I never thought I’d see a story about a gender controversy with CS Lewis. My first thought was that someone was attempting to slander Lewis in the same way that was done to J. Edgar Hoover after his death painting him as a Monty Pythonesque cross dresser. But alas we have been spared the image of Lewis traipsing around his living room with JRR Tolkien in nighties and housecoats. It’s simply a story about a publisher selling something called the CS Lewis bible with a bunch of notes from Lewis interspersed throughout the text. It’s already sold over 20,000 copies. It actually sounds kinda’ cool but something that’s ticking off some Lewis fans is that this particular Bible is gender neutral, something that Lewis likely would have had a problem with.
You know, anytime “he,” “father” and “son” shows up these guys replace it with something less offensive or something because you know the word “he” is such an insult to…well I can’t imagine who it’s offensive to except people in charge of translating the Bible.
Christianity Today reports:
Louis Markos says the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation used in The C. S. Lewis Bible has a gender-neutral agenda, which he says is at odds with Lewis’s convictions.
The Houston Baptist University English professor began circulating the petition soon after the November 9 release of the Bible, published by HarperCollins. The author of two recent books on Lewis calls it unjust to tie the apologist’s writings to an implicit push for the gender egalitarianism that Lewis would have opposed.
“The NRSV has been around so long, a lot of people don’t realize there was an agenda behind it,” said Markos, who wants HarperCollins to reissue the Bible in the King James or Revised Standard Version. “How can we do this to Lewis? He and his legacy have been hijacked.”
The petition attracted modest support from signers that included James Kushiner, executive editor of Touchstone Magazine, and Robert Sloan, president of Houston Baptist University, as well as Wheaton College professor Leland Ryken, who said that for the goal of reading Scripture alongside Lewis, this Bible should have been released in the KJV translation that Lewis used.
“The choice of the NRSV, of which HarperCollins is the U.S. publisher, seems to have been a marketing decision rather than a logical choice,” Ryken said.
I’m pretty sure that nothing will come of this petition business but I’m all in favor of raising a stink -mainly because it might make the stinkers think twice when they try it again.