Rich just commented, in part:
And I replied:
All that to say that I'm surprised that you give so much negative attention to the ESV, especially when the KJV, NKJV, and he NASB (all within the Tyndale/KJV tradition that you mentioned) far outsell the ESV.
Thank you for your comment, Rich. I hear you. We have addressed this issue in the past on this blog and I have tried to be even more balanced after receiving feedback like yours. I do not enjoy criticizing any Bible version. I would rather overlook weaknesses of any Bible version and focus on the good that has come through every Bible version. But the unique purpose of this blog is to come up with ideas for improving English Bibles. In the last few years the ESV has been held up by some prominent pastors and by its proponents as the "answer" in the Bible translation debates over translation philosophy and inclusive language. Much misinformation about Bible translation has been propagated by well-intentioned, devout godly men such as Dr. Grudem and others. When there is misinformation, it is necessary for someone to try to correct it.And for all visitors to this blog, we invite you to share your concerns about blog posts as Rich has done. If you sense that we contributors have posted in ways that distort the truth, or are unloving, or unspiritual, or out of balance, please point them out. The purpose of this blog is not to "win" some Bible translation "war". This blog exists so that we might have better Bibles, not so that we might destructively criticize any Bibles. We blog contributors are part of the Christian community, the body of Christ, so we ask you to help us stay on track, each of us doing our part to help people hear the message of the Bible as accurately and clearly as possible.
This is not an anti-ESV blog. But this is a blog where wrong claims about the ESV and wrong claims made by its translators about the ESV and against other Bible versions must be seriously examined for their truthfulness.
We do the same for any other Bible version. But other Bible versions are not in the spotlight right now, other than the TNIV and we address TNIV issues fairly frequently on this blog, as well.
Our desire on this blog, as I have stated before, is that we speak the truth lovingly (or, "in love" if you prefer the Greek-oriented way of saying it). I am serious when I include love here as well as truth. I try very hard not to say anything unloving about the ESV team or about claims made by its members attacking other English versions. If you find me saying anything in an unloving way, I request that you point it out, please.
So, the ESV is in focus much of the time on this blog because the ESV is in focus on other blogs and on the conservative church scene due to the focus placed on the issues by Dr. Grudem and those who make similar claims that he does. Dr. Grudem gets widespread national attention through his frequent radio interviews, published books, and support from some prominent Christian pastors. This little blog cannot compete with all that publicity. But we can do our part to try to help people examine the issues and correct misinformation where possible.
None of the other versions you mentioned, which are in the Tyndale-KJV tradition, currently have as high a publicity profile as the ESV. So it makes sense that this blog would give more time to addressing issues about a version which is currently prominent than for versions which are not as much in the spotlight.
If you will do searches on this blog, using the search tool in the upper left of the blog page, and if you will examine critiques of each English Bible version featured on this blog (the links to each of them are in the right margin), you will find that we do address translation issues in each English version.
There is no English version which is perfect. Each English version, however, has and will continue to be used of God to help people. And each version can be made better. Ideas for making them better is what this blog is about.
I would encourage you to chart the topics which have been on this blog to note that we often do not post about the ESV. But when there is misinformation about the ESV or any other version, it is, we believe, important to point it out, truthfully and lovingly.
Please do feel free to follow up if you can help us find better ways of carrying out the mission of this blog.
I think your comment and my response are important enough that they deserve to have a higher profile on this blog, so I will turn them into a post, as well as leaving my comments here in the comment section.
Happy New Year, Rich, and, again, thank you for sharing from your heart about this issue of concern to you.
Is this an anti-ESV blog? We hope not. We don't want it to be. We try not to have an undue focus on any one Bible version. But we are not the best judge of how our own intentions impact others. So you all help us, OK? Keep track of what we post about on this blog. Examine the topics. Examine the comments for each Bible version. And then you can answer for yourself if we are an anti-ESV blog or not.
Categories: Bible translation, ESV, translation philosophy