The New ESV & Do We Have Too Many Versions Out There?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by preacher4truth, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    Recently I started to use the NASB as my text, after struggling between it and the ESV. One of my *concerns was that they would update the ESV again, and they've done just that in April 2011. (I could be wrong about the month, but this is what I've read.) So, some 4 months after my switching to the NASB (I switched in 12/2010) they've revised the ESV. I am glad I didn't go that route, as it looks as though they will phase out the 2007 version with this new one.

    * I made this statement in this link so no one will think I'm fabricating this:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=68777

    Here is a link that notes the changes from the '07 to the '11 edition:

    http://d3p91it5krop8m.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/misc/esv_2011_changes.html

    A few questions for those of you who hold to the ESV and otherwise:

    • Did the ESV really need an update?

    • Will you now switch to another version?

    • Are any of you a little disappointed they've updated this version again, (and only after a revision some 4 years back?)

    • Have the changes to the latest ESV improved this version, or not?

    • Are you one who is switching to the newer ESV because you think it is better or necessary?

    • Do you wish they would have just left the ESV alone, stayed 2007?

    Isn't all of this just marketing something to the public that is shiny and new to increase sales, or has the '07 language become so antiquated that it demanded a revision to teh text? Was there some pressure about being PC ("slave" being changed for instance)?

    On to the number of English Versions:

    • Do you feel all of these versions are really necessary? Or are the number of these versions causing confusion, church conflict, and/or are there just too many versions?

    • Do you think a church should settle on one text, as I see some churches where any number of versions are used?

    • Wouldn't it be better for the local churches to use a certain chosen text for study, preaching services &c?

    • Do you feel for the most part these updates we see are based on need, or are they based upon greed?
     
    #1 preacher4truth, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2011
  2. Deacon

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    Did the ESV really need an update?

    I would guess the decision was made by a consensus of the experts who have worked to develop the version based upon a variety of factors; 1) the general popularity of version, 2) the number of potential verses with problems, 3) a re-evaluation and re-application of the translational method defined in the original preface.


    Will you now switch to another version?

    The ESV will continue to be one of the main versions I use.


    Are any of you a little disappointed they've updated this version again, (and only after a revision some 4 years back?)

    No disappointment but I’m surprised that they make these changes so quickly after the previous changes – I don’t see why these couldn’t have been addressed with the earlier change.
    I’d guess their idea is a number of small changes along the way are better than a major change later on.


    Have the changes to the latest ESV improved this version, or not?

    Debatable but I’d say the improvement is minimal.


    Are you one who is switching to the newer ESV because you think it is better or necessary? Isn't all of this just marketing something to the public that is shiny and new to increase sales…?

    The small changes do not necessitate buying a new paper version. Hard copies have a limited carry and use life… probably less than 10 years.
    I use Logos bible software; the upgrade is automatic and without cost. Other major software platforms offer the upgrades without cost.


    Do you feel all of these versions are really necessary? Or are the number of these versions causing confusion, church conflict, and/or are there just too many versions? Do you feel for the most part these updates we see are based on need, or are they based upon greed?

    People like to complain; arguing about whether we have few versions or too many is pointless. A translation is made to be compared to other translations and ultimately to the original language versions. A single individual or group will have different ideas about what they consider is the best way to translate. Given a strong motivation and given enough scholarly and financial backing, translations will continue to be made.

    So how many bibles do you have sitting on your shelves? Will you continue to collect them?

    Rob
     
  3. preacher4truth

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    Thanks for the response. Firstly, I won't dismiss others concerns over the number of versions as pointless. It's an important issue to some people.

    I do however share your feelings about this revision coming somewhat quickly, but others have stated the version was put together pretty quickly in the first place, which may be the reason revisions have come so fast. Perhaps it was hastly put together. The revisions may support that theory.

