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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ESV

THE ENGLISH (SUB) STANDARD VERSION


Dr. Terry Watkins  Dial-the-Truth Ministries

As all new Bible versions, the ESV “preface” boldly compares itself to the old KJV. And as all new Bibles claim the ESV is just another Bible in the succession and lineage of the King James Bible. And as all new versions innocently claim, it is just a harmless update to the outdated King James Bible. And as all new versions proudly boast, it is more accurate than the prehistoric King James Bible. And as all new versions loudly brag, it is easier to read than the archaic King James Bible. And as all new versions prove – it is simply not true. . .

 

The following statements from the ESV boast of their heroic deeds:

 

“Would you believe it took nearly 500 years to translate the ESV Bible? That’s because the ESV builds on the great translations of the past—including William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526 and the King James Version (KJV) of 1611.”

(Preface, ESV)

 

While the ESV “humbly” stakes its claim along side the historic King James Bible, it goes much further in its claim to fame. It actually stakes claim to the “original text”.  Throughout the Preface and Introduction to the ESV, the publisher claims the ESV as “trustworthy. . . true. . . capture the precise wording. . .” of the “original words”, “original text” and “the original” from God.

 

“But the ESV Bible also builds on the best Christian scholarship of the last 100 years. The result is a fresh and compelling Bible translation with a timeless quality, that’s trustworthy and true. . .

The result is a Bible that conveys the timeless quality of God’s Word and that remains trustworthy and true to the original words breathed out by God. . .”

(http://www.esv.org/about/intro)

 

“The Bible says every word was ‘breathed out by God’ (2 Timothy 3:16). For this reason, the ESV seeks to translate the original Greek and Hebrew words with the greatest possible accuracy and precision.”

(http://www.esv.org/about/intro)

 

“In contrast, the goal of the ESV is to render literally what is in the original, allowing the reader to understand the original on its own terms rather than on the terms of our present-day culture.”

(http://www.esv.org/about/other.translations)

 

“To this end each word and phrase in the ESV has been carefully weighed against the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, to ensure the fullest accuracy and clarity and to avoid under-translating or overlooking any nuance of the original text.”

(Preface, English Standard Version)

 

“In the area of gender language, the goal of the ESV is to render literally what is in the original.”

(Preface, English Standard Version)

 

“The ESV is an ‘essentially literal’ translation that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. As such, its emphasis is on ‘word-for-word’ correspondence, at the same time taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. Thus it seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original.”

(Preface, English Standard Version)  

 

To get an idea of how obsessed the ESV is with the “original” – in the Preface to the ESV, they stake claim to the “original” 27 times. . .

 

“HOUSTON. . .  WE HAVE A PROBLEM. . .”

 

There’s one itsy-bitsy problem with the publishers ancestry claim to the “original”. Just a small one. . .  We do not have the “original words” or the “original texts” or the “original manuscripts.” We do not have the “original” books penned by Moses, or David, or Isaiah, or the apostle Paul. We wouldn’t even know they were the originals if we held them in our hand! We have copies of the “originals”. We have many copies. And we have different copies. Over 6,000 “pieces” of the Greek New Testament exist. And not all are the same. . .

 

That introduces an interesting dilemma – what was the Lord “referring to” when He stated in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”? (There are hundreds of other verses proclaiming the importance and promise of the preservation of the Word of God.)

 

We can glean a couple of very important facts from Matthew 24:35:

 

1) God has clearly promised to preserve His words – “my words shall not pass away”.

2) God has clearly placed a lot of importance on His words – “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”? .

 

And we learn something else – something very important. And it’s something that has completely eluded this generation regarding the preservation and inspiration of the Word of God.

 

The “original” manuscripts are not the “my words” of Matthew 24:35!

 

And I can prove that statement with one simple, indisputable, irrefutable, FACT.

 

The “originals” have “passed away”! And God’s “words shall NOT pass away.”

 

If the “original manuscripts” are the only true, God-breathed, genuine words of God (as proposed by the majority of today’s “original-blind” Christian leaders) then Jesus Christ lied in Matthew 24:35 (and tons of other verses) because the “originals” are “passed away”. All the bold proclamations of true to “the originals” are simply a big fat lie. Preachers who stand in the pulpit week after week telling his congregation “the original says” is lying. Bible publishers who claim to be “true” to the originals are lying. No one on this earth “knows” what the originals say because we do not have “the originals.” Anyone that sells you a Bible or tells you the “original text” or “original” says is either flat-out lying or grossly ignorant of Bible manuscript evidence. There is no middle ground. Truth is truth. And the truth is we do not have the “originals”.

 

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 4:2

 

The following quotes from the ESV web site “endorsements” verify the prevalent belief of the mystic “originals” from the pen of celebrated Christian leaders. This list could be multiplied a thousand times over. The “originals” deception is the biggest lie and heresy taught in Christianity. And its rotten fruit is nothing less than the destruction of the authority of the Word of God. . .

