Warning – gender post ahead. Will those that do not wish to read gender posts please click yourself away.
How many people, when finding that the laundry service has not supplied enough towels in the hotel room, or refuses to do so, demand to speak to the manageress? Maybe Wayne would do a poll for me.
And yet “manageress” is a word that occurs in the dictionary and on many websites. It is apparently a perfectly good English word. In university my French prof docked a mark when we did not translate directrice d’hôtel into “hotel manageress” in English. We just wrinkled our noses and some students blew smoke rings, which tells you how long ago this was! We told him that a hotel only has a “manager” and that is that. Of course, it may very well be a woman, did he want to make something of it? We didn’t think much of his English. We never did hear him speak a word of English.
So, is it really less literal to translate προφῆτις as “prophet” rather than “prophetess”? Or προστατις as “benefactor” rather than “benefactress”? NAB, TNIV, NRSV. Or “patron” rather than “patroness”? ESV. (Or “helper” NASB) Personally I rather like the word “patroness” and it is the word that I would have chosen for this verse. I am not aware of any translation that uses it. (That doesn’t mean there isn’t one.)
When people make a great big fuss about how a προφῆτις should be a “prophetess”, but they don’t care whether a προστατις is a “patron” or a “patroness”, then one has to wonder why.
PS I think tc has a good sense of humour and will accept that I have only taken up the gauntlet which he flung down. Please read comments to this post.
PPS This post has been edited because I implied motive.