Thursday, 10 July 2008

Translation, theology and ideology

Over recent weeks I have been following Suzanne Mccarthy's brilliant, extraordinary and committed posts on complementarian and egalitarian views of men and women and how biblical passages and their translations are used to support the complementarian view -which is also sometimes called the "order of creation" view. Suzanne posts regularly on Suzanne's Bookshelf and on the Better Bibles Blog and I'm in awe of her errudition and commitment.

As I read about the Church of England's general synod debate on women bishops today I wonder whether some solid biblical work of the kind Suzanne and her colleagues at the Better Bibles Blog are involved in wouldn't have helped.
However, I'm beginning to feel pretty naive, I really didn't think that Bruce Ware's style of exegesis was taken seriously anymore. It would seem spousal abuse is ok if you're Christian and are being violent in the name of the Bible.
I am speechless and felt rather sick listening to the podcast - but it is heartening to see that the comments on the post now number over 1600 - and many of them are by egalitarians, urged on by Suzanne.
Then I heard about an African book book called How to beat your wife and How to beat your wife 2 - as you'll see from the Anglican Church of Kenya's publishing house the series also includes how to beat your husband, your children and your in laws - you'll need to scroll most of the way down on the link to find them. I havn't read these books and maybe the content is anodyne - though the book on children refers to the "holy rod" - but certainly I find the titles shocking.
I can see where Suzanne's commitment to promoting real understanding of the original texts comes from. A biblical text badly translated and interpretted can create real pain and suffering.