 

“The great strength of the ESV is first and foremost that it allows readers to trust the words to be the Word of God. I delight to find a clear, beautiful translation that allows me to get as close as possible to the actual words God inspired.”

Dr. Kathleen Buswell Nielson, Author, English Professor

 

“If we’re going to take God’s Word to heart and really apply it to our everyday lives, we need to have the confidence that the translation we’ve chosen is accurate and authentic—true to the original! The ESV is just such a translation.”

Christin Ditchfield, Author, Founder and President, Take It To Heart Ministries

 

“The ESV shows exactly what the original says—and with elegance of style! I welcome its publication with enthusiasm.”

Dr. Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., Senior Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee

 

“The ESV promises to be true to its name: the English Standard Version for the coming generation. It is a careful rendering that captures and communicates the sense of the original biblical text and does so in flowing modern English…. Well done!”

Dr. S. M. Baugh, Associate Professor of New Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary

 

“I love the ESV! Though a long-time and loyal user of [another translation], I’ve made the switch. The ESV’s word-for-word faithfulness to the original manuscripts assures me that the Scriptures that touch my life today are the very words inspired by God.”

Tina Jacobson, President and CEO, The B & B Media Group, Inc., The Barnabas Agency

 

“The ESV has been my primary Bible for study and devotion over the past three years. I like it best because it gives me a close sense of what the original says.”

Ajith Fernando, National Director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka Bible Teacher and Author

 

“Excellent job. I find the ESV faithful to the original Greek and Hebrew texts, yet in a very readable format. I am recommending the ESV to my students and faculty.”

Dr. Brett Peterson, President, Coastland University

 

Let me emphasize again . . . . There is no such thing as “the originals”.

 

Gail Riplinger writes in her best-selling book, New Age Versions, concerning the mythical “originals”:

 

“The survival of ‘the’ original Greek New Testament is a dream which dissolves with the discovery that no two manuscripts or critical editions are alike.”

(Riplinger, Gail, New Age Versions, p. 469)

 

(Note: for the following paragraphs we’re going to briefly review the manuscript evidence for the ESV [and other new versions] versus the King James Bible. I realize this may be deep waters for some of my readers, but please be patient, this won’t last long and we’ll soon open the pages of the ESV.)

 

THE TEXTUAL BASIS OF THE ESV

 

If the “originals” do not exist then what do Bible translators employ to construct the Bible versions? They use copies of copies of copies of copies from ultimately some form of “the original manuscripts.” They also use old Bible versions such as The Old Latin, the Vulgate, the Peschitto, the Coptic and scores of others. They may even utilize scripture references found in the ancient writings of the Early Church “Fathers”. But they do not use the “original manuscripts.” (If you get nothing else from this article – get this – we do not have the “originals”.)

 

THE MATERIALS. . .

 

There exist approximately 5,686 bits and pieces of Greek New Testament manuscripts in various forms dating back to 125 A.D. A manuscript is a “hand written” copy. Some manuscripts contain a few verses, some a few chapters and occasionally a complete New Testament book such as Galatians. Besides the vast amount of Greek manuscripts there exits over 19,000 ancient New Testament manuscripts in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic and Aramaic languages. When you consider the manuscript evidence of other ancient literature such as Aristotle’s measly 5 copies, or Caesar’s 10 copies, etc. the evidence for the authenticity of the New Testament is staggering. Without exaggerating or prejudice, the evidence for the validity of the New Testament is mind-boggling.  

 

Even though, we do not possess “the originals” we own an astonishing amount of evidence. And with such an incredible quantity of ancient manuscripts, by comparing and collating the thousands of manuscripts, the path to “the originals” is easily identified.    

 

THE CONSTRUCTION

 

Because of copying errors, misspellings, handwriting variations, and preservation difficulties, no two manuscripts are exactly the same. Translators construct a complete New Testament Greek “text” by comparing and collating the thousands of manuscripts using such criteria as the projected age of the manuscript plus the quantity of manuscripts that agree with each other. They also utilize previous New Testament texts and versions, both new and old. There are many New Testament Greek texts such as, Erasmus (5 editions), Stephanus (4 editions), Beza (9 editions), Elzevir (3 editions), Tyndale, and Westcott and Hort. And every Greek text is different. Some slightly different and some drastically different.

 

Wilbur Pickering in his classic, The Identity of the New Testament Text, writes in the Introduction:

 

“That there is a problem concerning the identity of the Greek text of the New Testament is made clear by the existence of a number of competing editions in print. By competing I mean that they do not agree with one another as to the precise wording of the text. Such disagreement is possible because no two of the ancient Greek manuscripts (handwritten copies) known to us are identical in wording, and we are dependent upon those copies because the Apostles' Autographs, or original documents, are no longer in existence. (They were probably worn out well before A.D. 200.)

