God Created Man . . . Male and Female

Louis Markos makes an important point against the use of gender-neutral language in Bible translations:

Over the last several decades, this postmodern deconstruction of masculinity and femininity has, I believe, been fostered by the widespread acceptance of gender-neutral language. Many recent Bible translations (NRSV, NLT, CEV, NIV 2011) have adopted such language, despite the fact that God himself (Gen. 5:1–2) refers to the human race by the name of the first man, Adam. McDowell and Stonestreet do not use one of these translations (they use the ESV); still, I think their own use of gender-neutral language has the unintended consequence of downplaying the sexual complementarity on which strong and fruitful biblical marriages rest.

I suspect that the usage of “man” to refer to humanity in the English language resulted from the influence of the Bible.

If I’m reading a document from another time and place that has been translated into my language, I want to read the words they used so that I can see how they conceived of the world. I don’t want their way of conceptualizing the world re-shaped into the way the world is conceptualized by the pc police in this time and place. If that happens, I won’t have any suspicion that the world was seen differently in that time and place.

Once again, the best remedy for this is to learn and use the biblical languages. If you can’t do that, stick with a literal translation.

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1 Comment

  1. And this is why the Jewish translators call the first human, a “human” or an “earthling.” The word means made from the soil, not male. It means human, not animal, not God. In Numbers, when Moses listed the spoils, he said, all the soul adams, all young girls who had not known an ish. Adam means dust to dust, both male and female.

    In literary Greek it was common enough to call a woman he anthropos, a human being, or even an anthropos theou, a person of God.

    The best remedy is to learn the languages from a wide spectrum of ancient literature.

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