From the Author: I have been exposing the corruptions in translation on this blog for a while now. People have no idea about the corruptions done by men in translation to subjugate and control women throughout history. It is a fact. It cannot be ignored. Adele is right. There needs to be a translation done that puts all the feminine words back in place where they belong. The corruptions that scholars have discovered need to be removed; as many of them were done to point women into a place of servitude to men. To do so would bring equality, honor and dignity back to every woman; something the translators robbed women of and, has led to their abuse and sexual exploitation for centuries.
WARNING: WOMEN ARE DISAPPEARING
By Adele Hebert, Author of Every Woman & Child
Until a few years ago, I had always trusted that the Bible was the Word of God and had never given a thought about the translators. After reading God’s Word to Women, I was in shock and deeply disturbed to find out that our bibles had been manipulated, in order to sabotage women’s freedom and rights. Katharine Bushnell was an extremely educated woman (Medical Doctor, Greek and Hebrew Scholar) and she had so much proof. She believed that “mistranslations were responsible for the social and spiritual subjugation of women.” But why hadn’t I heard about this from the pulpits or in books?
Comparing bibles, I observed that they can be so different. There were many disappointing moments when I found words that were indeed mistranslated, especially since they seemed to be about women.
Shamefully, I found many “women” words, which are now missing in the newer bibles!!
There are two extremely important verses which started me on my quest to find out the truth about women and translations. On the cover of her book, God’s Word to Women, was Katharine Bushnell’s favorite verse:
“The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host…” Psalm 68:11 (New American Standard Bible)
So I checked my bibles … and…To my HORROR! most bibles no longer had “the women” in it at all!! I was so distressed!!! To my great disappointment, I found only a few bibles which use the word “women.” The translators had changed the word “women” to: “hosts, them that preach, company, many people, ones announcing, great army, thousands, bearers,” … anything but “women!!”
My heart was deeply wounded… How could this happen to God’s Word? Katharine Bushnell was right! She proved that words had been twisted, right from Genesis, and showed how those words were chosen, deliberately, to subordinate women’s position in the home, the church and society. And the words are still being changed, in our generation! God had warned women, “and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen 3:16) Man is still controlling and dominating women, and using the bible to do it. The male translators had been deceitful.
And then I found some old commentaries which confirm that the word Used to be “women.”
Psalm 68:11, Barnes’ commentary (Albert Barnes 1798 – 1870) states, “More literally, “The women publishing it were a great host.” The word used is in the feminine gender…”
Psalm 68:11, Clarke’s commentary (Adam Clarke LL.D. F.S.A. 1712 – 1832) says, “Of the female preachers there was a great host. Such is the literal translation of this passage… the publication of good news, or of any joyful event, belonged to the women. It was they who announced it to the people at large; and to this universal custom, which prevails to the present day, the psalmist alludes. See this established in Isaiah 40:9.” (Clarke)
From the Masoretic text http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2668.htm
“The Lord giveth the word; the women that proclaim the tidings are a great host.” Psalm 68:12
I did find a few bibles which still used “women” words. I was pleasantly surprised with this one:
Psalm 68:11 “Adonoi gives the word; rav (great) was the tzava (company, army) of the mevaserot (heralds, those that published it, the lady evangelists). (Orthodox Jewish Bible 2003)
“the lady evangelists.” Those words are awesome.
The Only Modern versions which still have “women” in them are: Amplified, Bible in Basic English, Contemporary English Version, English Standard Version, English Revised Version, Good News Bible, God’s Word, Holman Christian Standard, New American Standard, New English Translation, New International Version (not all NIVs), The Jewish Study Bible, Orthodox Jewish Bible.
Ladies – hang on to this verse; it’s disappearing fast!!
There was a similar verse I needed to check – Isaiah 40: 9. This verse was the title of a book, about the life and work of Katharine Bushnell, O Thou Woman That Bringest Good Tidings, written by Dana Hardwick (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2002). I searched and searched and searched, in nearly sixty bibles… and… to my GREAT SORROW… there was NO bible that had the word “woman” in it!!
