A gender accurate Bible translation is one which makes it clear in English (or any other language) what the biological gender(s) of the person or persons in the biblical text was. Most Bible translators today, including those who follow a translation approach that is "literal" or "essentially literal," agree that translation should be gender accurate.
Translators agree that if the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek biblical text referred to a specific man or woman, the translation must be clear that there was a specific man or woman, respectively. If the target language has gender pronouns (not all languages do), grammatically masculine pronouns must be used to refer to males and grammatically feminine pronouns to females. Translators, including those who signed the Colorado Springs Guidelines, composed under the sponsorship of Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, agree that if the original biblical text referred to a group composed of both females and males, translation of that text should be clear that both genders are included.
Most Bible scholars agree that the adelphoi addressed in Romans 12:1 were a group of Christians composed of both females and males. Hence, a gender accurate translation will ensure that the translation text itself (not simply a footnote to the verse) makes it clear that that verse is referring to Christian siblings (both brothers and sisters).
That is what gender accurate translation is. Now there is disagreement among English Bible translators today about how to implement gender accuracy in their translations, and what Bible passages require gender inclusive translation to be accurate. Some prefer to use a word like "brothers" in Romans 12:1, claiming that the word "brothers" includes both female siblings and male siblings. But a majority of English speakers today do not understand the word "brothers" to be gender-inclusive.
So a truly gender accurate translation needs to find some other English wording which makes it clear that both males and females were addressed in Rom. 12:1. There is also disagreement about how to translate the many passages of scripture where a single (referentially indefinite) individual is spoken of but the biblical author's intention was that that person would be an example of a larger set of people.
Biblical scholars may differ on how to translate certain kinds of potentially gender-inclusive references in the Bible. But all scholars are agreed that translation should be gender-accurate. There is far more agreement about this than disagreement, although the rhetoric about gender accurate translations these days does not give this impression. This blog promotes the view that all gender references in the biblical source texts should have their gender accurately translated into English.
Disagreements arise over whether older masculine terms which previously were understood as being gender-inclusive can adequately communicate a gender generic meaning to current speakers of English. And disagreements arise over some passages where biblical scholars differ on whether a biblical term is referring to only one gender or to both genders, female and male.
Church history is replete with examples where Bible scholars and theologians differed, yet often they were able to come to a common agreement, or at least agree to disagree graciously. May the current rhetoric about gender accurate translations lead as quickly as possible to a united voice, that shows how much all Bible translators believe the same about gender accurate translation, and a united voice that demonstrates to those who are not yet committed to the teaching of the Bible that Bible translators who differ on some details love and respect each other, and listen carefully to evidence from each side.
wayneleman at netzero.com