Re:Sexist Language

From: Peter Phillips (
Date: Wed Jun 25 1997 - 03:15:03 EDT

I'm sorry but I can't stop myself replying to the posting by Lemuel Abarte about sexist language and how we need to interpret within our own language rather than provide literal translations of the Greek.

The issue is just not that simple. There are occasions when ANQRWPOS is translated by 'man' in most versions where the Greek is clearly gender non-specific. Therefore to say that the problem is simply with the reader is wrong - the translation has suggested a male-exclusivity that is not present in the text.

I think that your reading has more to do with Lemuel's sociolinguistics in his understanding of language - this is shown by his example of women bishops - he has determined that the proper translation for EPISKOPOS is bishop when this is clearly not the case in every instance of the word.

Translators translating gender non-specific term in the NT or OT into gender specific terms in English versions are violating the Word of God and marginalising those who do not see themselves included within such gender specific terms.

Of course, the whole problem is that the new Inclusivist versions are also translating gender specific terms into non-gender specific terms and that's where the problem lies.....

Pete Phillips,
Cliff College, Sheffield, England

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