The theology of the incarnation
- Remember the Greek language is gender inclusive, just as the Hebrew is, so why is the Jerusalem Bible "traditionally gender non-inclusive"? The whole Theology of the incarnation could be jeapourdised by prefering "Man" to the more correct "human" in translating Greek Anthropos. En-Anthropisis is to become-human not to become the male gender (Man). Kosmas Damianides, Monachos.net
I thought that was an important quote.
You should probably now just skip the rest of this post because it is a rerun, another attempt on my part to understand why people ask about the meaning of anthropos. Why do people want so badly for it to have a male meaning component?
Skip the rest, back to work, everybody, I am just trying to sort this one out, once and for all.
The following is a statement from the ESV website.
- Therefore, to the extent that plain English permits and the meaning in each case allows, we have sought to use the same English word for important recurring words in the original; and, as far as grammar and syntax allow, we have rendered Old Testament passages cited in the New in ways that show their correspondence. Thus in each of these areas, as well as throughout the Bible as a whole, we have sought to capture the echoes and overtones of meaning that are so abundantly present in the original texts.
- As an essentially literal translation, then, the ESV seeks to carry over every possible nuance of meaning in the original words of Scripture into our own language.
However, there is no way that the ESV translators can change all occurances of anthropos to 'man'. And there is no way that the they can claim that 'men' expressses the nuances of anthropos better than 'human'. So they cannot "use the same English word for important recurring words in the original." Maybe anthropos is not important.
On the page on gender issues, the ESV website explains its translation practice with respect to the word 'man'. (Apparently it is important after all.)
- For example, “anyone” replaces “any man” where there is no word corresponding to “man” in the original languages, and “people” rather than “men” is regularly used where the original languages refer to both men and women. But the words “man” and “men” are retained where a male meaning component is part of the original Greek or Hebrew.
And later down the page this,
- Similarly, where God and man are compared or contrasted in the original, the ESV retains the generic use of “man” as the clearest way to express the contrast within the framework of essentially literal translation.
In each case the objective has been transparency to the original text, allowing the reader to understand the original on its own terms rather than on the terms of our present-day culture.
I think I have quoted this before, but I have to review it because it still confuses me. Do I have to assess each time the word 'man' is used, whether it is in the context of a comparison with God and then 'man' means 'human', anthropos. However, everywhere else, 'man' reflects a male meaning component in the Greek of Hebrew, irrespective of whether the Greek word is aner or anthropos. And this male meaning component is decided on what basis?
So the ESV does not use the words 'man' and 'human' consistently, although these would, in fact, reflect the Greek, aner and anthropos (not exactly, but more or less), possibly because it might appear to be on the "terms of our present-day culture". No, we must use the words 'man' and 'man', because that pattern "allows the reader to understand the original on its own terms".