Saturday, 15 March 2008

New Bible

I am now the proud owner of the famous ESV translation.
Some call it the English Standard Version, others the Extremely Sound Version, others the Extremely Smudgeable Version. I'm not sure which is true.

I've been reading it the last few days and I like the flow. It's good. Modern language and a word for word philosophy. (Can't be dealing with the NIV's thought-for-thought method of translation!!).

Many modern Calvinists like it. Piper is an advocate, in fact he's written a good article on Bible translations. Driscoll is a fan. I'm told at Mars Hill you'll see Indie Rockers who smoke holding an ESV under one arm. Grudem, Packer and Kent Hughes were on the translation committee. It seems to be the Bible for the 'Emerging Calvinists' who are springing up everywhere.

Not sure if I'm going to abandon the New King James yet. If I do I wont be telling my fellow King James brothers who claim that the textus receptus is the only accurate text to translate a Bible from. More about that here.
Bibles like the New King James and the King James are based on the Received Text (or textus receptus). This text is based on 6 Greek manuscripts dating from the the 12th to the 14 century. We now have over 5000 other texts. The ESV uses these other texts for the translation. Differences occur in the texts. Take for example Acts 8v37 and the end of Marks gospel. 1 John 5v7 is another. The KJV and the NKJV contain 'the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit' in the verse whereas the ESV omits these words. As it happens the additional words that appear in the KJV and the NKJV date from a later and unreliable manuscript. (See as a source for this paragraph: 'Hermeneutical Issues' lecture from the link given below).

To be honest I get a bit annoyed when people are more concerned with minor differences in Bibles when souls are plunging into Hells fire. Take a look at this guy who overeacts to the NIV, here. Without being too critical I assume he's my brother, I must love him. I do get annoyed at some of the civil battles that some Christians take pride in fighting. Saying that there are some worth fighting.

I am against the King James (or Authorised Version) because it is an in-accurate translation of the Bible to our culture. It's written in a 400 year old language. The Bible has to be written in the language of the day. Words and their meanings currently evolve at an incredible rate. The translation of the Bible needs to adapt to this. It's Gods infallible word-we need to understand it!!
Not really liking the NIV. I feel a Bible that tries to translate meaning-for-meaning (at the cost of accuracy) is dangerous. Bible translators need to translate word-for-word into a cultural language. I'm under the conviction that it is the preachers job to translate meaning.

Some good lectures on Bible translation from a guy called Robert Stein can be found here. The guy is good; real, down to earth, and helpful.

ESV Endorsements. ESV Blog. Read the ESV online.

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