Vol. 2 Num. 4
Where does GWTW stand in the gender-accurate translation of the Bible? Or, is it gender-inclusive? Or, is it gender-neutral? If we maintain the position of gender-accurate, then we side with the original intent of the text. When a word translates as “man,” yet it clearly means “mankind;” we believe in specifying the word that brings clarity. For instance, in Genesis 1:26, which reads “Let us make man (adam) in our image. . .” In the beginning, the name Adam belonged as much to the female as to the male. (See also Genesis 5:2). In the beginning, God created male and female in one person thereby bringing forth a perfect equality of the sexes. And this point is clearer when mankind is used rather than man.
We have no axe to grind. The cries of those whose voices have risen against a more gender-accurate translation would have us believe that they desire to keep the “purity” of the scriptures. A gender-accurate translation would aim for just that—purity—of the original intent. Whenever controversy over the Word occurs, it calls for each one of us to approach the Word with fresh inquiry. A New Testament example is Luke 17:3 (NIV)—“If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” What if a woman sins? Is she immune to rebuke and repentance? No! In Today’s New International Version, (TNIV) the more gender-accurate change reads: “If any brother or sister sins against you; rebuke the offender; and if they repent, forgive them.”
Also, it needs to be said that we do not support any translation that would strip God of his masculinity. He will always be a “He,” never a “she.” Like the text above where the reference is to people or humans, a text cannot remain gender-accurate by using words pointing to only the male gender when both are intended.
If someone is not familiar with the Bible and does not know that most masculine forms are really inclusive, it can be terribly misleading. It is particularly important in the scriptures that deal with salvation. For example: 1 Tim 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of truth. An inclusive version would make this everyone or all people. Isn’t this much easier for people to understand?
What comes to light in this debate is the patriarchal view. Although it subtly hides in so many translations, it is exposed for all to see. Hence, the controversy explodes. As defenders of the faith, can we not strongly insist that translators cling to the accuracy of the Word?
We want to call your attention to some new articles that have recently been put up on the website. You can always find the latest by clicking on “What’s New” found at the top of each page.
British Women Speak Out on the Status of Women in the Church by Sue Halliday, Margaret Craig, Angela Lucas Denise Wherrett and Lesley Watson - Barbara Collins, Editor Five British women were asked to give their views on the attitude of the church in England toward women. How this attitude is reflected in their treatment, recognition of their giftings, and types of leadership roles allowed is examined. One woman, who grew up in England and presently lives in the United States, was asked to make a comparison between the two.
Hagar by Mary Dunham-Faulkner is a vignette on Hagar, the Egyptian servant of Sarah, mother of Ishmael the son of Abraham. Mary is the founder of Leah's Sisters a ministry to women around the world
Jesus, the young man, accompanied His parents along the dusty road to Jerusalem, heading to the Temple. In the midst of the noisy throng, His listening ear was attuned to His heavenly Father's voice. Running ahead of them and the multitude, Jesus' disturbed parents found him in the temple and heard Him speak these first recorded words, "Did you not know I must be about My Father's business?”[i] These are the first recorded words of our Lord. At so early an age, Jesus knew His purpose for being here. The urgency within Him led Him to run ahead of His earthly parents to be about His Father’s business. Again and again, He recounted as He entered ministry that He had come down from heaven, not to do His own will but to do the will of the Father who sent Him.
When Satan came before God asking permission to tempt Job, God asked Satan where he had come from; and his response was, “I’ve been wandering to and fro over the face of the earth.” What was his purpose, his business? The deceiving of many! What a sharp contrast to our Lord’s zeal in going about His Father’s business of proclaiming the Good News of redemption. Satan wandered; Jesus was led by the Spirit. Now in these last days, we see the prophetic words from the book of Daniel coming to pass; for we read,
“… many shall run to fro and search anxiously (through the Book) and knowledge (of God’s purposes as revealed by His prophets) shall be increased and become great.” [ii] All God’s purposes are centered in His Son and His everlasting kingdom. Indeed, as heirs to His kingdom, our purposes must be focused on the culmination of God’s final objective to gather a multitude to Himself whom no man can number.
