The ESV – why I was wrong!

Over five years ago I wrote  a piece justifying CCB’s adoption of the brand new translation of the Bible; the ESV. I’ve reproduced it here. In my humble opinion, it was a work of genius. The article, not the new translation! But I was also wrong. Not wrong as in sinful but wrong as in stupid.

If I had my time again I wouldn’t make the move. I’ve changed my mind. And we’ve gone back to the NIV. Many within the congregation are delighted. There was cheering in the All Age Congregation when I announced it. And they don’t get excited about anything! I’m still in two minds. I love the ESV. I can’t quite bring myself to give it up in preparation. Often it’s the preservation of the Pauline prepositions that I find so helpful. The study Bible is a work of art. It’s brilliant. And I like the way it preserves the visual and literal sense of many of the  phrases in their original langauges. You’ll see what I mean if you look at the examples on this chart.

Although many in the congregation aren’t sad to see the back of the ESV, I am. But it makes perfect sense in our context. This article from Mark Straus highlights eleven issues he has with the ESV. But for me the following three factors have become overwhelmingly frustrating and have probably become a hindrance to our gospel ministry.

1. It’s inconsistent

It doesn’t do what it says it’s going to do. I’m sure I remember reading somewhere in the blurb that they’d translate the same word in the same way so that the reader would be able to make the links that are present in the original languages. But the translator’s just don’t keep to their word. As Mark Thompson and Allan Chapple highlight.

2. It’s incomprehensible

Perhaps that’s overstating it a little! But at times it’s a shocker. As one friend said, ‘it’s English, but not as we know it’. Using the restrained vernacular of the academic, Mark Thompson says, ‘The ESV retains some archaic expressions, e.g. ‘behold’ and ‘adjure’’. Adjure?!!! Desirous?!

3. It’s impenetrable

It’s unreadable at times because the grammar is tortuous. We frequently have degree level educated men and women unable to read. It’s embarassing for them and it’s painful for us. And it’s not their fault. At times, it reads like something from Yoda.

We want people from Balham to come into church and hear the gospel in language that they can undersytand. Sadly I’m just not convinced that the ESV really helps us in that. I’m looking forward to the new edition of the NIV. But we can’t wait. And neither can the congregation. We’ve got a mission coming. And that was the impetus for change that we needed.

I’m not saying that there’s a whole load wrong with the ESV. There isn’t. Let’s keep this whole thing in perspective. This is a really, really good Bible translation. I’ve loved using it and will continue to do so, especially in preparation. I have some sympathy with what they’re trying to do. But it’s a Bible for the ‘sharper tools in the box’ and not all of us in Balham fall into that category.

44 thoughts on “The ESV – why I was wrong!

  1. Lewis Allen March 3, 2010 / 5:29 pm

    Hi Perks, delighted to hear your decision.

    Personally, I have been nothing less than horrified at the terrible piece of work which is the ESV. Wooden, clumsy, bizarrely archaic-sounding, and breaking many a rule of God-honouring translation. May your change away be followed by others who have the courage to act on the ESV’s weaknesses.

    BTW Tim Ward has a good footnote about the ESV’s shortcomings in his recent book on Scripture – not on me at the moment, but I’ll pop in the reference when I can look it up.

    Keep up the great blog!

    • theurbanpastor March 4, 2010 / 11:34 am

      Lewis
      What a treat!
      No really, say what you really mean about the ESV!
      I’ll search out Tim Ward’s comments – I’ve just picked up a copy.
      perks

  2. Jake Belder March 3, 2010 / 5:30 pm

    Very interesting! In the denomination to which the church I attend belongs, the Presbyterian Church in America, it has become increasingly commonplace to see the ESV in use. There is a real perception among conservative evangelicals in the US that more literal is better. But I think you’re right. There are times I have been frustrated by the ESV’s unpolished grammar. Also, all that I’ve memorised from the Bible is out of the NIV as a grew up, and sometimes when I’m looking for a passage I know by heart, it’s harder to find in the ESV because it’s worded differently.

