Need a Good Laugh?, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement

Smashing Patriarchy and Their Twisted Translations of the Bible

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“Smash Patriarchy” by Designs by Tori

This blog post is going to require some active participation.  The other day, some blogger friends and I were e-mailing back and forth on the topic of Patriarchy.   I jokingly said I wondered if there was a Patriarchal version of the Bible that we weren’t aware of.  It must exist – – well, we know it does exist in at least some people’s minds.

So, as I was writing this blog article, I reached out to some other friends who shall remain nameless (for obvious reasons) to discuss this article.   We were mulling over that Patriarchal Bible translation, trying to come up with the perfect translation title.  My idea was Men’s Patriarchal Version (MPV) and my friends came up with some others, too.   I thought it would be cool to vote on the best sounding Patriarchal translation so that from here on out, whenever we quote certain self-proclaimed Patriarchs, we can be sure to identify that they use their own Patriarchal Bible translation.

Would you mind helping us out by voting for the best sounding Patriarchal Bible translation name?   This is all in good fun.  I want you to know that in some Patriarchal families, the men don’t allow their wives to vote (true story).  But here, ladies, you get to vote.  Your vote counts and I’ll even let you vote for your kids, too, and any future kids you might have (being sympathetic to any full-quiver mamas in the audience, see-ins how I am a quasi full-quiver mama if you bend some rules here and there).

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Spiritual abusers often twist scripture to abuse.  So, A Cry for JusticeThe Wartburg Watch, and I Will Stand, all which deal with abusive in churches, are participating in this “syncrhoblog” in an effort to bring light to spiritual abuse and Patriarchy.

Jeff Crippen from A Cry for Justice blog wrote up a great description for us:

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The term “patriarch” is a valid, historic word with a simple, non-philosophical meaning. A patriarch is a “first father” and it refers to the “fathers” or founders of some movement, institution, or political entity. George Washington was a “founding father” of the U.S.A. and thus, a patriarch. In this sense, “patriarch” can be a broad term that theoretically could include a woman who was one of the founders of something.

But when we use the word “patriarch” and add various suffixes to it, the thing morphs into something else entirely. Patriarchal, patriarchy, patriarchalism, and so on. These words describe a society of some kind (a family, a nation, a local church, etc) in which father not only knows best, but is best. And, more properly, where men are best. in contrast to women. Patriarchy in a family, for instance, exalts the husband to a innately (by virtue of being male) superior status above his wife (by virtue of her being female). In a patriarchal society then, men are seen as entitled to power and control over women. It is the man, the husband, the father whose mission in life truly matters to God, and therefore the woman, the wife, the mother, the children exist to further that mission. Their personhood, in other words, does not exist independently, nor even symbiotically, but rather as an “attachment” to the main program.

This is all in contrast to the biblical teaching that both men and women are created in the image of God. Neither is it an accurate application of the scripture’s doctrine of a husband being the head of his wife which, in contrast, emphasizes that headship as working itself out in loving, sacrificial service apart from a lording it over. Patriarchy denies the reality of the Apostle Paul’s words:

Gal 3:28-29  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (29)  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

This text is distorted frequently of course. There ARE differences between men and women! But Paul reminds us here that there is no “—archy” of any kind in Christ. There is no “power over.” In fact, other scriptures tell us that the “archy-ites” (the ones who are first now) will be last in the kingdom. Men and women, husbands and wives, parents and children, all who are truly in Christ are full heirs of every blessing in the heavenly places, and in the new creation which is on its way.  ~Jeff Crippen

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I’d like to give you a few glimpses of how certain Patriarchal men think about their roles, showing the diminished role of their wives in a Patriarchal home.  I don’t know if anyone has bothered to ask wives what they think of these rules.   Maybe the wives’ opinion don’t matter. Below is an excerpt from an article written by Doug Wilson who endorses Patriarchy.  The article is entitled, “Not Where She Should Be.”   (:::::JA momentarily shivered typing those words:::::)

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The first time the dishes are not done, he must sit down with his wife immediately, and gently remind her that this is something which has to be done. At no time may he lose his temper, badger her, call her names, etc. He must constantly remember and confess that she is not the problem, he is. By bringing this gently to her attention, he is not to be primarily pointing to her need to repent; rather, he is exhibiting the fruit of his repentance.

He does this, without rancour and without an accusative spirit, until she complies or rebels. If she complies, he must move up one step, now requiring that another of her duties be done. If she rebels, he must call the elders of the church and ask them for a pastoral visit. When the government of the home has failed to such an extent, and a godly and consistent attempt by the husband to restore the situation has broken down, then the involvement of the elders is fully appropriate.

