Recommendation 20. That Personal Resolution 4 [see below] be answered in the affirmative as amended; and that Overture 33 [Handbook p. 79] from Central Carolina Presbytery ("Erect Study Committee Regarding 'Today's New International Version of the Bible'") be answered by reference to the Assembly's action with regard to Personal Resolution 4.
Personal Resolution #4 from TE Richard D. Phillips
The following Personal Resolution was received and referred to CoC on Bills and Overtures:
WHEREAS, the PCA affirms the full authority and plenary, verbal inspiration of the original autographs of the Holy Scriptures (Mt. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21); and
WHEREAS, the proper task of Bible translators is to accurately reproduce the original text as given by the inspired authors into contemporary language; and
WHEREAS, the New International Version of the Bible (NIV) exerts a strong influence on Evangelical Christians in the United Stated, being trusted and used by many pastors and lay people in the PCA; and
WHEREAS, the International Bible Society (IBS) and Zondervan Publishing House have begun to publish a new translation of the Bible known as the Today's New International Version (TNIV) which will likely benefit from the prestige and influence of the NIV, and may exercise a similar influence on Christians; and
WHEREAS, the TNIV purports to achieve increased gender accuracy, in some cases by making prudent translation decisions, but in other cases deliberately altering gender-specific details which appear in the original languages; and
WHEREAS, the TNIV performs these alterations by changing gender-specific terms into non-gender-specific terms (ex. changing "father" to "parent" and "son"/"sons" to "child"/"children", see Heb.12: 7; "man" or "mortals" to "human beings", see Heb. 2:6; and "him" or "he" to "them" or "they", see Rev. 3:20, the latter changing not merely a gender-specific term to a non-gender-specific term but also changing an individual pronoun into a collective pronoun); and
WHEREAS, the TNIV responds to other potential controversies by altering the original text, changing, for instance, "Jews" to "Jewish leaders" (John 19:12; Acts 13:50); and
WHEREAS, the accurate translation of the text of Scripture is a matter of such vital importance to the Church so that the PCA is obliged to join voices with other denominations in this matter, especially when a translation is likely to exert great influence on Christians and egregiously violates acceptable standards of Bible translation;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED,
1. That the PCA expresses disapproval of the practice of making gender-related or other alterations to the authorially-intended meaning of Scripture in Bible translations.
2. That the PCA cautions its congregations and members, as well as the larger Christian community, against use of the TNIV;
3. That the PCA implores the IBS to refrain from further gender-neutral or other "corrective" efforts in Bible translations.