Re: Gender-specific or gender-inclusive?

From: Wayne Leman (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 21:50:52 EST

George concluded:

>I would say the same (that the masc. incluedes the femine), but I would not
>admit it to the actual translation. There was an inclusive use of the
>masculine in the original which I think should be faithfully produced in

That's largely the point that some are making here, isn't it, George?
Namely, that the inclusive meaning of the original should be faithfully
produced in translation? And what English word faithfully preserves the
inclusive meaning of ANQROPOI for English speakers today? It's not "man"
since for many, many English speakers today, "man" only refers to the male
members of humanity. That would be un-faithful translation. And we shouldn't
have to have a commentator, whether in hard copy or a human, beside us, when
we read the translated Bible, telling us, "Well, that's what you think the
word means, but it really means this."

At one time when all (so it is said, anyway) speakers of English understood
"man" to mean "humanity", "man" was an accurate translation of inclusive
ANQROPOI. Today, because of language shift, which every language
experiences, "man" not longer is that accurate translation. We don't get
synchronic (presentday) meanings of words for understanding any document,
including the Bible, by studying word etymologies. We must always translate
so that the current audience gets the same meaning for themsevles that the
original audience got from the original text.

My webpage on gender-accuracy in Bible translation is at URL:

I'm fair and have links to all points of view on the matter, including those
of theologically conservative complementarians and egalitarians.

> of the human species. That we understand that it was an inclusive use and
even take
>pains to explicitly acknowledge that fact in our comments is acceptable --
>just don't mess with the original unless there is no other way to be clear.

Who is messing with the original, George? People are just trying to
translate the original into English and other languages as faithfully
(accurately) as possible. Translating inclusive ANQROPOI with exclusive
English "man" is actually changes the meaning of the original, and that's
not faithful translation.

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