…Yet …Isaiah 40:9, Barnes’ commentary notes,
“It is a participle in the feminine gender…” “Lowth supposes that it is applicable to some female whose office it was to announce glad tidings, and says that it was the common practice for females to engage in the office of proclaiming good news.” (Barnes)
…And …Isaiah 40:9, Clarke’s commentary says,
“O daughter, that bringest glad tidings to Zion” “For the office of announcing and celebrating such glad tidings as are here spoken of, belongs peculiarly to the women. On occasion of any great public success, a signal victory, or any other joyful event, it was usual for the women to gather together, and with music, dances, and songs, to publish and celebrate the happy news. Thus after the passage of the Red Sea, Miriam, and all the women, with timbrels in their hands, formed a chorus, and joined the men in their triumphant song, dancing, and throwing in alternately the refrain or burden of the song: “Sing ye to Jehovah, for he is greatly exalted; The horse and his rider hath he cast into the sea.” Ex 15:20, 21. (Clarke)
“So Jephthah’s daughter collected a chorus of virgins, and with dances and songs came out to meet her father, and to celebrate his victory, Jdg_11:34. After David’s conquest of Goliath, “all the women came out of the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music;” and, forming themselves into two choruses, they sang alternately: “Saul has slain his thousands: And David his ten thousands.” 1Sa_18:6, 7. (Clarke)
…Also …Isaiah 40:9, Right Reverend Robert Lowth, Doctor of Divinity, Bishop of the Church of England, and Oxford Professor (1710 – 1787) Isaiah, Volume 2, (Glasgow University Press, 1822, pages 258,9). Rev. Robert Lowth writes about both Psalm 68:11 and Isaiah 40:9:
“9. O daughter that bringest glad tidings] That the true construction of the sentence is this, which makes Sion the receiver not the publisher of the glad tidings, (which latter has been the most prevailing interpretation,) will, I think, very clearly appear, if we rightly consider the image itself, and the custom and common practice from which it is taken. I have added the word daughter to express the feminine gender of the Hebrew participle, which I know not how to do otherwise in our language: and this is absolutely necessary in order to ascertain the image.” (Lowth)
“And this gives us the true sense of a passage in the 68th Psalm, which has frequently been misunderstood: “Jehovah gave the word, (that is, the joyful news), The women, who published the glad tidings, were a great company; The kings of mighty armies did flee, did flee: And even the matron, who stayed at home, shared the spoil.” (Lowth)
“The word signifying the publishers of glad tidings is the same, and expressed in the same form by the feminine participle, as in this place; and the last distich is the song which they sung. So in this place, JEHOVAH having given the word by his prophet, the joyful tidings of the restorations of Sion, and of God’s returning to Jerusalem, the women are exhorted by the prophet to publish the joyful news with a loud voice from eminences, whence they might best be heard all over the country; and the matter and burden of their song was to be, “Behold your God!” (Lowth)
So if these commentators, Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes and the well-known Bishop Robert Lowth, knew that the gender was feminine, and even quote both verses, then why did the translators remove the “women?” I was Extremely Disappointed! Mortified!!
From Katharine Bushnell, Heaven on Earth (Southport, England, 1914) http://godswordtowomen.org/heaventable.htm:
“Isaiah 40:9 The verse, however, is obscured by mistranslation and should read: (Bushnell)
“O thou woman that bringest good tidings to Zion,
get thee up into the high mountain;
O thou woman that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem,
life up thy voice with strength;
lift it up, be not afraid;
say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God! (R. V.) (Bushnell)
“A prophecy about women preaching is also found in Psalm 68:11, and the Revised Version gives the correct translation: “The women that publish the tidings are a great host.” (Bushnell)
“John the Baptist cannot be meant even though he is the subject of Isaiah 40: 3 because the person addressed in verses 9 and 10 is a female. Precisely the same reasons exist for translating “thou woman” here as “the women” in Psalm 68:11. One and the same prophecy is expressed in different forms as Dr. Adam Clarke long ago demonstrated. In each case of the two passages, the original is a feminine participle of the Hebrew verbal form bisser, “to tell good tidings.” (Bushnell)
[With Great Sorrow, the Revised Version no longer uses the word “women.”]
