- Anthropos is a Greek word which is often used in a gender-inclusive sense, especially in its plural forms. The plural anthropoi should usually be understood in this inclusive sense if the context suggests it, (2) and the singular anthropos is often used as a collective term (like the English "mankind") which obviously is meant to include both males and females.
This is the element of truth which lends plausibility to the assertions mentioned above. But it is a half-truth. The other half of the truth is that when anthropos is used in reference to a particular individual, that individual is always male.
The idea that "man" is somehow unsuitable as an equivalent for anthropos because it has this ambiguity is therefore completely wrong-headed, because anthropos has the very same kind of ambiguity in Greek as does the word "man" in English. Sometimes it includes both sexes, sometimes it refers specifically to males, as opposed to females. If there is any question about the sense in any given instance we must examine the context.
The usage of anthropos indicates that it has not only a specific masculine sense in certain contexts, but also that a Greek-speaking person of the apostolic era would presume that anyone who is called an anthropos is male.
- 1Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4But let it be the hidden man (anthropos) of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.1 Peter 3:1-4. KJV