NIV or ESV?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by InTheLight, Jun 22, 2014.

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  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    My church went to the ESV after using the NIV for decades. I carry an NIV (1984) study Bible with me to church so I am able to directly compare the two translations side-by-side. Bible Gateway.com is also handy for these purposes. I find the ESV to be inferior and sometimes downright clumsy compared to the NIV.

    So here is the thread where people may post observations and comments about the differences between the two translations.

    Today's observation is from Matthew 23, the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.

    NIV Matthew 23:4
    They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

    ESV Matthew 23:4
    They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

    I think "won't lift a finger" to help is an idiom that is in common usage and is easily understood by most people. So why does the ESV say "not willing to move them with a finger"?

    If a heavy burden is placed on someone, people don't want someone to move it around on their shoulders they want help in lifting the burden! Really, who says someone is unwilling to move something with their finger when describing not giving help with a heavy load?
     
  2. JonC

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    I find the opposite (think, for example, of “make atonement” in Hebrews rather than “propitiation”…although the NIV does fine tune their interpretation in the foot notes). While I don’t like the NIV, I don’t think it a “bad” translation. But I do not think the ESV inferior. There are instances where the NIV provides a better understanding of the attempted “literal” translations of the ESV…and NASB (my favorite…although clumsy). But these, IMHO, are few and far between. I do own a NIV, but would never consider the NIV as a primary Bible for study…but to each his own.
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    Would say that the nasb is the best version for 'serious studies", but with the esv/Niv would be fine, but would still prefer to use the 1984 edition of the Niv....
     
  4. InTheLight

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    I'm finding them on an almost weekly basis just from Sunday services and reading the text used in the messages. Based on this, I daresay if I were to go looking for them I'd see them everywhere.

    I've posted in another thread the ESV's use of the word epileptic in Matthew 17:14 vs. the NIV use of the word seizures. No one in the 1st century world would use the word epileptic; worse it links epilepsy with demon possession.

    Also, the ESV drops the word torture in Matt. 18:34 whereas the NIV does not. I think it is an important word in the context of the parable and should definitely be retained.

    This is why I started this thread. People can post their observations when comparing the two translations.
     
  5. Van

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    First, when trying to understand a verse or passage, it is helpful to look at several translations and see if they say the same things or significantly different things.

    Not much difference between trying or binding up heavy cumbersome loads and heavy burdens, hard to carry.

    Nor is that much difference between putting or laying the load or burden on men's or people's shoulders.

    And again, not much difference between but are unwilling or not willing.

    Then we come to the bone of contention, to even move them with a finger or with their finger, versus "lift a finger to move them." The former is what it says, and the latter uses an idiom to convey the meaning. In Luke 11:46 we see nearly the same substitution, would not touch the burden with one of their fingers being replaced with would not lift a finger to help them.

    And has been pointed out many times, if the translators actually understand the intended message, then a dynamic or thought for thought translation brings the message with greater clarity than a more literal translation.

    One has to ask, was it necessary to make the message clear, and I think not, so I prefer the more literal translation of the ESV in this case.
     
  6. Van

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    At Matthew 17:15, the Greek means moonstruck or lunatic, but is thought to refer to some sort of seizure disorder like epilepsy (according to the NET footnote.) So the ESV translators inserted an even more dynamic translation than the NIV translators. Clearly moonstruck or lunatic conveys to the modern reader the wrong message, and epilepsy reads too much into the text (as In the Light pointed out) so the NIV wins my vote for the best translation here.
     
  7. Van

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    At Matthew 18:34, we see both the NIV and ESV substitute "master" for "lord" yet a different Greek word means "master." As far as the Greek word translated variously as torturer, jailer, it refers the the jailer assigned to torment prisoners, so the NIV captures the idea better.
     
  8. Van

    Van
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    I think many churches who had used the NIV are switching to the ESV because the updated NIV has gone overboard in the gender mistranslations, whereas the ESV is far more patriarchal in its approach.

    As pointed out by others, neither one is useful as a study bible, the NASB95 reflects the wording and grammar with far greater accuracy for study purposes.
     
  9. Rippon

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    Care to give some examples of what you consider bad calls?

    And you do realize that the current NIV stepped back from the TNIV somewhat in this department? It uses just a bit more inclusive language than the NET Bible which you profess to know so well.
     
