Thanks to Suzanne McCarthy over at Suzanne’s Bookshelf for this POST on the gender neutral Bible controversy. She links to a helpful article by Ann Nyland addressing the generic use of the Greek word aner. Now, I am not one who would advocate gender inclusive language simply for the sake of being gender inclusive. In fact, I often think gender exclusive language should be maintained, so that it can be critiqued. However, if a word can be used generically, I want my translation to be accurate, and the generic use should be taken into consideration when the word is translated.
One case of this in my own area would be the Old Testament phrase sometimes translated the “sons of Israel.” The fact of the matter is that this phrase is often generic and as such should be translated “the children of Israel,” “the people of Israel,” “the Israelites” or some such translation. This is not done simply for the sake of being gender inclusive. It is simply more accurate since the phrase is not usually referring to only male Israelites.
If you are interested in this topic, be sure to check out Nyland’s article.