Among the top-selling Bible versions and translations, the use of gender-neutral language for human beings is anything but rare. As the general editor of the New Jerusalem Bible writes, "The word of the Lord concerns women and men equally."
For example, where the King James and New King James versions use the noun man in Psalm 1:1 ("Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly"), most other modern English translations, including the New Revised Standard, New Living, New Century, God's Word, New American, and New Jerusalem use the words those, one, person, or anyone. The Hebrew text of that verse uses a noun that usually refers to males, but in evaluating the passage, translators have concluded the blessing applies to both sexes. And they have chosen to employ language to reflect that.
Most current translations include a note about gender references in their prefaces. By studying these prefaces, a reader can usually determine what principles were used in the translators' decisions about when to retain and when to change masculine language for references to human beings.
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