(Doug Wilson, Not Where She Should Be)

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Patriarchy extends beyond the marriage and into the whole family.  Even younger brothers are elevated and their sisters (including older sisters) are taught to revere them, setting the framework for the young boys’ minds and what they should expect for the next patriarchal generation in which they will rule.

The Botkin sisters, Anna Sophia and Elizabeth are daughters in a very public Patriarchal family. They are single, still under their father’s roof, and are 30 and 28 years old. They spoke at a father/daughter retreat in 2007. Their father raised them to be a showcase for Patriarchy, they have their own blog, speak at conferences/retreats, and write books on how they serve their father/men. The retreat reportedly came at a cost of nearly $500 per father/daughter. On stage, the sisters taught about the role of daughters in a family:

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They should teach their younger sisters in the Titus 2 spirit and should honor and defer to their brothers—older and younger—in recognition that even young boys need to be treated as wise leaders by their older sisters in order to gain the confidence to be leaders of their future families. They should wear feminine clothes to prove to their fathers that they are virtuous women worthy of protection. They should not learn career skills as emergency “backups” to support themselves, as “learning to ‘survive’ can teach girls attitudes of independence, hardness.” They should understand that singleness is a very rare calling from God, and so they must prepare to marry and conduct war on “the home front”: in other words, they must understand there is no opting out of this revolution without turning their backs on the faith. But most of all, the Botkins explain, a virtuous daughter should “turn her heart to her father” in the spirit of Malachi 4:6: “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”  ( Kathryn Joyce from Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement.)

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Ok, with Jeff’s defiscription (definition/description combined) above and the examples shown of Patriarchy within a marriage and a family, can you think of other verses a Patriarch might twist in order to elevate and/or abuse his self-appointed authority?

Here is one example I thought of:

1 Peter 3:6 – like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord.You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 

This verse could be twisted to insist that wives are to always call their husbands names like “lord, “sir,” which elevate them to a position over them.

Please be sure to visit the other blogs/groups:  The Wartburg Watch, A Cry for Justice and I Will Stand, and join in the conversation.  It will be great to compile a long list of twisted verses.

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Special thanks to Tori of Designs by Tori who graciously allowed us to use her compelling “Smash Patriarchy” design for these articles.  Please check out Tori’s t-shirts, car magnets, buttons, etc.

181 thoughts on “Smashing Patriarchy and Their Twisted Translations of the Bible”

  1. wait! you mean I’m not eligible for headship by proxy unless I make a good sandwich? I’m no good in the kitchen 😦 I
    hmmm. the only other option is to go Catholic and join a convent, I guess !


  2. Whatever happens in the marital bed is honorable. Coercion, threats, sodomy, making the wife dress up as a schoolgirl or a prostitute, beating, whipping, rape — it’s all pure because it’s done in the marital bed. (twisted from Hebrews 13:4)

    Does that apply to Asphyx, Snuff, and Vore?
    (These are actual kinks; trust me, you don’t want to look up the definitions.)


  3. Katy, you can receive some remedial training in proper Biblical Womanhood by contacting the Biblically Universal, Leading by Love, Special Headship Institute of Training, Box 2, West Frogbubble, TX 70154


  4. After your remedial training, you’ll be eligible to enroll in online classes from the Christian Headship Institute of Macho Patriarchy.


  5. JA, I think you need to keep an eye on Eric. Look at this: Biblically Universal, Leading by Love, Special Headship Institute of Training.

    I don’t want to spell it out for you, but it looks like there’s an acronym hidden in those words.


  6. As a woman, could I name a Bible, or is “exercising authority over men” when they use my name for it?
    > The Patriarch’s Essential New International Standard Version (PENIS)
    > Husbandly And Ecclesiastical Dominance, Subverting Her Into (her) Place Bible (HEADSHIP)
    > Women’s Oppression Eagerly Internalized for Submissive Yielding to Overlords by Underlings Translation (WOEISYOU)


  7. JA, Are you seeing the pattern? I missed this: Christian Headship Institute of Macho Patriarchy – chimp
    and now this new one: Subversive Women Against Religious Manhood – swarm

    He’s kind of funny.


  8. Retha: The “A” is out of order here: > Husbandly And Ecclesiastical Dominance, Subverting Her Into (her) Place Bible (HEADSHIP)

    I like what you’ve got so far. Can it be modified to get the A in the right order?


  9. A Mom: I completely missed your comment. So funny!

    Since voting will be opened for a week, has anyone considered the wedding gift set versions published by Hebossway? The PCCP (penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants) nightstand version for men is offered with the RAS (receives, accepts, surrenders) version for the female. For a short time only, the RAS is complimentary. The Hebossway website (not to be confused with Crossway) advises, “Order soon, they go fast!”

