Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Controversial Romans Manuscript

Finally, some Textual-Critical evidence for gender neutral language.

In addition to the reasons cited by the author of this article, I found that the manuscript was unique in several facets of its orthography including the use of an Athenian/Pre-Imperial script, the dots, and the fact that it was typed. ;^)


  1. I am having some difficulty finding anything on R221819 other than the brief notice on this link. Is their a different name for R221819? Does the ms. exist or is this a urban myth?

  2. It is clearly a way of referring to Revelation 22.18-19 and the idea that producing a gender neutral translation is somehow either adding to or taking away from Scripture.

    Pity he didn't get to Rom 8.16-17 which does use TEKNA.

  3. Thanks Peter,

    So the whole thing is a joke, right? It is hard to know with web sites like this if the guy is just really misinformed or making a lame attempt at farce.
    The alleged quote from Kenneth Barker causes a problem as well.

  4. C. Stirling Bartholomew wrote 'It is hard to know with web sites like this if the guy is just really misinformed or making a lame attempt at farce.'

    Come on, don't call this a 'lame attempt' just because you started trying to find something on this MS in all sincerity. Relax and enjoy, even if it is not your type of humour.

  5. PH: "Pity he didn't get to Rom 8.16-17 which does use TEKNA."

    You have probably noticed this, but the picture of the supposed manuscript has τεκνοθεσίας for υἱοθεσίας in Rom. 8:15.

  6. It appears that one of the connections made requires explanation.

    The terminology of "inclusive" and "exclusive" language is loaded language; the mirror image of such terminology would be to say that the first is "belabored inclusive language" and the second is "naturally inclusive language."

    What's at stake may not be whether language includes--it is noteworthy how hard some feminists work to make "exclusive" language be exclusive; it's not enough to cite an author's sexist use of "he" but necessary to change it to "he [sic]" perhaps because exclusive language isn't the exclusive language some people need it to be. Perhaps what is at stake is not whether language includes but what the terms of inclusion are and whether they include on a feminist or traditional model. And perhaps there is a continuity between the recognized inclusive nature of the Greek text and what is the original inclusive language, even if the original inclusive language is not called such by those pushing to switch to inclusive language.

    There was one group of people trying to make as inclusive a Bible translation as they could, cited by the author of Politically Correct Bedtime Stories in a speech I heard. "Inclusive" was much more than gender inclusiveness--Jesus healed not "the leprous" or "lepers" but "those learning to live with leprosys--but it was gender inclusiveness, and everything but one book was translated as inclusively as possible. The one exception was given a preface saying that there were classical mythical images which did not need to be made inclusive. (Incidentally, this was the only book to contain the words, "If anyone take anything away from the words of this book, God will take away his share of the tree of life, and if anyone adds anything to this book, God will add to him all the plagues in this book.")

    It appears that people who should have been the most convinced that inclusive language is neither more nor less than the intent of the original were not fully convinced their project was merely a faithful expression of the original. And perhaps this isn't just an issue surrounding vertically inclusive language. It's a shift of content, pushed for by people trying to shift content, even if the New Testament uses tekna alongside uios.

    By the way, you might be interested in other things I've written, as the piece under discussion isn't the only thing on my website.

    P.S. I'm sorry if my humor was confusing; I thought that there were several things that would give it away, not just the computer font.

  7. Thanks Jonathan,

    You wrote:

    "P.S. I'm sorry if my humor was confusing; I thought that there were several things that would give it away, not just the computer font."

    The font is no problem if you assume you are looking at a transcription.

    First I will make a confession. I didn't read the article, I scanned forward to the manuscript designator and then went off to find an authoritative treatment of it. I made an instantaneous judgment about the quality of the information in the article and went looking for something else.

    This morning while I was looking for images of Jackson Pollock paintings I landed at a perfectly serious web site which had displayed a drip painting by Pollock claiming that it was painted in 1980. No satire, no sarcasm, just a wonderful illustration of what we all know about information quality on most web sites. Pollock died in 1956.

    What about the quote from Kenneth Barker? Is it common practice to put fictional words in a direct quote from a scholar? That issue more than any other cause me to rule out the idea that this was a prank posting.

    I am a little short of sleep this week so I will need to read your explanation sometime later with a clear head. I like satire and I am no friend of language revisionists.