Is the ESV the Mac of Translations?

In the last post, Zondervan was compared to Microsoft. Which translation/publisher would you compare to Mac? User friendly, intuitive, sleek, and powerful…If I was skilled enough at photoshop I would create a picture of a Mac-esque Bible. If any of you guys can create something like that send it my way.


Is Zondervan the Microsoft of Bible Translations?

In 1984 Zondervan published what would become the most popular Bible translation in print, the NIV. In 2005 Zondervan published and updated version called the Today’s New International Version but it didn’t fare quite so well. The gender neutral language was good in some places but had its critics. So they came out with another update in 2011 that Zondervan is pushing as just the “New International Version”…no RNIV or NIV 2011. They are pushing this as the full fledged NIV.

That has problems. Lots of problems. As a minister, it is important to me to use translations that people have in their hand. In my study, I rely heavily on the electronic versions of these translations in order to develop curriculum, classes and sermons. Zondervan is removing the 1984 from circulation, not just in print but online as well. I think this is a big mistake that is going to force people to either choose a subpar 2011 NIV or else jump ship from Zondervan and the NIV completely to another publisher and translation…remember, many are now going digital for their Bible reading which nixes the 1984 NIV from availability to the public in that format (unless you have old Bible software already on your PC or Mac). What is more, I just heard from a friend that he requested permission from Zondervan to use verses from the NIV in a book he was writing. They told him he only had permission if he used the 2011 NIV, otherwise the answer was no.

What is the point? If there is a good one, they sure haven’t told us what it is. All this adds up to me to wondering what in the world Zondervan is thinking here. I am sure they have their reasons. I am sure they have marketing gurus who are better at this sort of thing than I am. But on the consumer end this doesn’t look good. It hasn’t been well communicated and it just makes Zondervan look sort of like the Microsoft of Bible translations…more likely improvement over time but some real setbacks along the way that just aren’t communicated or executed really well and that make the consumer aggravated and disgruntled and eventually pick the Mac of the translation world, the ESV.

Greek and Hebrew Textual Study Tools Big List

There are all kinds of great tools on the web for studying the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew and Aramaic Old Testament (the text, textual variants/criticism, etc). I thought it might be nice to start a list of them so that when anyone needs them you can get them all in one spot. I am also going to start a new page on my blog where these will go as well so that it will always be at the top of the blog in the resources there and not get buried by new posts. If you know of any resources that can be added feel free to mention them in the comments and I will check them out. All updates will be on the Textual Study Page.


Categories of NT manuscripts:

List of NT Papyri: –

List of NT uncials: –

List of NT minuscules:

List of NT Lectionaries:

Manuscript comparator –

Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts –

Septuagint Full Text –

Text Compilations:

Textus receptus/Authorized Version interlinear

Textus receptus (parsed) –

Majority text (parsed) –

Variations between the Textus Receptus and Majority text –

NA26 –

Greek New Testament with Major Variants –

Textual variants:

List of Major NT Texual Variants:

Interlinear OT (the Leningrad codex) –

Online Lexicons:

Lidell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon –

Other Ancient Texts:

Perseus Digital Library –

Help From You Guys With Accordance or Logos – What is the most common command in the Bible?

I had an email discussion yesterday with a buddy about what the most frequent command in scripture is. If you google it you will find “do not be afraid” comes out on top. That is at least the theory but I can’t find really any evidence that backs it up. They say it occurs 365 times in the Bible and that there are 365 days in the year, and that God was making a point with that (even though the Jewish calendar didn’t have 365 days). Often the command “Fear not” (like in Acts 27:24) is actually in the passive and is not an imperative. It comes across as an imperative though. Anyone thought about any of this? Help me out. What is the most common imperative in the whole Bible? Is it:

  • Go
  • Say/Tell
  • Listen
  • Do
  • Something else?

Any ideas out there?

Claude Mariottini Examines “Confess/Confession” in the 2010 NIV Old Testament

After working through how the 2010 NIV used (or didn’t use) “confess” in the New Testament I asked Dr. Mariottini if he had examined its use in the Old Testament. He has posted some very helpful information on how the 2010 NIV translated “yada” (sorry for not having a Hebrew font on this computer) in the Old Testament. He basically found that the 2010 NIV did not make any significant changes in how they translated it. He ends his post with some information on the use of yada in the Old Testament that is helpful if you are interested in that sort of thing. Thanks to Dr. Mariottini for his time and efforts.

