When Eve and Jesus speak by the English Standard Version
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”
The above are respectively Genesis 4:1 and John 16:19-21 as translated by the men who delivered to the world the English Standard Version.
These men who have gotten their language with the help of one another have also declared their manly standard in the area of gender language:
In the area of gender language, the goal of the ESV is to render literally what is in the original. For example, “anyone” replaces “any man” where there is no word corresponding to “man” in the original languages, and “people” rather than “men” is regularly used where the original languages refer to both men and women. But the words “man” and “men” are retained where a male meaning component is part of the original Greek or Hebrew. Likewise, the word “man” has been retained where the original text intends to convey a clear contrast between “God” on the one hand and “man” on the other hand, with “man” being used in the collective sense of the whole human race (see Luke 2:52).
So what are the original languages that render for readers the language of Eve and the language of Jesus respectively? My co-blogger Suzanne has already pointed out the following Hebrew and then its original rendering into Greek that makes Bereshith or Genesis 4:1 –
קָנִיתִי אִישׁ אֶת-יְהוָה
I have gotten an ish from God.
Ἐκτησάμην ἄνθρωπον διὰ τοῦ θεοῦ
I have acquired a human being through God.
Let’s point out the following original Greek that makes John 16:21 –
ἡ γυνὴ ὅταν τίκτῃ λύπην ἔχει, ὅτι ἦλθεν ἡ ὥρα αὐτῆς· ὅταν δὲ γεννήσῃ τὸ παιδίον, οὐκέτι μνημονεύει τῆς θλίψεως διὰ τὴν χαρὰν ὅτι ἐγεννήθη ἄνθρωπος εἰς τὸν κόσμον.
When a woman [like Eve the first woman] is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby [like Cain the first baby], she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
So now we human beings may want to ask,
If we get why, when Eve speaks the English Standard Version, she calls her baby “a man”, then
how can we understand why, when Jesus speaks by the same standard, the same version, the same English, he calls a woman’s baby “a human being”?
Is Jesus exemplary of Biblical Manhood, or isn’t he?
Is John’s odd gospel Greek translating what Jesus said somehow worse than the Hebrew of Moses or the Greek of the Septuagint translators?