    • theurbanpastor March 4, 2010 / 11:39 am

      For us the intelligibility for the unconverted has become the key issue. We’re not a massively ‘churched’ culture here in south London and so people simply aren’t familiar with Bible words and Bible concepts. The NIV is just more accessible to outsiders [as well as church members] and we’re working hard to maintain our missional priorities. THe NIV helps us with that.

  3. Zeph March 3, 2010 / 6:31 pm

    Interesting thought provoking article. (I’m sure your links are equally interesting but I have a 4 year old clamouring for his “Beginners Bible” – thanks again).

    I grew up with the NJB which I will describe as “an accessible challenge”.

    My Home Group use the ESV (mostly)- occasionally we use the NIV when we are particularly flummoxed!

    In fact I encountered the NIV for the first time in my HG which I joined three years ago and loved the simple poetry of it. I know that there are solid arguments for the deeply academic translations, but my heart always yearns for the NIV. The rendering of Zephaniah 3:17 makes my heart feel like it is bursting.

    Zeph

  4. cakeandbiscuits March 3, 2010 / 10:23 pm

    As the person doing the reading on Sunday – it was a joy to read it out of the NIV… so much easier to read out loud. But my quiet times are still based in the ESV (unless the Daily Reading Bible changes its mind too). I think using two (or more) versions is good – especially for those of us who don’t know greek/hebrew – to be reminded that words have a range of meaning and to think carefully about what is being said and why.

  5. Matt March 4, 2010 / 10:00 am

    Funny how for 300 years Christianity managed to survive in the UK with the King James Bible, The Book of Common Prayer and Psalms in Latin!

    We get a little carried away with the translation, and forget the power of God to speak to us spiritually deaf people despite our best attempts not to hear

    • theurbanpastor March 4, 2010 / 11:37 am

      Wise words Matthew!
      I’m thinking about preaching in Latin this weekend – surely google translator could help me write it! I was at a meeting the other dayw here a senior and learned clergyman used the phrase ‘ex animus’. No one else had a clue what he meant but I took it upon myself to ask him whether it meant ‘used to be an animal’. His disdain for the ‘younger’ generation was unmistakable, which I enjoyed!

  6. Phil C March 4, 2010 / 11:26 am

    The NIV is definitely a lot easier to understand! A good thing about using the ESV is that it has opened my eyes to ambiguities in meaning which the NIV can gloss over.

  7. Phil March 5, 2010 / 11:00 am

    New Living Translation’s working pretty well for me. Clear and makes sense.

    • theurbanpastor March 5, 2010 / 12:51 pm

      Thanks Phil. I’ve got a lovely NLT that I used for a while. It’s very readable. I think Don Carson was involved in the translation so it’s got good solid evangelical pedigree! Would you use it as the main congregational Bible though? Isn’t it just a little further down the dynamic equivalence end of the spectrum from, say, the NIV?

      • Phil March 5, 2010 / 1:53 pm

        Honestly, I think it really depends on the situation, and only you know your congregation and the people you’re speaking to.

        If my congregation was made up of people with limited education then I probably would use the NLT, if everyone is university educated then maybe not. If I wanted a service to be really accessible then I’d make my choice of Bible as accessible as possible.

        No point in using something that people can’t really understand.

        Nice to have a choice of versions isn’t it?

      • theurbanpastor March 5, 2010 / 2:00 pm

        Yeah it is, but it’s a luxury isn’t it? Those of us in the Uk and the US need to maintain our persepctive on the translations issue. Organisations like the one you work for are making sure that people in other parts of the world have just one version in language that they can understand. Press on!

      • Phil March 5, 2010 / 2:07 pm

        We do make revisions though as language changes. In our culture we’ve possibly become a bit extreme, but even some of the communities that have one version of the Bible revisions are necessary as language use changes.

        No different in the UK or US, our language use doesn’t stand still.

        Nice talking to you.

  8. Paul April 7, 2011 / 8:42 pm

    I have read
    https://theurbanpastor.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/should-we-abandon-our-bible/

    You write, “The debate about the merits of any Bible translation depends upon our commitment to functional equivalence (FE) or dynamic equivalence (DE).”

