Longtime preacher Cal Habig has just written one of the best blog posts I have read on the topic of gender neutral language (I prefer the term gender accurate, since I don’t want anything in the Bible neutralized, but I do want any Bible translation to be as accurate as possible, including with respect to gender language).
Cal’s post responds to a question he got on Facebook:
I guess I always looked at “gender neutral” as an effort to be politically correct. Have I missed something? And while I am sure Jesus loved and loves men and women equally, did he really use “gender neutral” terms? I’m open to your input.
Cal discusses the two kinds of gender neutral language that can be used in Bible translation (you’ll need to read his post to find out what they are).
In his penultimate (warning: technical term!) paragraph, Cal concludes:
The charge is made that gender-neutral Bibles “change” the Bible. Actually, they don’t. They are seeking to maintain what the Bible says. The non-gender neutral Bibles change the meaning of the Bible. We want modern day hearers to “hear” what the original hearers heard. In our culture using “man” when both men & women are intended actually changes what the Bible is saying.
I like that, putting accuracy first in translation. Whenever we do so we will have better Bibles.
As always, we welcome civil discussion of gender issues in Bible translation on this blog.