Friday, November 04, 2011

Analyzing Six Bible Translations: Part 32-1 Timothy 2:12

1 Timothy 2:12

ESV I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
NIV84 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
NIV I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[a] she must be quiet.
HCSB I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent.
NASB But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
NET But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet.

Check a: “exercise” or “assume” authority
                The majority of translations render authentein as “exercise” or “have” authority. The NIV has “assume authority.” While Baldwin’s chapter in Women in the Church lists “assume authority” as an option, the first occurrence is in 390 A.D. While “exercise/have authority” is not explicitly listed in the chart, Baldwin defines 2a. (“to compel, to influence someone/something”) as “to seek to exercise authority.” “Assume authority” is an unfortunate translation. I believe that it may be an attempt to translate the passage ambiguously, since the word “assume” can be taken in different ways (an appropriate or inappropriate taking of authority), but in my unscientific polling of about 20 people, EVERYONE thought that the translation of the NIV referred to an inappropriate taking of authority. It is made worse by the footnote which says that “a man” may refer to “her husband,” another exegetical decision not justified by the context.

Part 2 running totals:

ESV
NIV84
NIV
HCSB
NASB
NET
Josh 15:18
1
1
1
1
-1
1
2 Sam 20:20
1
1
1
1
1
-1
Isa 6:5
1
1
1
1
1
-1
Isa 7:14
1
1
-1
1
1
-1
Ezek 21:7
1
1
1
1
1
-1
Mal 2:16
1
-1
1
1
-1
0
Telling Time
0
1
1
1
0
1
Negative Particles
0
1
1
1
1
1
Textual Variants
1
1
0
-1
0
1
Matt 6:13
-1
1
1
1
-1
1
“the Jews” in FG
-1
0
1
0
-1
1
“signs” in FG
1
-1
1
1
1
-1
Gender issues
0
-1
1
1
-1
1
Matt 13:32
1
-1
1
1
-1
1
John 1:5
1
-1
1
1
-1
1
John 3:3
0
0
0
0
0
1
John 3:16a
0
0
0
1
0
1
John 3:16b
-1
1
1
1
-1
1
John 3:16c
0
-1
1
0
-1
1
Romans 3:22
1
1
1
1
1
-1
Romans 16:7
1
-1
-1
1
-1
1
2 Cor 11:25
0
0
1
1
0
1
Gal 3:28
1
1
-1
-1
-1
-1
1 Tim 2:12
1
1
-1
1
1
1
TOTALS
11
6
13
17
-3
9

2 comments:

Sandy Grant said...

David, I agree that NIV11 gets a minus 1 on this. I think it is an inferior translation.

But I don't think it is a categorically wrong or incorrect translation. The evidence (very limited in the case of the authentein word itself) is not sufficiently strong for that.

So thus far, personally, I am not ready to accept the arguments of those who claim the translation of 1 Tim 2:12 in NIV11 alone is sufficient to see it rejected.

Once again, I blogged on this and the wider gender issue here.

David Croteau said...

Sandy,
I read your blog post. Some helpful thoughts! I don't want to comment too much on my specific thoughts on 1 Tim 2:12 for reasons I can't go into right now. I will say that re-re-reading Baldwin's chapter lead me to like NIV11's translation less and less. More work is being done on this verse/word/issue.
Dave