Christ Reformed Church
One of my concerns about the direction that modern Bible translations are heading is in the capitulation to feminism in the form of adopting what I will refer to as “Egalitarian English”. Egalitarian English is when male oriented gender inclusive language is systematically rooted out and gender neutral inclusives are used instead. This is a direct by-product of feminism.
The following examples of Egalitarian English are from The Office of Human Resources of Princeton University. (“Utilizing Gender Inclusive Language”)
Gender-inclusive language is writing and speaking about people in a manner that does not use gender-based words when the gender is unknown or applies to a mixed gender group of individuals.
This is not surprising coming from a liberal university, but it is stunning to find this sort of language systematically appearing in modern Bible translations that are supposed to be conservative, “essentially-literal” translations of the Bible. The English Standard Version provides excellent examples of this trend.
Here are a few examples…
Ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί (aner adelphos = “men and brethren”), 13 places in the Book of Acts this evocative phrase is truncated and rendered simply as “brothers”. (Acts 1.16; 2.29, 37; 7.2; 13.15, 26, 38; 15.7, 13; 22.1; 23.1, 6; 28.17)
ἄνθρωπος (anthropos = “man”), This word can mean “man” or “husband”, and can be used gender inclusively, “mankind” or “man” (referring to both men and women). The gender inclusive use of the word closely parallels the word “man” and “mankind” in English. This is perhaps best demonstrated by the inclusive use of both words by Neil Armstrong when he stepped upon the face of the moon…
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Just as with “man” and “mankind”, “anthropos” can refer to either a male OR inclusively of men and women. It is never used in the Bible to refer to a single woman, a wife, or a group of women. That is, much like “man” in English, “anthropos” is a male-oriented word that can be used in a gender inclusive way.
The English Standard Version systematically renders this male-oriented, gender inclusive word using Egalitarian English. In so doing, it fails to faithfully render the Greek text in the “patriarchal language” (to use the feminist’s term) in which it was written. It falsely presents the Bible as being written in Egalitarian language.
If someone objects that the meaning is still the same I must object. If the meaning is exactly the same, why have the feminists sought to systematically change the English language? Why are liberal universities sending out gender inclusive language guidelines to their staff? The obvious answer is that there is something being communicated in the use of male-oriented gender inclusives that feminists find inherently offensive. This offense springs from rebellion against God and his order and authority in creation.
Below is a demonstration of how this word “anthropos” has been translated in dozens of places in the Gospel of Matthew alone in the English Standard Version. I’ve also provided a comparison with the King James Version. This is a problem with not only the ESV, but virtually every new Bible translation since the turn of the century.
(note: The same thing has been done systematically with the word “adam” in the Old Testament.)
Matthew 5:13 – KJV
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men
Matthew 5:13 – ESV
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
Matthew 5:16 – KJV
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 – ESV
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:19 – KJV
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:19 – ESV
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 6:1 – KJV
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 6:1 – ESV
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 6:2 – KJV
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Matthew 6:2 – ESV
Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
Matthew 6:5 – KJV
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Matthew 6:5 – ESV
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
Matthew 6:14-16 & 18 – KJV
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Matthew 6:14-16 & 18 – ESV
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 7:9 – KJV
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Matthew 7:9 – ESV
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Matthew 7:12 – KJV
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 – ESV
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 10:36 – KJV
And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Matthew 10:36 – ESV
And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
Matthew 12:11 – KJV
And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
Matthew 12:11 – ESV
He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?
Matthew 12:31 – KJV
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Matthew 12:31 – ESV
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
Matthew 12:35-36 – KJV
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Matthew 12:35-36 – ESV
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
Matthew 12:43 – KJV
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Matthew 12:43 – ESV
When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.
Matthew 12:45 – KJV
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Matthew 12:45 – ESV
Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.
Matthew 15:11 – KJV
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Matthew 15:11 – ESV
it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.
Matthew 15:18 – KJV
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Matthew 15:18 – ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
Matthew 15:20 – KJV
These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Matthew 15:20 – ESV
These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.
Matthew 16:13 – KJV
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Matthew 16:13 – ESV
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?
Matthew 18:7 – KJV
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Matthew 18:7 – ESV
Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!
Matthew 22:16 – KJV
And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
Matthew 22:16 – ESV
And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. [paraphrase.]
Matthew 23:4-5 & 7 – KJV
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Matthew 23:4-5 & 7 – ESV
They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear add lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long
and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.
Matthew 23:12 – KJV
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Matthew 23:12 – ESV
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
Matthew 23:28 – KJV
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Matthew 23:28 – ESV
So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.