Sunday, July 22, 2018

The ESV is off my list

For a while I liked the ESV. After my favourite, the NASB, it was a good second stringer.

This all crashed to dust at Galatians 3:19, where the ESV lurches into the clumsy cant that public servants, journalistic hacks and illiterate business people assail us with as they collectively drive out the colour and power of English.

Here's the verse:

"Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary."

"Put in place". You are kidding? How can this lumpen, passive voiced expression even be considered as a translation of Τί οὖν ὁ νόμος; τῶν παραβάσεων χάριν προσετέθη, ἄχρις ἂν ἔλθῃ τὸ σπέρμα ᾧ ἐπήγγελται, διαταγεὶς δι’ ἀγγέλων ἐν χειρὶ μεσίτου?

The NASB puts it far more elegantly, accurately and with dignity:

"Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made."

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