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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why we are reading the ESV

(UPDATE: This is the same blog post that many of you have already read. I have adjusted the date-stamp so that the post will remain at the top of this blog for several days to give as many people as possible a chance to state in the Comments to this post why they voted for the ESV in our Bible-reading poll. Thank you to each one who has commented so far. Your answers are informative. Please look below this post to read other new posts.)

Since this blog began (more than 1000 posts ago), I have posted several invitations for those who use the ESV to state in as objective a fashion (non-ideological, please) why they do so. With this post I extend that invitation again, especially now that the ESV won hands down in our New Year's resolution Bible reading poll.

Some reasonable answers have been suggested in comments to my preceding post to explain why the ESV won in our poll. They included that the ESV, along with the TNIV, are the "new kids on the block," so there is a natural curiosity about them. I know that feeling. I like to spend time reading a new English Bible to discover what kind of a translation it is.

If you were one of those who answered that you would wanted to read the ESV through during 2006, please comment on this post explaining why you have chosen the ESV, rather than some other version, to read.

I would like to understand the poll results better.

So, this is your turn. I'll suggest some possible answers just to stimulate your thinking, but I won't limit the possible answers for you in another poll. You can word your answers as you please in comments to this post. Here are just some ideas. There are many more.

Do you read the ESV because you have discovered it to be the most scholarly reliable of all the English versions?

Do you read it because your knowledge of Biblical Hebrew and Greek leads you to conclude that the ESV is the most accurate English translation?

Are you reading the ESV this year out of curiosity because it is a new translation?

Are you reading the ESV because some preacher that you respect has recommended the ESV?

Are you reading the ESV because it has wordings which are familiar to you from some Bible version you have used much in the past?

Are you reading the ESV to try to understand why I and some other BBB bloggers don't care for its English, even though the ESV publisher says it has high quality literary English?


Now let's everybody be fair to each other here. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we need to respect that. Let's try to have this be a safe place for people to express their opinions.


At Sun Feb 11, 01:23:00 AM, Blogger DavidR said...

I'll kick off -- I was an ESV voter.

The main reason I read the ESV (this will be my second time through on the M'Cheyne pattern) is that I am so at home in the RSV, but would prefer not to have "thee's" and "thou's" in the passages that the translators thought were addressed to God. I prefer the ESV over the NRSV for personal reading because it preserves metaphors (compare Psalm 1:1, e.g.).

(And, FWIW, my sense is that the REB is overlooked and underrated. I suppose that's partly a legacy of the erratic NEB's heritage.)

Of course, we all know that the perfect English translation hasn't been produced yet. But, as someone once mentioned on a thread on this blog, the multiplying of English versions now when so many fine ones are available, and when so many languages still need their first bible, is making me uncomfortable.

IMO, YMMV, etc. :)

David Reimer

At Sun Feb 11, 06:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take a stab at what I think is THE reason people are reading the ESV. Phenomena like the exponential use of the ESV is caused primarily by peer pressure. Its continued and accelerated use is similar to the motion created by a car rolling down a hill. As it picks up speed it is harder to stop. When influential pastors and teachers encourage the use of the ESV many people get on-board. As that increases, there is more and more silent pressure to adopt it as your own. Eventually it just becomes a pain not to use it. For example, I use the ESV primarily because 1) my pastor preaches from it, 2) my church uses it for memorization, 3) most preachers I listen to use it, 4) virtually everyone I socialize and study with use it, and 5) it is generally accepted in the circles in which I run as a standard, good, translation.

It is not my preferred version for reading but I stick with it mostly because of these reasons, not because I believe it to be a better translation. I suspect that is the case for most people. I am very willing to use it in study and I usually turn to it first. I'm just hoping for an updated version that addresses many of my concerns.



At Mon Feb 12, 12:12:00 AM, Blogger seeker said...

I have two reasons that I am switching to esv - style AND accuracy. I have enjoyed the NKJV as my main translation since 1986. I always respected the NASB, but found it a little stilted, style wise.

However, recently on my blog, in a discussion of homosexuality on my blog, one pro-gay commenter used the NKJV translation of "arsenokoites " from 1 Timothy 1:10, translated "sodomite", and then referred back to the canard that Sodom was not judged for immorality and homosexuality, but for inhospitality (which it may have been).