In short, we are faced with the challenge of recovering the original wording of the text from the surviving manuscripts, no two of which entirely agree. . .”

(Pickering, Wilbur N. The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 15)

 

Before someone makes the mistake of thinking, with such variations, how can we possibly reconstruct the pure Word of God? The truth is — the pure path to the originals is fairly easy to find. Even though the manuscripts are different, the vast majority of the variations are small. And because of the vast amount of manuscripts available, if allowed, the true text literally defines itself. Keep that thought for a few minutes, and we’ll explain later. . .

 

THE DIFFERENCE. . .

 

Contrary to what is continually, promoted, preached and believed concerning the new versions, the differences are not simply updating archaic words; making the Bible easier to read or more accurate. The difference runs much deeper and much more drastic.

 

Wilbur Pickering in The Identity of the New Testament Text writes:

 

“Thus, the fundamental difference between the New Testament in the American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, New English Bible, Today's English Version, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, etc., on the one hand, and in the AV [King James Bible] and NKJV on the other is that they are based on different forms of the Greek text. (There are over 5,500 differences between those two forms.)”

(Pickering, Wilbur N. The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 16)

 

Note: Pickering’s book is easily the most scholarly and concise study on New Testament manuscript evidence available. Throughout this article we will utilize his material.   

 

The King James Bible is translated from the Textus Receptus Greek text “family”. The Textus Receptus Greek Texts agree with over 99% of the 5,686 Greek manuscripts. For that reason, the Textus Receptus is also called the “Majority” text. (The “majority” of the Greek texts agree with Textus Receptus).

 

The ESV (and virtually all new versions) is translated from the Westcott and Hort Greek text (W-H). The Westcott and Hort Greek text is drastically different from the Textus Receptus. Many verses are “intentionally” removed in the W-H text. Many words are “intentionally” changed or removed in the W-H text. This is the reason the new versions delete verses, remove thousands of words and drastically change the Words of God. It’s not because the new versions are harmlessly “updating” the King James Bible (as they mislead you to believe) but they are translating from a radically different Greek text.

 

Before we continue, perhaps it would be a good time to introduce you to the two men behind the Westcott and Hort Greek text – Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort. They worked on the translating committee for the Revised Version (RV) of 1881. The RV baptized Christians into the oceanic waters of “new” Bibles. Until that time (from 1611), Christianity knew and believed one English Bible – the King James Bible. The original purpose of the RV was a timid revision of the King James Bible. The timid purpose was slyly subverted by Westcott and Hort’s fiery desire to overthrow the authority of the King James Bible. While working on the RV, Westcott and Hort covertly produced their radical Greek text. Westcott and Hort’s radical beliefs and deceptions are widely documented from their own material and their own words. The following quotes from Westcott and Hort shed light on the many sinister and subtle changes (which we’ll soon examine) lurking inside the new versions.

 

Westcott openly denies the many miracles in the scriptures

 

Aug. 11th – Westcott: "I never read an account of a miracle but I seem instinctively to feel its improbability, and discover some want of evidence in the account of it." (Life, Vol.I, p.2).

 

Wescott and Hort’s driving force was the extinction of the infallibility and authority of the scriptures. Their writings contain many instances where they express bitter contempt toward the authority of the scriptures.

 

“Further I agree with them in condemning many leading specific doctrines of the popular theology…Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue. There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, and especially the authority of the Bible.”
(Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. 1, p.400)

 

(Hort writing Lightfoot) "If you make a decided conviction of the absolute infallibility of the N.T. practically a sine qua non for co-operation, I fear I could not join you, even if you were willing to forget your fears about the origin of the Gospels." (Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.420).

 

(Westcott to Hort) "at present I find the presumption in favour of the absolute truth – I reject the word infallibility – of Holy Scripture overwhelming." (Life, Vol.I, p.207).

 

"It seems to be clearly and broadly directed to maintaining that the English clergy are not compelled to maintain the absolute infallibility of the Bible. And, whatever the truth may be, this seems just the liberty required at the present moment, if any living belief is to survive in the land." (Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.454).

 

Like the new versions, their fiery aim of attack is the Textus Receptus, calling it “villainous” and “vile”. Notice also, their admitted lack of Greek New Testament knowledge – “having read so little Greek Testament,” May I kindly remind my readers, these are the men directly responsible for text of virtually every new Bible version since the King James Bible.   

 

"I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus.. Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS.; it is a blessing there are such early ones" (Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.211).

 

Darwinism (evolution) was evolving during this time, and Hort eagerly supported the anti-Bible teachings of Darwin.

