- Is the ESV (English Standard Version) a Good Bible Translation? Pt.1
- Is the ESV (English Standard Version) a Good Bible Translation? Pt.2
The new bible versions have many parts that were translated from a different manuscript called Minority Text , which comes from Alexandria Egypt (a mecca for philosophers & gnostics at the time), these parchments are mainly composed of two different textual families that disagree with each other: Codex Vaticanus & Codex Sinaiticus. British scholar Herman Hoskier did a revision of the 2 manuscripts and counted the following disagreements with the Majority Text (Textus Receptus or Traditional Text) on the 4 books of the gospels alone:
TOTAL = 3036 disagreements
The Codex Vaticanus was found on a shelf in a Vatican’s library in 1481, where it had been forgotten for centuries, its origin is unknown, & Codex Sinaiticus was found with many corrections all over the original in a wastebasket of a Catholic monastery in 1844. If it was considered trash before, why are we using it as part of our bibles today? Greek Bible scholar Frederik Scrivener said that Sinaiticus has thousands of changes that were made in the 6th and 7th centuries.
For thousands of years prior to this discovery of the Sinaiticus, Christian used the Majority Text or Textus Receptus bibles, but after this, two Cambridge professors Wescott & Hort decided to use the Alexandrian manuscripts in 1881 to make their Greek Interlinear, and now most if not all new modern translation use this Wescott & Hort interlinear (or use its copy , the 1898 Nestle-Aland/United Bible Society (NA/UBS) Greek text, with 27 revisions), to translate their own versions.
The ESV 2001, in the Preface says: ‘ The ESV is based…on the Greek text in the 1993 editions of the Greek New Testament (4th corrected edition), published by the United Bible Societies (UBS) and Novum Testamentum Graece (27th edition), edited by Nestle and Aland.”
It is important to note that in 1965 the United Bible Society & the Roman Catholic Church agreed to prepare a ‘common (vulgate) text’ of the bible & adopted the ‘Westcott & Hort’ Greek interlinear. The UBS which distributes 80% of the bibles in the world, from its very beginnings has been cooperating with the Vatican, but today (https://www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/united-bible-societies-welcomes-pope-francis/) even more. Please also check: The United Bible Societies & Rome.
Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) was an Anglican bishop and a professor at Cambridge University & Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828–1892) also an Anglican Cambridge University Professor, they both were considered ‘mystics’ by many of their contemporaries. In order to know more about them we have their writings & both of them wrote extensively. We have also biographies of both men written by their sons. In 1896, Hort’s son Arthur F. Hort published a collection of Hort’s letters in two volumes. The book named “Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort” & in 1903 Arthur Westcott (Westcott’s son) published his fathers letters also in a two volume book entitled, “Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott.” Did Westcott & Hort hold to the foundational doctrines of Christianity such as the inspiration of Scripture and the blood atonement of Christ? We found they did not.
They founded several societies, two of which were ‘The Hermes Club‘ (Hermes is the Greek god conductor of souls to the underground. “… Hermes, the god of wisdom, called also Thoth, Tat, Set, and Sat-an; and that he was, furthermore, when viewed under his bad aspect, Typhon, the Egyptian Satan , who was also Set.” [Occultist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled , Vol. I: Science] (1) and ‘The Ghostly Guild ‘ (described as a predecessor to the Society for Psychical Research), which was founded by Westcott with Edward White Benson, in 1851 at Trinity College, Cambridge . Benson was later named Archbishop of Canterbury (his biography ‘Life of Edward White Benson’ was made by his son Arthur C. Benson). Also check ‘Ghost Hunters‘ pg 42
Arthur Hort in the biography of his father mentions the Ghostly Guild :
‘Two other societies…were started…in both of which Hort seems to have been the moving spirit…the other called by its members ‘The Ghostly Guild.’ The object was to collect and classify authenticated instances of what are now called ‘psychical phenomena’…the ‘Bogie Club’ as scoffers called it, aroused a certain amount of derision, and even some alarm; it was apparently born too soon’. Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, Macmillan & Co., 1896, pp. 171-72; pp. 211, 219-20
Their favor for Gnostic doctrine was evident in their lives & writings. They also believed in purgatory, sacraments (sacred rites), prayers for the dead, worship of Mary, etc. For more information you can go to: Who Were Westcott & Hort?, Westcott & Hort, & Who Were Westcott & Hort & their beliefs.
“In 1851, was founded at Cambridge a Society to ‘conduct a serious and earnest inquiry into the nature of the phenomena vaguely called supernatural,‘ and a number of distinguished persons became members.” Alan Gauld, The Founders of Psychical Research, Schocken Books, New York: 1968, p. 66-67. For more information please check ‘The Nineteenth Century Occult Revival“
Sinaiticus contains 2 non-canonical books, the Epistle of Barnabas & part of Sheperd of Hermas, both are Gnostic literature, Sheperd of Hermas is a work identified by occultist H. P. Blavatsky as a “kabbalistic” text! She ridiculed Anglican bishop, B.F. Westcott, for referring to it as a Christian writing. This have been confirmed by other esoteric & kabbalistic writers.
Gnosticism refers to a heretic movement that threatened the early church in the 2nd century. Unfortunately many Christians think that it’s something of the past, not realizing the problem & infiltration of Gnosticsm in the Church is real today & even greater. The biblical apostles considered the Gnostics false teachers, but today many of them call themselves scholars, apostles, pastors & bible teachers, and sadly thousands of Christians embraced them and follow them without knowing. Gnosticism claims that hidden knowledge leads to salvation, that only a small or special group of people (elitist) posses, it refers to knowledge based on personal experience or perception. They believe that the world (or matter, flesh) is evil and that only the spirit is good, for that reason Jesus couldn’t be Divine. Gnostics were divided on Jesus. One view (the most common ) contended that a divine spirit (named Christ) came upon the body of Jesus, a regular human, at baptism and departed before his crucifixion (Kenosis) in other word Jesus is not 100% God & 100% men.