However, the problem is, the NKJV is using the word "sodomite" as a synonym for homosexual, but the greek word here doesn't even mention the proper noun "Sodom." At best, this is an archaic usage, and at worst, it misdirects the reader into thinking that Paul is referring to Sodom.

Right now I am using a MacArthur nasb study bible, but I am waiting for an ESV study bible to come out. However, the single column version just out looks tempting.

The reason I don't like the nasb is mainly style. Compare the opening verse of Psalm 1, and see how the ESV has maintained the poetic verbiage without sacrificing meaning, while the nasb is correct, but dull.

At Mon Feb 12, 02:25:00 AM, Blogger Peter M. Head said...

I use the ESV (not exclusively!) for three main reasons:
a) I was given several free copies when it came out;
b) My church uses it as a pew Bible and for preaching;
c) I like the RSV element for personal reasons;
d) My other main alternative is usually the RSV (occasionally NRSV which is sometimes good for nuanced inclusiveness) and GNB (for reading with my 8 y.o. daughter).
e) I like the NIV for reading stories, not so much for reading arguments.
f) I like access to 'literal' idioms rather than translated idioms.

At Mon Feb 12, 02:15:00 PM, Blogger Beyond Words said...

Without having access to the wisdom of this blog, I read Ryken's "Word of God in English" and thought the ESV was God's answer to the NIV :)

I do find it fresh although I get tired of the footnotes explaining that "brothers" really means "brothers and sisters."

At Mon Feb 12, 08:15:00 PM, Blogger codepoke said...

I think I voted TNIV, and will be buying one some day, but I actually own an ESV. Why? Because I had not found this blog yet, and I liked their hype best. :-(

It's a good and helpful translation to have around, but...

I have learned so much since I have been hanging out here. Thank you very much!

At Tue Feb 13, 03:43:00 PM, Blogger exegete77 said...

Worship use has much influence on the translation used. The ESV was used as the translation for the Psalms in the recently released Lutheran Service Book published by Concordia Publishing House for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). This will certainly promote the use of ESV within that church body. When they published Lutheran Worship in 1982, they used NIV (for financial reasons), which promoted the NIV within the church body. On the other hand, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) published a hymnal a few years ago using the NKJV as the base translation, and so NKJV is used more within that church body.

At Wed Feb 14, 09:02:00 AM, Blogger Silens Vox said...

I first used the KJV because it was what most in my church used and then switched to the NASB as I began to study the passages more carefully. I used the NASB until it just fell apart and had to purchase another Bible. ESV happened to be one translation I picked up and it rapidly became the Bible I read daily, studied, taught with, and later preached with. I still look into other Bibles occasionally, but always find myself being drawn back to the ESV.

I love it mainly because of its beautiful style, ease of reading, accuracy, and is consistent in the flow of language (how vague is that?). I also use it as the primary Bible my wife and children use because I want a primary memorization Bible for us all.

In the end, its not about some scholarly reason put down to science, but it simply came from the heart.

At Wed Feb 14, 05:51:00 PM, Blogger UncleNut said...

My past involves militant KJV-onlyism (based 70% on emotionalism and ignorance on my part, spurred by my "crowd", and perhaps 30% willful disregard for common sense), but my Ryrie Study Bible would always stump me with its "better written as..." and "could also be translated as..." comments.

I happened across a link to the ESV site about a year ago, and after reading the translator introduction and seeing the folks who were on the translation committee, and reading a lot of the passages that confused me in the KJV, I bought one. It was not easy, because of the remnants of the KJVOnly past, even though I know the fallacy of that (anyone with a similar story would understand the crazy feelings of betrayal, backsliding, elation, etc. when making a non-KJV purchase -- it's amazing what brainwashing really does!).

This is also the first Bible I have bought for myself, by reasonable, thoughtful, intentional choice. Previous Bibles have been gifts (Ryrie, Thompson Chain). I did read "The Word of God in English" as well.

I am a deacon at a church that has chosen the KJV as its version, but is not militant about it (I became a deacon before "converting" to the ESV). I carry my ESV for me and my KJV for everyone else when needed (and to avoid problems with the leadership, etc.).

