Wayne Grudem and Grant Osborne are friends. And they strongly disagree about the desirability of having gender-inclusive versions of the Bible.

Both possess degrees in New Testament from respected institutions (Cambridge and Aberdeen, respectively). Both hold professorships at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, one of our leading seminaries. Both have written significant textbooks in their fields (Grudem on systematic theology, Osborne on hermeneutics), published by leading evangelical presses. And yet one says "he" when the other says "they."

Grudem is the president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a group that lobbies for male headship in gender relationships for church and home. He was active in the successful effort to oppose the plans for producing an inclusive edition of the New International Version. (See CT News, June 16, 1997, p. 52.)

Osborne is on the translation team for the New Living Translation, which revised the Living Bible by making it more accurate and consistently gender inclusive. Osborne, as well as the majority of the biblical scholars at Trinity, feels gender inclusivity, as a translation strategy, actually makes our English Bibles clearer and more accurate.

In the following pages they present their best arguments for their positions and, in the responses that follow, point out the weaknesses in the other's position. Throughout they model how to be passionate about what you believe while recognizing that those with whom you disagree are also sincere Christians. You, the reader, may be persuaded by one or the other author, but no one should be tempted to label the other side "the enemy." While Grudem and Osborne disagree, they are still friends.

Wayne Grudem: YES The ...

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October 27, 1997

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