 

"But the book which has most engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with. I must work out and examine the argument in more detail, but at present my feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable." (Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.416)

 

While supporting the Darwinian fallacy of evolution, they openly ridiculed the Genesis account of creation:

 

No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history – I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did . . .”  (Westcott, Arthur, Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, Vol. 2, p. 69)

 

Hort derides the Atonement of Jesus Christ labeling it “an almost universal heresy.”  He also adds the “doctrine of substitution, (how that Jesus took our place (substitution) on the cross) is “an immoral and material counterfeit”:

 

Oct. 15th – Hort: "I entirely agree – correcting one word – with what you there say on the Atonement, having for many years believed that "the absolute union of the Christian (or rather, of man) with Christ Himself" is the spiritual truth of which the popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit…Certainly nothing can be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christ's bearing our sins and sufferings to His death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy." (Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.430).

 

“The fact is, I do not see how God’s justice can be satisfied without every man’s suffering in his own person the full penalty for his sins.”
 (Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p. 120)

 

While vehemently attacking the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, they praised Roman Catholicism and the worship of Mary:

 

1847 Jan., 2nd Sunday after Epiphany – Westcott: "After leaving the monastery we shaped our course to a little oratory…It is very small, with one kneeling-place; and behind a screen was a 'Pieta' the size of life the (Pieta is a statue of the “Virgin” Mary cradling a dead Jesus) … I could not help thinking on the grandeur of the Romish Church, on her zeal even in error, on her earnestness and self-devotion, which we might, with nobler views and a purer end, strive to imitate. Had I been alone I could have knelt there for hours." (Westcott, Arthur. Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, Vol. I, p.81).

 

"I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and 'Jesus'-worship have very much in common in their causes and their results." (Hort, Arthur Fenton. Life and letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol.II, p.50).

 

Hort readily attacked the doctrine of a real evil personality called the devil.

 

“Now if there be a devil, he cannot merely bear a corrupted and marred image of God; he must be wholly evil, his name evil, his every energy and act evil. Would it not be a violation of the divine attributes for the Word to be actively the support of such a nature of that?”

(Hort, Arthur Fenton. Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p. 121)

”The Word upholds his existence, not his evil. That is in himself; that is the mysterious, awful possibility implied in his being a will. I need scarcely say that I do not mean by this acknowledgement of an evil spirit that I acknowledge a material devil. But does anyone?
(Hort, Arthur Fenton. Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p. 50)

Despite the many references in the scriptures describing heaven as a real place (such as John 14:3) Westcott stated “heaven is a state and not a place.”

 

“No doubt the language of the Rubric is unguarded, but it saves us from the error of connecting the Presence of Christ’s glorified humanity with place; ‘heaven is a state and not a place.’”  (Westcott, Arthur. Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, Vol. 2, p. 49)

 

Westcott and Hort readily acknowledged their Greek “text” would have “great difficulties” being accepted because they were well known for “dangerous heresy.” Little did they know, their Greek text filled with “dangerous heresy” would hence lay the hellish foundation for virtually every new Bible version.  

 

(Hort to Westcott) "Also – but this may be cowardice – I have a sort of craving that our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean, a text, issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy, will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms." (Hort, Arthur Fenton. Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. p.445).

 

And make no mistake about it – Westcott and Hort are the fathers of the new PERversions.

 

“Though there was some scattered opposition to the Received Text [King James Bible] in years before, the concerted effort against the Received Text came in 1881, and after. In 1881, two theological heretics (posing as conservatives) from the Anglican Church, Westcott and Hort, published their Greek text that rejected the Textus Receptus in 5,604 places by my actual count. This included 9,970 Greek words that were either added, subtracted, or changed from the Textus Receptus. This involves on the average, 15.4 words per page of the Greek New Testament…”

(Waite, Donald, Defending the King James Bible, p. 41)

 

From the above documented quotes, one would suppose Westcott and Hort’s Greek text would be examined very carefully and very cautiously by the Christian community. Surprisingly, just the opposite occurred. . . The W-H text is blindly glorified, glamorized and translated by practically every major Bible publisher. It is the underlying text for virtually every new version since the RV of 1881. Some of W-H’s more prestigious suckers include the (RV) Revised Version 1881, (ASV) American Standard 1901, (RSV) Revised Standard 1946, (AMP) Amplified 1964, (NEB) New English Bible 1970, (LB) Living Bible 1971, (NIV) New International Version 1973, (GNB) Good News Bible 1974, (NIrV) New International Readers Version 1980, (NCV) New Century Version 1986, (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version 1989, (TM) The Message 1992, (CEV) Contemporary English Version 1995, (NLT) New Living Translation 1996, (HCSB) Holman Christian Standard Bible 2000, (TNIV) Today's New International Version 2002, and our current subject the (ESV) English Standard Version 2001. That’s just a few of the 200+ versions adorning the Wescott and Hort “Hellish Hall of Shame”.