The whole verse (40:9) is feminine! The Duty and Method of Bearing Good Tidings to Zion, a Sermon by Rev. Alexander McCaul, D.D., pg 9 (London: Hatchard and Son, 187, Piccadilly) 1841:
“The substantive and all the words referring to it are, in the original, feminine. (McCaul)
“It is hardly needful to say that in the Bible the feminine is thus applied to churches and to nations. Some commentators assert, that the feminine form is here used for the masculine, and adduce in proof instances which they consider similar, but they forget that here the whole sentence is feminine, which makes this case essentially different. Such a continuation of feminines is applied only where a female is intended…” (McCaul)
Then I came across a valuable old book, Gunethics; Or, the Ethical Status of Women, Rev. W. Kennedy Brown A. M., D.D. (Funk and Wagnalls, New York and London, 1887). Rev. Brown also writes about both Psalm 68:11 and Isaiah 40:9:
“In the fortieth chapter of Isaiah the following prophecy is found beginning with the third verse: (Brown)
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the LORD,
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God…” (Brown)
“This is universally conceded to be a Messianic prophecy. The New Testament Scriptures affirm the reference of this passage to John the Baptist, the immediate herald of Jesus, the Christ. (Brown)
“Immediately following the quotation just made, at the ninth verse, are utterances evidently as distinctively prophetic of the engagement of females in the promulgation of the Gospel. (Brown)
“O daughter that bringest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain!
O daughter that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength;
Lift it up, be not afraid;
Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” (Brown)
“Thus the special heralds of the Gospel, John the Baptist and the woman sex, are designated in a united prophecy. The exhortation of the prophet was to the woman sex. This is suppressed in the ordinary translations, including our Authorized Version (King James). (Brown)
“At Isaiah 40:9, there is a most manifest perversion. The Hebrew text demands a feminine herald. As if to avoid this acknowledgment in our Authorized Version, the arrangement of the grammar is Reversed [“O Zion that bringest good tidings”… instead of “O daughter that bringest good tidings to Zion”]. The Revised Version corrects the false arrangement and restores the grammar, but Fails to carry the feminine into the translation [“O thou that tellest the good tidings to Zion”… “daughters” were changed to “thou”]. (Brown)
“This text, standing as it does, immediately following a passage which is universally conceded as prophesying the ministry of John, the New Testament Elijah, would bear most conclusive testimony for the prominence of women in publishing the Gospel of glad tidings, were not its significance dissipated in the translation. It is also possible that whole texts on this question have disappeared, very much as the incident at St. John, eighth chapter, beginning at the first verse, was so nearly lost…. (Brown)
“It may not be amiss to remark that the interpretation of this sixty-eighth Psalm has always been regarded by commentators as exceedingly perplexing, and conclusions thereon as of doubtful worth. It is also proper to note that the translations generally wholly suppress the sex of woman, including our Authorized Version (King James). Let us refer to the sixty-eighth Psalm. The English Authorized Version reads at the eleventh verse, (Brown)
“The Lord gave the word.
Great was the company of those that published it.” (Brown)
“Let us consider the prophecy of the sixty-eighth psalm which doubtless has reference to the great number of women preachers in the fullness of Gospel times. Beginning with the eleventh verse of this Psalm, we read from the Revised Version: (Brown)
“The LORD giveth the word:
The women that publish the tidings are a great host.” (Brown)
“The angels and Saviour united in authorizing and charging certain women whom Jesus had associated with His disciples to fulfill the mission embodying these features of a spiritual ministry. (Brown)
“What more honorable or more purely spiritual ministry has been entrusted to mankind than that of making the first proclamation of the resurrection, the greatest fact and miracle of the kingdom of God? (Brown)
“What higher religious honour and spiritual truth has been confided to man than that which received commission to show the path to the Risen Saviour, to announce the marvel of the ascension, to declare the relation of Jesus and our own relation to the Infinite One? – all of which was specifically entrusted to woman for proclamation to the Church by the Lord Himself after the resurrection and before He had spoken to any of the male disciples. (Brown)
“Christianity no-where in its subsequent history presents women on the elevation assigned them by Jesus, nor, indeed, at the status they were conceded at its rise. (Brown)
“Anything less than an equal opportunity in the field of the world in the labor of human redemption is injustice to the kingdom of God, injustice to the State, injustice to humanity, as well as unwarrantable, almost unpardonable injustice to the sex of woman. (Brown)
Margins and footnotes …….
It is most likely impossible to find out the exact year when our bibles lost their “women” words, or who is responsible. The deceitful translators definitely had a plan. First the “women” words got insidiously transferred to the margins; then the margins disappeared altogether. It is quite a coincidence that both “women” prophesies got moved before they were eliminated.
