09

it's just good to end on a positive note

86:11

how do we spin that yeah sorry that i um

86:13

had to on that

86:17

we could we could look at reordering

86:18

this too

86:20

do you agree that that no no i'm kind of

86:22

i'm kind of insistent that the

86:24

critical comment follows that positive

86:25

encouragement

86:28

it is my role to on i know that

86:30

would podcast entirely wouldn't it

86:34

yeah well maybe we don't have to try to

86:36

spin it we just end it

86:38

[Music]

86:40

well i'm so grateful we had this time

86:41

with beth allison barr and

86:43

scott mcknight two experts talking about

86:46

biblical translation i mean that's just

86:48

good bible geek stuff

86:49

and it's spaces that we love to hold on

86:51

this podcast so if this is

86:53

your first time you listened welcome to

86:55

the community we hope you uh check out

86:57

their interviews that we did just with

86:59

scott and his daughter laura or with

87:02

allison barr and many other uh episodes

87:05

and interviews

87:06

and we've had a lot of fun coming up

87:07

this is our last episode of season one

87:10

of a pastor and a philosopher walking to

87:11

a bar coming up in season two there's

87:13

gonna be no break don't worry about it

87:15

but coming up we're gonna have some fun

87:16

interviews we're going to start out with

87:18

pete ends

87:19

which i'm super excited about and we're

87:21

going to talk about all sorts of

87:23

fascinating things that all of us think

87:26

about whether it be

87:27

the end of reason and the beginning of

87:29

faith and thinking like

87:31

kierkegaard whether it be talking about

87:33

reparations in race

87:35

and racism in america or lgbtq issues or

87:39

all sorts of things abuse in the church

87:41

we're excited to hold the space with you

87:43

it's a privilege for us to be just

87:46

present with you

87:46

and voices in your journey and we'd love

87:49

to hear back from you as well so

87:50

yeah here's to season two

87:58

cheers

88:02

[Music]