Translation Reviews: ESV and HCSB

Thomas Nass, an Old Testament scholar in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), recently posted two thorough and thoughtful reviews of the English Standard Version (ESV) and the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB):

An Introduction to the Holman Christian Standard Bible

Some Thoughts on the ESV and Bible Translation

Although Nass was reviewing the translations in reference to the WELS’ search for a default translation for their publications, his essays are insightful for anyone interested in Bible translation.  Surprisingly (at least based on my assumptions about WELS scholars), Nass is a fan of the NIV2011 and a flexible, dynamic translation philosophy.

His review of the ESV resonates with my own feedback on the subject (in Nass’ own words): “it [the ESV] is a doctrinally acceptable, somewhat unidiomatic and inconsistent evangelical revision of the RSV.  Nothing more and nothing less.”  I especially appreciated his critique of the ESV’s use of archaisms and inconsistent translations of gender language (among other inconsistencies).  And remember, I am one who deeply appreciates the ESV.

His review of the HCSB hit the nail on the head, as far as I’m concerned, even though I’ve never set about to write my own review.  Nass generally prefers the HCSB over the ESV, while offering substantive criticisms of the HCSB.

Worth the read!


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