Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Permanent No More: Crossway walks back on its decision to freeze the text of the ESV

Crossway has abandoned its earlier plant to make the 2016 updates the permanent text of the ESV.

From their blog:
"We have become convinced that this decision was a mistake. We apologize for this and for any concern this has caused for readers of the ESV, and we want to explain what we now believe to be the way forward. Our desire, above all, is to do what is right before the Lord."
The announcement will be welcome to many observers. The decision was met with equal parts appreciation and skepticism, most of the controversy centering on the translation of Genesis 3:16. Conservative scholars saw the translation of this verse as influenced more by gender politics than sound scholarship. A more mainline scholarly critique was that the decision to freeze the text at all would eventually diminish the usefulness of the ESV as an academic translation. Indeed, the decision would have encapsulated the ESV from developments in Biblical Theology, and textual history.

Crossway was in a no-win situation when the announcement was made in August. Having succeeded in creating a text that was adopted for both religious observance and academic use, Crossway could neither freeze translation decisions that appeared too aligned with contemporary systematics nor make the ESV immune to future revision. To their credit, Crossway has thus far been able to balance both tasks with the ESV.

In all likelihood, the combination of scholarly critique and devotional critique probably influenced the decision.

It remains to be seen how the 2016 text will be received. We should know in a few more months as it slowly begins to displace the 2011 text. I suspect the next development involves Crossway deciding to keep both the 2011 text and the 2016 text in print.

No comments:

Post a Comment