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Archive for July, 2005

Video: Why Use the ESV in Your Church

We’ve released a new video geared toward churches that talks about why we think they should adopt the ESV as their primary Bible. Even if you’re not considering the ESV for your church, you’ll still find that the video shares insight into the history and purpose of the ESV.

Watch or read a transcript now.

July 29, 2005 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,ESV Study Bible,News,Video | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:57 am | Comments Off »

J.I. Packer Discusses Worship (Ask the Translators #1 Answer 17)

To what extent was the translation of the ESV Bible one consciously assisted by prayer and the Holy Spirit? How conscious of his work in illuminating and guiding our understanding of God’s Word were you in working together on this translation?

Watch J.I. Packer respond (Windows Media format).

I may say, we did make worship basic to what we were doing and start each day with a reading of Scripture, a word or two of application, and prayer together. And we thought that important. We wanted the blessing of God on what we were doing, and we were sensitive not to follow a procedure which would, in fact, leave God out of what we were doing.

This answer comes from a new video that we plan to release soon.

Comment on this post by 9 AM U.S. EDT (GMT -4) tomorrow, July 12, 2005, for your chance to win a free ESV Bible.

July 11, 2005 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:58 am | Comments Off »

Vern Poythress Discusses Prayer and the Holy Spirit (Ask the Translators #1 Answer 16)

To what extent was the translation of the ESV Bible one consciously assisted by prayer and the Holy Spirit? How conscious of his work in illuminating and guiding our understanding of God’s Word were you in working together on this translation?

Watch Vern Poythress respond (Windows Media format).

The question is, what role did prayer and our dependence on God have in the process of working on the ESV translation? I think it had a very significant role. When we met as a central committee, we opened with prayer almost always—if not always—with some devotional interaction with the Scripture itself. And from time to time we paused for prayer, particularly as we came to a difficult issue or where there was a struggle to find a good English wording.

Looking back, I think we can see the hand of God many, many times in that one way or another the Lord gave us a very good way of expressing accurately and in good English what we found in the original text.

Comment on this post by July 11, 2005, for your chance to win a free ESV Bible.

July 7, 2005 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:01 am | Comments Off »

Vern Poythress Discusses Learning Hebrew and Greek (Ask the Translators #1 Answer 15)

It is possible that a generation of preachers may grow up relying on the great translation work of the ESV and other translations and preaching from the English Bible with infrequent reference even in preparation to the original languages. Would such a situation be less or more problematic for the church than people with the “little knowledge” that is often described as a dangerous thing attempting to revise Bible translations themselves? How important is it in your view for every preacher to learn the original Greek and Hebrew for themselves?

Watch Vern Poythress respond (Windows Media format).

One of the questions is whether every preacher should learn Greek and Hebrew, or whether it’s sufficient to use an accurate translation like the ESV. I don’t think that’s an easy question to answer because it depends on so many questions and context. I believe that continued study and access to the original texts is an important part of the life of the church as a whole because we constantly need to check our own perceptions of what God is saying against what he said. And that’s most accurately represented, of course, in the original manuscripts.

The other side of it, however, is that we need to disseminate this Word of God broadly. And that means that there will be people who preach because God has called them, but [who are] without all the gifts and all the time of study that it takes to learn the original languages. And I’m in favor of that aspect, too.

I think it’s important to see that Lord designed his people, the church, in a way that we work together. So that if a preacher, for example, without good skills in the original languages has a question, or if he’s challenged by some heretical view that claims that it’s based on some funny thing that supposedly is found in the original languages, that preacher can go to somebody else who does know the original languages and say, “What about this?” And then get aid and get ammunition if it’s a heresy that he’s dealing with to address that thing on the basis of very good knowledge.

If we work together, some people’s very good knowledge of Greek and Hebrews is going to help those with little or no knowledge. I think it’s important to realize two things: One is that the ultimate criterion for settling controversies in doctrine and in the rest of living is the Bible as it’s found in the original, what God originally spoke and caused to be written. The other side of it, however, is that an English translation like the ESV is really a very good representation of that original message, and that we can use that English translation with great confidence. So you don’t have to have knowledge of Greek and Hebrew in order to be even a preacher of the Word. But you do have to have humility enough to go to other people when you need help.

Comment on this post by July 11, 2005, for your chance to win a free ESV Bible.

July 6, 2005 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:23 am | Comments Off »

C. John Collins Discusses Learning Hebrew and Greek (Ask the Translators #1 Answer 14)

It is possible that a generation of preachers may grow up relying on the great translation work of the ESV and other translations and preaching from the English Bible with infrequent reference even in preparation to the original languages? Would such a situation be less or more problematic for the church than people with the “little knowledge” that is often described as a dangerous thing attempting to revise Bible translations themselves? How important is it in your view for every preacher to learn the original Greek and Hebrew for themselves?

Watch C. John Collins respond (Windows Media format).

Now that we have the ESV, the question is whether people training for the ministry will want to study the original languages at all. And I think that that’s always going to be important for the church to encourage its people in ministry to learn the original languages and even to use them.

One of the advantages of the ESV for me, as somebody who’s a very eager—and you might even say fussy—student of the original languages, is, before we had the ESV, I often felt that I was frustrated in using a Bible translation in the pulpit because I felt like I had to argue with the translation as a part of the sermon. Now I don’t find that I ever have to do that anymore, which is a great relief, not only to myself but also to those who hear me.

On the other hand, there’s always more work to be done. No translation will ever be perfect, and so we need people in ministry who are able to challenge the translation and so forth. But also, in using the original language, the idea isn’t so you can display your learning in the pulpit, but rather that you have a close association between your mind and the mind of the writer of the original. And then the translation is a vehicle by which you can express these thoughts.

There are places in the ESV where we have left ambiguities that are there in the original for the English reader to decide. When we say “the love of God,” do we mean God’s love for us or our love for God? And it’s the person who’s studying the original languages who’s aware of these possibilities, who will then, in the course of his work—whether his teaching ministry or his preaching ministry—will then be able to guide the people he’s speaking with along the lines that he thinks the original demands.

Comment on this post by July 11, 2005, for your chance to win a free ESV Bible.

July 5, 2005 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:12 am | Comments Off »