One of the last threads I started was about which Bible version I should switch to from the KJV if I decided to switch. I got a lot of good advice. One of the versions that some recommended was the ESV. Not everybody prefers the ESV, I also got a helpful PM from somebody that referred me to an article about the ESV to consider before switching.
I read the article about the ESV and it became the starting point for me to do further study. The article was reminiscent of some books I’d read in the early 80’s, a few years after getting saved, which convinced me to switch from using the NASB to the KJV. Similar arguments were made in those books in support of the KJV over any modern version. At the time, I didn’t ask why or look into it any further. I accepted it at face value and just believed it to be true. I put my NASB on the shelf, bought a KJV, and have been using the KJV ever since. No complaints (about the KJV), but I do wish I’d been a little more critical at the time when all versions but the KJV were portrayed in such a negative light.
Sorry for the lengthy post, but I just thought I’d share my findings.
Here’s an exerpt from the article about the ESV that was my starting point for further study:
The article listed the following verses as examples: Matt 5:13, Matt 19:23-24, Rom 3:4, Rom 3:28, Rom 5:7, Rom 10:10, and I Cor 2:11.
…And this is no small change. For instance, the word “man, men” is “neutered” in the ESV 968 times. The masculine pronoun, “he, him, his” is neutered 1832 times! And the new-age, evolutionist, neuter buzz-word “human” is employed 63 times.
How can key Christian leaders assemble, conceive and design a counter-attack against the “gender-neutral” Bible version invasion and yet when the plan is actually implemented the exact opposite occurs? Did they deceive themselves? What happened to their original convictions? It’s almost as if someone else took over and changed their course of action? Who could have done such a subtle and sinister deed? [Hint” He tempted Eve (and damned mankind) with the simple, subtle question “Yea, hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1)] While some may scoff at that allegation, there is no doubt in this author’s mind that the subtle serpent of Genesis 3 was at work. What other explanation can rationalize such a total change of course? My Note
: I don’t think the key Christian leaders he mentioned (Dobson, Crossway, etc) played key roles in how the ESV turned out, but the people listed here
did. Instead, these are the people his “Hint” really refers to.
The following are a few examples (from the thousands) of gender-neutral changes flooding the ESV. Notice, replacing “man” with the generic term “person, human, peoples, one” etc. significantly deflects the direct application of the verse.
The article listed the following verses as examples: I Cor 2:13-14, I Cor 4:3, Acts 17:25, Rom 2;9, Rom 3:5, Rom 6:19, I Cor 2:13, I Cor 3:3, I Cor 9:8, Gal 3:15, Eph 4:14, Phil 2:8, Col 2:8, Jam 3:8, I Pet 2:13, and I Peter 4:2
Notice in the following verses that “man” is replaced with “human, human being”. Now honestly, is there anybody that really believes “human” is easier to read or clearer than “man”? Does any “human” on the planet really believe that “man” is archaic or outdated and that a new Bible version is required to replace “man” with “human”? Apparently, Dobson, Crossway, and the ESV “boys” do. . .
I don’t know Greek, so I can only go so far “examining the evidence” presented. After digging a little deeper into the verses mentioned, and asking myself the question “Is there a valid reason why there are these differences?”, I came to a different conclusion than the author. I concluded that in the examples cited, “man” was not changed to “human” because the word “man” was archaic, or because of some homosexual, new-age “gender neutral” agenda, or for any evolutionist-related reasons. I think there were good reasons for translating the words the way they did in the ESV. It all boils down to whether or not you want to make a distinction between a man and a woman. In the verses sited, I don’t think the intent was to make a distinction between a man and a woman.
And this is a very, very small sampling of the lunacy and hypocrisy of the homosexual, new-age “gender-neutral” agenda saturating the ESV.
As an example of what I’m talking about, here’s Romans 3:28, which is one of the verses sited:
(KJV) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
(ESV) For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
The intent is not to make a distinction between a man and a woman. If that were the case, then when you read this - “…a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law…” a valid question would then be, “Ok, that’s how a man is justified. How is a woman justified?”.
Those who know Greek please correct me if I’m wrong, but the Greek seemed to support my theory. Here’s what I found when I looked at the first verse listed in the article.
(KJV) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
(ESV) "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
The Greek word used in this verse for men/people’s is:
G444 comes partly from G435:
G444 άνθρωπος (anthropos) From G435 and ὤψ ōps (the countenance; from G3700); manfaced, that is, a human being: - certain, man.
G435 ἀνήρ (anēr) A primary word (compare G444); a man (properly as an individual male): - fellow, husband, man, sir.The first Greek word (G444) is used when no distinction is being made. The second Greek word (G435) is used to distinguish between a man and a woman.
When I looked at the examples listed in the article, 15 out of the 22 examples used the Greek word (G444) which does not seek to make a distinction between a man and a woman.
The remaining 7 verses used different Greek words, but again these verses didn’t seem to be making a distinction between a man and a woman.
G442 ἀνθρώπινος (anthrōpinos) From G444; human: - human, common to man, man[-kind], [man-]kind, men’s, after the manner of men. (used in 4 of the verses)
G4145 πλούσιος (plousios) From G4149; wealthy; figuratively abounding with: - rich. (used in 1 of the verses)
G1342 δίκαιος (dikaios) From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): - just, meet, right (-eous). (used in 1 of the verses)
In one of the verses (Romans 10:10) I wasn’t sure from which of the Greek words the word ‘man’ comes from, but nevertheless it wasn’t clear that a distinction was being made between a man and a woman.. Here’s the KJV+, maybe somebody could figure it out for me:
In all of the verses sited, it appears that there’s a valid reason to translate the Greek the way the ESV translators did. Coming to this conclusion doesn’t sway me one way or the other regarding Bible versions, but it does remind me that it takes a little work to separate fact from fiction (IMHO).
(KJV+) ForG1063 with the heartG2588 man believethG4100 untoG1519 righteousness;G1343 andG1161 with the mouthG4750 confession is madeG3670 untoG1519 salvation.G4991
Here’s how the ESV translates it:
(ESV) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.