    So, is the RAS complimentary and complementary?


  10. Julie Anne said: “Retha: The “A” is out of order here”
    Is this better:
    Husbandly & Ecclesiastical Authoritative Dominance, Subverting Her Into (her) Place Bible (HEADSHIP) ?


  11. Katy, you must learn to follow your Loving Overseeing Religious Discipline Supremes, they will teach you Beautiful Understanding of Loving & Living.


  12. oh Lord the acronyms in Eric’s posts are causing me to question my salvation, because i’m giggling like one of my kids when they say the word “Butt”


  13. I like Retha’s HEADSHIP suggestion, except I think “Subordinating” fits better than “Subverting” – thus “Husbandly & Ecclesiastical Authoritative Dominance, Subordinating Her Into Place”


  14. Julie Anne said, “So, is the RAS complimentary and complementary?”

    Now YOU are the funny play-on-words one!

    Trying to get “short time only” and “they go fast” in there.

    Hebossway publishing also advises PNES version is prerequisite reading for the wedding gift set PCCP (penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants) & RAS (receives, accepts, surrenders) nightstand versions, for further clarification of course.

    Hebossway also offers a chant (which helps one memorize the words “penetrate, conquer, colonize, plant”….. “receive, accept, surrender”) available on CD. CDs are pink or blue, so one doesn’t memorize the wrong chant by accident. MP3 is not available, since danger of memorizing the wrong chant is possible.


  15. Every time I hear the mantra “Penetrate! Colonize! Conquer! Plant!” the first thing I think of is the term “Hypermasculinity”. The second thing I think of is “Frenzy” — a Nuremberg Rally when the Fuehrer-speech really gets going, working the crowd and chewing the carpet.


  16. Because “PENETRATE! COLONIZE! CONQUER! PLANT!” is the boot and “receive, accept, surrender” is the face being stamped on. Dom & Sub, Top & Bottom, Penetrator & Penetrated, POWERFUL & POWERLESS. Because it all comes down to POWER.

    “The only goal of Power is POWER.”
    “Power consists of inflicting suffering on the powerless.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, Nineteen Eighty-Four

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong. There is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort


  17. And speaking of the Fuehrer, whenever I consider what these advocates of patriarchy teach I think of Adolph Hitler’s “Führerprinzip,” which, according to Wikipedia, is German for “leader principle”, and it prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the governmental structures of the Third Reich. According to the full Wikipedia article, the parallels with patriarchy are just disturbing. You can google Führerprinzip, or maybe the following link will work:


  18. “oh Lord the acronyms in Eric’s posts are causing me to question my salvation, because i’m giggling like one of my kids when they say the word “Butt” :P”

    Huh huh. She said “butt”. Huh huh, huh huh…


  19. Gary, I first heard of the psych term “Hypermasculinity” in a copy of the 1943 OSS psych profile on A.H. It means defining “masculine” as dominance and aggression, burning out anything “un-masculine”, and firewalling what’s left to the max. And ol’ Adolf in his Fuehrer persona was the textbook example. “PENETRATE! COLONIZE! CONQUER! PLANT!”


  20. Speaking of translations, this might blow your mind.

    Ironically, today I noticed Crossway publishing was led by a woman for almost 30 years, according to their own website. I don’t think this can be possible considering all the rules, I mean roles, for women that are in the books they publish (Piper, et al). Were some of these books published with a woman at the helm? If so, OMG! Also, isn’t her leadership in violation of their own “rules” somehow? Or did Crossway change their theological direction about women’s roles after she died?

    Fact is stranger than fiction.

    I don’t know the answer to that question. Does anyone know if Crossway changed direction and if so, when?


  21. This is the best post ever! I can’t remember when I last laughed so hard.

    To be serious, Gary W on July 29 @ 8:00am said:
    “I’ve heard it said that emotionally adulterous relationships, as in the ongoing exchange of intimately personal information between a married man and a women to whom he is not married, will ultimately and inevitably lead to physical intimacy. Why should it not be a problem as between even a father and his adult daughter? Hope I’m wrong on this one.”

    Fact is, this is exactly what transpired in my former church. Not only between some fathers and non-adult daughters, but also between some young men and their submissive sisters. There is no doubt in my mind that these teachings open the door to the most heinous abuses of women and children. This “church” tried to deflect any responsibility by claiming that they reported the abuse. In one case they reported the abuse a year after it was first brought to their attention. But, what I’d like to bring to people’s attention is it’s the very patriarchal teachings of the “church” that paved the way for abuses to take place to begin with. So, Gary, you’re not wrong on that one.