So the short answer is that my ESV has been my "escape" Bible, and therefore holds a special place. It provides a bit of the old-time "smell" of the KJV with its occasional backwards wording, but for the most part has been incredibly easy to read and understand.

I would love to spend some time in a HCSB, and may sometime soon, but I think my next purchase will be an ESV study Bible when that is printed.

At Wed Feb 14, 09:04:00 PM, Blogger Brian said...

I got an ESV Bible because it was new at the time (I got it in '03) and I wanted to check it out. I think the biggest thing I like about the ESV by Crossway is the layout and print (font). It is better sectioned out in paragraphs than other publishers and is so much more readable the way they have done the layout. Also, the spacing and font are almost the best (imo). When I lay it side by side with an NAS cross-reference edition, the ESV has a much cleaner look (imo). So for me ease of reading in terms of the layout is a big factor.

As to the tranlsation, they claim to be consistantly essentially literal, but then break that claim when on the one hand, Psalm 23 reflects the traditional reading of the RSV/KJV "valley of the shadow of death" instead of the more appropriate translation taken by the NRSV that more accurately reflects the Hebrew (imo).

On the other hand in Luke 17 the master tells the servant to come sit "at table." Now, I realize they are trying to reflect the original and the idea of table fellowship in their translation, but I keep wanting the article "the" to smooth it out. So, I could be way off, and these are but only two samples that I could be off on, but it seems to me inconsistant, but again I could be off.

I have heard a pastor explain to the congregation why the church was switching to the ESV "it is the truest to the Greek" (mind you that the majority of the congregation barely even heard of NT Greek let alone know what it is, or even care really). When I heard this, I thought, but if he really knew Greek and had done enough reading in the Greek and compared it, he would know better than to make such an assertion.

Here is another big factor: It is the official Bible of the Reformed Church in America.

John Piper hopes to see it replace the NIV. And he has influnced many folk with his views.

At Thu Feb 15, 06:44:00 AM, Blogger Brian said...

did y'all hear of Bruce Metzger's homegoing?

At Thu Feb 15, 08:14:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Brian asked:

did y'all hear of Bruce Metzger's homegoing?

No, Brian. Could you point us to a webpage that would have some details? Thanks for that info. A great Bible scholar has left us.

At Thu Feb 15, 08:21:00 AM, Blogger Dickie Mint said...

At Thu Feb 15, 09:33:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Thank you, Dickie. This news deserves a blog post.

At Thu Feb 15, 09:47:00 AM, Blogger EYTYXOC said...

At the Evangelical Theological Society in San Antonio, Texas, in November 2004, Rodney J. Decker presented a paper on the ESV that compares it in detail with the NIV and questions some of the claims made for the ESV.

You can read his comments here.

At Thu Feb 15, 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

At the Evangelical Theological Society in San Antonio, Texas, in November 2004, Rodney J. Decker presented a paper on the ESV that compares it in detail with the NIV and questions some of the claims made for the ESV.

Thank you for the link to Dr. Decker's review of the ESV. He is a good N.T. and Greek scholar and is objective in his critiques of English Bibles. I have had the link you provided on my ESV Links webpage for a good long while. One nice thing about Dr. Decker's reviews is that he doesn't seem to be pushing any particular English version, so he can't be accused of bias.

At Thu Feb 15, 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Brian wrote: "On the other hand in Luke 17 the master tells the servant to come sit "at table." Now, I realize they are trying to reflect the original and the idea of table fellowship in their translation, but I keep wanting the article "the" to smooth it out."

You seem to think that this is an example of extreme literalism. But in fact it is the opposite. Perhaps it is an example of extreme conservatism as it follows KJV (if indeed it does, I can't check just at the moment). But if so it is following KJV in a place where KJV translators (possibly from ignorance then, but that is no excuse for the ESV translators) made a culturally motivated change to the biblical text, the sort of thing which is more characteristic of the Cotton Patch Version, and sometimes found in The Message. For in fact the Greek word underlying "sit at table" means "recline", and there is no word for "table". Ancient Greeks and Romans reclined on cushions to eat, and did not sit at tables. But the KJV translators replaced the exegetically and culturally correct expression, not with a dynamic equivalent which carries the same meaning in a different form, but with an expression which has a different meaning, although the same cultural significance. This is just the kind of unwarranted change which some of the ESV translators and promoters accuse other translations of doing, usually without proper justification. How can they possibly justify doing it themselves?

