- [Blomberg] posited that James 1:8 employs ανηρ as parallel to the generic “man” described as ανθρωπος in verse 7, and “a quick glance at all of the other uses of aner in this letter demonstrates that almost all clearly refer to men and women alike.”
In response, however, it is possible that James could be using ανθρωπος as a specific reference to a male rather than humanity in general. More importantly, it remains that BDAG does not include the possibility for a generic use of ανηρ and it is difficult to prove the existence of clear examples. All references in BDAG clearly mark ανηρ as a distinct word for male, except entry six which indicates it as equivalent to τις (someone) in certain contexts. A look at those references cited reveals that every one of the uses of τις refers to a man or men. To translate ανηρ inclusively requires a liberty in translation that semantic range does not clearly allow.
In response to Alan, I offer this list,Examples of aner in the singular being translated in a gender neutral fashion
a) ἀνήρ (singular) as ‘person’
i) εὐφήμει: οὐ μεντἂν καλῶς ποιοίην οὐ πειθόμενος ἀνδρὶ ἀγαθῷ καὶ σοφῷ.
Hush, hush! Why, surely it would be wrong of me not to obey a good and wise person. Plato. Hipparchus. 228b
ii) ἀλλ' ἴσως, ὦ βέλτιστε, φαίη ἄν τις ἀνήρ, ὃς ἐμοῦ τε καὶ σοῦ σοφώτερος ὢν τυγχάνοι, οὐκ ὀρθῶς ἡμᾶς, λέγειν, οὕτως εἰκῇ ψέγοντας ἄγνοιαν,
But perhaps, my excellent friend, some person who is wiser than either you or I may say we are wrong to be so free with our abuse of ignorance. Plato. Alcibiades 2. 143b
b) ἀνήρ (singular) as ‘everyone’
πᾶς ἀνήρ, κἂν δοῦλος ᾖ τις, ἥδεται τὸ φῶς ὁρῶν
Slave or free, every one is glad to gaze upon the light. Euripides. Orestes. 1523.c) ἀνήρ (singular) as ‘they’
ὅταν ἀγασθῶσι σφόδρα του, σεῖος ἀνήρ φασιν, οὕτω καὶ ὁ θηριώδης ἐν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις σπάνιος:
‘Yon mon's divine, ’they say--, so a bestial character is rare among human beings; Aristotle. Nic. Ethics. 1145a 25.
d) ἀνήρ (singular) as ‘citizen’, either male or female
ποτὲ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς γίγνοιτ' ἄν, τὴν ἀνθρώπῳ προσήκουσαν ἀρετὴν τῆς ψυχῆς ἔχων .... , εἴτε ἄρρην τις των συνοικούντων οὖσα ἡ φύσις εἴτε θήλεια, νέων ἢ γερόντων
… in which a member of our community--be he of the male or female sex, young or old,--may become a good citizen, possessed of the excellence of soul which belongs to man. Plato's Laws 6. 770d.
(In this sentence, the Greek word ανθρωπος is translated as "man" generic, "the excellence of soul which belongs to man", that is, the human, either male or female; and the word ανηρ is translated as citizen, either male or female.)
e) ἀνήρ as ‘individual’
ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν τοῦ χρυσοῦ τε καὶ ἀργύρου ἀπληστίαν πᾶσαν μὲν τέχνην καὶ μηχανήν ... ἐθέλειν ὑπομένειν πάντα ἄνδρα, εἰ μέλλει πλούσιος ἔσεσθαι
every individual, because of his greed for silver and gold, is willing to toil at every art and device, noble or ignoble, if he is likely to get rich by it, Plato's Laws. 8.831d.
Examples of aner in the plural being translated in a gender neutral fashion
a) ανδρες as 'people'
αὐτὸς δ', ἀργυρότοξε, ἄναξ ἑκατηβόλ' Ἄπολλον,
ἄλλοτε μέν τ' ἐπὶ Κύνθου ἐβήσαο παιπαλόεντος,
ἄλλοτε δ' ἂν νήσους τε καὶ ἀνέρας ἠλάσκαζες.
And you, O lord Apollo, god of the silver bow,
shooting afar, now walked on craggy Cynthus,
and now kept wandering about the islands
and the people in them. Homeric Hymns 3.142
b) ανδρες as 'race of men', which I note refers to human beings of both sex.
καὶ ἡμιθέων* γένος ἀνδρῶν
… and the race of men half-divine. Iliad 12:23
c) ανδρες as 'mankind'
ἐξ οὗ Κενταύροισι καὶ ἀνδράσι νεῖκος ἐτύχθη
From hence the feud arose between the centaurs and mankind. Odyssey 21:303
d) ανδρες as 'men' generic
τὴν δ' ἠμείβετ' ἔπειτα πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε:
In answer to her spoke the father of men and gods: Iliad 1.544
e) ανδρες as 'men' with the same referent as 'people'
ἀκίνδυνοι δ' ἀρεταὶ
οὔτε παρ' ἀνδράσιν* οὔτ' ἐν ναυσὶ κοίλαιςτίμιαι:
πολλοὶ δὲ μέμνανται, καλὸν εἴ τι ποναθῇ*.
But excellence without danger is honored
neither among men nor in hollow ships.
But many people remember,
if a fine thing is done with toil. Pindar Odes 6.9-12
- ὦ πάντων ἀνδρῶν ἄριστοι
Most excellent friends, … Plato's Laws. 5.741a.
- νείμασθαι δὲ δὴ καὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας δώδεκα μέρη
And he must divide the citizens also into twelve parts, … Plato's Laws. 5.745d.
This list is by no means exhaustive and was done without a sophisticated software search. It is just a smattering of examples of the gender inclusive use of aner.
Aristotle in 23 Volumes, Vol. 19, translated by H. Rackham. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1934. Nichomachean Ethics. line 1145a 25
Euripides. Orestes. 1523 tr. E.P. Coleridge. 1938. (translated in 1898)
Homer. The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919.
Homer. The Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1924.
Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Homeric Hymns. Cambridge, MA.,Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.
Pindar. Odes. 1990. (accessed in the Perseus Digital Library)
Plato. Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 8 translated by W.R.M. Lamb. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1955. (1914) Alcibiades 2. line 143b
Plato. Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 8 translated by W.R.M. Lamb. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1955. (1914) Hipparchus. 228b
Plato. Laws. In Two volumes, tr. By R. G. Bury. Loeb Classical Library. 1926.
Plato. Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vols. 10 & 11 translated by R.G. Bury. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1967 & 1968.