Cynthia McClaskey’s Hebrew Blundering of Genesis 25:21

Posted: July 26, 2013 in IFB, King James Only Debate

Cynthia McClaskey is among the antifundamentalist ‘do-righter’ crowds that maintains a blog against Baptists, particularly IFB. Part of her stated mission is proving that Baptists deliberately subjugate women by altering the Bible to fit their misogynist agenda.

In support of this ludicrous accusation, among her many diatribes written on this subject is an article entitled “English Bible Translations: Are They Really The Inspired Words of God” and siting a TALMUDIST, Rabbi Joseph Talushkin’s view of Genesis 25:21 as evidence that the English Bibles have been purposely altered to subjugate women. McClaskey contends that Talushkin’s view that the Hebrew word “le-nokhach ishto” is mistranslated and should be “opposite his wife” and as such,Cynthia cites this as evidence of intentional subjugation of woman.

Genesis 25:21 reads:

And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

First of all, I take issue with Taluskin’s translation as such of this verse. נכח or nokach does not mean AGAINST as McClaskey is implying that this translation would be rendered.  The nokach is used in a prepositional phrase that means “on behalf of”.  Although nakoch is translated as “against” in 10 places in the Bible, it is in relation to location, not SUPERIORITY between sexes. This kind of presumptuous interpretation is asinine for in the very next verse Genesis 25:22-23 read:

And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

God heard Rebekah’s prayer just the same as He heard Isaac’s, and God answered Rebekah’s prayer TO REBEKAH.

Secondly, McClaskey’s accusation against the KJV is actually non existent. McClaskey opines that”

Every time I delve into one of Telushkin’s books, I discover true meanings of passages that Chrisitian leaders twist in order to subjugate and control women and point them into positions of servitude. The above passage is one such passage

Now you would think that if the KJV tranlsators had the subjugation of women in mind then the ENGLISH TEXT WOULD READ AS THE TRANSLATION BY TALUSHKIN RENDERS IT. It doesn’t. How on earth could anyone with a rational mind think that Baptists are applying the HEBREW reading as rendered by a Jewish Talmudist to subjugate women, when the accusation by McClaskey is that this is based on an ENGLISH PERVERSION of the text? It would only fit McClaskey’s argument if the English text actually read as Talushkin accuses, but instead, the KJV and even the 1917 and 1936 JEWISH TRANSLATIONS have this rendered correctly.

Furthermore, the KJV in 1 Peter 3:7 demands that husbands dwell with their wives according to knowledge, and as being heirs TOGETHER of the grace of God, and indicates that a hindrance to prayer is the neglect of BOTH parties failing to honor one another. Ephesians 5:25,28, 33 reads,

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself….Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Thus not only is McClaskey’s accusation unfounded, the Bible in numerous places commands men to treat their wives exactly the opposite of what she has accused men of. Now there are no doubt men who misapply the Bible, and abuse the texts, and in that summation, McClaskey would be right about men who purposely mis-translate the Bible to control a woman, but that is certainly an exceptional circumstance of a selfish man, it is most certainly not because there is evidence of the Bible itself being a faulty translation.

This is a perfect example of a fundamentalist critic building a straw man and then tearing down their own caricature as if it was a view held by Baptists. As a natural born Jew, I know of no Messianic Jews that hold to the view that McClaskey has espoused here, let alone any fundamental Baptists. Rabbi Talushkin well known in Israel as being openly hostile to Christianity, and yet he is considered a valid and trusted source by McClaskey, a professing Christian, on matters of Biblical interpretation.

My advice to McClaskey would be if you are attempting to attack the English Bible based on Hebrew, learn Hebrew first. And if you are a professing Christian, consider that your source for your bias article and straw man argument is a Christ rejecting Talmudist that relies on some of the most Kabbalistic readings of the Torah found in the Gemara.

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that critics go to in slandering Bible believers with inaccurate and blatantly false information about the Bible.

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