    Isn’t Functional Equivalence the same as Dynamic Equivalence? I think you mean “Formal Equivalence”. KJV, NKJV and ESV use Formal Equivalence i.e. a more literal translation whereas Dynamic Equivalence is more of a paraphrase.

    I prefer “Formal” because it brings us closer to the original Greek & Hebrew. Many of Tyndale’s English phrases were literal translations of Hebrew idioms which at first must have sounded strange to the English ear but now are part of everyday English even among non-Christians.

    Don’t underestimate people’s intelligence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Why dumb-down everything? Why not educate people?

    We have dictionaries, many on the internet are available.

    I just looked up “exanimus”. I learnt something new. It means “lifeless”. That’s not difficult. But some people do use Greek or Latin to show off.

  9. Cherry August 18, 2011 / 4:07 pm

    Couldn’t resist a comment on this thread which I’ve stumbled on while browsing for something quite different. (Usually that happens more at Sainsbury’s …)

    We too are using the Extra Serious Version at church,
    but missing what I thought of as the Nicely Intelligible Version

  10. Menotu November 3, 2011 / 10:24 pm

    Well I wouldn’t use the NIV! In Isaiah 14:12, it calls lucifer the “Morning Star”, then laster refers to Jesus with the same name…in essence calling Lucifer Jesus or vice versa! That’s just ONE thing wrong with the NIV out of several. They omit over 67.000 words. It was translated by men from different denominations who agreed to make it a bible that does not offent any religious group. One of the final translators was a homosexual…this means the NIV does not condemn that lifestyile (since words loke ‘sodomite’ and ‘effeminate’ are among the words omitted). The ESV, I have learned in my studies of the various translations, is the closest to the KJV in translated versions, but still has some flaws! This is why I prefer that to any other version to reference my KJV, the real Bible!!

  11. Sam Davidson January 30, 2012 / 1:46 am

    This discussion about which bible to use for study or the pulpit is very interesting. I have NIV Study Bible but now I am going to get an ESV to see what you are talking about. My main concern is not how hard the bible is to read but how accurate it is. I am beginning to think I can only rely on the KJV.

  12. James May 1, 2012 / 5:37 pm

    THis has really made me think.
    I have been thinking of switching to ESV, because I find the NIV gloss so basic.
    But will certainly take my time over it now, given all these comments.
    We are starting to use ESV in our staff meetings, so will see what happens.

  13. califgracer August 24, 2012 / 3:48 pm

    Hi Urban Pastor,

    I advise sticking to the 1984 NIV. The “New” NIV contains wholesale changes, apparently to make in gender neutral.

  14. HarryFromMA August 16, 2013 / 9:43 pm

    Too many of the posts praise ‘readability’. Yes, that’s good to have. However, if you want something closer to the manuscripts, to the text, readability should not be the standard. I use the ESV & it’s fine.
    The 1984 NIV – I use it. The 1984 NIV has some great translations and dynamic equivalent renderings. However, it also takes too much liberty – almost paraphrasing (which is interpretation).
    The 2011 NIV is rubbish, mostly. It’s the failed politically correct TNIV toned down from the most egregious distortions. We rejected the TNIV – so they still gave about 75% of it to us under the guise of the NIV. Not full honesty in advertising, IMO. It;’s horrid in a number of places.
    I want to know wnat the authors said – I use the NKJV, NASB & ESV. I use the 1984 NIV as well, but it is NOT my primary translation and never will. I refuse to use the awful 2011 NIV in almost all cases. Some non-TNIV changes were good, from what I can tell, but it should be rejected. Zondervan needs truth in advertising.
    One praised the New Living Translation – NLT. It is the new Living Bible, really. It is not a paraphrase, but a loose, sometimes very loose, dynamic equivalent, and does still paraphrase and it’s way too simplified in far too many places to be used by a Christian who is not new in the faith, or have difficulties with reading. I use it as a supplemental version. The goal of a Christian’s Bible reading and study is to read the author’s words. A DE version can bring it out in ways a formal equivalent does not. However, the best is to use a FE like the NKJV or NSAB (Updated NASB included) and a more literal DE like the ESV.
    Commentaries are for those who want to read interpretations.
    To see how bad the CTNIV (Covert TNIV)/2011 NIV, is:

