ESV Bible questions

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Mexdeaf, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    (No need for KJVO's to reply to this thread, thanks.)

    I have decided to read through the Bible this year using the ESV. It is stated that the ESV is an 'essentially literal' translation. I am wondering what 'essentially literal' means, especially as opposed to the other methods.
     
  2. rsr

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    Another way of saying "formal equivalence." The ESV is a tad less literal than the NASB, on a par with the KJV (maybe a bit moreso), from my research.
     
  3. Keith M

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    Because of the differences in languages, there can be no translation that is 100% word-for-word literal. There will always be some differrnces. But a version that is "essentially literal" is going to be more literal than a version that is a dynamic equivalence translation (thought-for-thought) or a paraphrase.
     
  4. Deacon

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    Example from Psalm 73:7

    I've placed the most literal at the top.

    IMO the young's translation, while "literal" is also unintelligible.
    Sometimes a fully literal translation is not a good translation.

    *******************

    Their eye hath come out from fat.
    The imaginations of the heart transgressed;
    Young’s Literal Translation


    Their eye bulges from fatness;
    The imaginations of their heart run riot.

    NASB

    Their eyes swell out through fatness;
    their hearts overflow with follies.

    ESV

    Their eyes stand out with fatness:
    they have more than heart could wish.
    KJV


    Their eyes bulge with abundance;
    They have more than heart could wish.

    NKJV

    Their eyes bulge out from fatness;
    the imaginations of their hearts run wild.

    HCSB

    From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
    the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.

    NIV

    Rob
     
    #4 Deacon, Jan 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2007
  5. Snitzelhoff

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    HCSB reads very closely to NASB in that comparison, so I think in that verse it is one of the more literal translations, albeit not one of the more literal translations altogether.
     
  6. Deacon

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    The ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION WEBSITE writes about their translation philosophy.

    "The ESV is an “essentially literal” translation that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. As such, its emphasis is on “word-for-word” correspondence, at the same time taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. Thus it seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original."

    All of the translations I listed are good, some are just better than others.

    I considered placing the HCSV after the NASB but it has made both the eye and heart plural.
    Anyway it's just MY subjective placement (concerning only this particular verse) and I wouldn't object to other opinions.

    The major difference in the NIV's translation is that they interpreted the meaning of "come out from fat" to mean callous, (cold-hearted, uncaring, insensitive, etc.).
    It is a correct interpretation on the meaning of the verse but it is a bit more than a translation here.
    Also they have used the Syriac translation of the OT rather than the Masoretic text to introduce "iniquity"
    See CODEX BLOG

    I'm really enjoying the English Standard Version, it has become my version of choice over the past year!

    Rob
     
    #6 Deacon, Jan 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2007
  7. IFB Mole

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    I too have an ESV and enjoy it. I have the Reformation Study Bible in the ESV Translation.

    I attened a KJVO Baptist Church and when we read out loud for the most part I can stumble along no problem but IMHO the ESV in MOST cases (not all) simply flows better and is easier for a 21st century Christian to understand.

    I'm NOT anti-KJV. It is still a very good - one of the best ENGLISH translations for sure - but we don't speak 16th century Elizabethian English and 21st century American English is far removed form 16th century England English. Words have changed meaning, usage and become obsolte and archaic.

    I believe God's Word is best served in the common language of the people which today is best exemplified, IMHO, with the ESV, NASB, NJKB and the HCSB, in no perticular order.

    The KJV was and is the "king" of English translations and holds a special place in the hearts of English speaking Christians but it certainly is not the ONLY English translation. A translation is a translation.
     
  8. Rippon

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    The "common language of the people " ? The NKJ , ESV , NASU do not qualify of those you mentioned . Only the HCSB uses contemporary speech . It is head and shoulders above the rest in that regard and in other respects .

    You did not mention the TNIV , which compares well with the HCSB .
     
  9. Keith M

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    Rippon, despite your own feelings about Bible versions, some people want a more literal tanslation of God's word. The NIV and the TNIV are not essentially literal since the translators of those versions chose to use the dynamic equivalence (thought-for-thought) method of translation. Beside that, not everyone is willing to accept translations that use "gender neutral" language when that is not the way the Bible was originally written. This discussion is about the ESV, so let's leave your pet TNIV out if it - that discussion is for another thread.
     
