Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The ESV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible

     The English Standard Version Bible, which is a light revision of the Revised Standard
Version made its debut in 2001. It is published by Crossway Publishers of Wheaton,
Illinois. It was revised in 2007 and in 2011. The 2011 revision is the best text edition
of the ESV. It is available in several styles and bindings such as large print, giant print,
single column reference, and now the large print thinline reference Bible. In my judgment,
the large print thinline reference ESV is "hands down," the very best edition of the ESV
that Crossway has made available to the Bible reading public. It was published in
July 2012.

     It weighs approximately 32 ounces, is 6.125 inches wide, 9.125 inches long, and
is about 1 inch thin. The print size is 10.5! This gives the saying "a sight for sore eyes"
an all new meaning. The print is relatively dark, clear, and very readable! It is currently
available in 3 bindings; trutone, genuine leather, and top grain cowhide. All 3 bindings
are nice, but the top grain cowhide is fabulous! It is amazingly supple and fills the hand
like a charm. The large print thinline is hand friendly, light weight, and virtually perfect for
use as a preaching and teaching Bible! The top grain cowhide is a dark chocolate brown.
At a glance it almost looks black.

     It contains all the 80,000 plus references that are in the other ESV reference Bibles.
But, with a stroke of genius, the references are placed at the bottom of the page in the
large print thinline reference Bible. This enables a person to read the text without
distraction. This Bible also has the concordance and maps. The paper used in this edition
is relatively thin, but not ridiculously so.

     The only "complaint" I have regarding the large print thinline Bible is the references.
They are set in type that is quite small. In my judgment, they should have been left out
entirely or made a little larger. Nevertheless, this is not intended to detract from this
very useful edition of the ESV Bible. If you use the ESV as your main preaching and
teaching Bible, the large print thinline reference Bible is highly recommended. It is  a
practical, hand friendly, and very readable copy of God's word! Why not visit a religious
bookstore in your area and inspect a copy? You will likely find one on the shelf  "with
you name written all over it."

                                                                                                              R. Daly

Copyright 2012  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Different Kinds of Translation Accuracy

     There are different kinds of translation accuracy, and understanding this will help
us refrain from making harsh judgments against translations without knowing the facts.
It is common practice for some readers of scripture to judge the accuracy of the better
known English versions based on the opinions of their favorite preacher, professor,
Bible class teacher, etc. Their  opinions  may  be of  value  if they have the training
necessary to make informed decisions, and if they are willing to let the facts speak.

     There is literal accuracy. The American Standard Version, published in 1901 is
legendary for its attempt at modified literal accuracy. We use the phrase "modified
literal" because some adjustments have to be made in order for the resulting translation
to be useful to the English reader. Though the ASV is very literal, even it is not strictly
literal as a glance at the Old and New Testament footnotes indicates. Sometimes the
"literal" translation  of  the  Hebrew,  Aramaic, and  Greek is relegated to the footnotes.
Nevertheless, it  is  as close to being a "word for word" translation that we have in our
language. This is what made it very popular  among  students  of  Hebrew  and  Greek
when it was released. The ASV is generally  so  literal  that  many  people  have
difficulty  reading it for long periods. Acts 19:3-5 demonstrates the overall precision
of the ASV.

     When  Paul  found   the  disciples  of  John  in  Ephesus,  he   asked  them, "Eis ti 
oun  ebaptisthete?" (Daly's Translation: "Into what then were you immersed?")   They
said, "Eis to Ioannou  baptisma." (Daly's Translation: "Into the immersion of John."
Paul, then explained John's  immersion  to  them and verse 5 says, "Akousantes de 
ebaptisthesan eis to onoma  tou  Kuriou  Iesou."  (Daly's Translation: "And  hearing
[this]  they were immersed into the name of the Lord Jesus.") The ASV translates the
Greek preposition  "eis"  as "into" in the three passages cited. It reads, "And he said,
Into what then were ye baptized? And they said, Into John's baptism...And when they
heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus." The ASV not only
achieves accuracy in verses 3 and 5; it is also consistent in the way it translates the
preposition in the context. The ASV is an excellent study Bible to this day. Neither
the New International Version, English Standard Version, nor the New American 
Standard Bible are as "literally accurate" in Acts 19:3,5, though both the ESV and
the NASB do acknowledge in footnotes that the Greek eis literally means "into."