    “An Evaluation of Gender Language in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible
    “A report from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood”
    ©2011 CBMW, All Rights Reserved Revision 6/6/11.
    http://cbmw.org/uncategorized/an-evaluation-of-gender-language-in-the-2011-edition-of-the-niv-bible/

  15. Dean August 20, 2013 / 3:25 pm

    I looked into many different study bibles before i settled on the ESV Study Bible. I found it to be the most detailed in the brake down of the verses. Especially Hebrews 10: 26-31. I love it rendition of it. That`s not to mention all the extra articles that come with it. I will remain a fan of it for life.

    • HarryFromMA August 23, 2013 / 4:19 pm

      See,ms like some would rather have an easier version,m instead of a closer-to-the-manuscripts version. The ESV, and the ESV Bible are excellent. Do more study, take more time, and use a closer translation than the 1984 NIV. The 1984 NIV is one I recommend for what it is & I think the 2011 NIV is rubbish. The NON-TNIV changes may be good, but get a list of them, and skip the PC-TNIV distortion.

  16. HarryFromMA August 23, 2013 / 4:23 pm

    OPPS! CORRECTION POST:
    Seems like some would rather have an easier version, instead of a closer-to-the-manuscripts version. The ESV, and the ESV Study Bible are excellent. Do more study, take more time, and use a closer translation than the 1984 NIV. The 1984 NIV is one I recommend for what it is & use it and others for , but top versions are NKJV, NASB & ESV.
    I think the 2011 NIV is rubbish. The NON-TNIV changes may be good, but get a list of them, and skip the ‘PC-TNIV’ distortion & not support their bank account.

  17. anglicanxn February 7, 2014 / 3:04 pm

    I have been reading and using the ESV for about seven years, both for regular Bible study and for preaching and sermon preparation. I have not noticed any real difficulties, and other people I know who use it have not either. My wife likes the new NIV, with “gender neutral” language, but that is not as big an issue for me, and I found that the NIV translation principles often made things a bit more murky than a word-for-word translation. I expect to stick with the ESV.

  18. Richard White-Watts February 12, 2014 / 5:47 pm

    Very interesting! I used the NIV for years (decades…) and frankly found it confusing and too ‘soft’ in that it appeared to hide important doctrinal concepts in paraphased language. When I switched to NKJV a great deal suddenly made sense, and because of this I’ve had an (unreasonable!) aversion against NIV. I now use NASB, NKJV and – yes – the ESV (which I read through with no problem); and even the Geneva Bible (!).
    I did however wince with regard to my dark mutterings against NIV when In was confronted with a KJV Onlyist (I must have sounded somewhat similar re-NIV!).
    Surely the goal should be to gain better understanding of the inspired written Word of God given in the original languages? Why else use any translation? However I guess we all have our own personalities which impacts the version we gravitate toward.
    For the record I preach in several chapels/churches, and even in a prison; some of the people are ‘unchurched’ in background, and a few are illiterate or have learning difficulties. They can still be taught Biblical truths, and understand them even without NIV and ‘soft’ versions, so please don’t assume the people are too dense to understand – teach them if they don’t!
    Incidentally I’m in England too…
    Soli Deo Gloria!
    (oops… I mean ‘To God alone be the glory’! So there you go, you now know what that means and can use those words – see my point? It isn’t difficult to learn is it).

