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Thursday, June 23, 2005
 
The ESV (doctrine : language : usability) ::

David Warnock, at the nicely named (at least for a longtime HHGG fan who is enjoying listening to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio broadcasts on MP3) 42 Blog has a really good post about the ESV.

Lots of thought provoking questions, and a caveat:
My main concern is that this is being used as a new way of dividing the Church, I can already predict claims that "Real Christians use the ESV" and implying (or even stating openly) that those who don't are not really Christian (don't laugh, it has happened before, I am writing from personal experience here).
Personally the very first example on the ESV's "Compare Translations" page terrifies me. They translate Gen 5:2 as:
Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.
The use of "Man" even with a capital is simply indefensible in contemporary English, as least as she is spoke outside Churches!

Both lexicography and context show that אָדָם * here is inclusive, but in contemporary English "Man" (even with the capital) is expected to refer to a gendered entity, especially when the capital follows "he named them...".

Psalm 8:4 shows this gender bias, and adds a hint of doctrinal bias too:
What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
"Mother's son" would be more defensible here than "son of man"! (Of course we could keep the intertextuality if we rendered ο υιος του ανθρωπου in a similar way - as we surely should.)

It seems that for this translation at least - translation is a/effected by doctrine - how sad.

Stupid mistake corrected thanks to Ed Cook! back


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