     There  is idiomatic accuracy.  The  latest  edition of the New International 
Version, published in 2011 is an excellent example of this kind of accuracy. I have
heard people object to the NIV on the basis that "it is not literal enough to be
accurate." This assumes that  "literal accuracy"  is  the  only  kind of acceptable
accuracy. It isn't. The fact is, the NIV is not a paraphrase nor is it designed to be
as literal as the ASV. The NIV strives to translate into current idiomatic English.
When the NIV translators engaged in their work, it is as if they said, "We know
what the Hebrew and Greek texts say. How do we say the same thing in
understandable English?" The modified-literal translations are more "form" oriented.
They seek to be as transparent to the original texts as possible, while maintaining
some degree of readability, and the idiomatic translations make readability and
understandability the primary goal in conjunction with being as literally accurate as

     1 Cor. 1:10  is  a  good  point  of  reference  in this regard. The Greek text says,
"Parakalo de humas adelphoi dia tou onomatos tou kurio hemon Iesou Christou 
hina to auto legete pantes kai me e en humin schismata ete de katertismenoi en to 
auto noi kai en te aute gnome." (Daly's Translation: "Now I appeal to you, brothers
[and sisters], through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that you all speak the
same  thing  and  there  be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same
mind and in the same thought.")   The NIV-2011 says, "I appeal to you, brothers and
sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another
in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly
united in mind and thought."  It is both accurate and clear. It translates the text into
good  idiomatic  English.  I  especially  appreciate  the  fact  that  it  translates the
nominative masculine plural adelphoi with the phrase "brothers and sisters." Paul
is writing to a congregation consisting of both male and female believers. In Greek
literature  as  well  as  scripture,  adelphoi  refers  to  siblings  in  a   family.  In
1 Cor. 1:10  the  word  refers  to  fellow-believers, siblings in the spiritual family
of  God.  Neither  the  ASV,  NASB,  or  the  ESV are as idiomatically accurate in
1 Cor. 1:10 as the NIV-2011. The  NIV-2011  excels  in  idiomatic accuracy.   

     There  are  translations  that  attempt to steer the middle of the road between literal
accuracy and idiomatic accuracy. Examples of this type of translation philosophy are
the Revised  Standard  Version, the  English  Standard  Version, and  the New  
Revised  Standard Version. They are called "essentially literal" versions. They attempt
to be literal where possible and idiomatic where necessary. They tend to fall more on the
literal than the idiomatic side of the translation spectrum, therefore, they are good study
Bibles. The ESV is slightly better than the RSV and avoids some of the extremes of the
NRSV. Each is useful if diligently studied.  
                                                                                                             R. Daly

Copyright 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Strengths and Weaknesses of Translations

     All translations of the scriptures have strengths and weaknesses. Ideally we want the
strengths to outweigh the weaknesses. We also want the main strength to be fidelity to
the original texts (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek). The question is: what do we mean by
"fidelity to the original texts?" This question must be discussed because many people
believe "fidelity" necessitates that a translation be strictly literal. The problem is, no
translation   is   strictly   literal.   If    it    were   it   would   not   be   readable   or  
understandable to the masses.  Furthermore, that is not how  the translation process
works. For instance, John 3:16, a text known by most people who study the Bible,
literally reads, "This manner for loved the God the world that the Son the unique one
he gave that everyone believing in him may not perish but have life eternal."   Friends,
is it not apparent that the Greek sentence must be arranged in a way that make it
readable in the English language? We want to be sure that the rearrangement does no
injustice to the meaning of Greek text. So, we could translate it in this way: "God loved
the world in this manner, he gave his unique Son, that everyone who believes in him may
not perish, but have eternal life."

     All translation involves interpretation. It is unavoidable because a translator must
determine  what  the  words  in  the  original  language mean, before he can choose the
equivalent in the receptor language that reflects the meaning of the original word or
phrase. Many people object to translations such as the NIV because they believe
interpretation and translation are necessarily mutually exclusive. The fact is, the NIV
contains some translation choices that are among the very best available in any English
version of the scriptures. (cf. 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 2:5-11) The latest edition of the NIV
(NIV-2011), is a marked improvement over the previous edition (NIV-1984) in many
ways! It isn't perfect, but it is imminently readable, and highly accurate most of the time.
I refuse to take part in any uninformed movement that criticizes a translation on the basis
that it is "too interpretative" or  that it is "Calvinistic in its translation choices." Study a
translation on a passage by passage basis. Reject what is inaccurate and accept what is
accurate in any translation.  The KJV  contains  "Calvinistic renderings."  (Acts 2:47;
Acts 13:48; Heb. 6:6) Will the detractors discard it because it is sometimes contains a
Calvinistic slant in certain key texts?