 

Before we exit our investigation of the Wescott and Hort Greek text, let us briefly examine the manuscript evidence for the Westcott and Hort Greek. (If you’re getting stuck in the mire of all this talk about manuscripts, etc. please bear with me. We’ll surface quickly.) Remember we previously stated the King James Bible (Textus Receptus) agrees with over 99% of the all the Greek manuscripts/readings? The fact is, the percentage is around 99.92%. The primary (and I mean primary) manuscript evidence for the W-H Greek text consist of two corrupt and conflicting manuscripts – the Vaticanus and Siniaticus. (Remember a “manuscript” is an old handwritten copy of a portion of scripture, while a Greek “text” is a complete New Testament constructed and collated from various “manuscripts”.)

 

Dr. Sam Gipp gives the following brief analysis of the Vaticanus and Siniaticus:

 

“The two most prominent of these, Vaticanus, which is sole property of the Roman Catholic Church, and Sinaiticus are both known to be overwhelmed with errors. It is said that Sinaiticus has been corrected and altered by as many as ten different writers. In Vaticanus is found the evidence of very sloppy workmanship. Time and again words and whole phrases are repeated twice in succession or completely omitted. While the entire manuscript has had the text mutilated by some person or persons who ran over every letter with a pen making exact identification of many of the characters impossible.”

(Dr. Sam Gipp, The Answer Book, p. 30)

 

Much more incriminating evidence could be provided documenting the corrupt nature of the Vaticanus and Siniaticus, but hopefully you get the picture.

 

THE GREEK TEXT OF THE ESV

 

In the “Preface” under the section “Textual Basis” the ESV reads:

 

“The ESV is based on the Masoretic text [Old Testament] of the Hebrew Bible as found in Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (2nd ed., 1983), and on the Greek text in the 1993 editions of the Greek New Testament (4th corrected ed.), published by the United Bible Societies (UBS), and Novum Testamentum Graece (27th ed.), edited by Nestle and Aland. . . Similarly, in a few difficult cases in the New Testament, the ESV has followed a Greek text different from the text given preference in the UBS/Nestle-Aland 27th edition.”

(Preface, English Standard Version)

 

The 4th edition of the UBS Greek New Testament and the 27th edition of Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece are the same exact Greek text – and they also follow the Westcott and Hort Greek text. After being pounded for years for employing the corrupt Westcott and Hort Greek text, many new versions now hide under the shadow of Nestles or the UBS Greek texts. But as any novice student of manuscript evidence knows — the UBS and Nestles are based on the W-H Greek text – just wrapped in another package. As someone once keenly stated, “If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then guess what – it’s a duck.” You can call it a pig, but it’s a duck. Ditto for Nestles’ and UBS Greek. You can call it whatever you like. Nestle’s? UBS? ESV? NIV? But the fact is — if it follows and matches the W&H Greek text – it is the W&H Greek text.

 

Pickering writes concerning Nestle and the UBS relationship to the Westcott and Hort Greek text:

 

“Thus, the two most popular manual editions of the Greek text today, Nestle-Aland and UBS (United Bible Societies), really vary little from the W-H text. The recent versions—RSV, NEB, etc.—also vary little from the W-H text.”

(Pickering Wilbur, The Identity of the New Testament text, p. 28)

 

Notice, Pickering’s linking the corrupt Westcott and Hort Greek text specifically to the RSV. . .

 

DIGGING UP THE ROOT OF THE ESV. . .

 

Remember where we previously read about the ESV claiming their lineage to the King James Bible? In case you forgot, here’s their statement:

 

“Would you believe it took nearly 500 years to translate the ESV Bible? That’s because the ESV builds on the great translations of the past—including William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526 and the King James Version (KJV) of 1611.”

 

On their website, under the banner: “From KJV to ESV: A Historical Legacy,” the ESV folks really pour it on claiming their ancestry to the King James Bible. After a brief opening praising the King James Bible, they deceitfully write:

 

“With the greatest respect for the KJV and deep gratitude to its translators for their work, the English Standard Version Translation Team endeavored to carry on the KJV’s historic translation legacy in a way that is fresh and compelling for today and that will endure for generations to come.” (http://www.esv.org/about/kjv)

 

“As the direct descendant of the historic King James Bible, the ESV retains the beauty and majesty of the original languages and the rich theological words of the Bible in English.” (http://www.esv.org/about/kjv)

 

We’ll they were just fooling you — because a little later on their web site (and in their Preface) they finally let the cat out of the bag. The ESV is not “built on” the King James Bible – but the text of the liberal Revised Standard Version (RSV)!

 

“The words and phrases themselves grow out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for our work.” (The Preface to the ESV, p. vii)

 

And the RSV is the “direct descendant” to the Westcott and Hort Greek text.

 

Remember all the praise for the King James Bible from the ESV’s web site? Remember the hullabaloo about the ESV being a descendant from the “great” King James Bible? And now we discover the ESV is not built on the KJB but the RSV. Here’s what the RSV states about the King James Bible in its’ Preface:

 

“Yet the King James Bible has grave defects. . . The King James Version of the New Testament was based upon a Greek text that was marred by mistakes, containing the accumulated errors of fourteen centuries of manuscript copying . . .”

