PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has asked the translators of the New International Version to update the Bible with more animal-friendly terminology.
The group has asked the NIV translators to remove what it calls ‘speciesist’ language. Instead of referring to animals as ‘it’, they should be called either ‘he’ or ‘she’, PETA has suggested.
An updated version of the NIV, one of the most popular translations of the Holy Bible, was released this month.
Although translators said 95 percent of the 1984 translation remained the same, the committee of scholars said it had taken efforts to be more gender-inclusive in their translation into English from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
According to the Committee on Bible Translation’s website: “In general, much more often than not … ‘People’ and ‘humans’ (and ‘human beings’) were widely used for Greek and Hebrew masculine forms referring to both men and women. … ‘Ancestors’ was regularly preferred to ‘forefathers’ unless a specific, limited reference to the patriarchs or to another all-male group is intended.
PETA said it hoped the translators would also show the same sensitivity when it comes to animals.
“When the Bible moves toward inclusively in one area … it wasn’t much of a stretch to suggest they move toward inclusively in this area,” Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s vice president for policy, is quoted as saying in CNN.
“Language matters. Calling an animal ‘it’ denies them something. They are beloved by God. They glorify God,” Friedrich said.
“God’s covenant is with humans and animals. God cares about animals,” Friedrich said. “I would think that’s a rather unanimous opinion among biblical scholars today, where that might not have been the case 200 years ago.”