A human creature or a goddess?
Here is an good story about how Pisistratus got back into power one more time. He was by all accounts a good tyrant, the kind of tyrant that reduced the taxes of the poor, and did good for the citizens. But he was the last tyrant of Athens, and perhaps lived in the last generation of Athenians naive enough to view a human creature and believe she was a goddess.
ἐν τῷ δήμῳ τῷ Παιανιέι ἦν γυνὴ τῇ οὔνομα ἦν Φύη, μέγαθος ἀπὸ τεσσέρων πηχέων ἀπολείπουσα τρεῖς δακτύλους καὶ ἄλλως εὐειδής: ταύτην τὴν γυναῖκα σκευάσαντες πανοπλίῃ, ἐς ἅρμα ἐσβιβάσαντες καὶ προδέξαντες σχῆμα οἷόν τι ἔμελλε εὐπρεπέστατον φανέεσθαι ἔχουσα, ἤλαυνον ἐς τὸ ἄστυ, προδρόμους κήρυκας προπέμψαντες: οἳ τὰ ἐντεταλμένα ἠγόρευον ἀπικόμενοι ἐς τὸ ἄστυ, λέγοντες τοιάδε:  ‘ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, δέκεσθε ἀγαθῷ νόῳ Πεισίστρατον, τὸν αὐτὴ ἡ Ἀηθναίη τιμήσασα ἀνθρώπων μάλιστα κατάγει ἐς τὴν ἑωυτῆς ἀκρόπολιν.’ οἳ μὲν δὴ ταῦτα διαφοιτέοντες ἔλεγον: αὐτίκα δὲ ἔς τε τοὺς δήμους φάτις ἀπίκετο ὡς Ἀθηναίη Πεισίστρατον κατάγει, καὶ οἱ ἐν τῷ ἄστεϊ πειθόμενοι τὴν γυναῖκα εἶναι αὐτὴν τὴν θεὸν προσεύχοντό τε τὴν ἄνθρωπον καὶ ἐδέκοντο Πεισίστρατον. Herodotus Histories, 1.60
There was in the Paeanian deme a woman called Phya, three fingers short of six feet, four inches in height, and otherwise, too, well-formed. This woman they equipped in full armor and put in a chariot, giving her all the paraphernalia to make the most impressive spectacle, and so drove into the city; heralds ran before them, and when they came into town proclaimed as they were instructed:  “Athenians, give a hearty welcome to Pisistratus, whom Athena herself honors above all men and is bringing back to her own acropolis.” So the heralds went about proclaiming this; and immediately the report spread in the demes that Athena was bringing Pisistratus back, and the townsfolk, believing that the woman was the goddess herself, worshipped this human creature and welcomed Pisistratus.
The really important point here relates to the second meaning of anthropos, namely, its reference to male individuals. The fact is this: in the New Testament, when this term is used for specific individuals, it always refers to males. There are no exceptions. Thus when it refers to specific individuals, it is a practical synonym for aner [man, citizen] or arsen [male]. It is never used of a woman when a specific woman or group of women is in view. The term used in such a case is almost always gune (gune, “woman” or “wife.” (At times such words as “daughter” and “damsel” and “maiden” are used.)
The list of specific men of which anthropos is used is quite long and need not be recited here. It includes some with names and some who are unnamed. It includes many specific fictional men in parables or illustrations, as distinct from the three times Christ refers to a woman (gune) in a parable (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:21; 15:8).
That the term anthropos may have this distinct connotation of maleness is seen from other data about its use in the NT. First, on several occasions it is used interchangeably with aner. Second, it is sometimes used for males as contrasted with females, as in these cases: Matt 10:35; 19:5, 10; Luke 22:57-60; 1 Cor 7:1; and Eph 5:31.
The point is that anthropos can mean “male”; and when used of specific individuals, it is always intended to identify them as males. There is absolutely no reason to think that its use for the specific individual Jesus should deviate from this pattern. That Jesus is an anthropos means first of all that he is a human being; but it also means that he is a male human being.
I guess I am wondering if the New Testament is simply far too small a sample size for linguistic data. There are actually many examples of women referred to as anthropos in Greek literature, so it is hardly likely to be identifying them as male.
Update: I got to thinking that a story about any situation closed to women, or where women were restricted, might have a similar use of a term. For example, a history of the Hudson Bay territory, Rupert’s Land, which covered much of Canada for 200 hundred years, would show that no non-native women were allowed to enter that territory for that period. Does that make the word “Scottish” mean male? No. And when women did come as missionary wives, as the wife in the pair, “the missionary and his wife,” does that make the word “missionary” mean male? No, it doesn’t. These situations do not change the meaning of the word.
Anthropos refers to human beings, not gods, not animals, and the “human and his wife” are still “one human and one human,” they are not anything else. When Christ is referred to as anthropos in the New Testament, this affirms his humanity. It does not deny his maleness, nor does it identify his maleness. Anthropos, when referring to a woman, says nothing about her gender either, but it affirms her equal humanity.
I was very disappointed today to reread 1 Tim. 2:5 in the NIV 2011. Here is the verse in three translations,
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus, ESV
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, NIV 2011
For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, NRSV
Churches should be switching over the the NRSV for accuracy on gender in translation.