(Revised Standard Version, Preface)

 

How about those apples? So much for the “great translation” of the King James Bible. Based on the Preface of the RSV (which is what the ESV is “built on”), one thing is certain – the RSV is not “built on” the King James Bible. Just the opposite. . . Let me add this comment. . . When the RSV was published in 1971, the Christian “leaders” were attacking the King James Bible and its underlying text with a vengeance. But thanks to a handful of aggressive King James scholars and soldiers the Lord rose up, the tide quickly turned in the 1990s. And today if you want to $ell a Bible, you’d better rub as close to that ol’ King James Bible as you can. Attacking the King James Bible today just “ain’t cool”.

 

A little more info about the “starting point” of the ESV – the RSV:

 

The Revised Standard Version was initially completed in 1952 (NT in 1946) under the auspice of “an authorized revision of the American Standard Version, published in 1901. . .” (Preface, RSV) The RSV was the brain-child of the International Council of Religious Education (ICRE) which in 1950, merged with the Federal Council of Churches to form the liberal, ecumenical, apostate National Council of the Churches (NCC). The NCC is now the official sponsor/owner of the RSV. To fully comprehend the ultra-liberal, apostate, godless foundation of the RSV and NCC, according to author William Grady, thirty of the 95 “scholars” employed for the translation work of the RSV “had Communist affiliations with at least 90 different Communist affiliations.” (Grady, William. Final Authority, p. 280)

 

Brightly carrying the ecumenical torch, in 1957 the RSV inserted the Catholic Apocrypha into its ecumenical text and in 1965 published a “special” Catholic edition of the RSV. In 1971 a second-edition of the RSV was published (which is the “starting point” of the ESV). And in 1977, the Catholic Apocrypha was included in the 1971 edition. And in 2006 another “special” Catholic second-edition of the 1971 RSV was published. May I remind my readers, the ESV is a proud continuation of the RSV.

 

An article on the ESV by the Trinitarian Bible Society titled “What Today’s Christian Needs to Know About the English Standard” states, “It is very clear that there is a very close relationship between the ESV and the RSV. Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publisher in the USA, have said in correspondence that 91% of the ESV is word-for-word the same as the RSV.

(http://www.trinitarianbiblesociety.org/site/articles/A120.pdf)

 

Wikipedia writes concerning the ESV and RSV kinship: 

 

“. . . only about 5%–10% of the RSV text was changed in the ESV.”

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Standard_Version)

 

The outcry against the apostate RSV was so loud there are published reports of pastors and Christians literally burning the liberal RSV from the pulpit (F.F. Bruce, History of the Bible in English, p. 196). And Crossway Publishers quietly resurrects the apostate RSV under the disguise of the “English Standard Version.” 

 

Trinitarian Bible Society also makes the following enlightening remarks concerning the ESV and RSV kinship:

 

The English Standard Version’s name has caused some people not to understand that it is a revision of the RSV. It is clearly stated in the ESV itself that the ESV ‘is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA’. It boasts that ‘words and phrases themselves grow out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV’ but goes on to state that it is ‘the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for our work’.  However, the name change from something identifying it as a close revision of the RSV does not seem to have come across to the average reader. Of course, it could not be called the New Revised Standard Version, since that name was already taken by another revision of the RSV. Thus a new name, the English Standard Version, was chosen.”

(http://www.trinitarianbiblesociety.org/site/articles/A120.pdf)

 

The ESV web site falsely claims the ESV is a “new” Bible translation. As we just read, it’s not new – it’s a rehash job of the corrupt apostate RSV:

 

“The English Standard Version (ESV) Bible is a new, essentially literal Bible translation that combines word-for-word precision and accuracy with literary excellence, beauty, and depth of meaning.”

(http://www.esv.org/about/intro)

 

THE BIG LIE

 

And the lies and deceit just keeps getting bigger . . .

 

Hitler’s Nazi propaganda killing machine used a simple formula to “deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:18) Hitler proposed, If you tell a lie long enough, loud enough, and often enough, the simple people will believe it. The lies used to propagate the new versions are “long, loud and often.” And unfortunately, they have indeed “deceived the hearts of the simple”. . .  

 

Another (among many) deceitful statements stated on the ESV web site occurs on the page “How is the ESV Different from Other Translations?” Comparing the ESV to several of the more popular translations such as the NIV, NASV, NKJV, etc. they write this flat-out lie concerning the King James Bible: (This is a provable, exhaustively documented and well-known lie.)

 

“King James Version (KJV) – The ESV Translation Team holds a deep respect for the work of the KJV translators as well as for the immeasurable impact this Bible has had on the English language and the English-speaking world for centuries. Though the KJV Bible is appreciated greatly for its literary beauty, much of the KJV language is now archaic and hard to understand.” (http://www.esv.org/about/other.translations)

 

The truth is very little of the King James Bible is “archaic”. Despite the tell-tale lies, every verifiable analysis performed among the various versions comparing readability and ease of understanding the King James always wins (see “Is the King James Bible Harder to Read? at www.av1611.org/kjv/kjv_easy.html) For a detailed examination of the inflated “archaic” words in the King James Bible see Dr. Lawrence Vance’s extensive [over 606 documented pages] Archaic Words and the Authorized Version.

