Why the agitation?: The status of the “Bibel in gerechter Sprache” in academia and the churches

Irmtraud Fischer

A new German Bible translation has easily made it into the headlines of major German-language newspapers. Who would have guessed that the Bible is still able to create so much excitement! Edited by well-known Protestant German Bible scholars, theBibel in gerechter Sprache has attracted considerable controversy in academia, the church, and even the general public since its publication in October 2006.[1] Bible translations are gigantic projects. That this Bible translation was published in only five years[2] was possible thanks not only to the commitment of the editorial board and the more than fifty mostly young translators, many of them Protestant and some also Catholic, but especially to the many individual donations from many church congregations and church groups…

… The heated response to the Bibel in gerechter Sprache reveals the wide spectrum of German biblical scholarship and its manifold inherent conflicts. It gives evidence of the wide diversity of academic Bible research in the German-speaking context with regard to methodological and hermeneutical premises, different views on the relationship of the Old and New Testament and thus about Judaism, and divergent epistemological positions…

aus: SBL Forum 1st April 2008, Die Bibel in gerechter Sprache (The Bible in Inclusive Language). (The SBL Forum is an online journal of the Society of Biblical Literature. It features essays of general and professional interest to SBL members. Its mission is to provide short, useful articles to inform, educate, and address the professional needs of biblical scholars, as well as those interested in biblical studies.)