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Archive for February, 2007

TextPattern and YubNub Plugins, Plus Firefox Hacking

Joe Paravisini has written a TextPattern plugin that uses the ESV API to let you easily link to and quote the ESV text on your blog (or whatever you’re using TextPattern for).

Meanwhile, YubNub, “a social command line for the web,” has implemented a feature where typing, for example, “esv John 1” into their text field will take you to Crossway’s ESV site for that passage. It’s harder to explain than to use; try it out if you wish the Internet were more like UNIX or DOS.

We should mention that you can use your Firefox address bar as a command line to go directly to the ESV text, too. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/.
  2. Right-click in the search box and choose “Add a Keyword for this Search.”
    ”K” is the access key for this command.
  3. Enter a Name of your choice and the Keyword “esv” into the box that appears.
    For example, enter “ESV Bible Search” into the Name field.
  4. Enter “esv” followed by a passage in the address bar to go to that passage.
    For example, enter “esv John 1” into the address bar to go to John 1.

This trick works on pretty much any website. (The first recorded instance of someone performing it with the ESV dates from 2004.)

February 28, 2007 | Posted in: Digital,ESV | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:38 am | (3) Comments »

New “Bible for Life” Radio Spots (February 2007)

We’ve released six new spots in the “Bible for Life” radio campaign. Each one-minute spot has someone reading a passage from the ESV and meditating on it.

This month features Sarah and Julia Ross from Everlife, Jesse Triplett from Julian Drive, one about Justin Martyr, and others.

Listen to all the spots at www.bibleforlife.org.

February 26, 2007 | Posted in: ESV,General | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:14 am | Comments Off »

Three Blog Reviews of the ESV

Three bloggers have independently blogged about the ESV over the past few days:

The Brainerd Baptist Church Blog writes:

In Bro. Darryl’s message yesterday morning, he mentioned utilizing a “readable Bible” in your quiet time. For me, that has become the English Standard Version (ESV). Although I know that there are MANY beneficial translations, my spiritual life has greatly benefited from the ESV. I have enjoyed reading it, studying from it, memorizing it, and preaching and teaching from it.

The Pastor Questions blog asks which Bible is “best;” i.e., which one should people use:

The answer varies in my view based on what you are doing. For example, if you are reading through the Bible, I would recommend a dynamic equivalence translation. If you are reading and studying the Bible, then a literal translation is best…. For general reading and Bible study the ESV is the best I have found.

E.M. Hamilton evaluated the ESV but ultimately decided to stick with his current translation. You should always do your homework when you’re considering switching Bible versions; it’s not a decision to take lightly.

I have noted that the ESV [English Standard Version] has been gaining a large following among the church of Christ, so I’ve been comparing it to the NIV and KJV [King James Version] (to see how it improves on readability from the KJV, and the word usage it uses compared to a more contemporary version like the NIV) on the website Bible Gateway. I also read several reviews on the ESV to see what other people thought of it.

February 23, 2007 | Posted in: ESV,General | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:07 am | Comments Off »

Translating Specialized Terms

Some new editions of the ESV include a section in the preface explaining the ESV translators’ philosophy toward translating certain specialized terms. If you’ve wondered why the ESV translates YHWH as “the LORD” (with small caps), why “Christ” instead of “Messiah” occurs consistently throughout the New Testament, or why the ESV uses “behold,” here are your answers:

In the translation of biblical terms referring to God, the ESV takes great care to convey the specific nuances of meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek terms. First, concerning terms that refer to God in the Old Testament: God, the Maker of heaven and earth, introduced himself to the people of Israel with the special, personal name, whose consonants are YHWH (see Exodus 3:14-15). Scholars call this the “Tetragrammaton,” a Greek term referring to the four Hebrew letters YHWH. The exact pronunciation of YHWH is uncertain, because the Jewish people considered the personal name of God to be so holy that it should never be spoken aloud. Instead of reading the word YHWH, they would normally read the Hebrew word adonai (“Lord”), and the ancient translations into Greek, Syriac, and Aramaic also followed suit. When the vowels of the word adonai are placed with the consonants of YHWH, this results in the familiar word Jehovah that was used in some earlier English Bible translations. As is common among English translations today, the ESV usually renders the personal name of God (YHWH) with the word LORD (printed in small capitals). An exception to this is when the Hebrew word adonai appears together with YHWH, in which case the two words are rendered together as “the Lord [in lower case] GOD [in small capitals].” In contrast to the personal name for God (YHWH), the more general name for God in Old Testament Hebrew is ’elohim and its related forms of ’el or ’eloah, all of which are normally translated “God” (in lower case letters). The use of these different ways to translate the Hebrew words for God is especially beneficial to the English reader, enabling the reader to see and understand the different ways that the personal name and the general name for God are both used to refer to the One True God of the Old Testament.

Second, in the New Testament, the Greek word Christos has been translated consistently as “Christ.” Although the term originally meant “anointed,” among Jews in New Testament times the term came to designate the Messiah, the great Savior that God had promised to raise up. In other New Testament contexts, however, especially among Gentiles, Christos (“Christ”) was on its way to becoming a proper name. It is important, therefore, to keep the context in mind in understanding the various ways that Christos (“Christ”) is used in the New Testament. At the same time, in accord with its “essentially literal” translation philosophy, the ESV has retained consistency and concordance in the translation of Christos (“Christ”) throughout the New Testament.

A third specialized term, the word “behold,” usually has been retained as the most common translation for the Hebrew word hinneh and the Greek word idou. Both of these words mean something like “Pay careful attention to what follows! This is important!” Other than the word “behold,” there is no single word in English that fits well in most contexts. Although “Look!” and “See!” and “Listen!” would be workable in some contexts, in many others these words lack sufficient weight and dignity. Given the principles of “essentially literal” translation, it is important not to leave hinneh and idou completely untranslated, and so to lose the intended emphasis in the original languages. The older and more formal word “behold” has usually been retained, therefore, as the best available option for conveying the original sense of meaning.

February 21, 2007 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,ESV,News & Announcements,Translation | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:46 am | (3) Comments »

New Introduction to the ESV

We’ve updated the Introduction to the ESV Bible page on this site to bring it in line with the latest text from Crossway. It’s also available in PDF (450K).

The PDF version, especially, is designed for you to print out and give to people who may not know much about the ESV. A version of this brochure is starting to appear in new printed ESVs.

February 19, 2007 | Posted in: ESV,General | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:02 am | 1 Comment »