An Old Testament prophet, named Habakkuk, sometimes called “God’s evangelist,” was told by the Lord, “but (the time is coming when) the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”[iii] Habakkuk was told to run with the vision God had given him.
Women must not wait for positions of ministry to open but should allow their passion for ministry to propel them toward lost souls. This is a challenge to women who long to be about their Father’s business, running with the vision they’ve received. It’s not position at stake but lost souls. All around us people are perishing who have never heard the Gospel. As servants in the Lord’s vineyard, we are not free to pick and choose where we serve. It we are listening for His voice above the crowds, the call is clear and we must respond with willing hearts.
About a year and a half ago, our small cell group of ladies was presented the local need for volunteers to serve at the Texas Youth Correctional Facility in the girl’s wing. Two of us (I was one!) said, “ I don’t ‘feel’ any ‘call’ to go out there. Pat Joyce, the webmaster of God’s Word to Women, said, “Wait a minute, we need to pray about this.” The Holy Spirit sent His quickening arrow into my heart! My immediate and repentant response was, “Lord, I don’t have to pray over this need. You’ve already spoken to all Your people that we are to go and tell.” Isaiah heard the call, “Whom shall I send and who will go for Us?”[iv] I cannot tell you how thrilled we are to experience such pure joy in serving! Never would we have chosen such a ministry, but He led us into it. We will sing His praises forever for granting us the privilege of throwing out a lifeline to those lost girls. “I was sick and in prison and you visited Me.”[v]
Golden opportunities of service are missed as we continue to look for what we might “like to do!” God forgive us for being slothful laborers, telling Him day after day we will go and then failing to obey. A piercing word spoken by our Lord commanding His servants to “occupy til I come,” [vi] convicts and compels us to be about our Father’s business. The word “occupy” means to “engage in business.” Our Lord spoke of food that satisfied, “My food is to do the will of Him that sent Me and to finish His work.”[vii] Doing the Father’s business is food that satisfies the hunger in our souls.
Just what did Jesus refer to when He spoke of His Father’s business? The number one priority was to seek and save the lost and make disciples. Overflowing beyond these priorities is the care of widows, orphans, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, and visiting those in prison. The list continues, and the page could be filled with enumerating all that would categorize the subject. A grievous thing could happen at the correctional unit here as they are considering moving younger children in because the state cannot find enough foster homes or orphanages to accommodate them! We are also praying about a halfway house for the girls who have no safe home or environment when they leave the correctional unit. Even if this desire comes to pass, the young children are still in need. “The fields are white….”
A friend shared recently of attending a college reunion and discovering that most all her classmates were involved in nothing of lasting value. Spending their time at bridge clubs and in entertainment circles, they were caught up in the cares of the world, forgetting that one day we will all give an account of how we spent our time. Only what’s done for Christ will last and stand the test of fire. A lot of wood, hay and stubble will make an enormous bonfire![viii]
A pastor reminded us this past week that desire for something is a burning deep within us and differs greatly from mere want. May He light the flame of His zeal deep within us, so we are moved by His Spirit to finish the Father’s business we’ve been given to do. Let us not despise the small things. The widow at Zarepheth gave her little and her last and witnessed the multiplication of God’s provision not only for herself and her son, but also for a prophet of God.[ix] The fire of God might be spoken of as the zeal of the Lord of Hosts, which our Lord said consumed Him. His mission was completed as He hung upon the cross and whispered those last words, “It is finished.”[x]
The last appearance of the Shulamite maiden (portraying the Bride of Christ) shows her going into the field with Him.[xi] I remember a song entitled “Speak, My Lord,” which made a deep impression upon me as a young girl. The Lord recalled some of its words:
the Lord of Harvest sweetly calling
“Speak, my Lord, speak my Lord
May the Spirit of God rekindle the spark in our hearts and set them ablaze to be about our Father’s business.