ESV Interview : verses in footnotes #1

There are several places where extra verses are placed in the footnotes, e.g., Matthew 12:47, and others like Mark 16 where the extra verses are bracketed out but in the main text. How did you make decisions like that and why have you differed from other translations in some places? previous | next

Watch Vern Poythress respond (Windows Media format).

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When the ESV was done, we wanted not simply thernfamiliar thing, but the best thing the thing was closest to what Godrnactually said. So in some cases we found that if there were differences betweenrnthe manuscripts, we would usually put the one which we thought was original inrnthe text, and then include a footnote saying this is an alternative becausernit's found in some other Greek manuscripts.

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There are other cases, however, where there was arnsituation: what was common, what was known from Erasmus New Testament wasrnreally not the best, and it's fairly clear that it wasn't the best.rnThose were cases where, for the sake of illustrating to the Bible reader thatrnthis is the traditional thing, and you're going to expect to see it, wernsometimes put it in the text in brackets, indicating that you rernexpecting this, this is what it is, this is what it is, but we're not sornsure that it was in the very first thing that Mark or Luke or Paul wrote underrninspiration.

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So it's partly been a decision based on thernprobability that this was really original, and it's partly based on thernfact that what was traditional before people started working through thernmanuscript evidence.

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When the ESV was done, we wanted not simply the familiar thing, but the best thing the thing was closest to what God actually said. So in some cases we found that if there were differences between the manuscripts, we would usually put the one which we thought was original in the text, and then include a footnote saying this is an alternative because it’s found in some other Greek manuscripts.

There are other cases, however, where there was a situation: what was common, what was known from Erasmus New Testament was really not the best, and it’s fairly clear that it wasn’t the best. Those were cases where, for the sake of illustrating to the Bible reader that this is the traditional thing, and you’re going to expect to see it, we sometimes put it in the text in brackets, indicating that you’re expecting this, this is what it is, this is what it is, but we’re not so sure that it was in the very first thing that Mark or Luke or Paul wrote under inspiration.

So it’s partly been a decision based on the probability that this was really original, and it’s partly based on the fact that what was traditional before people started working through the manuscript evidence.

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Commentrnon this post for your chance to win a freernESV Bible.

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#6

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Therernare several places where extra verses are placed in thernfootnotes, e.g., Matthew 12:47, andrnothers like Mark 16 where thern extra verses are bracketed out but in the main text. How did yournmake decisions like that and why have you differed from other translations inrnsome places?

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WatchrnVern Poythress respond (Windows Media format).

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My response to this answer

The question of textual varients is one that causes a lot of anxiety to Christians. It is one reason why the use of the KJV and/or the textus receptus has persisted in some circles. But, as this translator points out it is important that we do our uttermost to discover what the original manuscripts actually said. I am pleased that as Christians we are honest enough to highlight out lack of certainty about this issue. It is also gratifying that these concerns effect so little of our bibles.
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About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he seves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso.

Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus.

Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway.

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