NIV Gives Women an Out for Being Keepers at Home

NIV Gives Women an Out for Being Keepers at Home

Did you know that the NIV doesn’t use the word “keepers at home” in regards to married women’s role? No, they have redefined it as meaning “busy at home.” William Einwechter wrote an incredible article about the evolving quality that this term originally meant to the way it is used today. Many have mocked me for teaching that married woman should be keepers at home but I trust God knows what He meant when He instructed older women to teach the younger women this principle.

“Nonetheless, in accord with the spirit of our age that looks in disdain upon the notion that the sphere of a married woman’s work is her home, many in the church have rejected the earlier consensus understanding of ‘keepers at home.’ Instead, to be ‘keepers at home; is interpreted to mean that a wife and mother is ‘to be busy at home’ (NIV), i.e., she ‘should not be idle or derelict in fulfilling home duties.’ In other words, ‘keepers at home’ does not define the married woman’s calling or the sphere of her work, but is simply an admonition not to neglect her domestic duties. Therefore, a wife and mother may pursue a career outside of the home — as a lawyer, teacher, sales clerk, etc. — as long as she fulfills her responsibilities in the home.”

Then Mr. Einwechter gives a lesson on the Greek concerning the term “keepers at home” and it becomes very clear what God intended. “The Greek word translated ‘keepers at home’ is oikourous. This word is derived from two Greek words. The first, oikos, means a house, a dwelling, or, by metonymy, a household or family. The second, ouros, refers to a keeper, watcher or guardian, i.e., one who has the oversight and responsibility for something. Thus, the basic significance of oikourous is that of a ‘housekeeper,’ that is, one who watches over a household and family, seeing to it that all members are cared for, and all things maintained in good order. Oikourous is used only in the New Testament in Titus 2:5; therefore, in seeking to accurately discern its meaning we must look to the Greek literature of the New Testament era. There, the word oikourous meant watching or keeping the house. It was employed in reference to a watchdog who guarded a house, but more germane to the context of Titus 2:5, oikourous also meant keeping at home, and was employed as a substantive, ‘housekeeper,’ to indicate the mistress of the house. Furthermore, it was specifically used in praise of a good wife. Interestingly, oikourous is utilized contemptuously of a man who refused to go out to war, designating him a ‘stay-at-home’ man.

The verbal form of the Greek stem oikour-, oikoureo, meant to watch or keep the house. It was used of women to indicate those who were at home to watch over the affairs of a household, and of men to designate those who stayed at home to avoid military service. Other words based on this same Greek stem such as 1) oikourema, meant keeping the house and staying at home, and was used to refer to women as the ‘stay-at-homes’; 2) oikouria, referred to women as those employed in the work of housekeeping; 3) oikourios, meant the wages or rewards for the work of keeping the house, but also designated, significantly, keeping children within the doors of the house, i.e., keeping them at home.

On the basis of this word study, it is concluded that oikourous was primarily used in the positive sense to indicate both the nature and sphere of a married woman’s work. The nature of her work is to manage the affairs of her household, and the sphere of her work is the home. It is important to note that oikourous and its cognates all included the idea of staying at home. Therefore, we believe that the ‘keepers at home’ are those who stay at home for the purpose of managing their households.”

God definitely intended for women to be keepers at home and it means exactly what He said. He doesn’t need to use a lot of words to help us to understand better. He’s perfectly clear. “Thus the roles assigned to the married woman by God confirms that ‘keepers at home’ refers to those who remain at home so that they might properly attend to their duties of caring for their family and managing its everyday affairs. When her duties are understood in all their scope and significance, it becomes clear that only by being ‘keepers at home’ can a wife and mother fulfill her high calling from God to be a helper to her husband, a mother to her children, and a manager of her household.”

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:4, 5

11 thoughts on “NIV Gives Women an Out for Being Keepers at Home

  1. Lori, thanks for your blog post today. Over a different doctrinal matter, I stopped reading the NIV seven years ago and replaced it with a King James Bible. It is now the only Bible I ever read/study from.

    I appreciate the information you shared today. Satan is so busy seeking to deceive us women into believing that our worth and potential lies “out there” in the world somewhere, rather than as being wives, mothers, and keepers at home, as is God’s will for us.

    Have a blessed weekend!

  2. I much prefer the King James version after I have done a lot of searching of how the modern versions have not only changed verses but also the meaning of the verses. I used to think KJV only people were a bit overzealous, but after comparing the changes side by side, it is downright heresy.

  3. I agree, Vicki. I, too, did my own research on the modern translations and came to the same conclusion. The King James Version edifies the diety of our Lord Jesus and doesn’t remove or change crucial verses pertaining to the blood of Christ. We are saved by the blood! Thanks, Lori. You have again encouraged us as keepers-at-home to stay strong in managing and guarding our homes.

  4. As a French speaker with a Spanish background, I can share here what the most conservative versions say in these two languages.

    In French, the equivalent of “keepers at home” is ” occupied by domestic cares” in the French Darby version, and “careful with her house” in the Spanish Reina Valera version.
    God’s will for women is clear for me trough those verses in French and Spanish, although it isn’t the same words in the KJV. I think we can read through the NT what kind of role God wants and plans for women. I’m a joyful keeper at home ?!

    I think that if Christian women don’t understand God’s will for them by being keepers at home, it’s because they lack Godly example, or real Godly teaching, or their husband’s permission to stay home, or strong faith to do the impossible with God. And yes, sadly, some (or many) prefer to work all day long outside their home by lack of obedience toward God…

  5. KJV is the one with the clear note and a certain sound. Note: “Keepers” is a noun, a person who guards or watches. “Busy” is a verb, actively engaged in work. Two totally different meanings. You cannot possibly guard or watch over your home if you aren’t there to do so. Great post! Thank you for sharing!

  6. The new NIV. Something that John MacArthur promotes and supports along with his new NIV study guide.

  7. From the dictionary:
    1.having a great deal to do.
    “he had been too busy to enjoy himself”
    synonyms: occupied, engaged, involved, employed, working, hard at work; More

    1. keep occupied.
    “she busied herself with her new home”
    synonyms: occupy, involve, engage, concern, absorb, engross, immerse, preoccupy; More

  8. I always love your post. After using the NIV for years and allowing it to move further out of the role God has designed for me as a wife and mother because it left open holes allowing me to move in another direction I actually was married and divorced twice. My husband now actually gets to experience the KJV Titus 2/ Proverbs 31 wife I should have been all along. So, thank you for sharing.

  9. Thanks that before you were finished you showed that “busy”, and “keeper” are synonyms . They mean the same things.

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