Monday, November 12, 2007

New Bibles

I'd like to draw attention to two new bibles out on the market.

The first is the NET Bible Compact Edition, which is essentially the NET bible text with abridged notes and some nice extras. Its great to see the NET bible slowly maturing into a premium product.

The second somewhat more news-worthy bible is the Gay And Lesbian Study Bible, translated and edited by Dr Ann Nyland, and based on her previously released Source translation. If you want to jump into a discussion on this bible, you'll find one over at Better Bibles.


Revolutionary said...

What versions do you use most Alistair?

Alastair said...

I'm a NET bible fan myself! Have been for the last five years. If you are serious about studying scripture, I recommend you get yourself a copy. I am not familiar with the Source translation, so cannot comment on it.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I have to say that the NET Bible has a few rather odd translations and vey offbeat, It does not feel any need to abide by consensus. Look at

a) Gen. 3:16 Odd that up until the reformation and continuing for the 16th century for some, all Bibles said that the curse was that women would be put under submission to man. Then came "desire", and now "control". The curse of woman is that she wants a little control! It is peculiar.

b)1 Tim. 2:15 how often do we think of childbirth as submission to man. Here is another opportunity. The NET Bible provides many of these opportunities.

c) Rom. 16:7. Roundly trounced by many, the NET Bible will not give up. Junia is only "well-known" to the apostles based on evidence we now know is out of date (actually never existed). They did not use the NETS translation for the Psalms of Solomon quote in the notes.

d) Joel 2:28 is pretty odd. Has the NET Bible changed it so that God's spirit is poured out on all "kinds of people" but not on all people?

It is a very arbitrary sort of Bible. It would probably be at the bottom of any list I made. I'm sorry about that. I wish I could like it - it is a great concept.

Alastair said...

Hi Suzanne,

Thanks for your comment. I have to admit I am somewhat surprised at your negative reaction to the NET Bible. I know its a little inconsistent with regards to following scholarship, but I am still impressed by their determination to stay true to the text, certainly leaves my NIV in the dust as far as I am concerned.

a) I assume you have read the NET study notes on this verse, but feel it doesn't justify the translation? How would you translate this?

b) I'm not up to speed on the debate here - can you give further detail?

c) I've followed this one on Better Bibles so I'm with you here. I'm hoping (against the odds?) this will be changed in the next revision of the text...hasn't Wallace been contacted regarding this?

d) Has God's spirit actually been poured out on everyone? I thought this was an insightful translation. Pentecost saw the spirit poured our on all kinds of people, but surely not all the people in the world.

I appreciate your honest views. Which bible do you recommend? TNIV? I certainly think NET is streets ahead of NIV, RSV, ESV, and HCSB.

Suzanne McCarthy said...


a)Up until the 16th century it was translated as "she will submit to her husband" - that is her curse. IMO the disagreements between camps on this verse are so vast that you might as well put asterisks in and admit that it could mean anything, but something that fits the context.

Interesting that this verse is used as evidence for at least 18 centuries to prove that submission is because of the fall, and now for 30 years that submission preceded the fall. There were a few intervening years where it was used to prove that women were oversexed. :-)

b)"The idea of childbearing, then, is a metonymy of part for the whole that encompasses the woman’s submission again to the leadership of the man, though it has no specific soteriological import (but it certainly would have to do with the outworking of redemption)." NET Bible

What man thought up that note? Would a woman think that if she couldn't have children she could at least experience the outworking of her redemption through submission to the male? No, she would think about being another Amy Carmichale or some other famous woman missionary who cared for a great many people. She would not think that she would have the same experience by submitting to a male.

c) Wallace knows very well it is contested but he "doesn't have time" to deal with it. Michael Burer is designated to respond. He said a year ago that he would write an article in response. He has not contacted me since.

d) I don't know for sure but it is not literal so maybe adding these words would be better in the notes, because someone could build a theology on tiny details.

Overall language:

Psalm 68:

68:11 The Lord speaks;many, many women spread the good news.

68:12 Kings leading armies run away – they run away!26

The lovely lady of the house divides up the loot.

This sounds very awkward to me and not very poetic.

Psalm 91:1 As for you, the one who lives2 in the shelter of the sovereign One,3

and resides in the protective shadow of the mighty king5 –

Lacks rhythm and adds too many words.

Actually I am disgusted that Dan Wallace calls men "leaders" and women "responders". Where does the Bible say that woman exist for the purpose of responding to men? I wish someone would hire a psychologist for some of these theologians.

Too bad, because the text critical notes are great in the NET. However, I don't like the language and I don't want to be reminded when I read the Bible that there are men with the views found in the article I reference.

I like TEV,(Good News Bible) CEV and TNIV for more casual versions, and the NRSV for a formal version and the KJV for reference. It is still has the fewest words added of any Bible.

Alastair said...

Thanks for clarifying your comments, Suzanne. I know what you are saying about the stiffness of some of the OT text. I think it could do with a thorough revision!

Just for the record, I believe both men and women can find themselves in positions of leading and responding :-)

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I realize that there are some attractive things about the NET Bible. I use the online one a fair bit, especially the NEXT environment. But I do find the language odd, and I don't like to be reminded about the translators' views on women as I read.

I know lots of people like the NET Bible who don't agree with Wallace's views on women, so I wasn't making any assumptions here. :-)

Personally it is just too much for me. That's my thing.

Alastair said...

Cool...I appreciate your honesty. This is a blog (unlike some!) where I encourage a diversity of opinion, so you are most welcome to share your views. Thanks for dropping by!