Monday, May 27, 2013

Print Page ESV: Ever-changing Standard Version

The ESV is quickly becoming the most common Bible in churches. It is embraced by Baptist and Catholics alike. It has replaced the King James Bible in many churches. It is a favorite among Calvinists. Most people don't realize that there have already been 4 versions (2001, 2007, 2011, 2016) of the ESV released. There are bound to be several more in the future. In the 2007 version about 360 verses were changed. In the 2011 edition about 275 verses were changed. In 2016 there were 29 more verses changed. The publishers of the ESV purposely don't make it well known and unless you read fine print of multiple versions of the ESV you may never know about the changes.


Becoming like the KJV

First let's take a look at just a few places where the ESV corrected their translation, making it closer to the KJV.

In Jeremiah 38:10 the ESV at first had 3 men being taken. In 2007 they corrected it to match the KJV by changing it to 30.

KJV
Jeremiah 38:10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. 

ESV 2001
Jeremiah 38:10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take three men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”

ESV 2007, 2011
Jeremiah 38:10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”

1 Samuel 2:1, 10 took a little longer for the ESV translators to correct. The KJV had it correct in 1611 by having horn as the translation. The ESV in both 2001 and 2007 decided to use power. In 2011 they finally got it correct and went with the KJV translation of horn.

KJV
1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

ESV 2001, 2007
1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the Lord; my power is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.

1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed.”

ESV 2011
1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.

1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”


Desexing the Bible

Don't get your hopes up in thinking that the ESV is getting better over time. One thing they are doing in these version changes is to make the ESV more gender neutral. Here are just a few examples.


KJV
John 8:17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.

ESV 2001
John 8:17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two men is true.

ESV 2007, 2011
John 8:17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true.


KJV
1 Timothy 5:24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 

ESV 2001, 2007
1 Timothy 5:24 The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later.

ESV 2011
1 Timothy 5:24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later.


KJV
Mark 8:24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 

ESV 2001, 2007
Mark 8:24 And he looked up and said, “I see men, but they look like trees, walking.”

ESV 2011
Mark 8:24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”


Change that Causes Confusion

Some of the changes change the entire meaning of a verse. Some of them make no sense at all. Here are just some of the examples.

A lovesick heart? Thankfully they changed that in 2007.

KJV
Ezekiel 16:30 How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman;

ESV 2001
Ezekiel 16:30 How lovesick is your heart, declares the Lord GOD, because you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen prostitute,

ESV 2007, 2010
Ezekiel 16:30 How sick is your heart, declares the Lord GOD, because you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen prostitute,


Aaron or Moses? I guess it depends on what year you bought your ESV. It is anyone's guess what it will be in the next version of the ESV.

KJV
Leviticus 16:34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses

ESV 2001, 2007
Leviticus 16:34 And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” And Moses did as the LORD commanded him.

ESV 2011
Leviticus 16:34 And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” And Aaron did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The ESV here had it right for the first 2 versions but then really twisted things in 2011.

KJV
1 Samuel 25:31 That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.

ESV 2001, 2007
1 Samuel 25:31 my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord taking vengance himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”

ESV 2011
1 Samuel 25:31 my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord working salvation himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”

This is the most bizarre change of them all As you can see the KJV, Geneva and even the NKJV have it right. None of the ESV versions are correct but the 2011 is the worse of all. According to the 2011 Saul became king when he was 1 and at age 3 he was choosing men! What an amazing 3 year old!

KJV
1 Samuel 13:1-2 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israelwhereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

Geneva 1587
1 Samuel 13:1-2  Saul nowe had beene King one yeere, and he reigned two yeeres ouer Israel. Then Saul chose him three thousand of Israel: and two thousande were with Saul in Michmash, & in mount Beth-el, and a thousande were with Ionathan in Gibeah of Beniamin: and the rest of the people he sent euery one to his tent.

NKJV
1 Samuel 13:1-2 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in the mountains of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent away, every man to his tent. 

ESV 2001 & 2007
1 Samuel 13:1-2 Saul was ... years old when he began to reign, and he reigned ... and two years over Israel. Saul chose three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent.

ESV 2011
1 Samuel 13:1-2 Saul lived for one year and then became king, and when he had reigned for two years over Israel, Saul chose three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent.

Conclusion
As you can see a lot of these changes to the ESV are not minor. If you are doing Bible memorization you are going to gave to re-memorize hundreds of verses each time a new version comes out. If you are quoting passages listed above from the pulpit and others in the church have a different version of the ESV imagine the confusion it must cause! This is just one of the many reasons I'll stick with the unchanging KJV.


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