Monday, March 01, 2021

ESV-Onlyists Categorized

The following was written by Christian McShaffrey, a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Textus Receptus advocate. He writes, “Most of my ministerial peers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church use the English Standard Version in their public preaching and teaching. Some of them have asked me, ‘Are you KJV-only?’” In turn he asks, “Are you ESV-only?”

ESV-Onlyists Categorized

Following the noble example of Dr. [James R.] White, I would never lay the “___-only” charge without making proper prior distinctions, so here are the categories I will keep in mind as I begin my “ESV-only” inquisition:

Group #1: “I Like the ESV” – This group of individuals believes the ESV is the best English translation available today.

Group #2: “The Textual Argument” – This group believes the underlying Hebrew and Greek (i.e., the Eclectic Text) text of the ESV is superior to the Byzantine/Majority/Received text.

Group #3: “Critical Text Only” – This group has tentative certainty that the Hebrew and Greek text from which the ESV was translated is in the process of being providentially preserved.

Group #4: The Formal Equivalence Convert – After using the near-paraphrase NIV, individuals in this group have realized that it is better to translate scripture on more thought-for-thought basis.

Group #5: The Good Customer – Individuals in this group simply responded as good American consumers to the greatest Bible marketing campaign ever seen in the evangelical world: ESV.ORG

Notice once again that there is no equivalent of a Ruckmanite movement included in the above options. Again, the well-educated demographic of ESV users seems to preclude the very possibility.

At the same time, and especially in regard to 1 and 5, let me suggest that some ESV readers might be as intellectually lazy as the Ruckmanites.

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