Re: gender norming translations
Fri, 5 Apr 1996 17:22:23 -0800 (PST)

It appears that I have deeply offended A. Brent Hudson by not repeating
exactly what he said. I am inferring this because he said: "If not for aca-
demic [hyphen is mine] integrity then for Christian charity, please quote
people correctly." Perhaps he can clarify the inconsistency between "hardly
justifiable" (his words) and "undesirably male-oriented" (mine), because I
simplistically assumed that he felt the NASB language in question was male-
oriented and that he did not like it.
To respond to the problem he raises re Rom 1:16 and 17, it is possible to be
gender-neutral in v. 16 without offending conservative readers because the
pronoun "everyone" (from PANTI) is typical and gender-neutral. In v. 17
however, using "the righteous" alone would imply a plural adjective to most
readers when in fact the adjective is singular, therefore it is necessary to
add a noun for clarification. To be neutral we would have to add "person" or
"individual" (which is awkward and puts too much emphasis on the singular) or
perhaps something else more awkward. Using "person" is probably best, but it
connotes to conservative readers of the NASB a deliberate attempt to be
"politically correct" and sounds bad to those who have long since memorized
the statement. Using something like "man or woman" would be just as bad or
worse for the NASB. "Man" is thus not the ideal choice by any means, but until
gender-inclusive language becomes more common "man" is perhaps least pro-
blematic, and sophisticated readers, as I've already noted, know that "man"
does not necessarily exclude women.

Don Wilkins
UC Riverside