Wikisource talk:WikiProject Wiki Bible/Gender

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The Colorado Springs guidelines (CSG) close with the statement: "We understand these guidelines to be representative and not exhaustive, and that some details may need further refinement."

Whatever this project may come up with as a policy should probably conclude the same way, or start with a similar statement.

What do people think?

Here are some questions where I'd love to know other translators' minds.

  • Bearing in mind our translations are no longer our work once we submit them, how would you feel if someone altered your work to be masculine exclusive, or gender neutral, contrary to your judgement?
  • If you were to revert a change, what sort of grounds do you think you might cite?
  • Do you have any personal guidelines you typically work with?
  • What sources would be helpful as a base for any guidelines we might produce?
  • Are there sources that are actually unhelpful?

To be more concrete, CSG has the following suggestion.

  • B3. "Father" (pater, 'ab) should not be changed to parent, or fathers to parents or ancestors.

Aye or nay? Why? Alastair Haines 02:07, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


Hey! Welcome to wikiProject Wiki Bible. I don't translate a whole lot any more, but I've maintained contact with this project. Here's some thoughts:

1. As to how I feel about people editing my work: Well, that's what wikipedia is all about. I do find it a bit ridiculous, though, when people go to extremes either to exclude any sense of gender from a text, or to be so masculine-centered as to add the word "man" when the text only indicates a simple "he" or "who."

2. I would only revert a change if it were vandalism or the work of someone obviously in disharmony with the team working on the project. Otherwise, I let the other wikipedians hash this sort of thing out. If I want to control a text, I can do that on my website; but in wikipedia it is necessary to collaborate.

3. As to personal guidelines, I try to stay faithful to the text in rendering it in modern-day English. The original languages had an ambiguous "he" and so I translate it that way. However, in places where we have the phrase "he who," I typically try to translate it as "the one who" or "who" depending on the Greek background. When it's a form of the article being used in a relative way, I use "the one who" because it is just as accurate a translation without any chance for gender argument. But aside from that, each text must be approached individually.

4. I agree with CSG as to "father." Changing it to parent opens up the text to all sorts of arguments. We don't change "mother" to parent, let's not change father either.

Well, I've rambled quite long enough. I'll stop and let someone else have a speak. Fontwords 21:00, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Everything you say makes sense to me, raises additional relevant issues too. Thank you. Like you, I'm looking forward to more comment. Alastair Haines 03:28, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Masculine, Feminine, Neutral[edit]

  • If the Bible gives the masculine form we should leave it masculine. If feminine then feminine. If neutral then neutral.
    • Because the Bible was written by men who were directed by an omnipotent and omniscient God. He knew everything and made things masculine, feminine, or neutral to avoid confusion and petty arguments.
  • Omniscience means all-knowing.
  • Omnipotent means all-powerful.
  • Anyone who knows the English language well can figure that out.
    • Omni means all, as in omni-direction.
    • Science means knowledge.
    • Potent means powerful.
  • And finally I don't wan't to start a debate with anyone. These are my firm beliefs and a debate would destroy the community type setting of Wikipedia.

Arlen22 (talk) 14:39, 11 June 2009 (UTC)