- "The ESV we owe chiefly to one particular scholar who has spent much of his career opposing the idea of women being involved in minstry. I am told that this scholar did everything he could possibly do to scuttle the TNIV, in the main because he abhorred the idea of the use of inclusive language in the translation even where it was fully warranted and did better justice to who was being spoken of in particular cases. A good example would be when the Greek term 'anthropoi' ('human beings')is used to refer to a mixed group containing both women and men. To translate the term 'men' in such a case is in fact to misrepresent the meaning of the word in such a case since there were also women present who were not mere ciphers or appendages of the men who were there.
- Why am I mentioning this now? Because I have been told that the Southern Baptist Convention is considering endorsing the ESV as the one true Baptists ought to use. I hope this will not happen, but it is a twilight zone kind of possibility.
After Witherington had posted this, Wayne Grudem responded on Justin Taylor's blog,
- Dear Ben,
- Regarding your blog about the ESV Bible on Feb. 20th, 2006, I suspect I am the “one particular scholar” to whom you refer in your second paragraph. ...
- But contrary to what you reported from your friend on the TNIV committee (which I think was his speculation), the ESV grew out of the appreciation of many scholars for the merits of the old RSV and a desire to see it updated, and not out of opposition to the TNIV Bible. The reason for my own involvement with the ESV was a long-standing desire to see an updated RSV, and had little or nothing to do with the TNIV controversy.
- The second translation hoping to pick up some of the Bible share lost by the NIV is the English Standard Version (ESV), announced in February by Crossway Books. The version had its roots in discussions that took place before the May 1997 meeting called by James Dobson at Focus on the Family headquarters to resolve the inclusive NIV issue.
The night prior to the meeting, critics of regendered language gathered in a Colorado Springs hotel room to discuss the next day's strategy. During the course of the evening it became clear their concerns with the NIV extended beyond gender issues. The group discussed the merits of the Revised Standard Version, first published in 1952 by the National Council of Churches and recently replaced by the New Revised Standard Version, a regendered update.
It is a puzzle to many people why Wayne Grudem continues, through publishing books and talking on the radio, to criticize the TNIV, and at the same time denies that this has anything to do with the inception and promotion of the ESV as a more transparent and accurate Bible. Well, Dr. Packer has exactly the same position. He has published a paper on stopping the ordination of women, he signed the protest against the TNIV, and he is the editor of the ESV. It is hard to deny that this is something of a package.