Helps to Composition by Charles Simeon (John Burges, Cambridge University, 1801) pg 164. In the footnotes of Isaiah 40:9
- It should be read as in the margin, “O daughter, that bringeft good tidings to Zion, &c” It was cuftomary for women to celebrate the praifes, of God in public on remarkable occasions. (Simeon)
God’s Word to Women by Katharine Bushnell, 1923, pg xiv. From the forward written in 1943 by Ray B. Munson:
“The Lord giveth the word, [the women] … that publish the tidings are a great host” (Psalm 68:11, KJV, margin note, Oxford University Press). (Bushnell)
Omitting Margins, missing link for missing “women” words….
“The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. By and large, the difference is that the KJV lacked footnotes that the Geneva Bible contained.” Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Bible
Finally, I found Isaiah 40:9! In Only ONE bible, again the Orthodox Jewish Bible. Thank God for their honesty!!
O Mevaseret Tziyon (O Herald, Preacher of Besorah [Good News, Gospel] Tziyon, O Lady Evangelist Tziyon), get thee up into the har gavo’ah (high mountain); O Mevaseret Yerushalayim (O Herald, Preacher of Besorah [Good News, Gospel] Yerushalayim, O Lady Evangelist Yerushalayim), lift up thy voice with ko’ach; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the towns of Yehudah, Hinei Eloheichem.
Twice it says, “O Lady Evangelist… O Herald, Preacher of Good News, Gospel.”
…..…Only ONE bible….….!!!!!!!!!!
This paragraph about Psalm 68:11 in Hard Sayings of the Bible (Intervarsity Press, 1996), by Walter C. Kaiser Jr, Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, Manfred T. Brauch sums it up very well (page 276):
“As mentioned before, the announcers of the good news appear to be women, for the Hebrew participle is in the feminine plural form. God placed his word in the mouths of his announcers; the word of promise and power in the face of a hostile world. As such, this word is very close to that of Isaiah 40:9 and especially Joel 2:28-29. These heralders comprised a great host of individuals. Surely this foreshadows what God would do at Pentecost and what he has since done all over the world through the great missionary force which has included so many women.”
Could it be that the “women” in these verses were erased because men didn’t want to give women ‘ideas’ about preaching?
These verses were actual prophecies about the women on Resurrection morning. Jesus fulfilled these words when He appeared to Women Only at the empty tomb, telling them to proclaim His excellent news.
Those prophetic verses belong to women!!
It still grieves me that most bibles do not say “women,” in both these verses. These are such strong and meaningful passages. And if they changed these verses, how many other verses did they change??
Other missing women:
- In our modern English bibles, men are “elders” and women are “older” (1 Tim 5:1, 2), yet in the Greek it is the same root word ‘presbuteros.’
- “Her” villages are now “the” villages. These verses should say “her towns:” Joshua 15:45, 47; 17:11, 16; Judges 1:27; 11:26; 1 Chronicles 5:16; 7:29; 18:1; Jeremiah 19:15. These verses should say “her cities:” Joshua 13:17; Jeremiah 48:15, 51:43; Ezekiel 29:12, 30:7. And these should say “her villages:” Numbers 21:25; Joshua 15:45, 47.
- When speaking of the tribulation, Jesus said, “and the moon shall not give her light.” Matthew 24:39, Mark 13:24.
- Then He talked about the fig tree, “When her branch is yet tender,” Mark 13:28.
- “Inhabitress” is now “inhabitant.” These verses should say “inhabitress:” Isaiah 12:6; Jeremiah 10:17; 21:13; 22:23; 46:19; 48:18, 19; 51:35; Micah 1:11, 12, 13, 15.
- “Deacon” is for men, “servant” is for women. Again it is the same Greek word ‘diaknonos.’ In Romans 16:1 Phebe used to be a “minister,” now she is a “servant.”
- Check your bibles to see if you still have: “born of women” in Matthew 11:11; “from their mother’s womb” in Matthew 19:12; “daughter of Zion” in Matthew 21:5; “born of women” in Luke 7:28; “her children” in Luke 7:35.
- In Acts 18:26, less than half the bibles still name Priscilla first, then Aquila. I wonder who changed them around. And the list goes on… Is your heart not breaking?
