The odd Gideons Textus-Receptus ESV
I have now read repeated reports that The Gideons are now distributing (along with their traditional distribution of the KJV) a variant of the ESV that has been modified to include “missing verses” from the Textus Receptus. According to some accounts, the ESV is replacing the NKJV; after the acquisition of Thomas Nelson by HarperCollins, The Gideons were not able to negotiate a renewed licensing agreement to their tastes.
Here is the lengthy copyright entry in the new Gideons ESV Bible (original source):
From the copyright notice:
The ESV Bible translation carries forward the historic stream of Bible translation in English exemplified especially by the King James Version (KJV) Bible of 1611 and subsequent literal Bible translations. At the request of the The Gideons – and in appreciation for their worldwide, century-plus distribution of more than 1.8 billion Bibles – Crossway is pleased to grant permission to The Gideons to include certain alternative readings based on the Textus Receptus, for exclusive free distribution of a Gideons edition, as follows: Bible translation of the New Testament into English and other languages are almost exclusively based on either (a) the Greek Textus Receptus manuscript tradition (which was the basis for the 1611 translation of the KJV Bible), or (b) the Greek NA-UBS manuscript corpus (which is the basis for almost all Bible translations completed since the late 1800s). In some places in the New Testament of the ESV Gideons edition, as printed and distributed exclusively under license to the The Gideons International, the Gideons edition follows the Textus Receptus manuscript tradition, which corresponds in the vast majority of instances to the corpus of New Testament Greek manuscripts known among scholars today as the Majority Text.
One commentator compiled a list of changes made in the Gideons ESV.
I have to admit that Crossway has shown a fair amount flexibility with its ESV edition – allowing this adaptation, a version that includes apocryphal books (based on the RSV Apocrypha), and even considering at one point a set of modifications for the Catholic lectionary.
While I am unable to recommend the ESV translation, I am fascinated by its evolution and change through this process. I hope I can obtain one of these Gideon modified ESVs..