unveiling the ESV
That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels.Then I noticed that the ESV had revised that wording to:
That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.Notice that RSV "veil" has been revised to ESV "symbol of authority." The ESV wording is more accurate than that of the RSV. There is no veil in the underlying Greek. Instead, there is the Greek word exousia which means 'authority.' Louw and Nida state in their lexicon that exousia can also refer to 'a symbol of authority,' besides simply 'authority.' I don't know what the consensus of Greek lexicographers on this point would be.
For the record, the revision from "woman" to "wife" is legitimate, in terms of the Greek lexicon, but it is an interpretational choice which the ESV translators have made for us. The Greek word gune can refer either to a woman or a wife. In this context, I would tilt toward the ESV translation, but it is still a choice. It is important to note this since it is often claimed that dynamic equivalent translations make translation choices for their readers. Well, the truth is that essentially literal translations do, as well. They may not make as many, but they still do make many translation choices. So the difference between essentially literal translations and dynamic equivalent ones is not a qualitative one, between whether or not they make translation choices for readers. At most, on this particular issue there is a quantitative difference between essentially literal and dynamic equivalent translations. For anyone who might be concerned at this point, and if it helps any (it might not!), I happen to believe what many others have pointed out, that every translation involves making translation choices. There is no such thing as automatic translation, where translation can be done without making choices at all. The bigger question is whether or not the choices that are made are legitimate ones. And that becomes a matter of careful exegesis, including study of biblical scholarship on any biblical passage.
There are a number of other passages where the ESV has increased accuracy over the RSV. What are some of those passages that you are aware?
If you are aware of any passages where you feel the ESV revision is less accurate than the RSV, feel free to mention them also. Just please be clear whether the passage you mention is one you feel is more or less accurate than it is in the RSV.