For many centuries, the “woman caught in adultery” (John 8) was even excluded from the bible, because men thought it would give women the ‘idea’ that Jesus approved of adultery. Can you imagine not knowing that story?? And Junia (Romans 16:7), the only known woman apostle, was robbed of her gender. In the thirteenth century she became a man, Junias!!
These are just some of the mistranslated words and atrocities which I have discovered through my readings and comparing bibles. There are likely many more but I don’t know about them.
I feel that our bibles have been hijacked. Removing the “women” words is a type of female genocide, making women disappear. I was beginning to see how all these mistranslations, misinterpretations, and false teachings work together to keep women in subordination, taking away their equality, giving men all the power, control and authority, and women remaining invisible.
Women are not allowed to question, or speak, or teach, or preach, or divorce. And how many times a year do women have to be indoctrinated with “Must be silent.” “Must submit.” “Must not teach.” “Men are the head.”…?
‘Undermining Women’s Prominence’ in the early church http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/first/women.html Written by Karen L. King:
“Women’s prominence did not, however, go unchallenged. Every variety of ancient Christianity that advocated the legitimacy of women’s leadership was eventually declared heretical, and evidence of women’s early leadership roles was erased or suppressed. It needs to be emphasized that the formal elimination of women from official roles of institutional leadership did not eliminate women’s actual presence and importance to the Christian tradition, although it certainly seriously damaged their capacity to contribute fully. What is remarkable is how much evidence has survived systematic attempts to erase women from history, and with them the warrants and models for women’s leadership.”
“Or women’s stories could be rewritten and alternative traditions could be invented. In the case of Mary Magdalene, starting in the fourth century, Christian theologians in the Latin West associated Mary Magdalene with the unnamed sinner who anointed Jesus’ feet in Luke 7:36-50. The confusion began by conflating the account in John 12:1-8, in which Mary (of Bethany) anoints Jesus, with the anointing by the unnamed woman sinner in the accounts of Luke. Once this initial, erroneous identification was secured, Mary Magdalene could be associated with every unnamed sinful woman in the gospels, including the adulteress in John 8:1-11 and the Syrophoenician woman with her five and more “husbands” in John 4:7-30. Mary the apostle, prophet, and teacher had become Mary the repentant whore. This fiction was invented at least in part to undermine her influence and with it the appeal to her apostolic authority to support women in roles of leadership.”
You will also want to read, Karen Jo Torjesen, When Women Were Priests: Women’s Leadership in the Early Church & The Scandal of their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity (New York, NY: Harper Collins Publisher, 1995.)
The ones translating the word keep erasing women words, and the ones speaking the word speak mostly about the men, but throughout the centuries God has called many women. They were not able to be on the pulpits of later organized religions but they had the first house meetings and they formed monasteries and they became missionaries and they passed on their faith to their sons and their daughters.
God still calls women today. They teach bible studies and they read to their children and they comfort the poor and they become bible scholars and they write blogs. All people suffer when women are not allowed to use their gifts. And when women feel devalued enough, they stop going to church.
I still trust God, and I still believe in the Word of God, even though it has been tampered with. Perhaps, if enough people demand it, one day those precious women words will be restored. “O thou woman, preacher that bringest glad tidings.” “The Lord gave the command. Great are the lady evangelists, the heralds who proclaim and publish the good news, gospel.”
We need to focus on Jesus’s words and actions in the gospels, not on Paul’s misinterpreted words. We need to restore our faith in the Lord Jesus and dwell on what He did for women. There is so much of God’s love and protection in those pages that we have not heard. The bible also has some really powerful women and children we could learn from and enjoy.
Women need to hang on to these verses. Hopefully, more women will learn Hebrew and Greek so they are allowed on translation committees. I also pray that more men will be moved by God to defend the equality and dignity and words of women. How I wish there was one bible which translated all the women verses accurately! We cannot let these women verses disappear forever.
“This is such a great work because it will preserve and hopefully restore the truth about these “women” verses. This work reminds me of the people who save seeds; once the original seeds are gone, they are gone forever. The seeds become an extinct species, just like the animals that are disappearing. There is only a fragment of evidence left about the mistranslated “women” words, but thank God there are a few people who are called to do this precious research for the Lord, and for women.” – Irene Fisher