The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

ESV Popularity

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 23, 2008

Have you noticed how the English Standard Version of the Bible [ESV] is being pushed and promoted? If you haven’t noticed, just watch:


Wow…I don’t know very much at all about her, but I see that Joni’s pretty excited about the ESV. She touts the “reliability” of the version AND also all the “Bible scholars and teachers” who’ve done such a great job…no wait, she said, “outstanding job“. Then she says if YOU want to understand God’s Word in a more deeper, profound, and principled way…THIS is THE BIBLE that will be your resource…what? We couldn’t know God’s Word in a deep, profound, and principled way BEFORE the ESV??? So Joni…is the ESV the ONLY VERSION you’ll hold to? Is she saying the ESV IS the WORD of GOD for the English-speaking people?

And then there’s John Piper. He says the ESV combines a kind of balance between accuracy, faithfulness, readibility, and dignity in an unusually good proportion. To John – “It’s a dream come true!” What were you believing, reading, and studying from before, John? Something that was insufficient…not as good…is that what John’s admitting?


It was the Evangelicals that tried to have us buy into the hype of the NASB and the NIV, oh but now, this ESV is “a dream come true”! How inconsistent!

This English Standard Version of the Bible is being proclaimed as the “best word-for-word translation” and the “best KJV substitute for reading from the pulpit.”¹ Isn’t THAT interesting…

The ESV popularity is being built upon comparing it with the Authorized Version, or KJV! Here’s more testimony to this: “The ESV could substitute almost transparently for the KJV when reading to the public, while the ESV also has the benefit of omitting KJV words, phrases, and even entire verses that clearly were not part of the original texts, as best represented in the United Bible Society’s (UBS) Hebrew and Greek texts.”²

I’ve got a real problem with this…why, you ask? Well, the ESV can’t take the place of the KJV since they haven’t even been translated from the same texts! That’s pretty simple. I believe the translators of the ESV when they say that their version is a “word-for-word translation” – they used the formal equivalence approach of translation just like the translators of the Authorized Version (KJV). BUT, they translated their New Testament from the codex Siniaticus [Aleph] and the codex Vaticanus [B]. The New Testament of the Authorized Version was translated from the Textus Receptus [TR].

Now you may or may not know much about the Greek texts, but just by this knowledge we know that the ESV, that’s supposed to be the best KJV substitute, was not even translated from the same text as the KJV! In fact, the ESV has been translated from the same sources as the NIV, NASB, and all the translations from the Westcott-Hort texts. The BIG difference between the ESV and these other Westcott-Hort texts – formal equivalence. Most of the others, and especially the newer versions, were translated through the dynamic equivalence method.

Don’t buy into the hype! The ESV is NOT a substitute for the KJV…it’s not a “newer version” of the KJV…it’s not even translated from the same text as the KJV! The popularity of the ESV is being proclaimed by comparing it with the KJV since the KJV is also a literal “word-for-word” translation. Remember, the texts from which they’ve come are totally different…


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Take the N.I.V. Quiz

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 15, 2008

To take the NIV quiz, just answer the following questions from the New International Version (NIV) Bible. If you’d like to use the NIV online, please click on the NIV picture and change the “search” version to “NIV“.

Oh yes…one other thing – the answers to these questions MUST BE TAKEN FROM the actual verses of this translation AND NOT from any footnotes. After completing the quiz, let us know how you did!

1) Matthew 5:44 [fill in the blanks]: “Love your enemies, _______________ them that curse you, ____________  ___________ that hate you, and pray for them that _____________  ______________  ____________ and persecute you.”

2) In Matthew 17:21 what 2 THINGS did Jesus say were required to cast out the devil that was vexing a man’s son?

3) According to Matthew 18:11, what was the very important reason WHY Jesus came to earth?

4) In Matthew 27:35, when the wicked soldiers parted the Lord’s garments at the cross, they were actually fulfilling prophecy…from this verse, write down what was that prophecy.

5) In Luke 22:14, how many Apostles were with the Lord Jesus?

6) According to Acts 8:37, was is THE REQUIREMENT for baptism?

7) What did Saul [soon to be, Paul] ask his Lord Jesus Christ in Acts 9:6?

