Here is a passage from the preface to the ESV,
- 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).
Let's look at these verses in the ESV,
- and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Tim. 2:2
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.” Eph. 4:8
And Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men. Mark 1:17
And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God Luke 12:8
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. Romans 5:18
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. 2:5
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. Hebreww 5:1
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21
If the ESV used "men" instead of "people" in order to be traditional and to preserve euphony, then the translators had better say so. They would need to admit that the translation is not all that literal, not literal at all when it comes to gender, but traditional, conservative, and preserving the rhythm of the KJV.
What is so wrong with admitting this? Why do the translators claim for their translation something that is simply not true? It's a tissue of nonsense, a tangled web of half truths.