At Thu Feb 15, 04:41:00 PM, Blogger Terry said...

Did you want someone else's opinion or not? I'm a little confused since you are saying set up the context to answer a certain way and then talk about civil discourse.

Personally I started to read the ESV for ideological reasons which I would think would be THE reason to do so. I'm not sure what a non-idealogical reason could even begin to be. Perhaps you mean something along the lines a reason that is not against your academic sense of how the Bible should be translated or perhaps you mean those arguements already discussed ad nauseam. Perhaps it would be better to graciously state your opponent's views and then ask if there are additional reasons for choosing the ESV and see then if you get any takers.

I ended up going back to the NIV because the language flows much better. I'm not always please with the interpretations given by the NIV either. The language is much nicer than the ESV.

I do find the KJV interesting though I'm saddened by the KJV-only folks. I'm not sure they are gettin much traction these days. But KJV is great for just the reason you mention, the

At Thu Feb 15, 05:01:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Terry began:

Did you want someone else's opinion or not? I'm a little confused since you are saying set up the context to answer a certain way and then talk about civil discourse

You are right, Terry. I should not have said anything about ideology. I should have given people the freedom to answer however they wanted, including if their reasons for reading the ESV are ideological. I apologize to you and all this blog's readers. And I retract that part of my post. I'll go strikeout that part now.

Thank you for being honest and up front about this.

At Fri Feb 16, 03:55:00 AM, Blogger David McKay said...

I read through the bible recently in the TNIV [NT then OT] and then again using the ESV Reformation Study Bible.

I read through the entire bible using the ESV translation because that was the translation that came with the study bible, but also because I was intrigued to read it, after all that publicity!

I think quite a bit of the publicity is misleading and untrue, but I also think the ESV is mostly a good translation and a worthwhile one to consult, along with other translations such as the TNIV, the New Living Translation, and older translations such as the NRSV and RSV.

In reading the ESV, I discovered that it is much closer to the NIV and TNIV than its promoters would be prepared to admit.

It frequently uses what its promoters call "dynamic equivalent" translation. It is frequently interpretive, though maybe not as much as the TNIV, NIV and NLT.

But it is very misleading to say that it is a literal translation [or "essentially literal"].

I now have 4 bibles on my new Palm Z22 which my wife and her mother gave me Christmas:
the TNIV
the ESV
the NLT
and the KJV.

I like all of them and will certainly read the bible through again using my ESV Reformation Study Bible, which has helpful footnotes, a good column reference system and 90 articles on bible doctrines.

At Fri Feb 16, 06:55:00 AM, Blogger Roopster said...

Have you ever thought of creating a Wiki for this project. That way, you can start your translation and either open it to the public to edit or restrict it to space members (that require approval).

You're more than welcome to take over this Wiki is you wish

Bible Wiki

- Paul

At Fri Feb 16, 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Reflections of a Preacher said...

As a pastor and aspiring Biblical scholar (fairly fluent in NT Greek), I regularly use a variety of translations (NIV, NASB, NET Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, NLT, TEV and yes--even the KJV/NKJV). But about 3 years ago I adopted the ESV as my primary translation for reading, teaching, preaching and memorization. I favor the ESV for the following reasons:

1. I favor a translation philosophy grounded in "formal equivalence" over "dynamic equivalence." For years I used the NIV for teaching and preaching. The problem was in using the NIV I found that I had to "correct" the text of the NIV far too often. It got to the point where I was never "sure" that what the NIV said was what the Greek text actually said. Dynamic equivalent translations are somewhat of a "hybrid" (a blending of "God-inspired text" with the "interpretational commentary, thoughts and opinions of men"). I realize that all translation involves 'interpretation.' But a translational philosophy based upon dynamic equivalence opens the door far to wide for the translators to interject their own subjective understanding, thoughts and opinions to be melded into the text. A philosophy of "formal equivalence" places certain restrictions and limitations on the translators and thus safeguard the text from the undue subjective elements of the translators.

