RE: Searchng for an agenda-neutral Bible

From: Kelley Mata (
Date: Tue Nov 24 1998 - 20:38:55 EST

I would agree that the third person masculine singular is not totally
archaic; Dr. Grudem in his recent article in the ETS Journal noted where
many newspapers and magazines still used this form generically. However,
this usage seems to be waning in English.

Also, I do not think that any of the proponents for inclusive language (not
gender neutral language) would deny that there are social issues that are
effecting modern English usage. Clearly there are.

However, the question that is raised is a translation issue. Is the
masculine singular the best and most accurate translation into English
vernacular? Also, gender inclusion seeks only to be more specific and
translate passages that are meant to be inclusive, using a generic masculine
which was understood to be inclusive by the readers, into the clearest and
most accurate idiom in the present vernacular.

So, though one has the opinion that the masculine third singular is adequate
for generic or inclusive translation today, does not necessitate that we
accuse those who disagree as caving in to political pressure (as an earlier
post indicated).

M. Kelley Mata
> -----Original Message-----
> Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 6:17 PM
> To: Biblical Greek
> Subject: Re: Searchng for an agenda-neutral Bible
> Dear list members,
> Perhaps I don't understand. Are we to assume that the Bible is
> agenda-neutral and that any agenda that comes through in translation is a
> result of the translators' bias? I think not.
> Furthermore, someone has said,
> >> The simple fact is that the "generic he" is archaic in contemporary
> English. It is no longer generic. >>
> When did the words 'man' and 'he' loose their generic, gender neutral
> meanings? I'll tell you when. When certain segments of society refused to
> recognize them. I submit that this does not constitute their going out of
> existence. In fact these still are the #2 meanings listed in my most
> recent
> dictionary (the Oxford Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus: American Edition;
> the
> Oxford University Press, 1997):
> man...2a human being; person (no man is perfect). b the human race (man is
> mortal).
> and
> he...2 person, etc., of unspecified sex.
> No mention anywhere of these being archaic.
> Does anyone seriously contend that either of these uses is incapable of
> being understood today?
> Sorry if this sounds inflammatory. I get hot when people make patently
> untrue statements about the language I love.
> Craig Harmon
> ---
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