The Stealth Bible Exposed

From: Mark Arvid Johnson (
Date: Thu Jun 26 1997 - 21:32:49 EDT

Jonathan Robie wrote:

<<In the 1970s, I argued that English used "man" in a generic sense, and
that this usage was important to teach to children, so that women would not
feel excluded by such references in the great wealth of American and
English literature. Today, I think that the language has changed. I have
written for five computer magazines, and every one of them would remove
generic masculines. I suspect this is also true in non-technical
publications. When I was in college, one of my psychology professors
referred to studies showing that most female children did not think they
were included by references to "man" or "men".>>

Many organizations remove generic masculines because of egalitarian
concerns rather than a serious attempt to track changes in the english
language. Often the issue is not that some people would misunderstand, but
that some people would be offended at the use of generic masculines.

I would be very interested in seeing these studies of female children: can
you provide any references? Even if the they were methodologically sound,
should a general translation be targetted at mature or immature readers?

<<The NIV board has strongly objected to that article, and particularly to
terms such as "gender-neutral", "unisex", etc. The NIV board uses the term
"gender-accurate" to describe their intent, and Kenneth Barker points out
that "WE are all conservative evangelicals who are totally committed to all
the great evangelical doctrines of the historic faith--including the Bible
as the authoritative, infallible, inspired, and completely truthful Word of

It also needs to be pointed out that the NIV board has objected to the
phrase "inclusive language", yet they themselves used this phrase in
reference to the NIVI before the controversy.

Mark Arvid Johnson

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