Gender inclusive Bibles cast women as “other” rather than part of the collective whole. God collectively named male and female “man” (Hebrew: ‘adam. See Gen. 5:2) to indicate that male and female would share a common condition for which He would provide a common answer. Because both male and female are ‘adam, both are equally represented by the first man, Adam. Both are fallen and in need of a Savior. The good news of the gospel is that both are also equally represented by the Second Man—the Last Adam—Jesus Christ. When God named male and female ‘adam, he had the Last Adam in mind. So when, in order to appease modern sensibilities, we change “man” to something we think is “more inclusive,” we diminish the theological meaning and exclude woman. If woman is not specifically identified as “man” then how can she be represented by the first man, Adam? What’s more, how can she be represented by the Second Man, the Last Adam, Jesus Christ? Gender inclusive Bibles are supposed to be more inclusive of women, but paradoxically, the language theologically does the exact opposite. It excludes women from the collective whole.
My two cents
This is fantastic. Maybe the best I’ve ever read on why it’s wrong to interpret the word “man” as referring to males only.
How ironic that the modern-day attempt to be “inclusive” (by imposing new language conventions) misses the points that are well established by theology and the history of language. It’s another example of faulty presuppositions that are part of the furniture in feminism—and the importance of basing language on the Bible (instead of a self-righteous and moving target of political correctness).
When it comes to Bible translators (of the politically correct versions), I wonder if they’re well aware of the points in the quote, but choose to ignore them because they want a feminist linguistic agenda to override Biblical revelation.
I’m reminded of a time when using Google Street View with a work colleague. I said I would drag the “little man” off the toolbar (to get the street view happening). He tried to correct me by saying “little person” (followed by an awkward and forced smile)—but I ignored him. Now I can demonstrate that it was wrong of him to try that correction—if only I knew this quote at the time.
I’m also reminded of a schoolteacher who wanted students to say “sportspersonship” instead of “sportsmanship”. 20 years later, I realise that he was linguistically ignorant—and yet he was a teacher?
Kassian, M. (2011). 10 Reasons Why the New NIV is Bad for Women.Available: http://www.girlsgonewise.com/10-reasons-why-the-new-niv-is-bad-for-women/. Last accessed 17th Nov 2013.