Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Origin of the ESV

The ESV Blog responds to Ben Witherington's (incorrect) secondhand account of the origin of the ESV.

Update: Professor Witherington has issued the following apology:

Dear All:

I have thought about all that has been said, and the various comments along the way, and have decided that this particular posting on my part has probably done more harm than good, which was absolutely not my intent. My concern was to get to the bottom of things that are troubling to me about why some translations are produced.

It is clear enough to me now that I was hearing only part of the story and in regard to one particular person. I should have asked around to get a wider perspective before posting anything, even though what I was told is not incorrect. It is simply partial information, and cannot be said to represent the agenda of the whole translation team.

I would therefore like to apologize for airing what was not the whole story or full truth about the ESV. Different persons had different reasons for wanting this translation to happen. This is clear to me now. There are still problems with this translation, as with all such translations, but they should be assessed on their own merits on a case by case basis.

Thank you to those who presented me with more hard data to share with all of us a broader perspective. It was a needed corrective.

I am especially pleased to hear from the ESV folks themselves that there were both complimentarian and egalitarian folks involved on the translation team, though it would be interesting to know the percentages.

The lesson I have learned from this is that assessing the motives of a team translation is not only difficult, it is often not really possible when there are many motives and reasons for such a thing.