The ESV Makes More than 275 Verse Changes in the Text

And rather quietly at that:

The following is a letter from Crossway’s president regarding the 2011 ESV text changes:

Thank you for your love for God’s Word and for your interest specifically in the ESV Bible.

As the publisher of the ESV, I want to let you know that a small number of word changes are being incorporated into the ESV Bible text, as we reprint and publish new editions of the ESV in 2011.

The extent of the word changes is comparatively small, involving about 275 verses and less than 500 words out of more than 750,000 words in the Bible text.  To put this into perspective, the changes to the ESV are about one one-hundreth of the changes made recently in other leading Bible translations.

A few examples are changes from “yourself” to “you”; from “servant” to “worker”; from “has not” to “does not have”; from “young man” to “boy”; from “capital” to “citadel”; from “bondage” to “slavery”; from “nor” to “or”; from “trustworthy” to “faithful”; from “competent” to “sufficient”; from “everyone” to “each one.” A complete list of changes, shown in the context of each verse, is provided here.  You can also download a copy of the ESV preface, for further explanation of the ESV translation philosophy, principles, and legacy.

This list of 2011 changes was reviewed and discussed over the last five years by the thirteen-member ESV Translation Oversight Committee (TOC).  The TOC then met in the Summer of 2010, and finalized the list in the Spring of 2011.  The changes were then approved by the Crossway Board of Directors in April 2011.  Editions of the ESV with the 2011 text changes include the following notice on the copyright page: “ESV Text Edition:  2011.”

Most changes to the ESV text were made to correct grammar, improve consistency, or increase precision in meaning…

More here with the usual

… deeply conscious of the enormous responsibility entrusted to it—to translate the very words of God, with the greatest possible accuracy and precision, depth of meaning, and literary excellence…


Interview: NT Wright’s ‘Kingdom New Testament’

As most by now know, ‘The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation‘ is NT Wright’s version of the New Testament. Described as,

… a fresh, vivid translation of the New Testament.  This is The Message for a new generation. Not in centuries has such a powerful new translation of the Scriptures arisen for Christians everywhere, changing the way the entire English-speaking world can access the books of the New Testament. Wright seems to do the impossible, at once achieving a closer match to the Scripture’s original Greek, invoking more appropriately gender-neutral terminology, and providing a more natural, readable tone to the readings—even while magnifying the vibrancy and urgency of the original works. For Christians worldwide, this stunning new translation of the New Testament… is a crucial way to re-claim the message of the Bible.

(I’ve just added it to my wish list, hint, hint, anyone? 😉 – even though it’ll probably take almost forever to get here)

Well I see that a few days ago, Dr Ben Witherington had an interview with Dr Wright on this book:

I am very pleased to present the following interview, as a harbinger of the publication of N.T. Wright’s new book,  The Kingdom New Testament, (Harper One) a fine, fresh translation of the New Testament into contemporary English…

1) What prompted you to do a fresh translation of the NT?

It came  about because of the ‘Everyone’ commentaries (published by SPCK and WJKP  and now complete with Revelation due out next month). Originally we  discussed whether I should take one of the existing  translations and comment on it; but the series is meant to be ‘popular’  in the sense of ‘designed for people who would never normally dare to  open a biblical commentary’, and so I did NOT want to have to say ‘what a  pity the NRSV doesn’t quite catch the meaning’  or ‘here again the NIV lets us down badly’ or whatever. So . . . I  decided to try doing my own translation, so that people could read a  fresh version of the passage and then a comment on it without needing to  correct or discuss alternative meanings, etc. Then  some reviewers of the early volumes said, ‘Why not gather them all  together and make a complete NT’, and it seemed a good idea!

The rest is here.

The other questions asked and answered are:

2) What would you see as the distinctive features of your translation,  or its major contributions to our understanding of the language of the  NT?

3) When you did this translation, what sort and level of audience did  you keep in view in your mind’s eye?

4) Inevitably, someone will ask— Why do we need another English  translation of the NT?   How do you respond?

5)  Was J.B. Phillips one man translation something of an inspiration for  this project?  What are the difficulties with one person trying to do a  translation of the whole NT?

6) Where would you position this translation on the spectrum of more  literal or more idiomatic and paraphrastic translations?


NT Wright – Lost and Found in Translation: From 1611 to 2011

… People sometimes mock the idea of a committee producing a document, but with the King James Version it wasn’t like that. It was an exercise in collaborative scholarship. Many eyes, minds, hearts and voices all contributed, anticipating in a measure the way in which, today, international journals, seminars and conferences enable a rich conversation to take place and, sometimes at least, produce fresh insight and clarity.

In the first decade of the seventeenth century, then, many translators contributed to one Bible, intending that it should be the only one. I, in the first decade of the twenty-first century, have done the opposite. I have worked alone over many years to produce a translation of the New Testament, intending that this translation should be one of many.

When people ask me which version of the Bible they should use, I have for many years told them that I don’t much mind as long as they always have at least two open on the desk. It is, of course, better for everyone to learn Greek. The finest translations are still, basically, a matter of trying to play a Beethoven symphony on a mouth-organ…

Do read it all here.



The ‘New’ New American Bible: Available Today

Almost 20 years in the making, a revised Old Testament uses updated language to get readers closer to the ancient texts.

The NC Register reports:

The New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) released on Ash Wednesday provides Catholics with a new translation of Scripture that is more faithful to the original texts than previous versions. But will they embrace the idiomatic English and fresh but unfamiliar renderings of many of the Bible’s most famous passages?

“One of the major goals,” said Robert Di Vito, a key editor of the project and an associate professor of theology at Loyola University Chicago, where he specializes in the Old Testament and Northwest Semitic philology, the linguistics of ancient biblical languages including Hebrew and Aramaic, “was to have a translation that uses colloquial and contemporary American English.”

But updating the language wasn’t the only motivation. Advances in the fields of archaeology, biblical studies and textual analysis made a new rendering of the Old Testament from the New American Bible’s 1970 first edition almost mandatory. “We’ve had 40 years of scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls to help improve the accuracy of the texts,” said Di Vito.

The New Testament remains unchanged, though the Psalter appears in its third edition, newly reworked from a 1991 translation that stirred controversy at the time.

This new version of the Bible, approved for personal and scholarly use but not affecting the readings used at Mass, was two decades in the making…

A major concern with any recent translation of Scripture is always how “inclusive language” — language tailored so as not to offend a particular group, most often women — is employed…

“We did try to make [this translation] inclusive to the extent that we could within the guidelines of Rome,” said Benedictine Father Joseph Jensen, a NABRE editor. As executive secretary of the Catholic Biblical Association, Jensen signed a letter critical of Liturgiam Authenticam, a Vatican instruction on translating the liturgy into the vernacular…

While all these concerns are important, the average Catholic is more likely to ask simpler questions: Do I like this new translation? Does it read well?

Read the whole piece here.

Got to get my hands on one! (Sometime…)

I mentioned the release before here.