- 23I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
30Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
There is a broad range of offerings for this verse, and I will post only a representative smattering,
- Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: KJV
then I was beside him, like a master workman ESV, NASB, RSV
Then became I beside him, a firm and sure worker, Rotherham
then I was by him [his] nursling Darby
Then I was by Him, as a nursling JPS
Then was I with him as a nourisher, Geneva
I was with him ordring all thinges Bishop's, Coverdale
Perhaps the author of John's gospel had a choice of whether to write about sophia or logos, who had been there in the beginning; and chose to write logos, because it was masculine. But that is no reason for modern English Bibles to dress sophia in the clothes of a man and disguise her gender, labeling her a "workman."
For me, "God" is beyond gender, and I have no quibble with accepting that Jesus was a male. But, is there some theological weight to gender? I don't think so. I'll leave it at that. However, as a translator, we need to do justice to metaphorical gender when appropriate. Gender is expressive and speaks to us.
If this is the case, then we need to share what gender is saying to us, we need to allow the feminine voice, without paganizing it or subjecting it.
If the logos is the sophia, then we need to signal that sophia, the pre-incarnate "expression" of God is feminine; just as Jesus, the logos become flesh, is masculine.
I'll pass you along to El Shaddai's post on this topic, Reflections on the Messianic daughter and the image of God.