Most Bible readers oppose gender-neutral translationscomment (0)
October 13, 2011
NASHVILLE — American Bible readers overwhelmingly oppose gender-neutral translations of the Bible, according to a new study by LifeWay Research.
Eighty-two percent of participants in a study released Oct. 1 said verses in biblical Hebrew and Greek that use masculine words like “man” to describe people in general ought to be translated literally instead of with gender-inclusive terms like “humankind” or “person.”
Just 12 percent preferred a gender-inclusive translation, and six percent were unsure.
Opposition rose to 89 percent when making gender-inclusive references to God. Two thirds (68 percent) said they strongly oppose translating references in Greek and Hebrew to God as “father” with gender-inclusive terms such as “parent.”
The study found that readers in general prefer word-for-word Bible translations over those in which translators attempt to reproduce the intent of the original thought rather than translating the exact word.
Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, noted that Bible sales do not necessarily follow those preferences. The best-selling Bible translation is the New International Version, which uses a method called “dynamic equivalence,” where a word or phrase that literally says one thing but functionally means something else is translated to convey the original meaning to the modern reader.