    As to the number of versions I have on shelves. I own 4 Bibles. 2 are KJV, one is a smaller one I carried to college for classes, the other is from my ordination that I used as my preaching text. 1 other is a NKJV I found years ago. I rarely use it, and will probably give it away at some point as it is almost like new, is a Scofield, but I just keep forgetting to give it away.

    The other Bible is my new text for preaching/study, and is NASB. So as to your question on how many Bibles I have on my shelves, I have 2, and both are KJV. The NKJV is at home somewhere. The thing is I don't collect Bibles. I own one by "accident," 3 on purpose that are 2 versions only, again being NASB and KJV.
     
    #3 preacher4truth, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2011
  4. convicted1

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    I have the ESV study bible in hardcover, and what little I have used it, it seems pretty good. Now, what are some of the differences between the old one and the revised 2011 edition? Does anyone know?
     
  5. preacher4truth

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    There's a link in the OP that will answer these questions for you bro. The 2nd link.

    - Peace
     
  6. JesusFan

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    i think that MOST modern bible versions should keep their revisions to a minimal, as the main reasons one would 'update" a version would be either due to "new and improved" manuscripts just discovered, or newest Greek/hebrew texts are now updated to use...

    Since all modern versions use pretty much the latest greek/hebrew texts when transaltion was first done, no real need to redo!
    other would be due to changes in meanings of Englsh words since made, and again, that would be minimal....

    Think both NASB/NKJV examples of "smoothing over" the translation to make it easier to read/understand for today...

    The "can of worms" would be gender inclusive language, how much/little to use?

    Think far better to chose a version that you can read with understanding and get into it, than worry about updating it each time "newed" revision comes out!
     
  7. Amy.G

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    I just recently started reading the HCSB and really enjoy it, but it's been out for several years, so I'm already behind in the "new versions" category.
    Is it possible to keep up without spending a fortune on the latest and greatest bible version?
     
  8. JesusFan

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    bible gateway!

    they had the NIV 2011 before any one else!
     
  9. preacher4truth

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    I agree that there is no real need to redo versions.

    If revisions are being done due to needing to be done because of a poor translation of a text, or word useage, then they perhaps need to slow down on putting together a new version in the first place.

    There is no need to rush the newest translation to the presses. Fast revisions of a translation shine a negative light on the version in my opinion. I don't see any valid reason to change the ESV again, other than some subjective choosing of terms. "Servant" to "worker" is one change. Seriously? "Here am I" to "Here I am." Well, that certainly makes it much more clear! "Man" to "person." Are we really this sensitive here?

    My point is I don't see any major changes here that made it worthy of being revised. I am still looking through these changes to the text. Again, if there are some changes that are "major" then why did they make such mistakes, and not take more time to get this version to press?
     
  10. preacher4truth

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    I think you're expressing part of the problem: feeling like we need to keep up. I will say that reading the NASB has certainly been a gainful experience for me, after years in the KJV. I do also at times employ another versions take, albeit rarely, to see what they say, but truly they don't shed much light upon the text, not significantly by any means. The NASB, the languages, commentary seem to be about all I need without having to be concerned whether or not another version says it "better." If I feel the text needs to be, or should have been more literal or whatever, I'll simply state what I feel needs added, emphasize that and move on.

    Jesusfan brought up a valid point: these revisions aren't based upon new MSS evidence. So why the need for revision? Some are just subtle changes which some find as a significant reason to make a revision? I believe what it is showiong is that perhaps these versions were hastily translated in the first place.

    I believe as a minister, a church should simply choose what their text will be, and express to the members the importance of following and using the same text at services.
     
    #10 preacher4truth, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2011
  11. Mexdeaf

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    I don't see a need to run out and buy the latest and greatest ESV. The old one will do just fine.
     
  12. Amy.G

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    I hate to say it, but I do think a lot if it is money oriented. We are dealing with humans and they are known for their love of money (even Christians...shhhhhh don't tell).

