Esau McCaulley later deleted the following tweet and protested he was just asking a question. (Yeah. Right.) But there is a such thing as a stupid question:
A question that I can't stop asking: If all translation is interpretation and interpretation is influenced by social location, what does it mean that most of our English bibles were translated with very few Black or other Christians of color or women involved?
Leaving aside that not all translation is interpretation, this tweet reflects the “research justice” aspect of Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality and related ideologies. “Research justice” values the identity of the researcher as much or more than the quality of his/her work. As in politics, white males are not to be listened to much unless they are “woke”, of course, and even then Black, female, gay, etc. voices are to be listened to more. I am not saying McCaulley buys all of this, and I doubt he does, but he clearly buys enough of it that he would question superior works of Bible translation because of the race and gender of the translators.
Dr. James White dissects the tweet quite well.
I would like to respond to that: the answer is, "Translation does not require diverse voices, and increasing diversity will not as a result increase accuracy of translation." Standpoint epistemology has no place in the serious work of text and translation.— James White (@DrOakley1689) September 8, 2019
The issue of the accurate translation of Paul's words to the church at Colossae involves knowledge of lexicography, historical context, background, grammar, and syntax.— James White (@DrOakley1689) September 8, 2019
Categories of oppression or intersectionality have nothing to do with it.
For example:— James White (@DrOakley1689) September 8, 2019
ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς
What does it matter who my grandfather was, or what my gender is, in rendering this, "For in him dwells all the fulness of deity in bodily form"?
In other words, the skills and scholarship behind good Bible translation have nothing to do with race and gender. For a prominent Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) leader to suggest otherwise is troubling.
And Dr. McCaulley is a prominent ACNA leader. While continuing to lead the Anglican Multiethnic Network, McCaulley has recently become the director of Next Generation Leadership for ACNA. NGL is “a province wide initiative committed to raising up and training the next generation of Anglican clergy and lay leadership.”
So I’ve got some questions myself. Is it appropriate for someone with McCaulley’s race-obsessed mindset in line with Critical Race Theory to have ACNA positions of this importance? Will ACNA exercise any church discipline with McCaulley?
I expect to revisit this matter.