My problems in the NSRV Bible are covered in this 5 part series. In my last post, I mentioned John 3:22 as a verse that is mistranslated in the NRSV, leading to problems; but the problems of interpretation are not that enormous there. The translators simply removed an internal inconsistency by the way they mistranslated the verse. This second problem, the subject of this post, is more severe. A mistranslation has completely altered the meaning of a passage; it is the result of a very good motive – to make the translation gender-inclusive. But motive has led to a very bad result in this case.
The Problems with the NSRV Bible: Gender
The policy of the NRSV Bible was to render gender-neutral statements in a gender-neutral way. If a passage refers to humans in general, then it does not make sense to translate it as referring only to “men” (or only to “women” for that matter). So instead of “man” the translators chose to use “person” or “human” or – if the mortality of people is the issue – “mortals” or … whatever; instead of “men” they used “people,” “humans,” etc. That’s fine and works well in most cases.
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