 

Here’s the “BIG LIE” from the ESV web site I want my readers to notice:

 

“Also, the KJV was based on only a few original language manuscripts that were available 400 years ago. The ESV’s translators, however, had the advantage of access to much earlier manuscripts and the most up-to-date scholarly research. The result is that the ESV carries forward the KJV’s literary beauty and the essentially literal translation legacy, based on the best original language manuscripts. . .”

(http://www.esv.org/about/other.translations)

 

The ESV site openly lies when it states the KJV was based on “only a few original language manuscripts”. Anyone slightly familiar with the manuscript evidence knows the vast majority (over 99%) of all Greek manuscripts agree with the King James Bible. And they also know, no new “readings” have been discovered since the translation of the King James Bible. While it’s true many new manuscripts have been found since the King James Bible, no new “readings” have been discovered. In other words, recent manuscripts discovered contain no new “readings” just more “readings” from previously discovered manuscripts. And here’s another kicker – virtually all new manuscripts agree with the King James Bible. Also, if the ESV is continuing in the legacy of the King James Bible, etc. – why do they need new manuscripts? Somebody’s pulling somebody’s leg. . .

 

Dr. Sam Gipp provides the following response concerning the accusation that new manuscripts have been discovered since the King James Bible was published.

 

“There have been many manuscripts found since 1611, but there have been no new READINGS found. Many critics of the Word of God have used the argument of ‘new evidence’ that the King James translators didn't have as a basis to degrade its authority. The fact is, that the King James translators had all of the readings available to them that modern critics have available to them today. . . . We might further add that an honest scholar will admit that this ‘great number of newly discovered manuscripts’ that are trumped abroad, agree with the Greek text of the Authorized Version rather than challenging it.”

(Gipp, Dr. Sam. The Answer Book, http://www.chick.com/reading/books/158/158_41.asp)

 

The well-known fact is – the ESV (and other new versions) are the ones “based on only a few original language manuscripts” – not the King James Bible!

 

The following references (among hundreds) maintain the overwhelming manuscript support for the King James Bible:

 

Dr. Sam Gipp writes in The Answer Book:

 

“The new versions are only supported by about five of the over 5,000 manuscripts of Bible text.” (Dr. Sam Gipp. The Answer Book, p. 30)

 

Frederic Kenyon, the late Director of the British Museum and author of the most widely used textbooks on textual criticism, says of the Majority Text:

 

“This is the text found in the great majority of manuscripts, entrenched in print by Erasmus and Stephanus and known as the Textus Receptus or Received Text. . .  Until 1881. . . it held the field as the text in practically universal use. . .”

(Frederic Kenyon, The Text of the Greek Bible, p. 224)

 

Gail Riplinger states concerning the monstrous “hoodwink” upon Christianity that occurred in 1881 by Westcott and Hort:

 

“In 1881 this 1% minority text type supplanted the Majority Text with its almost two millennia standing. A ‘New’ Greek Text, using the Vatican manuscript (B), was introduced by Westcott and Hort and has been used as the Greek Text for all subsequent versions.”

(Riplinger, Gail, New Age Versions, p. 475)

 

Edward Hills provides a common-sense conclusion to the authenticity of the ‘Majority text’ based on the “vast majority” of the manuscripts supporting the text of the King James Bible:

 

“Thus, as a result of this special providential guidance, the pure text won out in the end, and today we may be sure that the text found in the vast majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts is a trustworthy reproduction of the divinely inspired original text.”

(Edward F. Hills, Believing Bible Study, p. 34)

 

Author Zane Hodges, (former professor and Chairman of the New Testament Department at Dallas Theological Seminary) also makes the only logical case that the ‘Majority’ text comprises the text of the “original” text:

 

“Under normal circumstances the older a text is than its rivals, the greater are its chances to survive in a plurality or a majority of the texts extant at any subsequent period. But the oldest text of all is the autograph [originals]. Thus it ought to be taken for granted that, barring some radical dislocation in the history of transmission, a majority of texts will be far more likely to represent correctly the character of the original than a small minority of texts. . . Under any reasonably normal transmissional conditions, it would be . . . quite impossible for a later text-form to secure so one-sided a preponderance of extant witnesses.”

(Z.C. Hodges, "A Defense of the Majority Text", p. 4)

 

Pickering’s analysis of the ‘Byzantine’ text (a.k.a Majority text of the King James Bible) inevitably concludes with the verdict that the huge number of manuscripts comprising the ‘majority’ Greek text demands its ancestry from the true text or the “original autographs”.