This exactly is what the Shepherd of Hermas teaches, among other things. That Jesus was an ordinary man, not God in the flesh, (for that reason he couldn’t be worshiped), born of Mary and Joseph; and that at his baptism the spirit or ‘the Christ‘ descended upon Jesus and before or at his crucifixion the ‘Christ’ spirit departed, leaving the man Jesus to suffer alone. This is the real reason behind many bible verses changes, to accommodate these gnostic doctrines!!
Daniel 3:25 KJV – .. . and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.. = > ESV ‘. . .and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.‘ (as one of many)
Luke 2:33 KJV – And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. => ESV ‘And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.‘ – (ESV indicates that Jesus was born of an earthly father Joseph. Also see Luke 2:43. These alterations deny the role of the Holy Spirit in the conception of Jesus Christ and, therefore, His Divine nature).
Luke 4:4 KJV – And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. => ESV ‘And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone. (_________). (This undermine the authority of Scriptures, as they were not needed to sustain our daily spiritual life).
Matthew 9:13 NKJ “But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance..” => ESV “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. (_________) .”
Matthew 19:17 KJV – And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, .. => ESV ‘And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good (____?_____). If you would enter life..”
Matthew 20:20 KJV – Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. => ESV ‘hen the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.‘ Also Mat. 18:26 (Denying His Divinity)
John 6:47 KJV – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. => ESV ‘ Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes (__?___) has eternal life. (If we don’t believe in Jesus there is no salvation!)
Acts 2:30 KJV – Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;. => ESV ‘Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that (__________) he would set one of his descendants on his throne‘. (Denying Jesus is God in the flesh)
1 Tim.3:16 KJV- God was manifest in the flesh. => ESV – ‘He was manifested in the flesh’ (Again denying Jesus is God in the flesh)
1 Peter 1:22 KJV – Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: = . ESV ‘Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth (________) for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure hear‘. (They disregard the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer)
1 John 4:3 KJV – And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, => ESV ‘and every spirit that does not confess Jesus (_____) is not from God’. (They don’t confess Jesus is God in the flesh, this is the spirit of antichrist!)
Rev. 22:14 KJV – Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. = > ESV ‘Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. (If we don’t follow Jesus’ instructions we get lost)
Because for Gnostics Jesus is just a man and ‘Christ’ is the divinity (a spirit) that wasn’t always with him, then ESV removes the word ‘Christ’ or ‘Lord’ or son of God many times: Luke 21:8; John 4:42, 6:69; Matt.13:51; Acts 15:11; Rom. 1:3, 16, 10:17, 14:10; 1 Cor.5:4, 9:1, 16:22,-23, 2 Cor.11:31, Gal. 3:17, etc. etc.
‘O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge (#G1108 Gnosis) by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen’ 1 Timothy 6:20-21
The ESV changes more than 2,800 words to make it a gender-neutral bible (Gnostics believe in a both gender or androgynous god). Many bible verses are completely missing from the New Testament of the ESV, RSV & all modern bible versions including the Jehovah Witness version “New World Translation” NWT (except for the Modern English Version MEV which uses the Majority Text) : Matthew 12:47, Matthew 17:21, Matthew 18:11, Matthew 23:14, Mark 7:16, Mark 9:44, Mark 9:46, Mark 11:26, Mark 15:28, Luke 17:36, Luke 23:17, Luke 24:40, John 5:4, Acts 8:37, Acts 15:34, Acts 24:7, Acts 28:29, Romans 16:24.
But there are many more changes, you can see some tables of comparison, ( remember ERV is the basis for ESV with only 5%-10% of changes): differences. Altered Verses, Another Bible – Another Gospel, Bible Version Comparison.
A quick test that we can do to find out is: Any version of the Bible which omits Acts 8:37, “Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” (be baptize) He answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” and that also omits the words “through his blood” in Col. 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” then evidently has for its foundation a corrupted manuscript.
We will talk more about the Textus Receptus (or Majority Text) later on following posts. But for now it is very important to understand that there are many antique bibles found, many are older than the Greek Alexandria texts (Sinaiticus & Vaticanus dated 4th century AD) and that follow closer the Textus Receptus, but are not been considered only because they are in a different language than Greek. Examples:
Syrian bibles, with some major versions: The Peshitta, with more than 350 manuscript some as early (A.D. 145) but some others as old as 5th century (the Peshitta is considered the third & last stream of family manuscripts, an Aramaic translation that even it is close to Textus Receptus it has significant variations ). The Diattessaron, Syriac Bible (A.D. 165-175), the Old Syriac (A.D. 400), the Palestinian Syriac (A.D. 450), and the Philoxenian (A.D. 508) This last one was revised by Thomas of Harkel, in A.D. 616, and because of that it’s also known as the Harclean Syriac. The Old Latin Vulgate or Italia 157 A.D. (this is not Jerome’s Latin Vulgate of 382 A.D. but this translation was made for the young churches established in the northern Italian Alps & was one of the manuscripts used by Erasmus), notice it was made two hundred years before the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were produced, & a full century before the theorized “Lucian Recension”), The Waldensian (A.D. 120 & onwards), The Gallic Bible A.D. 177 (Southern France), The Gothic Bible (A.D. 330-350), The Armenian Bible (A.D. 400) There are around 1,244 copies of this bible version still in existence today! But if all these wasn’t enough the New Testament quotations of the writings of the early church, Chrysostom, the early Fathers of Antioch in Asia Minor, etc. (more than 86,000 citations from Scriptures) agree with the Textus Receptus .