The relatively new phenomenon called ESV Onlyism won’t last because the texual basis of the steadfast KJVO crowd and the ESVO crowd are different. The ESV merely updated the RSV and modified the NRSV but it’s base translations for original language work are the 1983 BHS 2nd ed, the UBS 4th corrected ed, and NA27, which are based off the Wescott and Hort tradidtion (as I understand it). The KJVO may be an update of the Geneva Bible and Bishops Bible but it’s textual basis is the revered MT (Majority Text) of the Byzantine line, believed by the KJVO folk to be the only true text base for translation.
Also, the main thing about those who stick with the KJV is its language and prose (16th or 17th English) which according to the KJV folk waxes eloquent. This is true in some respects. The ESV doesn’t even come close to waxing eloquent in the manner of the KJV.
If the ESVO crowed wanted to have even a chance at dethroning the KJVO group they would have had to not simply update the RSV but also use the Byzantine text base for their original languages work not the Wescott/Hort text base.
This is, as I understand it, why the supposed ESV Onlyism phenomenon doesn’t really stand a chance to last.
We have a more clearly formulated doctrine of the Trinity now than was possible for the first Christians in the infancy of Christian theologizing, and we can understand perhaps more fully how the Father, Son, and Spirit are bound together in a fellowship of love so that they have the same purposes and the same knowledge. Therefore, the picture of intercession is simply one way of assuring us that the Father shares the same loving purpose for us as the Jesus whom we know to have died for us and who is in heaven with the Father, and as the Spirit who dwells in us and assures us of the love of God in our hearts and who speaks directly to the Father in heaven. There is an indissoluble unity between Father, Son, and Spirit in the work of redemption. The recognition that it is God the Son, that is to say quite simply God, who suffers on and dies on the cross settles the question finally. This is God himself bearing the consequence of sin, not the abuse of some cosmic child (56) …. The charge of cosmic child abuse is totally misplaced. It fails to recognize the points that have just been made which emphasize that it was God who initiated the cross, it was God himself who suffered on the cross and bore the sin of the world (62).
I. Howard Marshall. Aspects of the Atonement: Cross and Resurrection on the Reconciling of God and Humanity. Paternoster, 2008.
This title might be a take of Gordon Fee’s book To What End Exegesis?: Essays Textual, Exegetical, and Theological (Eerdmans, 2001). I am assuming Fee is taking about “end” in the sense of “the point to which it leads.” But instead of the focus on exegesis, I am asking “to what end does biblical studies lead us? Most will say more knowledge of God, better understanding of the Bible and its times. For some it leads to a deeper relationship with God, but I wonder for how many people this is so. The reason I ask is, does biblical studies lead you to read the Bible more or less? I know for one blogger it has lead to less reading of the actual text of the Bible. What about you?
Does involvement of biblical studies deepen your prayer life? Does it deepen your spiritual life? Does it deepen your devotional life and or devotion to Christ? Draw you closer to God and his people? Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy biblical studies and find it very helpful but here is the problem: information is not transformation. More information about various aspects of the Bible do not necessarily lead to personal transformation and change of heart. I think for biblical studies to aide in personal transformation of the believer there has to be an intentional focus on such. Biblical studies that does not culminate in the worship of God fails to do its proper task – draw us closer to God.
Perhaps transformation or spiritual formation is not the end of biblical studies? Does spiritual formation come about in ways not necessarily including biblical studies?