I want to confess that I know that sometimes I make mistakes on this blog. Sometime they are pointed out immediately and other times no one notices. Often I become aware of a small error a few days later. Usually I don’t remark on them and I don’t have a list of them anywhere. But if you have noticed, believe me, I know.
Here is an example, and it is one I am very glad to find because it helps out my general thesis. I have a bias, I admit. If you are aware of any other errors I make, please, don’t hesitate to write.
Last year there was a great roustabout concerning whether anthropos means “man” male and represents women also in a mixed group, or whether it actually means “human beings”. I couldn’t think of a place where a group of adam/anthropos were mentioned that was all female. I thought maybe there wasn’t one. I was wrong.
Thanks to Ochuk, I now have an example. I was reading a post by Tim Challies with the predictable statement that God named the human race ‘man.’ Now it’s true that in 1952, there was a Bible translation in which the human race was named “Man.” That is a fact. However, the question is, does Adam really mean “human” or “man (male)” in English.
Ochuk responded to Tim Challies, not on this post, but on the same post the previous time the post was posted. Ochuk comments,
- It is not at all clear that the Hebrew ‘adam has any “male-oriented aspect” in this context. Certainly, it is used as a name of the first man, but it is being used as a generic which implies no male-orientation. To make such an inference fails to understand the nature of generics. In Numbers 31 we read of the spoils of war brought back by the Israelites were 32,000 women. These women are referred to by the Hebrew generic noun ‘adam no less than six times (28, 30, 34, 40, 46, 47). Therefore, no “male-oriented aspect” should be inferred when ‘adam is used as a generic as it is in Genesis 1.
Therefore, in Numbers 31, there is a case where all the men are killed and then all the male children, and finally any woman that has known a man. Then those who remain the adam/anthropoi, all women and thirty two thousand of them, become the spoils of war. And so we have a group of all females which are clearly named as adam or anthropoi. There are several other words in this chapter for referring to men or the males.
Surely we can agree that to translate adam or anthropos as “human” is not removing male meaning. (Interesting – Ochuk has something invested in this – his name is Adam.)