In Part I, we examined the TSNT translation of NT passages that deal with homosexuality. We discussed why this supposedly "gay-friendly" translation doesn’t seem that friendly, and why it may be a translation based on a hermeneutic of common Greek usage, while not considering the theological culture and history of the writer (the Apostle Paul). Today, we look at the infamous passage in Romans 1 (previously discussed here).
Here’s the passage in question, Romans 1:26-27, in an accepted translation, followed by Nyland’s new TSNT:
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.(NASB)
Because of this, God handed them over to experiences of
public stigma. The females exchanged natural sex for what is other than
natural. And the same goes for males too. The males got rid of natural
sex with the female and burned with their mutual yearning males
producing indecency with one another, and as a result got what was
coming to them for their mistake. (TSNT)
Again, the TSNT doesn’t sound too favorable to those interested in same sex coitus, but perhaps it gives them more theological wiggle room.
These greek words, atimia pathos, are traditionally translated "vile passions." Most of the time, the word atimia is translated "dishonor" or "reproach," which could, I suppose, be something like "public stigma" or humiliation. But this word pathos is pretty much universally translated as "affections." Vile affections makes more sense then "stigma." I mean, if God is handing them over to public stigma, is it the stigma of "as a result, [they] got what was coming to them"?
Again, I wonder if Nyland has chosen to interpret this more in the context of common Greek usage than in the context of the passage itself, and within the context of biblical theology. If that is the case, her translation may be more inaccurate interpretation than meaningful translation.
These Greek words, katergazomai asch?mosyn?, are most literally translated "working shame" (Young’s literal translation). While Nyland’s translation of the first word into "producing" is in line with the many synonyms for this word (working, creating), her dependence on the common Greek usage results in a translation almost as undecipherable as Young’s – I mean, what is "creating indecency?" A better translation into working English is the very sensible and close to the meaning translation of the ESV – "committing shameless acts."
I don’t think that the TSNT translation is particularly pro-gay. I also don’t know if, with regards to the scriptures that deal with homosexuality, it sheds much light on the authors intended meaning. In fact, since it seems to translate withOUT a theological background, it renders some passages less comprehensible, and less contiguous with the immediate context’s line of reasoning. It’s as if she translated with a hermeneutic that only applied two rules; (a) interpret it as it was most commonly used in Greek, and (b) it only has to make sense in the current sentence, not within the entire thought of the paragraph, book, or bible.
Now, I am probably being unkind to Ms. Nyland, who is much more educated in these matters than myself, and probably put way more thought into her translation than I have into these analyses. Nevertheless, I just had to analyze this "pro-gay" New Testament for myself. I don’t know if it adds much to that discussion, but its many other passages may shed light on the New Testament in general, if it doesn’t add confusion by being willfully ignorant of doctrine.