2. I favor the literary style of the ESV. While I appreciate the literal accuracy of the NASB, in terms of literary style and readability, it's "clunky." The NIV (and most dynamic equivalent translations) offer 'readability' but at the sacrifice of 'accuracy.' I find the ESV a comfortable compromise between the more literal but clunky literary style of the NASB and the more readable but less accurate NIV.

3. I favor the ESV because I can recommend it to others with confidence--that the ESV is an excellent translation of the Word of God (and without the warnings and qualifications attached to overly literal and/or dynamic translations

4. Finally, and more subjectively, I prefer the ESV because I felt that I had to finally settle on one primary translation for teaching, preaching, memorization and personal devotions. I have simply found that the ESV contains what I value in a translation: Accuracy, readability, and a certain elegance and dignity that speaks to my heart.

I still read and utilize many translations (for no single translation is perfect). And I encourage others to do the same. But I have settled on the ESV as my mainstay and daily bread.

At Fri Feb 16, 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Alex 1.0 said...

I grew up with the NIV, my church currently endorses/has avail NLT without giving reason.

I currently mostly alternate daily use between the Hard Core Southern Baptist Bible and the ESV. Both are pocketsize.. HCSB has larger font, so I've used that more recently, but I have purchased the ESV mp3 audio--so I'm torn. (I also have a NASB, but the language still is much less natural)

Why ESV?

One, ESV is essentially literal, thus holding up to its "standard" name. I find that it's best to read what the original author wanted to write, instead of what some translators thought he meant, hence pushing me to study the Word for meaning.

Two, ESV isn't considered gender neutral... maintaining much of the original gender forms. Herein, the TNIV has caused much fraction in the church for how it's changed gender pronouns.

Three, scholarly work promoted by reputable scholars. J.I. Packer, Wayne Grudem, and John Piper on its committee, among others. The push from Piper, Mark Driscoll, and Adrian Warnock has shown good reasons to switch over.

Four, web resources. ESV has a blog which creates a good sense of community and openess with communicating the translation's strengths (& weaknesses). There, many web resources are shared... notable ESV integration to IE7/FF2 via

Five, published by Crossway - they have shown themselves to be on the right side of the theological spectrum by what they publish, imho.

At Fri Feb 16, 01:23:00 PM, Blogger EYTYXOC said...

Do the ESV promoters seem to be tooting their own horns perhaps a bit too strongly?

Crossway Bibles and The United Bible Societies Celebrate Growth of ESV Bible Worldwide

Is it really "perhaps the biggest milestone in Bible translation in the past fifty years or more"?

At Fri Feb 16, 07:13:00 PM, Blogger Jungle Pop said...

I think that there are two reasons for all the ESV hype:

1. The ESV hype. :^) By that I mean a blog, website tools, etc. Talk of the ESV went around the internet faster than a "What Fascist Dictator Are You?" meme. (I'm Mussolini.)

2. According to your poll about the biggest problem for contemporary English translations (a poll which has gotten more than double the votes than the Bible poll), accuracy is so far the clear winner. With the ESV pitching itself as an "essentially literal translation" that has "the greatest possible accuracy" (quotes from the ESV website), along with the "scholarly work" mentioned by alex 1.0 above, I'm not surprised at the gravitation towards it.

Why isn't it the top seller among English versions, then? Dunno. Could be that the people who are online, blogging, doing polls like yours, are more concerned with accuracy, and have heard all the hype, while Joe Schmoe Christian just wants a Bible that they're used to (KJV, NIV) or that they understand well (TNIV, NLT, The Message), and they haven't read any of the ESV propaganda to know they're supposed to be switching versions.

And of course, I'm kidding about 'propaganda'. I have nothing against the ESV, having never read it.

At Sat Feb 17, 01:41:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I find that it's best to read what the original author wanted to write, instead of what some translators thought he meant...

Alex, is this supposed to be a reason to read ESV? It seems to me rather to be an reason to read the original language texts and not any translation at all. If anyone tries to claim that ESV is "what the original author wanted to write" and not "what some translators thought he meant", I'm afraid they are a liar and a deceiver, even if they have the name of a reputable scholar. As for "the greatest possible accuracy" as quoted by Jungle Pop, that is an unproven and so empty claim. I can't help being reminded of NT passages about false teachers who promote themselves with false claims.

ESV has a blog ... communicating the translation's strengths (& weaknesses).