    I remember when I got saved (back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth), there was very little to pick from in the way of versions. Basically KJV and maybe NIV. They came in basically one color, black. Now there's not only a multitude of versions, but also a multitude of bindings and study notes, versions for athletes, hunters, teenagers, women, men, dogs, cats, and you name it. There's no doubt that bibles are a "market", not just the word of God. I admit that I have been suckered in but I'm trying to change that.

    Ok, done with my rant. :laugh:
     
  13. preacher4truth

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    So you're an ex cave woman? :eek: :laugh:

    I was checking out Bibles in Walmart the other day. There were several different Bibles there for different groups - yep, it's called marketing.

    Everytime I think of Walmart, I now think of that video "The People of Walmart" or whatever it's called, then I look around. LOL! :laugh:

    Although no one should have to work for nothing, including those who print Bibles, I do think that there is a push to increase profits, and to push newer revised editions to do so. I don't think they really need to be revised, I think they do so for marketing and profit as part of it. They are aware that people are always wanting that new shiny edition of whatever, so they put out the new and improved product.
     
  14. Amy.G

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    Yes. Just call me Ms. Troglodyte. [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  15. preacher4truth

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    Uh...LOL!!!! You got it! :laugh:
     
  16. Rippon

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    I won't list versions available back then that would not have suited you. But the Modern Language Bible was around in 1969. It would have been a fine choice for you.
     
  17. Rippon

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    It has needed a more complete revision. The first time it was released was a rush job. Huge swaths of the 1971 RSV were kept intact. There was not a careful process of checking against the originals,much less the antiquated and awkward English grammar. Mr.Ryken did little to nothing to improve the English of the RSV to legitimately call the new one brand new.
    Mark strauss was right to question whether to call this version "The English Standard."

    I haven't been a fan of the ESV,so that question doesn't apply to me.

    I am surprised that they have done so little when a big facelift was needed.

    Incrementally.



    The first question doesn't apply to me.

    In answer to the second no,it was not done just to increase sales. It was meant to improve the product.



    The subject of versions is a whole other topic. No,the multiplicity of versions is not causing confusion.

    Updates and revisions are always going to be needed.No translation is perfect,but they can be improved. Martin Luther updated/revised his translation five times in his own lifetime. Will you convict him of greed?
     
  18. jbh28

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Especially since I just bought one 6 months ago.
     
  19. Rippon

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    I want to know how the latest ESV translates some snips from Ezekiel.

    The older ESV has the following from the book of Ezekiel:

    3:7 : "have a hard forehead"
    The 2011 NIV simply has "hardened." The NET translation has "hard-headed."

    8:5 : "lift up your eyes now toward the north."
    It just means "look toward the north." as the 2011 NIV has it.

    18:6 : "eat upon the mountains"
    2011 NIV has:"eat at the mountain shrines."

    18:11 :"eats upon the mountains"
    2011 NIV has :"eats at the mountain shrines."

    18:15 : "eat upon the mountain."
    2011 NIV has: "eat at the mountain shrines."

    Acts 17:6 : These men have turned the world upside down."
    2011 NIV has :"These men who have caused trouble all over the world."
    It just means stirred up trouble over the Roman empire according to NET notes.
     
  20. Deacon

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    Ez 3:7 presents a curious dilemma, Rippon.

    Should translators :
    1) translate the idiom literally in the original language
    2) translate as an idiom in the receptor language
    3) translate the meaning

    The choice is based upon their guiding principles found in the preface of the translation.

    As the ESV is touted as an "essentially literal" translation the first choice is most consistent with their methodology.

    In this case they might consider the second option if the first option is too obscure – but in my opinion, the literal translation communicates the original meaning with sufficient clarity.

    I like the second option, "hard-headed" but you'd have to continue changing the idiom throughout the rest of the passage. The translators might have thought that was too invasive to the text.

    The third option presents a problem for those interested in the structure of the original language, you lose something of the structure of the paragraph. Sure, the language is updated to today's English but it's over translated.

    Rob
     

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