 

“I submit that the Byzantine text [Majority text] dominated the transmissional history because the churches in Asia Minor vouched for it. And they did so, from the very beginning, because they knew it was the true text, having received it from the Apostles. The Majority Text is what it is just because it has always been the Text of the Church.”

(Pickering, Wilbur, Inedntity of the New Testament Text)

 

The fact that the vast majority of the known manuscripts (over 99%) agree with the King James Bible (a.k.a. Textus Receptus) presented a huge dilemma for Westcott and Hort. The evidence was so strong supporting the text of the King James Bible they searched for some “magic rabbit” to explain the baffling discrepancy. For them to “sell” their W-H Greek text, they needed something huge and something quick. Rather than simply admitting they were wrong, they reached into their little devious black hat and pulled out the proverbial “magic rabbit.” And presto the Lucian Recension Theory magically “appeared”. And when I say magically appeared, I mean “magically” appeared. . .

 

What is the Lucian Recension Theory? Basically, it is a deceitful lie from the deluded and diabolical mind of Hort. When it became obvious the evidence was so massive supporting the King James Bible, Hort needed an explanation. So he conveniently invented the Lucian Recension lie. The Lucian Recension goes like this: Why back yonder during the early writing of the original New Testament, a dude named Lucian got hold of the “genuine” texts and changed (or “recension”) the true text. Lucian and other church leaders then “sanctioned” this “forged” text. Because they “sanctioned” this corrupt text, it became widely copied and used through the next 1700+ years, hence the thousands and thousands of manuscripts supporting the so-called Lucian “forged” text. This Lucian-forged text became the “false standard” for the Word of God until Wesctott and Hort “re-discovered” the genuine text. As you can guess, the “false-forged” text is the Greek text of the King James Bible (and 99% of the manuscripts), and the “genuine” original text is the W-H Greek text (and two manuscripts).

 

There does not exist one shred of evidence for Hort’s ridiculous Lucian Recension. Not a shred. There was a well-known Christian leader-scholar named Lucian during this time, but there exists no evidence that the Lucian Recension occurred.

 

Dr. William Grady states concerning the Lucian Recension:

 

"Westcott and Hort theorized that such a prevailing text type [King James text] could only be accounted for on the basis of its having been ecclesiastically sanctioned, without a single shred of historical evidence for this supposed empire-wide church council, these men simply picked out a place, Antioch; a time, A.D. 250-350; a coordinator, Lucian; impressive sounding, technical designation, The Lucian Recension."

(William Grady, Final Authority, p. 32)

 

Most Christian leaders today (even the new version proponents) recognize the Lucian Recension Theory as nothing but hot air. There are some new version peddlers who just refuse to give up the Lucian Theory. Their problem is titanic – if they give up Hort’s Lucian Recension, how can they explain the enormous evidence (over 99% of the manuscripts) supporting the King James Bible?

 

Wilbur Pickering gives the following (and logically correct) reasoning for the overwhelming manuscript support for the King James Bible;

 

“It follows that within a relatively few years after writing of the N.T. books, there came rapidly into existence a ‘Majority text’, whose form was essentially that of the Autographs [Originals]. . . the science of statistical probability demonstrates that a text form in such circumstances could scarcely be dislodged from its dominant position . . . [I]n every age, from the apostolic to the nineteenth century, the text form in question. . . was the one that the church in general recognized, used, and transmitted. . .

(Pickering, Wilbur N. The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 116)

 

>Before we conclude our study of the manuscript evidence for the King James Bible, and the “Majority Text,” let us clarify something we stated earlier. Remember when we stated that among the 5,686 pieces of manuscripts no two were “exactly” like? Even though that is true, the “agreeing” witness among the manuscripts for the King James Bible is astonishing. Pickering provides the following assessment concerning the enormous agreement of the manuscripts for the “Majority text”. Remember the few manuscripts for the new versions are substantially different and does not testify any real agreement.

 

“100% of the MSS agree as to, say, 50% of the Text; 99% agree as to another 40%; over 95% agree as to another 4%; over 90% agree as to another 2%; over 80% agree as to another 2%; only for 2% or so of the Text do less than 80% of the MSS agree, and most of those cases occur in Revelation.

(Pickering, Wilbur N. The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 116)

 

Breaking down Pickering’s above agreement analysis, 80% of the number of the manuscripts agree in over 98% of the manuscripts! And there is only a 2% variant! Wow! That’s some amazing evidence “proving” the King James Bible’s lineage to the “original Autographs” while verifying God’s promise to preserve His word. Clearly the supernatural hand of God was protecting His words in the Majority Text.

 

Pickering provides the only logical conclusion based upon the dominance and agreement of the Majority text of the King James Bible:

 

“I see no way of accounting for a 95% (or 90%) domination unless that text goes back to the Autographs. . .”

(Pickering, Wilbur N. The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 116)

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