Does the ESV blog really communicate the translation's weaknesses? If you can post a link to a post which communicates these weaknesses, I would be very interested to follow it.

At Sun Feb 18, 05:32:00 AM, Blogger Glennsp said...

Wayne said, "Now let's everybody be fair to each other here. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we need to respect that. Let's try to have this be a safe place for people to express their opinions."

So Peter, you chose to ignore this request from Wayne and take out your petulant (and childish) anger against the ESV on Alex & Jungle pop (well, on their comments, but that is prety close)

So Wayne over to you.

At Sun Feb 18, 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I am new here and just lost the post I spent 30 minutes writing. I did not know you needed to sign in first. So here I go again.

A friend who is a NT scholar at a very reputable seminary and has published several books on the NT pointed up a major problem with the ESV the other day.

The ESV is not a true translation like the NIV, RSV, KJV, NLT, etc. It is a revision of the RSV not a true translation like the RSV.

I like reading the ESV and have often used it in my studies. I have a copy of it in the Scofield. The NRSV and RSV is what I mainly use for study. The NLT is my favorite for enjoyment and daily reading.

At Sun Feb 18, 10:48:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

It is very clear that the ESV is not "ssentially literal" from the two verses we have just looked at.

In 1 Cor. 10:23 "all things are lawful" is literally "all things are permissible, allowable or possible"

and in 1 Cor. 11:10 instead of symbol of authority it should read literally "authority".

Anyone can do a mouseover in Zhubert now and find out just how literal the ESV is, or is not.

These two examples concern very important theological concepts which the ESV translators have given their own interpretation to. In fact, they surprise me, but above all they prove that the ESV does not live up to its claim.

I can't fault Peter's comment.


I am surprised that you, who are such a supporter of comment moderation elsewhere would descend to such unsupported calumny.

And, as for scholarly support, I would think that a quick glance at the TNIV would satisfy people that there were recognized language scholars on its team.

In the two verse I mentioned, 1 Cor. 10:23, and 1 Cor. 11:10 the TNIV is simply more literal semantically than the ESV.

At Sun Feb 18, 12:08:00 PM, Blogger Glennsp said...

Suzanne, you have obviously made your comment without properly reading just what Peter wrote. There is no 'calumny' in what I wrote.
Peter implied that Alex is "...a liar and a deceiver"
Also Peter is trying to say that those involved with the ESV are similar to "...false teachers who promote themselves with false claims" because of a claim of accuracy. Now you may disagree with the assessment but to go as far as the claim that Peter made is IMHO outside the constricts of this blog. Now, either you hold to those constricts or you do not.
If Peter's accusations, which are personal, are allowed to pass without censure, then the 'guidelines' for this blog are meaningless and arbitrary.

At Sun Feb 18, 04:48:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


Peter writes that,

If anyone tries to claim that ESV is "what the original author wanted to write" and not "what some translators thought he meant"

then they are spreading untruth, (my way of expressing it)

That is a demonstrably true sentence.

And it is obvious that the ESV does not have 'the greatest possible accuracy' . There are many places where they have chosen an interpretation over a more neutral and literal choice. It may be more accurate than some other translations, but I don't think that has been proved.

Readers of the ESV can reasonably claim that it is a modern translation that falls within the KJV, RSV tradition, that it agrees with their own preconceived theology, that it is somewhat literal, according to their own view of what literal is, etc. and therefore, they are happy to use it. That is fine.

At Mon Feb 19, 03:00:00 AM, Blogger Glennsp said...

As I thought. The rules only apply to others.

At Mon Feb 19, 03:44:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I should apologise to Alex if he or she (well, based on the picture I will assume "he") has misunderstood the intention of my comment. It was not at all to suggest that he is a liar and a deceiver, but rather that those who originally made the claim that he is repeating are liars and deceivers. Alex himself is simply deceived, although he may become a deceiver if he continues to propagate this misinformation.

I did not intend to suggest that anyone associated with ESV is actually a false teacher in that they are teaching false theology (although I might argue that, at least of some of them, concerning gender issues and eternal subordination of the Son), only that their self-promotion based on factually incorrect claims is reminiscent of New Testament false teachers who did just this.

At Mon Feb 19, 05:44:00 AM, Blogger Peter M. Head said...

