On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

PETA wants an animal-friendly translation of the Bible

After hearing that the newest rewrite of the New International Version of the Bible uses gender-inclusive language such as “he or she” instead of “he,” the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have written to the committee that edited the NIV, asking for the next revision to consider the feelings of animals.

Specifically, says PETA, it’s time to refer to animals as “he” or “she” instead of “it.” They are individuals, not objects, said the organization.

PETA wants donkeys indentified as "he" or "she," not "it."


Using such pronouns accurately would be difficult, says a Hebrew scholar. It’s one thing to translate the Bible with care for fidelity to the original manuscripts. It’s quite another thing to start rewriting the Scriptures to reflect modern-day political agendas.

PETA also says the next translation must remove “speciesist” language, which would mean words that are biased toward one species over another.

“Updating the Bible’s language regarding animals would not only reflect modern writing trends but also reinforce the idea that animals are living beings valued by God, not inanimate objects,” says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. “Jesus taught us the importance of mercy and compassion, and this update would encourage mercy and compassion for all God’s creatures — including those who have feathers, fins, and fur.”


David Berger, the dean of Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel graduate school of Jewish studies, told CNN News that making such a shift would be awkward given the nature of ancient Hebrew.

“In Hebrew all nouns are gender-specific. So the noun for chair is masculine and the noun for earth is feminine. There’s simply no such thing as a neutral noun,” Berger said. “It’s unusual to have a noun that would indicate the sex of the animal. In Proverbs it says, ‘Look at the ant, O lazy person. See its ways. In Hebrew it’s ‘see her ways.’ That’s because the word for ant in Hebrew happens to be female. It’s not intended to exclude male ants as far as I know. It’s just an accident the Hebrew word happens to be feminine.”

NIV officials had no immediate comment.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Doreatha

    You can’t add to God’s Word and to me that would be adding. Why does the Bible have to be written in our modern language? It wasn’t written in our day or time. They should be careful. I love how they try to use Jesus’ teachings to justify their argument!

  • http://ClosestIevercametolosingmyreligion Etta Ruthenberg

    One day when I returned from work, I found my kitties all over the yard dead and the mother cat dying. I stood over her and cried while a pack of dogs sat around looking proud and happy.

    It broke my heart. My son and I had watched those kitties being born and I know I put them out of the house too soon.

    I hated those dogs so much! Then I realized that they had just done what their nature made them do. Nature is all about bigger animals killing the smaller ones and not always for food. They were just being like God made them. Cruel!

    What do you PETA people have to say about that?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bell

    God has warned us about changing anything in the bible. We had better heed his warning. And, as everyone else, I don’t have any problem with the way God sit up His animal kingdom.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bell

    Oks, have you read, 11Peter 1:20-21 and 11Timothy 3: 16-17? And by the way, the new and old testament go hand in hand…Jesus Christ said, think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. Matthew 5: 17.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment mary jamison

    hi has any one read the CAT BIBLE? it is one good book

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sunset

    OK Let’s just say that when animals can ‘READ’ and BE ‘offended’ by the bible…….THEN peta may have a cause. Right now, I think PETA needs to go help LIVE animals that are being cruely treated, abused, abandoned, fought to the death, etc. rather than being stupid. I wonder if the people who donate to PETA have noticed how stupidly their donations are being used when some idiot in corporate can come up with junk like this. I think PETA should just be happy that most religions DO NOT sacrifice animals in this day and age.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sunset

    Genesis 2:26,27,28 ~ “And GOD said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So GOD created man in his own image; in the image of GOD created he him; male and female created He them. And GOD blessed them and GOD said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the seas, and over the fowl of the air, and OVER EVERY LIVING THING THAT MOVETH UPON THE EARTH (caps used for emphasis).

    Of course this doesn’t mean to be cruel to animals, or abuse or neglect them, but it just goes to show PETA that God intended for animals to be below humans.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Cindy

    PETA is once again going about things in the wrong manner. If they had read the Bible God created all animals and we are suppose to take of of all of them. Changing the Bible will not change peoples minds about animals. You have to change the minds of the people, and in todays society animals are abused, abandoned, killed, fought just because people can do these things. We need to make the laws tougher on people who do these things then maybe it will change.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Phillip wochner

    I think that PETA has a point about refering to animals by their gender as opposed to “it”. In most, if not all cases, calling them “it” is a change, no doubt, from the Hebrew.
    Most ants are female. The exceptions are the male drone ants, whose purpose is to mate. I realize that this is an accident of the Hebrew word for “ant” being feminine, and that the Bible is not a science book. But this is a case of the Bible getting it right.
    There is enough in the Bible calling for compassion and respect for animals. No need for a rewrite.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Christine

    It gives a more empathetic look at the animals. PETA, haven’t you noticed that GOD clothed Adam and Eve with lion’s skin to cover their nakedness?

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