  19. murraypura April 11, 2014 / 5:39 am

    I agree with you strongly. Actually I agree with you more strongly than you agree with yourself. I think the ESV is a wretched translation, an antique as soon as it hit the stores. Not only for its Shakespearean era nuggets like BEHOLD, MULTITUDES, HARKEN and their ilk, but for its wooden and ponderous pace as you struggle through it in your tight Elizabethan leggings. It seems to me to be scarcely different than a slightly tweaked KJV and if I want KJV English because I’m in a Henry V mood, well, then I’ll go to the KJV itself. The ESV has made a little niche for itself among those who think they are getting a better and more accurate Bible than the NIV with its “nasty” inclusion of both genders, an inclusion all decent preachers have been making for generations anyway. But it’s not a better Bible, it’s archaic, and totally out of touch with the 21st century – unless you want old time religion, sentimental and familiar patterns of KJV Bible speak, and language of Zion jargon. I do think Zondervan should have continued to market the 1985 alongside the 2011 and cut the floor out from under the ESV but that was their board’s call to make. The NIV is not a soft version, it’s a great version, and if you want more, eschew translations and work directly with the original tongues. Mind you, you will find controversies even there, but someone did say that in this world we’d have much trouble. I’m pretty sure God knew there would be no end of strife over translation and interpretation. Choice is imperative but so is grace towards one another even if hardcore ESV proponents have very little of the latter. Thanks for your blog, brother, and your honesty.

  20. brandon685 September 23, 2014 / 6:51 pm

    So, four years after this post, are you using the NIV84 or the NIV2011?

    • theurbanpastor September 25, 2014 / 7:32 am

      We’re using the NIV 2011. We’re not entirely happy with it. For example we were looking at Romans 3:21f yesterday and were pretty unhappy to discobver that propitiation had been left out of teh footnote. But we can all at least understand the English! I haven’t worked out yet why this isn’t a better way of teaching inacurrate theology quickly!

      • Harry From MA September 25, 2014 / 2:30 pm

        I use a number of Bible versions. I use the ESV & like it a lot. It is not as readable than the 1984 NIV, but is closer to a formal equivalence than the NIV – in between NIV & NASB/NASBU.
        That you would switch from the ESV to0 the 2011 NIV is unfortunate. Accuracy is more important. I would get all 1984 NIV from online sources, etc., before I would even attend a church that uses the 2011 NIV. It is 75% of the TNIV with some good changes that are non-TNIV. To take ‘Bible-B’, revise it to revise 325% of the most serious problems out, make some new changes and sell it under the label of ‘Bible-A’, while taking the actual ‘Bible-A’ out of print is not upfront, open, or forthright. it is deception. They did not like the fact that muych of Evangelicalism ejected the horrid TNIV, so they gave it to us under another Bible version’s label. Shame on them. there is *no* justification for this whatsoever
        The TNIV was rejected for good reasons, the the C-TNIV (Covert TNIV)/2011 NIV should be as well.
        I have no problem with ‘gender neutral’ in some ways. The TNIV & 2011 ‘NIV’ go much further and distorts the Bible in too many places in too many ways.
        I was on an Amazon Discussion about this and the reply I got from a defender was standard, non-specific (for the moist part), generic reply for those who don’t like gender neutral at all – which is not me.
        Please reconsider the use of the 2011 NIV. I would rather use the NLT for the pew Bible and use other versions when appropriate for sermons, and so on.

        Please read the below report from the CBMW and my Amazon Discussion posts. I can get long, and not the best writer, but I think I have enough good points and evidences and reasoning to avoid usage of the C-TNIV/2011 NIV in church or home study (except to see the errors).
        I do not think a church should use a version to “a better way of teaching inaccurate theology”.
        Buying those distortions – in effect – is supporting the deception and misrepresentation of the 1984 NIV & the Bible as a whole.
        That is funding the “inaccurate theology”.