  22. HUG, on the one hand we have talk of hypermasculinity. On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, the OSS report is said to state, “that Hitler was “probably impotent” as far as heterosexual relations were concerned and that there was a possibility that Hitler had participated in a homosexual relationship.” See:

    I really just do not get it.


  23. I really just do not get it.

    A “Prove you’re a MAN” dynamic by going as hypermasculine as possible?


  24. A Mom,

    My guess is that Crossway is more aligned with the complementarian position than with the extremes of patriarchy. This likely leaves room for women to be engaged in business pursuits, including even the publishing of Bibles. I suspect also, though, that the current powers that be at Crossway have their eyes more on personalities, such as Piper and Grudem, than on what these “authorities” are actually saying. Popular writers sell books, so they must be trustworthy.


  25. If I sign up for this “headship by proxy” conducted by William Birch and/or Eric Fry, does that mean one or both of them will come over to my house and wash the windows or arrange for another man to do it? After all, methinks winder-washing is A MAN’S JOB! (All that ladder-toting and climbing and all…)


  26. BeenThereDoneThat said:

    Thank you, BTDT. If you’d ever like to write up even a couple paragraphs about your observations on this or any other abuse topic, let me know. I can probably use it. Personal accounts really resonate with people more than dry information.


  27. HUG,

    So, are you suggesting that the proponents of Patriarchy are motivated to cover up their, shall we say, lack of masculinity? Always? Or could it be that this is just one of a number of explanations? I’m no expert, but it makes sense to me that there are just some men who derive a perverse pleasure out of having their way with people, that women become targets because they are perceived to be weaker, easier, targets, and that these tendencies manifest without reference to anything wrapped up in sexuality.


  28. Shannon,

    Uhhhh . . . I’m pretty sure that windows has to do with the house, and the woman is to take care of the house, so the Bible clearly teaches. “She looks continually to the matters of her house, and does all that needs doing, pleasing her master in all things” (Prov. 31:27 Authoritative Supplemental Standard). Me thinks you’re in desperate need of male headship, quick-like. I’ll get the ladder, you do the cleaning — after you’ve made me my ham sandwich, of course. I will pray that the Lord will open your eyes to the truth of this matter. Geeez.


  29. BTDT, I really did not want to hear what you had to say at 2:07, but now I’m wondering if there might not be a possibility for the relationship between sons and mothers to be similarly twisted. If a son is encouraged to exercise “headship” over his mother, isn’t there a likelihood that the dynamic between mother and son will become what ought to be, and usually is, reserved for the relationship between husband and wife? Then, as you have already mentioned, issues arise between brothers and sisters, except that maybe the normal boundaries are even less likely to be in place. No, surely this is going places that are the rare exception?


  30. Gary W said, “My guess is that Crossway is more aligned with the complementarian position than with the extremes of patriarchy. This likely leaves room for women to be engaged in business pursuits, including even the publishing of Bibles.”

    One book they publish – Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother, by Carolyn Mahaney

    I found this review by Cheerful Limetree on Amazon: I turned to this book in search of guidance, wisdom & inspiration as a wife and stay at home mother, but instead found merely the unqualified opinions of a brainwashed woman who hates women.

    First of all, this book is based entirely off of Titus 2 verse 3-5; which simply states “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” If you continue down to Titus 2 v 9 it instructs to teach slaves to obey their masters, to not talk back & to not steal from them so as to give glory to God. So first of all, I think it’s a little silly to take these 3 simple verses and twist them into a modern warped opinion of what feminine appeal should encompass.

    Some highlights of the book are the passage where the author chastises women who stay up after their children go to sleep to have some time to themselves as being lazy and selfish. She then in another chapter tells the tale of how early in her marriage she was irritated by her husband’s habit of reading before bed when she was trying to sleep, but she was the one who needed to change her selfish ways and now she enjoys staying up and reading with him. I had to laugh that his choice to stay up reading late even though she was trying to sleep is admirable, however a woman who decides to stay up a little late to watch a television program and not bother anyone else is a selfish lazy excuse for a woman.


  31. A Mom,

    Crossway publishes books by Carolyn Mahaney? The same Carolyn Mahaney who is married to CJ Mahaney, as I understand to be the case? Sheesh!

    Poor woman. She’s under husbandly “authority” and ecclesiastical “authority” of elders all wrapped up into one person.