GlennSP is right. You guys are not singing from the same hymn sheet. You can't request comments from people who prefer the ESV, call it 'a safe place for people to express their opinions' and then pitch in with the standard knee-jerk BBB critique of the ESV claims for 'accuracy' along with the labelling or associating of ESVers with false teachers of the NT.
You might not think the ESV is more accurate than any other ET. You might not know how on earth 'accuracy' could be measured. But surely you can understand that a bunch of sound guys have been saying the ESV is 'accurate' and that this appeals to many Christians as a ground for confidence in the ESV.

At Mon Feb 19, 09:34:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Peter H, perhaps I was not quite singing from Wayne's hymn sheet. But then I don't feel any great obligation to do so; I am his co-blogger but not his servant. Alex and Jungle Pop are entitled to their opinions, but not to disseminate false information as if it were true. I consider my duty to correct false statements as higher than my duty to keep quiet just because Wayne suggests that I ought to. Wayne may like to comment about this publicly or privately, but so far he has done neither.

I understand that a bunch of guys have been saying that the ESV is 'accurate', and that they have the name of being "sound". They need to live up to their name.

At Mon Feb 19, 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

GlennSP is right. You guys are not singing from the same hymn sheet.

Let's all try to keep the BBB a safe place for expressing different opinions. There is sometimes a fine line between pointing out what we believe to be areas for improvement in a Bible version, and stating that so negatively that the place no longer feels safe for expressing differing opinions. I would like everyone to follow the blog guidelines for posting, myself included. We need to allow for differences of opinion and also for being corrected by one another here. All of this is not an easy thing to do. Some blogs take care of the difficulty by not permitting any negative comments, different from the party line of the blog. We are trying to have this been a different kind of blog where there is a focus on objective data about Bible versions, allowing for different people to draw different conclusions about that data, and treating one another with professionalism and politeness.

How about if we all recommit ourselves to these important principles for healthy communication?

At Mon Feb 19, 11:05:00 AM, Blogger Glennsp said...

I am truly sorry Wayne, but all I see is Peter being a hypocrite.
If someone else came on this blog and made comments, as he has, regarding this post Peter would severely reprimand them for breaching the guidelines. (although if it was to do with the ESV or its advocates he,going on current evidence, would clap)
Yet because it is to do with the ESV Peter feels it is okay to breach the guidelines, which I presume he agreed to.
When challenged regarding said breach Peter's only response is to express his disdain not only for the guidelines, but also for your (Waynes) opinion regarding that breach.
So Wayne, do the guidelines mean anything or, as Peter seems to think, are they just something to be ignored when deemed inconvenient.

At Tue Feb 20, 12:00:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Glenn asked:

So Wayne, do the guidelines mean anything ...?

Yes, Glenn, the guidelines mean something. But my personal policy, both on the Bible translation email discussion lists and here, is to deal with such matters via private email first. And I can assure you that I have often dealt with such matters via private email.

Let's continue discussing this matter privately. Feel free to use my email address posted in my blog profile. I'm not sure if I have your email address.

Thanks, Wayne

At Tue Feb 20, 02:04:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Glenn, I sometimes reprimand people for bearing false witness on this blog. But I don't think I have done so for breaching blog guidelines, something which I leave to Wayne as the blog owner. I won't even reprimand you for your clear breaches of the guidelines in focusing on personalities. The false witness I have read here is of course a breach of the guideline "Support claims with evidence", but I am more concerned about it as a breach of the commandment.

Which blog guideline have I breached in any of my comments on this post, or for that matter any post? Perhaps you should reply off list, peter AT qaya DOT org.

At Tue Feb 20, 05:13:00 PM, Blogger Ted Gossard said...

I distrust translations that make such a big deal out of being literal, or whatever, yet- in my view, violate it. Yet in themselves, those translations are fine. And the violations are such in name only, you could say.

I want a translation that is more consistent to what it claims to be. And for me, the TNIV fits that category. Besides, I consider its translation philosophy, as well as follow through from that philosophy to be far superior to the ESV. I never look at my ESV anymore. And only once in awhile on Biblegate.

If I want a more "literal" translation I go the the NRSV. or better yet if I'd go to my Greek and Hebrew. Though that's more than rusty (espec Hebr) now.


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