        “An Evaluation of Gender Language in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible”
        A report from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
        Revision 6/6/11. By the CBMW.
        http://www.bible-researcher.com/cbmw.niv2011.2.pdf

        “BEWARE – Awful TNIV Covertly Inserted into 2011 ‘NIV’!”
        http://www.amazon.com/review/R2EZTJ8HA50U9D/ref=cm_cr_rev_detup_redir?_encoding=UTF8&asin=0310411033&cdForum=Fx4TC6G0WSIXBH&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx1V5TQ6BBX2OAZ&newContentID=Mx2KYKLN38KKMP8&store=books#Mx2KYKLN38KKMP8

  21. Harry From MA September 25, 2014 / 2:32 pm

    –> Corrected Version:
    I use a number of Bible versions. I use the ESV & like it a lot. It is not as readable than the 1984 NIV, but is closer to a formal equivalence than the NIV – in between NIV & NASB/NASBU.
    That you would switch from the ESV to0 the 2011 NIV is unfortunate. Accuracy is more important. I would get all 1984 NIV from online sources, etc., before I would even attend a church that uses the 2011 NIV. It is 75% of the TNIV with some good changes that are non-TNIV. To take ‘Bible-B’, revise it to delete only 25% of the most serious problems out, make some new changes and sell it under the label of ‘Bible-A’, while taking the actual ‘Bible-A’ out of print is not upfront, open, or forthright. it is deception. They did not like the fact that much of Evangelicalism ejected the horrid TNIV, so they gave it to us under another Bible version’s label. Shame on them. There is *no* justification for this whatsoever
    The TNIV was rejected for good reasons, the the C-TNIV (Covert TNIV)/2011 NIV should be as well.
    I have no problem with ‘gender neutral’ in some ways. The TNIV & 2011 ‘NIV’ go much further and distort the Bible in too many places in too many ways.
    I was on an Amazon Discussion about this and the reply I got from a defender was standard, non-specific (for the moist part), generic reply for those who don’t like gender neutral at all – which is not me.
    Please reconsider the use of the 2011 NIV. I would rather use the NLT for the pew Bible and use other versions when appropriate for sermons, and so on.

    Please read the below report from the CBMW and my Amazon Discussion posts. I can get long, and not the best writer, but I think I have enough good points and evidences and reasoning to avoid usage of the C-TNIV/2011 NIV in church or home study (except to see the errors).
    I do not think a church should use a version to “a better way of teaching inaccurate theology”.
    Buying those distortions – in effect – is supporting the deception and misrepresentation of the 1984 NIV & the Bible as a whole.
    That is funding the “inaccurate theology”.

    “An Evaluation of Gender Language in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible”
    A report from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
    Revision 6/6/11. By the CBMW.
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/cbmw.niv2011.2.pdf

    “BEWARE – Awful TNIV Covertly Inserted into 2011 ‘NIV’!”
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2EZTJ8HA50U9D/ref=cm_cr_rev_detup_redir?_encoding=UTF8&asin=0310411033&cdForum=Fx4TC6G0WSIXBH&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx1V5TQ6BBX2OAZ&newContentID=Mx2KYKLN38KKMP8&store=books#Mx2KYKLN38KKMP8

  22. Dr Steve H Hakes January 22, 2015 / 12:56 pm

    In my own studies focusing on 31 versions (inc. EOB, NABRE, NWT (2013)), I charted each on 5 themes for accuracy, then collated the data into a final comparative chart. The NIV came 1st. (but never in any category), the NLT came 4th, and the ESV came 16th. For ease of reading, the NLT came 7th, the NIV 13th, and the ESV 21st. It has been said that the ESV is in understandable English, the NIV in natural English, and the NLT in easy English (Moo). The TNIV wasn’t perfect, yet the NIV has sadly dropped some of its gains (I guess under market pressure), though improved in some ways. Best is show, but still a way to go.

    • Bryan February 7, 2015 / 4:39 am

      The NLT came in 7th for ease of reading? How is that possible? What are the 6 versions ahead of it?

      • Dr Steve H Hakes March 19, 2015 / 1:49 pm

        Bryan, “all things are possible” – except the intrinsically impossible. For ease of reading, my test produced, from 1st place, NLV, ERV, NCV, CEV, GWT,
        NOG, NLT.

