- That’s right. A bilingual English-German edition of the Bible (without Apocrypha) is about to be published by Germany’s premier publisher of Bibles, the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. It is announced here. The ESV will appear alongside of the 1984 revision of Luther’s classic translation.
- The choice is understandable. The ESV, not the NRSV, is the English equivalent of the 1984 revision of the Lutherbibel.
- Is it wrong that I was hoping for some kind of challenge to the statement about the inclusion of the ESV vs. the NRSV?
Not that I disagree, but that I don't know the realities between the differences, and while I neither know much about the NRSV, nor support neutering translations, I do often like to read the argumentation in regards to those things outside my purview(s).
I posted on this article of Dr. Kostenberger's some time ago, and I am happy to report that he now has abandoned this position. In this review he discusses the translation of anthropos in depth and summarizes,
- It may be concluded that Carson and Strauss have established — at least to my own satisfaction — that a gender-inclusive approach to Bible translation stands in no necessary conflict with the effort to preserve Biblical fidelity
The point of all this preamble is that the Luther translation has always distinguished between anthropos, translated as Mensch, and aner, translated as Mann. The KJV translated both with "man" while the NRSV, TNIV, CEV and TNIV provide gender-accurate translation as did Luther. The ESV translates anthropos as "man" sometimes and "person/people" other times without consistancy.
One could maintain, however, that Luther's Bible, is a "neutering" translation in the sense that Kostenberger first intended in his article. Not only does Luther translate anthropos as Mensch (man meaning human) but he also translates Huioi as Kinder - "children" instead of "sons" as the gender inclusive translations do. All in all, Luther stands half way between the ESV and the gender inclusive or gender accurate English translations.
But the Luther translation differs from the ESV in many more ways than in gender inclusivity. It is not as literal, often not reflecting the Greek grammatical structure at all. This was not Luther's intent. TC has supplied to interesting citations which illustrate this,
- The NRSV has a lot going for it, but departs from the Tyndale-Geneva-KJV tradition far more than ESV does, with the result that NRSV is less of a counterpart to the 1984 revision of the Lutherbibel than ESV is.
Here are the citations from TC,
- Ryken on Bible Translation: English Bible Translation stands at a watershed moment. For half a century, dynamic equivalence has been the guiding translation philosophy behind most new translations. Each successive wave of these translations has tended to be increasingly bold in departing from the words of the original text. Stated another way, we can trace an arc of increasingly aggressive changing, adding to, and subtracting from the words that the biblical authors wrote. The issues that are at stake in the current debat about Biblie translation are immense. (Bible Translation Differences, p. 30)
Luther on Bible Translation: What purpose does it serve unnecessarily to abide by the words so rigidly and strictly that people can get no sense out of them? Whoever would speak German must not see Hebrew idioms; but if he understand the Hebrew writer, he must see to it that he grasps his meaning and must think: Now let me see. How does a German speak in this case? When he has the German words that serve the purpose, then let him dismiss the Hebrew words and freely express the sense in the best German he is capable of using. (What Luther Says, pp. 105-06)
- For some people, a translation that isn't "gender-neutered" is beyond the pale. Among others, the move has not found acceptance and has even brought on a backlash. The official Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic position, shared by many evangelical Protestants, is that NRSV is not traditional enough for the liturgy.
Clearly, it could be said that the ESV is a descendant of the KJV in the same way that the Luther 1984 is a descendant of the Lutherbibel. In this way, both translations occupy the same historic space in the national literature of their respective