  32. Kelly and I had the reading before bed conflict. I wanted to read before going to sleep. She wanted to go to sleep. We looked to our NQV (non quiche version) and Kelly discovered that she had to submit to my desire to read. Unfortunately, I discovered that I needed to love her and not read. The conflict continued though we had switched sides. We consulted close married friends only to find, to our horror, that once they heard of our conflict they would take sides and this put tremendous stress on their marriages. We went to the elders. Half of the elders thought I should read the other half thought I shouldn’t. We took the matter to the congregation and it caused a church split. There are now two PCA churches that meet right next to each other, the Reader Presbyterians and the Sleeper Presbyterians. We’re concerned that we may end up splitting the whole denomination. I don’t know how anyone can live without certain answers on issues like these. We need to know if I should read or sleep. I hope we don’t split Julie Anne’s blog over this.


  33. ‘A “Prove you’re a MAN” dynamic by going as hypermasculine as possible?”

    I am reluctant to bring this up but since I have met so many of the hard core Patriarchal legalists from Piper, Bruce Ware (women are not made in the direct image of God, they are a derivative), Russ Moore (comps are wimps), Doug Phillips (no explanation needed), and a few others, I was astonished to find a recurring theme in their stature which MIGHT explain their laser like dogmatism on the issue.


  34. craigvick, that was priceless. All of that could be solved with a $10 book light. I am thinking JA could sell them here embossed as “marriage bed purity lights”.


  35. “Crossway publishes books by Carolyn Mahaney? The same Carolyn Mahaney who is married to CJ Mahaney, as I understand to be the case? Sheesh!”

    If you cruise around the Crossway authors page, you will see why they published the ESV. Which always puzzled me why Mohler promotes the ESV when his employer published the Holman.


  36. Craig said:

    I don’t know how anyone can live without certain answers on issues like these. We need to know if I should read or sleep. I hope we don’t split Julie Anne’s blog over this.

    So one blog would be Spiritual and the other side Sounding? Are you going to split me? I don’t know if even I can handle 2 of me.

    Truly, Craig, you split me up. I love it! 🙂


  37. Ah, never mind, William and Eric, thanks just the same. I just came in from washing the windows myself with a squeegee and paper towels. I know…I’m a rebellious woman.


  38. (If this post is a duplicate, please delete it, if wished. I’m having trouble getting it to post.)

    someone said,
    “intimately personal information between a married man and a women to whom he is not married, will ultimately and inevitably lead to physical intimacy. ”

    Not always. One thing that keeps unmarried women isolated is this view among a lot of Christians that men and women cannot be friends (that a man and a woman alone will always = sex), and for whatever reason, unmarried women with married men is considered the #1 most suspicious scenario.

    I do agree that fathers keeping close tabs on their adult daughters as in patriarchal families is creepy, but I wish Christians would drop the stereotype that unmarried women = over-sexed tramps.

    Preachers will refuse to meet in private with unmarried women. Married Christian women refuse to associate with unmarried women, or allow them to even so much as speak with her spouse. Married Christian men get paranoid talking too long or e mailing an unmarried woman because they are afraid it will give the Mrs. the wrong idea.

    This views that an unmarried women will always jump at the opportunity to bed a married man are pretty demeaning (I’ve seen them on other sites, or in Christian sermons and books).

    This idea that all single women are sexually dangerous (along with similar stereotypes about unmarried male adults) also feeds into the problem with protracted singleness among so many Christian adults who want to get married but cannot: instead of telling us singles to date when we were teens and twenties, we were told to stay away from opposite gender singles, because if we meet for a date, it will end up in sex.

    Some Christian manuals and sermons on dating for over the 30 years old group of unmarried Christians also contains the same advice (genders should stay apart, never date, don’t meet alone not even for a dinner date etc), and is one reason so many mature Christians are remaining single into their 40s, 50s, etc.


  39. Lydia,

    With the sole exception of Dough Phillips, it seems Crossway publishes every author mentioned in your comment of 3:33, right along with Mohler, Mahaney and Grudhem.

    I’m gonna keep using ESV, but now it’s more in the nature of opposition research. I also like the Greek tools (paid for premium) feature of their online bible, but even so I’m wondering if I don’t need to be skeptical how they have assembled their particular version of the Greek text.

    Also, the ESV Greek tools haven’t been working for me for several days. I wonder if maybe they have noticed me zeroing in on passages where their translation is suspect—and have consequently cut me off.


  40. Since this conversation is about imaginary Bible versions, what are your preferences as to real Bible Versions?

    My first choice is the NASB, I like a literal translation most often. I’ve come to enjoy the Common English Bible, too. Easy to read, and strikes a good balance between dynamic and formal equivalence.