  23. Arnie March 19, 2015 / 10:59 am

    I echo Phil’s comments (March 5) about the NLT. We made the conscious decision to change church bible from NIV to a version more accessible to our congregation a few years ago and I was tasked with making the decision. We are a council esate church with many who have low literacy levels and some who speak English as a second language. We didn’t want our church bibles to be like the Corinthian church talking in tongues! After looking into the translation accuracy and readability of the CEV, NCV, Living Bible, NLT, Good News, New Life and NIRV I recommended the NLT. The Good News was child-friendly, the NIRV was the best for ESOL speakers (I come from an English Literacy and ESOL teaching background) and the New Life often put it in the simplest way; but only the NLT combined contemporary ‘mainstream’ vocabulary, readability, a recognition of genres and theological accuracy (most of the time). I say “most of the time” because occasionally there will be an important biblical concept word which has been paraphrased in the context and so lost its resonance with the word elsewhere in the bible and occasionally New Testament quotations of Old Testament phrases seem to be at variance with each other in meaning. This is outweighed by the inestimable value of a translation that the congregation can read and understand both at home as well as hear preached in the pulpit.

    I think it really is down the the educational culture the church finds itself in and the translation that can be used most effectively at home and at church.

    • Steve Hakes November 7, 2015 / 4:23 pm

      I guess you mean that you wished your church to be unlike the Corinthian church talking in tongues, but like the apostle Paul talking in tongues more than the Corinthians? 😉
      You might like http://mdtc.eu/wggc.html

  24. David October 18, 2015 / 8:57 am

    Please ensure that the translation that you are reading IS of God and FOR God. Check the sources used and the publishers themselves…test the words printed (many are often omitted or GREATLY changed by some translations) to see if they are for the glorification of GOD, JESUS, & THE HOLY SPIRIT, or are simply an ‘updated’ version for the benefit of making money.

    • Steve Hakes November 7, 2015 / 4:34 pm

      I’d suggest that no translation is “from God”, only the original autographs, reconstructable beyond reasonable doubt on all essentials. The better the translation, the better the witness to God, in spite of the vested interests of the translators. As to words printed, some versions have omitted and some had added to the autographs. We should seek no more than them, and no less, so let the C1 be our base, neither the C21 nor the C17.

  25. adam January 18, 2016 / 5:03 am

    The problem with the NIV is it is often over-simplified. There is a reason it obtained the unfortunate moniker of “New Idiots Version.” It just dumbs down the scripture too much sometimes. When using the NIV, as with the NLT and the Message Bible, you will often come across passages where you should be staring into the wondrous depths of the ocean, but instead you are splashing in a puddle. However, I agree that the ESV can often make you shake your head, it’s like they forgot the point of the translation sometimes.

    A couple rather interesting translations are the WEB (World English Bible) and the CEW (Contemporary English Version). Take for instance Genesis 3:8:

    ESV: “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”

    NIV: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

    NLT: “When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees.”

    The Message: “When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God.”

    CEV: “Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the LORD God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees.”

    WEB: “They heard the voice of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.”

    Just a random passage, but you can see differences in how God’s name is handled, and perhaps some liberties taken regards to the breeze. I will agree with a previous commentator that if you use the NIV, it is imperative to find a pre 2011 version. The 2011 version is a scary step towards gender neutralization, a movement which distorts much of God’s word.

    Ultimately, however, read multiple translations and use the one that works best for the particular passage you are in. Sticking to one over another can become a matter of pride if we aren’t careful, and it can cause our listeners to miss out on the depths and beauty of God’s word which another version may capture more completely.

  26. Dr Steve H Hakes January 30, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Adam, you dumb down when you downgrade the NIV/NLT’s [LORD] to [Lord] – see http://mdtc.eu/wggdivineid.html. Upgrading from what I call the Dominus Factor, Tyndale toyed with two approaches, God’s name as a name, and as CAPS. The WEB consistently uses the better method, but the NIV, also consistent, has always kept simply to lower four cap method. Overall, I deem the current NIV an improvement over the TNIV, which outshone the older NIVs—no way we should return. On gender see http://mdtc.eu/wgggender.html. There are always ‘liberties’ translators must take, it goes with the territory – eg is it best to speak of breeze or the cooling effect, or more formally the breath or spirit (ruach)? Your closing paragraph is spot on.

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