2010 NIV and “Confess”

Here is the breakdown of the 2010 NIV vs the NASB on “Confess” or “Confession”. All instances below (except for the one noted) are from the Greek word ομολογεω which can mean a variety of things but typically involves agreeing on the truthfuless of something sometimes with a public acknowledgement (BDAG, 708).  I selected the NASB over the 1984 NIV because they tend to keep the same English word for the underlying Greek word and it made this quicker to compile. Bold means the word is translated confess in both the 2010 NIV and NASB. So, for instance, 2 Tim 2:19 does not contain the word “confess” in the NASB (or in the Greek either. It literally says, “Names the name”). I have made notes in the NASB section of any place the 1984 NIV offered a different translation than “confess” so you could see that not all the 2010 changes are from “confess” to “acknowledge”, rather they kept it the same as it was).

NIV 2010

John 1:20 – Confess, but confessed

2 Cor 9:13 – accompanies your confession

1 tim 6:12-13 – “good confession”

2 Tim 2:19 – “Everyone who confesses” (literally, “names the name)

James 5:16 – “therefore confess…”


Mtt 3:6 – “confessed their sins”

Mtt 10:32 – “everyone who confesses”

Mk 1:5 – “confessing their sins”

Luke 12:8 – “everyone who confesses me before men”

John 1:20 – And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, ” I am not the Christ.”

John 9:22 – “if anyone confessed him to be Christ” (1984 NIV = acknowledge)

John 12:42 – “They were not confessing him”

Acts 19:18 – “confessing and disclosing their practices”

Rom 7:16 – “confessing that the Law is good.” (different root word, meaning to “agree”, which is how both versions of the NIV translate it)

Rom 10:9 – “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord”

Rom 10:10 – “and with the mouth he confesses”

2 Cor 9:13 – “they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ”

Phil 2:11 – “every tongue will confess”

1 Tim 3:16 – “By common confession” (both NIV’s translate this “By/beyond all question” but it is the same root word as the rest of these for confession)

1 Tim 6:12-13 – “good confession”

Heb 3:1 – “consider Jesus, the Apostle and High priest of our confession” (NIV 1984 = “whom we confess”)

Heb 4:14 – “let us hold fast to our confession” (1984 NIV = “profess”)

Heb 10:23 – “let us hold fast the confession of our hope” (1984 NIV = “profess”)

Heb 11:13 – “and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on earth” (1984 NIV = “admitted”)

James 5:16 – “If we confess our sins”

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins”

1 John 2:23 – “the one who confesses the Son” (1984 NIV = “acknowledges”)

1 John 4:2-3 – “every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God…and every spirit that does not confess…” (1984 NIV = “acknowledge”)

1 John 4:15 – “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God” (1984 NIV = “acknowledge”)

Rev 3:5 – “I will confess his name before my Father” (1984 NIV = “acknowledge”)

So you can see not all instances were actually a change from the 1984 edition. In many of those places they kept it the same. The toughest place for me on this is the Gospel of John. John is big about confessing Christ both in his Gospel and in his letters. Yet, the 2010 NIV only sees fit to have John use it once. For such a big theme that is a little uncalled for. The context is key. I am perfectly fine with some of their decisions where acknowledge makes perfect sense. But confession implies some things that profess or acknowledge do not (guilt being one) and I think that language still has biblical use, so I hate to see it go in such a wholesale manner as it is in the 2010 NIV.

2010 NIV Does Not Favor the Word “Confess”

Biblegateway now has the default search translation set to the 2010 NIV. I was doing a search for “confess” and it basically came up empty. It seems they have replaced it with “declare” (like in Romans 10:9, Heb 3:1), “acknowledge” (Phil 2:11), and “profess” (Heb 13:15). The only place it still shows up is in 1 Timothy6:13. Anyone out there up on why they made this change and why it is so inconsistent? I guess the context is probably in play here but it still seems like “confession” should still be in our vocabulary. It is a bit stronger of meaning to “confess” Jesus than to merely “acknowledge” him. Don’t you think?

Claude Mariottini Critiques the Revised NIV

Check out Dr. Mariottini’s concerns about the Revised NIV due out next year.

A Step Backward

Book Recommendation – How Did We Get the Bible by Tracy Sumner

Jim wanted me to look through this book to see if it is something we might want to buy in bulk for interested people at Northwest. I am amazed by how much quality and unbiased information they packed into this little book. Sumner covered the contents of each book of the Bible, inspiration, canonization, and English versions. For only $1.99 you can’t go wrong (1.49 if ordering 10+). This book is very accessible for most people in a congregation. Pick up a copy at

Interlinear New Living Translation Online

You can now view an interlinear New Living Translation Online. [HT: Claude Mariottini] If you get a chance, also have a look at his post today on the Election of Israel. It is a good read.