  41. christianpundit,

    By quoting me only in part, you completely misrepresented what I actually said. I was not speaking against men and women being friends with opposite sex persons who are not their spouses. My FULL statement, with emphasis now added, was, “I’ve heard it said that emotionally adulterous relationships, as in the ONGOING exchange of INTIMATELY PERSONAL information between a married man and a women to whom he is not married, will ultimately and inevitably lead to physical intimacy.” While my example was from the man’s point of view, it works the other way round. Intimacy of every sort belongs only to one’s spouse. Being friends is different than being intimate. You are certainly at liberty to make the points you just made, but please don’t twist my words into something that was not said, and which nobody else seems to have perceived. I will grant you this much, the use of the word “inevitably” may be too strong.


  42. Barnabas – I know. It is probably one of the funniest threads yet and so distracting that I can’t even get a new one going. 🙂

    Actually, Craig had a guest post that was hilarious, too. Can you imagine being in his church? LOL I want to be a bug on a wall there sometime, but he’d recognize me.


  43. christianpundit,

    Just wanted you to know that I’ve taken a VERY quick look at your blog, and insofar as I can tell from such a cursory perusal, I’m O.K. with where you’re coming from. It appears we may share a certain cynicism, er, ahh, I mean cold, hard, objectively realistic view regarding what has come to be represented as Christian. So much of it clearly is not at all Christian. But Jesus is still Jesus, and I am convinced that it is on the other side of the questions being asked by you and others like us that He is to be found.


  44. Gary,

    Check out Mark Strauss’ humorous yet scholarly response to the ESV as a “literal” translation:

    Here are a few snippets of how humorous “literal” can be:

    Rock badgers are people too!
    Prov. 30:26 ESV “the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; rock badgers
    are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs;”
    Comment: In addition to the tortured word order, the ESV’s use of “people” is very strange. We sometimes
    joke that animals are people too, but surely ants and rock badgers are “creatures” or “species,” not people.

    Nice legs!
    Ps. 147:10 ESV “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,”
    Comment: Taking pleasure in a man’s legs will surely leave readers chuckling. TNIV reads “in the power
    of human legs”; NET has “by the warrior’s strong legs.”

    Such clean teeth!
    Amos 4:6
    ESV “I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities”
    Comment: It sounds like God is distributing toothbrushes to the Israelites. The Hebrew idiom means they
    had nothing to eat. The TNIV reads “I gave you empty stomachs,”; HCSB: “I gave you absolutely nothing
    to eat.” NET: “I gave you no food to eat.”


  45. Oops, Gary, the link I gave you is not the full paper. I read it a while back from links on Better Bibles Blog (a translators blog).


  46. JA, Henry nailed it! The never ending ESV propaganda (I have a very nice one, btw) only made me curious about the TNIV. Not sure they understand about reverse advertising. :o)


  47. Lydia,

    I think it was the full paper I was able to download. At least what I saved is 32 letter size pages of, maybe, 11 point type. Off to start reading. Thanks.


  48. Craigvick, your 3:32 comment was too funny – stopping to laugh in between sentences funny.

    Need some quick shekels? Now, what you need to do is contact Crossway pronto and work out a book deal. Let them know you have the sequel to Carolyn Mahaney’s Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother book.

    Now you just need a title…..


  49. Lydia,

    Yes, the ESV… The most Biblical Bible out there.

    According to Crossway’s “about, history of Crossway” webpage:

    “A significant new step of faith for Crossway was the publication of The Holy Bible, English Standard Version in the fall of 2001. The vision for the ESV Bible first began to develop in the early 1990s as many evangelical Christian leaders saw a need for a new “word-for-word” Bible translation—one that would be characterized by literal accuracy and literary excellence, in the classic stream of the Tyndale New Testament and the King James Version Bible.”


  50. Crossway said, “The vision for the ESV Bible first began to develop in the early 1990s as many evangelical Christian leaders saw a need for a new “word-for-word” Bible translation…”

    The “many evangelical Christian leaders who saw a need for a new Bible translation”….. Could they be the same “hard core Patriarchal legalists” Lydia mentions in her 3:33 comment?

    Hmmmm. This is getting very interesting.


  51. “Yes, the ESV… The most Biblical Bible out there.”

    Hee Hee. The ESV propaganda got so bad in my neck of the world that I became suspicious and did a bit of research on the players. It did not help that around this time the TNIV was banned from Lifeway……. although they never seem to run out of those plastic fish one can attach to their car. 😮

    Is this the translation that Grudem worked on (as General Editor…now is that scary or what?) with a years leave from his job that SGM/Mahaney paid for?


  52. The vision for the ESV Bible first began to develop in the early 1990s as many evangelical Christian leaders saw a need for a new “word-for-word” Bible translation

    And yet it’s considered less word-for-word than the NASB and the Amplified…I wonder what words in those two versions needed changing?


  53. A Mom, the murky world of Bible translations is not pretty. Once you start researching you become very disillusioned. It used to be a translation came about for such things as political expediency (church/state like the KJV) now it is indoctrination/business.

