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Bible Gateway and The Gospel Coalition have teamed up to host a discussion of English Bible translation. We have convened a team of world-class scholars representing different versions of the English Bible who will address specific passages from the Old and New Testaments and answer questions about the translation process.

We hope that by pulling back the curtain on translation, this discussion will help readers understand their Bibles more clearly and learn to love God's Word more deeply. And we pray that careful attention to Scripture will excite readers to behold God's glory as he has revealed himself to us in our own language.

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How Do We Describe the Authority Paul Does Not Permit for Women in 1 Tim. 2:12? Douglas J. Moo

Posted in New Testament by Douglas J. Moo on November 16th, 2010

Question: What’s the best way to describe the authority problem for women that Paul identifies in 1 Timothy 2:12?

As one of the NIV translators, let me just make four comments. First, there is so much uncertainty about this key word that the accusation of “mistranslation” is simply not fair. Second, the rendering “assume authority” was actually taken from Bill Mounce’s commentary on the Pastorals; and Bill, as you will know, is a complementarian. Third, the footnotes were dropped in the updated NIV simply because the translators believed that “assume authority” could be taken in either direction. We often use this phrase in a neutral way (e.g., “When will the new President assume authority”?). Four, it is our intent to provide a translation that is faithful to the text, bowing to no particular theological agenda (in this case, neither “egalitarian” or “complementarian”). Our rendering of 1 Tim. 2:12 was sincerely intended as our best effort at rendering this very obscure word in a way that would not be driven by either theological agenda.

Douglas J. Moo is Blachard Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and chair of the Committee on Bible Translation.

This entry was posted by Douglas J. Moo and is filed under New Testament.