     The ASV-1901 is a highly accurate English version in that it is very close to the
original texts. To this day it remains an excellent study version of the scriptures. Yet, it
uses old English, is not very readable, often contains the word order of the Hebrew and
Greek instead of English word order, and sometimes has textual choices that do not
accurately reflect the meaning of the words in the Hebrew and Greek texts.  The same
things  are  sometimes  true of  the  RSV, ESV, NASB, NKJV, etc.  Ideally, we want
translations that are as literal as possible and as idiomatic as necessary. Strive to know
the strengths and weaknesses of the translation(s) you select for use.
                                                                                                        R. Daly

Copyright 2012



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Great Stories From The Bible" CDs Are Now Available

      The "Great Stories From The Bible" set of CDs is now available to order. The
project consists  of  2  CDs  containing  many  of  the  great  stories  of  the  Old
and New Testaments read  with  "vocal emphasis."  Instead of a  mere  mechanical
reading  of  the text,  the stories are read  with  emotion  and voice inflection in order
to convey the "feeling" and "power" of the scriptures . The CDs are mailed in durable
plastic flexible cases. The cost is $15 per set consisting of 2 CDs.

     Some     of     the     great     Bible     stories     that     the     CD     contains     are :  
The      Creation     (Genesis 1);     Noah      and      the      Flood      (Genesis 6-8);  
God  Tests  Abraham (Genesis 22);  Moses  and  the  Burning  Bush (Exodus 3) ;
Israel  Crosses  the  Red  Sea  (Exodus 14); Moses  and  the  Glory  of  Yahweh
(Exodus 33:12-34:9);  David  and  Goliath  (1 Samuel 17);  Legion  (Mark 5:1-20);
The    Death    and    Resurrection    of    Christ   (Matthew 27:45-28:20);   The  
Establishment of the Lord's Congregation (Acts 2).

     The purpose of this recording project is to glorify God and to encourage meaningful
reading of God's word. I  incorporate  my  own  translation throughout and I believe all
readers and listeners can greatly benefit  from  the  work that has gone into making  the
reading of the Great Bible Stories available. If  you  would  like  more information, you
may  contact  me  by  e.mailing me at daly_nt_translation_project@live.com or call
me by dialing 317-457-1953
                                                                                                                     R. Daly

Copyright 2012

John 7:53-8:11

     The King James Version contains the pericope about the woman caught in the act of
adultery. Many of the modern English translations contain it, either set off from the text or
in brackets, with a note that the earliest manuscripts do not contain it.

     John 7:53-8:11 is not in codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, nor is it in p66, a Bodmer
papyrus  dated  from  about  200 A.D. and p75 dated from the early third century. No 
patristic writer prior to Euthymius Zigabenus in the twelfth century mentions the passage.
It isn't in the Diatessaron, Origen, Chrysostom, Cyril, Tertullian, and Cyprian. It isn't in
any of the earliest manuscripts from the second to the fourth century. It appears first in
the fifth century in Codex Bezae (D), and no other Greek manuscript contains it until the
ninth century.

     John 7:53-8:11 as it stands in the English versions portrays the Lord as we see him in
the undisputed texts; compassionate, just, and  forgiving.  Many  passionate  sermons
have been preached from this text and others will undoubtedly follow, yet there is little
doubt that the passage was not written by John, therefore not a part of the original text.

                                                                                                                    R. Daly

Copyright 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Acts 8:37

     In the King James Version Acts 8:37 reads, "And Philip said, 'If thou believest with
all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said , I believe that Jesus Christ is
the Son of God." This verse is not found in most modern translations, e.g. ASV-1901,
RSV, NIV, NRSV, ESV, and NIV-2011. Some translations include the passage in a
footnote with the explanation that it is likely an interpolation, that is, an insertion in or
addition to the original text. People often assume  that the omission of a passage found
in the King James Version is an instance of subtracting from the word of God. How
can omitting a passage that was not in the original text be equal to subtracting from
the word of God? Omitting  Acts 8:37 from the English text is not equivalent to saying
there is no need for a confession prior to being immersed.  Other passages teach that
one must confess that Jesus is the Son of God. (Rom. 10:10; 1 Tim. 6:12) The issue is
whether the textual evidence is for or against the  inclusion of Acts 8:37 as a part of 
God's word.

     The passage doesn't appear till the 6th century in the manuscripts. It is not found
in p45, a 3rd century manuscript, or in p74, a seventh century manuscript. It is not in
Sanaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, or Ephraemi Rescriptus, a 5th century manuscript.
It is not found in the ancient versions, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic. The ancient patristic
writers such as Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyrprian, Ambrosiaster, Ambrose, and Augustine
add the reading with a little variation. The Byzantine text omits the reading. Erasmus
included   the  passage  in  his  critical  editions  because  he  concluded  that  it  had
inadvertently been omitted from the textual tradition.  As  a  result  of his inclusion, it
became a part of the Textus Receptus and the KJV.
                                                                                                                R. Daly

Copyright 2012