    The SBC wanted their own translation because of NIV’s climbing royalties. (Think pew bibles) So they come out with the Holman which is not too bad, actually.. However, the most famous SBC leader, Al Mohler, promotes the ESV and tons of his admiring young seminarians and fans go out in the world to promote the “literal” ESV in churches all over while trashing the TNIV.

    Talk about a captive market niche! Madison Ave is jealous.

    It killed the TNIV in no time. And it was planned.


  54. Crossway publishes books by Carolyn Mahaney? The same Carolyn Mahaney who is married to CJ Mahaney, as I understand to be the case? Sheesh!

    Poor woman. She’s under husbandly “authority” and ecclesiastical “authority” of elders all wrapped up into one person.

    HUMBLY, of course.


  55. When it comes to comp bibles, biblical bibles, and gospelly gospels, how about the version popular with that end-of-the-world cult I got mixed up in back in the Seventies?

    DAKE’S ANNOTATED BIBLE. Four-column page format, with the center two being KJV and the outer two psychotically-fine-print annotations by a guy named Dake. (Who according to an agnostic friend “might have started out sane, but sure didn’ty end up that way.”)

    Including long annotations on how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all MALE, embodied in bodies of “spirit matter” on a planet called Heaven in the northern sky. About how all the Angels and “spirit animals” (such as the horses pulling the chariot that carried Elijah away) were all MALE. And how the female was a special creation for physical life-forms, for purposes of reproduction only. (I don’t remember if he claimed women would be resurrected in MALE bodies, but it would be very much in-character with the other annotations.)


  56. Besides the delightful funness (is that a word) of this thread, I do have one question: What’s this with the ESV? My family’s church (thus the one I was raised in) takes a VERY strong KJV only stance, going so far as to say that the KJV, or AV, is the only Word of God in English. God apparently inspired the translators that King James hired, and thus every word in it is accurate, correct, and the absolute intent of God in every syllable.

    That quote form Doug Wilson made me angry. The stupid man may as well wash the dishes himself! How petty! Yeah, I’m angry.

    HUG @ 10:04 AM
    “Even in an unhealthy male-supremacist marriage, there’s a way for the woman to not only “teach” her lord-and-master, but control him. She just has to be sneaky, underhanded, manipulative, and covert-aggressive. (None of which makes for a healthy relationship in general.)”

    Unfortunately I saw this first-hand. My mother was a very vocal proponent of “Created to Be His Help Meet”* by Debi Pearl… which basically says the the wife’s whole job is to make the husband happy. Yet I am convinced that she ran the home and only made it look like she was submissive. She would say that it was a “struggle” and she tried to be submissive, but there are so many woman who control their men and then make a show of submission.

    *I hate the term “Help Meet”. It’s use reeks of patriarchy.


  57. I’m coming into the discussion late. But I assume you saw the press release that Crossway and the Gospel Coalition are joining forces. I’m sure Crossway hopes to pick up some of the better authors in the group. For example, Tim Keller doesn’t publish with them…yet. Watch them turn on the pressure.

    Also, I find it laughable that they will be publishing books on women and faith and work when they don’t believe women should work outside the home. And they live in a pretend world where women don’t really like to work and are simply taking men’s jobs away (while getting too independent).


  58. Gary W, July 30 @ 2:47,

    I can’t say if the sexual abuse of women is the norm in patriarchal religious structures, but research has shown that children in religious authoritarian environments, which patriarchy is, are more at risk of abuse. Janet Heimlich, author of “Breaking Their Will,” has documented this:

    I think many people might be surprised to learn that the Amish, an admittedly extreme patriarchal sect, has a real problem with sexual abuse.
    “No statistics are available, but according to one Amish counselor who works with troubled church members across the Midwest, sexual abuse of children is ‘almost a plague in some communities.'”

    My own experience in a patriarchal church is that the sexual abuse of girls, who are raised to submit to their fathers, brothers, and men in general, can and does happen. Not every family will necessarily be predisposed to this behavior, but there is more risk of it taking place. The stories from SGM follow this pattern as well. I’m alarmed that these teachings are creeping in to mainstream Christian denominations. I’m thankful for all of you who are exposing how scriptures have been twisted to support a hierarchy that places women and children at risk of abuse.