8] 1 Timothy 3:16 is perhaps THE GREATEST VERSE in the New Testament concerning the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ…in this verse, WHO was manifested in the flesh?

9) 1 John 5:7 speaks to the Three Persons in the tri-unity of God…from this verse, who are these Three?

10) Revelation 1:11 is another very important verse that proves the Deity of Christ. In this verse, Jesus says, “I am the A________ and O__________, the ____________ and the ___________. Fill in the blanks from the NIV.

→This brief quiz is intended to point out that there are differences in translations of the Bible. All these questions can be answered with the Authorized Version, or King James Version [KJV] Bible.

→My question is [and yours ought to be]: WHY? Why are there differences in the translations…major differences, and not just differences in spelling, grammer, etc, as it’s been touted?

→Did God say it or didn’t God say it? Did God speak His Word specifically, or did He give a general thought that would be left up for us to figure out what He was meaning? For example: When a parent tells his child, “Take out the trash and clean your room“, that parent means, “Take out the trash and clean your room“. It does not mean “take out the trash” only or “clean your room” only. The child may only “take out the trash“, but that’s not everything his parent told him to do.


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The Value of God’s Word

Posted by Pastor Szekely on March 19, 2008

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7

It is the Lord who gives Wisdom – “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” Proverbs 2:6. SO: If we’re going to acquire Wisdom from God, we must: Be RECEPTIVE to God’s Word, be RESPONSIVE to God’s Word, and be RESOLUTE with God’s Word! BUT…

Do we understand just how important God’s Word is to us? Do we really understand the VALUE OF GOD’S WORD?

Is the Word of God dear to you? How do you cherish the Word of God? How do you treasure the very Words from the Heart and Lips of God? How do you show the Bible’s value in your life?

King Solomon wanted to make sure his children knew the value of God’s Word. In Proverbs 3:1-4, the king wanted to train his children to solidly answer the questions I’ve posed to you. Solomon writes:

“(vs1) My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: (vs2) For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. (vs3) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: (vs4) So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”

I. We first find an ADMONITION in verse 1

Solomon admonishes his son to not forget his ruling, guiding principles that he has set forth…But what also does this admonition do? This admonition found in vs1 brings the head and the heart together!

–“My son, forget not my law”: If we will have God’s Wisdom, God’s Word must be in our head! We need to memorize God’s Word…it is truly vitally important in the pursuit of Wisdom from God…but it’s not enough!

Solomon goes on to say: “but let thine heart keep my commandments”. There’s a real danger if all we do is simply store God’s Word in our head, but we don’t have it sink into our heart! How do we value God’s Word?

Is it something we hold to…like an opinion (head-knowledge)! OR is it something that holds us…like a conviction (heart-knowledge)!

You and I both know that God’s Word can be pushed from our minds due to various things: the rush of life / peer pressures / temptations / distractions…BUT: when God’s Word is in our heart – it will always hold center-stage! Solomon’s admonishment to his children ought to caution us to value God’s Word with our heads AND with our hearts!

Solomon then continues on in verse two with an:


Solomon tells his children that if they obey and follow the word of their father, they can be kept from things in life that would be detrimental to their days! Now we know that there are many factors involved in a person’s life and health…but the assurance is this: There’s a better opportunity for length of days, long life, and peace to be added to you if you follow what God says, rather than if you do not. THE VALUE OF GOD’S WORD!

Next, Solomon gives an:


There’s an appeal to us here that as we value God’s Word, we should have it written on the table of our heart AND have it bound about our neck…Have you ever noticed how many times God references our neck in His Word? I think it’s pretty interesting:  

A stiff neck = representation of pride & rebellion (Acts 7:51) / a submissive neck = represents bowing to and respecting authority…

God’s Word written on the table of a soft heart and bound around a submissive neck is valued as AUTHORITY! We have an appeal from Solomon for God’s Word to be valued as THE AUTHORITY in our lives! “Not just the final rule…but the ONLY rule of faith and practice!”

Next, Solomon gives us more to showing the Bible’s value in our life with an:


Not only will we be found pleasant and find grace in God’s sight, but we will also be a blessing unto mankind! Oh how important and valuable is God’s Word!

SO: Can we see just how important God’s Word is to us? Solomon wanted to make sure his children knew the value of God’s Word…do we?


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