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Glorifying God By Making Disciples

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Malco Razorback Theatre

3956 N Steele Blvd
Fayetteville, AR 72703


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Why Does Harvest...?

Why Does Harvest Use the English Standard Version Bible?
It most likely doesn’t come as a surprise to know that the Bible wasn’t written in English. It was written in three different languages. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and small amount in Aramaic, and the New Testament was written in Greek. Thankfully, you don’t need to rush to learn those languages to be able to read the Bible. If you have ever bought a Bible from a bookstore, you know that the options of different versions and translations are numerous.  
So why are there so many different English translations? And why does Harvest choose the English Standard Version? 
There is a lot behind both of those questions and I am not going to strive for an exhaustive response. My goal here is to help you understand the issue as well as understand why we use the version we do.  
The greatest issue at the core of evaluating the many different versions is how the translation took place. Basically there are two different methods that translators have used to put an English bible together: Word for Word and Thought for Thought.  
Word for Word translations are strict to the translation of each word and then placed into a readable order for the English language. (Examples of Word for Word translations: English Standard Version ESV, New American Standard NASB). 
Thought for Thought translations take readability as a higher priority and translate phrases as to convey what the translator believes the “thought” to be. (Examples of Thought for Thought Translations: New International Version NIV, Living Bible LB, Contemporary English Version CEV).
Here is an example of how these two translation methods occur in two different English bibles:
Psalm 24:4 ESV "he who has clean hands and a pure heart”
Psalm 24:4 CEV "those who do right for the right reasons”
I want to be clear to not come off as though I believe the ESV is the only good English translation. There is no perfect English translation, but I do believe that the ESV is one of the best. Especially as we commit ourselves on Sunday morning to proclaim the authority of God’s Word without apology.  
One pastor in Arizona who was a part of the ESV’s creation said:
Before we can interpret the meaning of Scripture, we must first accurately understand the message of Scripture. Or, to put it another way, only after knowing what Scripture says can we understand what it means. Practically, this requires that Bible translations be separate from and prior to Bible commentaries. A word-for-word translation (like the ESV) best enables this to occur by seeking, as much as possible, not to insert interpretive commentary into the translated text of Scripture. Instead, it lets the text breathe as a living word and speak for itself. This is also sometimes called the formal equivalency approach to Bible translation. It tries to remain as close as possible to the original grammar and structure of the manuscripts.
I am so thankful for the men and women who have devoted much of their lives to learning these biblical languages and spending countless hours translating and compiling so that we can be sharpened by the Word of God.  
If you have any questions regarding this topic I would love to discuss it with you, but I do hope that this helps bring some clarity to this sometimes confusing issue.  
I look forward to seeing you Sunday and of course please let me now if I can help you with anything at all.  
You Are Loved,

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