  59. Hi, Sean Allen,

    Help Meet is a very misused term by patriarchalists and fundamentalists. In the late Middle English of the original KJV “meet” meant “suitable or suitable for”. It’s a misuse of English to make Help Meet one word, or to use it as a stand-alone noun. The real problem lies in the fact that this is not at all what is implied by the Hebrew. Help comes from the word ezer which comes from two roots, one root for ‘to rescue’, ‘to save’, and one for ‘to be strong’. Gradually these meanings came to be combined. Ezer occurs 21 times in the OT and is translated as ‘savior’ in eight of those uses, and in others it is translated ‘strength’, as in God is an ezer to man. To weaken the term into just a ‘helper’ does not give us a sense in English of what was originally meant.

    The second Hebrew word translated as ‘Help Meet’ is k’enegdo which is from the root neged which means ‘against’ or ‘opposite’. Since it occurs only once in the OT, it’s a bit more difficult to draw out the meaning without going to other literature to find that in the sense of ‘opposite’ it is used as meaning like a ‘mirror image’ or as the left hand relates to the right, a corresponding opposite.

    So, to use ezer k’enegdo in the sense of ‘suitable helper’ is a gross weakening and limitation of a term that in a fuller sense means ‘saving strength corresponding to’. Women are not an extra set of hands to help the man do what he wants, women are our strength, existing as our opposite in order to complete us. There’s nothing subordinate or submissive in that, they are our equals, one full half of the whole ‘One Flesh’. For a man to demand submission of a woman is equal to treating a part of his own body as something lower and less worthy. I have grave reservations as to that being what God wants for us.

    Like you, I can’t stand the way ‘Help Meet’ is misused against women by men who refuse to properly use the real term which gives us a vastly different understanding of women


  60. Anonymous, Thanks for that link.

    TGC said, “Crossway will continue to publish TGC resources dedicated to the centrality of the gospel and the Scripture-based reformation of ministry. …TGC and Crossway will work closely together to develop a series of books written specifically by women addressing cultural issues, as well as other unique resources focused on faith and work.”

    Hmmm. Teaming for the purpose of publishing a series of books by women addressing cultural issues (about the woman’s role, no doubt). Is this a “centrality of the gospel” issue? Do women still need to be “reformed” by “Scripture-based” Calvinism?

    I’ve seen many beliefs taught with the precursor of “centrality of the gospel” statements. Is the gospel being (or has it already been) re-defined into all things “Scripture-based reformation”?


  61. Julie Anne,
    Has anyone mentioned “Good News for Modern MAN”?
    How about “Good Muse for Postmodern MAN”?
    How about “The Bible Club -for men”. (See inside jacket for endorsements.)
    “This version will dissolve all basic youth conflicts.” -Bill Gothard
    “As we look at the distinct passages mentioned in this book we see the God of Moses striking out against the women of the congregation…” -Chuck Smith
    “This is the version that lets me be ME!” -Sammy Davis JR
    “Check out the margin notes. The, uh, marginization notes” -C I Scofield
    “Aw jeez. This is duh voision God hisself deports.” -Archie Bunker
    “This is a man’s book.” -James Brown
    “I like the cut of your jib. Smashing leather bound volume.” -Sir Walter Scott
    “This puts Miss Odginy in her place.” -Alfalfa
    “I did not fondle those pages.” -Bill Clinton

    More coffee than brains today. 😉


  62. Sure. Wry not! I saw ‘help meet’ and I thought some guy wants a woman to help meet his felt needs.


  63. My take on men using, abusing, and marginalizing women is that it’s at their core and it oozes out in whatever they say. You see it in all walks of life. From the White House to the out house.


  64. Sure. Wry not! I saw ‘help meet’ and I thought some guy wants a woman to help meet his felt needs.

    “Felt needs” as in “URRRRRGES IN MY AAAAAREAS”?


  65. Is this a “centrality of the gospel” issue? Do women still need to be “reformed” by “Scripture-based” Calvinism?

    The problem with Calvinism is the same as Islam. Both Calvin and Mohammed resolved the paradox of evil by making God beyond Good and Evil. God Wills what God Wills, and who are we to call it Evil? God’s Sovereignty, God’s Omnipotence, God’s Infinite POWER firewalled at the expense of everything else. You end up with a God who is nothing but Absolute Infinite Arbitrary POWER, and end up worshipping POWER. The Gospel According to Voldemort:

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong. There is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort

    And if God is nothing but Absolute Arbitrary POWER, how do you then become Godly/Gospelly but by seizing POWER and throwing your weight around?

    “The only goal of Power is POWER. And POWER consists of inflicting maximum suffering upon the Powerless.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, Nineteen Eighty-Four


  66. HUG, Calvin & Islam helps one put the blindfold on. Some people have a hard time wrapping their head around it though. No matter what, it feels safe. There is some kind of safety in it (friends, what they know, grew up on, they’re planted, etc.) I was also deceived, so I can understand. But once you hear or know the truth, well, then an informed choice is being made from then on.


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