  10. Rippon

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    A Snip

    Thomas P. Nass: Some Thoughts on the ESV and Bible Translation

    Simply put, it is a doctrinally acceptable, somewhat unidiomatic and inconsistent evangelical revision of the RSV. Nothing more and nothing less. It is a translation that promises more than it actually delivers.
     
  11. Rippon

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    Some Snops From The Book Of Job

    1:5
    ESV : Thus did Job continually
    NIV : This was Job's regular custom

    14:11
    ESV : As waters fail
    NIV : As the water of a lake dries up

    18:15
    ESV : In his tent dwells that which is none of his
    NIV : Fire resides in his tent

    19:17
    ESV : My breath is strange to my wife
    NIV : My breath is offensive to my wife

    20:14
    ESV : yet his food is turned in his stomach
    NIV : yet his food will turn sour in his stomach

    21:19
    ESV : God stores up their iniquity for their children
    NIV : God stores up the punishment of the wicked for their children

    22:6
    ESV : For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing
    NIV : You demanded security from your relatives for no reason

    23:13
    ESV : But he is unchangeable
    NIV : But he stands alone
     
  12. Van

    Van
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    No need to give examples, you are one of the Calvinists who agreed from means before in one phrase, but means from in exactly the same phrase elsewhere.

    In my opinion, Calvinists have no credibility until they admit from does not mean before.
     
  13. InTheLight

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    Yep, this is the sort of thing I'm looking for. Anyone have examples where the NIV is clunky compared to the ESV?
     
  14. Van

    Van
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    At 2 Corinthians 5:17, the ESV reads: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

    In other words, those of us in are "in Christ" have been transformed, we are now new creations.

    But the NIV reads, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! A person could read this to mean that Christ is the new creation and He has come. (Note that the old 1984 NIV said "he is a new creation" as does the ESV.
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    /

    Again, what would be your creditials in being able to stand over how those Greek scholars chose to translate the Esv/NivNlt?

    IF going to a reformed/Calvinistic seminary means that you are a shoddy scholar, have bad theology, how/why do they jeep their translation gigs?
     
  16. Van

    Van
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    The vast majority of scholars, all translate from as from, and never as before. A few translations mistranslate from as before. So again what would be the credentials of the vast majority of scholars, why vastly superior to the Calvinist hacks who mistranslate Revelation 13:8. Even the NRSV corrected that error. :)

    Comparing the NIV 2011 and the ESV is like comparing rotten apples, one may be worse than the other, but neither should be prized.
     
  17. Rippon

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    Van, this thread has nothing to do with Calvinism --you are one obsessive little dude! Get off your kick and stay on the subject.
     
  18. Rippon

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    I'm sure some examples may exist -- but by far it's the other way around the vast majority of the time.
     
  19. Rippon

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    ESV Clunkers

    My absolute favorite is Lev. 26:10 in the ESV:
    You shall eat old store long kept
    NIV : You will still be eating last year's harvest

    Joel 2:28
    ESV : And it shall come to pass afterward
    NIV : And afterward

    Acts 8:2
    ESV : made great lamentation over him
    NIV : mourned deeply for him

    Pro. 12:10
    ESV : has regard for the life of his beast
    NIV : care for the needs of their animals

    Is. 43:28
    ESV : the princes of the sanctuary
    NIV : the dignitaries of your temple

    John 9:34
    ESV : in utter sin
    NIV : steeped in sin

    Ps. 69:23
    ESV : their loins tremble continually
    NIV : their backs be bent forever

    And then the classic 2 Cor. 6:12
    ESV : You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.
    NIV : We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.
     
  20. Van

    Van
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    Yet another personal attack, "obsessive little dude", launched from the guy that thinks from means before, and thus has no credibility with any rational mind.

    You are clueless when it comes to the topic, of why folks are abandoning the NIV2011 in favor of the worse ESV because of its patriarchal viewpoint.

    And the fiction that I "profess" to know well the NET. No quote will be forthcoming, simply another false statement, like from means before. Zero credibility with rational minds, and utterly off topic. You need to get off your kick of attacking others while you maintain from means before. Good Grief.
     
    #20 Van, Jun 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2014
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