  10. Keith M

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    Ooops, double post...
     
  11. Rippon

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    KM , if you don't want discussion of a particular version do not make provocative statements and expect me not to respond .

    The difference between the stated translation philosopy of the ESV and its actual practice are quite different . Sometimes I think that if a certain version uses deliberately archaic language -- " Well then it must be closer to the original autographs ." in the estimation of quite a few . The ESV uses old-fashioned speech and bad grammar despite what Wayne Grudem says . And on any number of occasions the ESV is as dynamic as the TNIV as I have demonstrated time and time again . The actual transllations have minimal differences in reality aside from the rather glaring old-speak of the ESV .
     
  12. Rippon

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    Deacon was dealing with several variations of Psalm 73:7 in an earlier post . I thought I would add the colorful NLT2 rendering . : "These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for !"

    On a previous note , the ESV( at #5 ) outranked the TNIV(#7 ) in the CBA Bible sales ranking in their last survey . Do you all think the ESV is destined to plunge in popularity ? I'd sure like to see the top 5 in this approximate order: TNIV , NIV , NIrV , HCS , and at # 5 the NLT2 . Actually any mixture of those 5 translations in the top spots would be fine with me .
     
  13. go2church

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    I keep an ESV on my desk use for study, have it on the computer and have preached from it for the previous 3 years, I have now switched to preaching from the TNIV.

    1. Most folks here use the NIV so I want to be similar
    2. I like the "gender-accurate" usage of the TNIV, which the ESV uses on some cases and seems to always at least footnote
    3. It is a better translation then the NIV

    The ESV is great if most of the people in the crowd have a KJV or NKJV, the rhythm of the language is very similar and it is a very good literal translation, though leaning a bit to heavy in the old language of the RSV, KJV tradition, which is fine if you know what propitiation means

    It is less wooden then the NASB'95 which I don't recommend for anything but study and better then the NKJV which needs to be put to bed already. In fact I would rather use a KJV then a NKJV any day of the week.

    ESV good choice, just not mine anymore
     
  14. Mexdeaf

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    I am almost halfway through the NT in the ESV.

    I can see some of what some refer to as 'stilted language'. In truth it reads fairly closely to the Reina- Valera Spanish version.

    However I am getting a great blessing out of reading it. I see things I have overlooked in the past (or perhaps forgotten), maybe because I mentally 'skipped over' parts of my KJV reading because of it's familiarity.
     
  15. PaleoPaul

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    I read the ESV- Reformers Study Bible (as well as the KJV and NKJV), and yes, it's a very "literal" translation. In other words, it is as true to the original Word as possible.
     
  16. Rippon

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    The ESV is not a "very literal" translation . It is slightly more form-oriented than the HCSB for instance , but it has its share of dynamic renderings .
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    While even the most "formal" translations have some "dynamic" translation, I would definitely put the ESV in the VERY FORMAL category on a par or above the Anglican Version or the Holman as far as translation equivalence.

    That is NOT an in-depth analysis, just from common useage. I am using the ESV for my read-thru-the-Bible this year (I used a different English translation each year - very insightful). Will let you know in December . . :tongue3:
     
  18. Rippon

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    Dr. Bob , on what basis is the ESV "very formal " ? I also have examined it quite a lot and have not noted that . And what is the Anglican version you referred to ?
     
  19. Keith M

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    How is the ESV better than the NKJV? And why would anyone say that a good Bible version like the NKJV needs to ba "put to bed?" The KJV with its antiauated language is not ready to be "put to bed" and neither is the NKJV.
     
  20. go2church

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    The NKJV in my opinion fails on two fronts.
    1. It fails to retain the flow and cadence of the KJV that many find so appealing
    2. It fails to change/ update enough of the confusing passages from the KJV, and in many cases makes it more confusing

    The HCSB if believe is from the work of one of the main NKJV translators Farstad (spelling anyone) perhaps what they were shooting for to begin with.
     

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