April 2009
March 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
Recent Entries
Movie Metaphysics: The Dark Knight
What's Going On Here??
Why I'm Getting Rid of Google Chrome
Twitter and Me
To the 52, From 1 Of the 48
A Note To Authors (and PR people, too)
Beat Coastal, The Sequel
Obama's Backdrop

February 21, 2006

ESV Controversy?

On his blog, Ben Witherington is talking about translation "problems" with the ESV, and advocates the TNIV as an alternative. He specifically mentions in the comments

My concern is with translations of texts like: 1) Rom. 16.7; 2) 1 Tim. 2.12; 3) Ephes. 5.21-22 and the like. So far as I can see, the ESV doesn't do justice to any of these texts, and at the expense of women.
So, I fired up e-Sword to take a look at these passages, and see exactly what the problem is. The TNIV text I am using is from the TNIV site at

Romans 16:7
TNIV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

ESV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.
(The ESV does include a note concerning translation of Junia as Junias.)

The problem is the phrase "outstanding among the apostles," which I'm guessing is interpreted as saying Junias and Andronicus were apostles. Were there only 12 apostles? Or 13, if you include Paul? What are the qualifications of apostleship? I don't see the ESV translation as directly affecting women -- Andronicus is left out, too. I'll let Gill do my talking here -- and he's using a translation that phrases it the same as the TNIV:

who are of note among the apostles; were well known by, and in great account with the twelve apostles, though not of their number; they might be converted by them, and be followers of them in Judea; they are thought by some to be of the number of the seventy disciples, whom Christ himself sent forth to preach:

It seems that the ESV has translated the verse according to the prevailing interpretation. This kind of runs counter to the transparent translation philosophy of the ESV, but isn't a direct attack on women's role in the church.

1 Timothy 2:12

TNIV: 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

ESV: I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

Is the problem 'assume' vs. 'exercise'? The word literally means 'to usurp', so I can see this one. The emphasis is on taking over from a man, rather than simply teaching men.

Ephesians 5:22

TNIV: 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

ESV: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

??? I see no difference here. The verses are virtually identical.

I admit I am not a fan of the TNIV, but that's mainly because I'm not a fan of the NIV. And a lot of that is left over from my KJVO upbringing. I'm not saying that the ESV is THE version people should use, but it should certainly be one of the versions we use.

Posted by Warren Kelly at February 21, 2006 09:04 PM | TrackBack
Email me!
Email Protection by Name Intelligence