Unless God supernaturally intervenes, translation work is not an exact science.
Yes, the ESV has some poorly translated spots here and there, but no more than most others. Except in the case of Dan 9:25 ESV, Dan 9:26 ESV. (Compare with Dan 9:25, 26 KJV) That isn’t just a poor translation; it’s bad! Yet, even there, there are arguments, coming mostly from liberal Christian and Jewish Hebrew scholars that make a case for it to be translated precisely as it is in the ESV. This translation has “given great occasion to the enemies” of the messianic interpretation.
That translation made the anti-missionaries happy, giving legitimization by Christian translators to what Jewish Hebrew scholars have been protesting all along. Of course, speaking from a strictly “technical” linguistic standpoint, it can also be JUST as legitimately translated the way KJV, NKJV, NASB, and nearly every other Christian translation in history has translated it UNTIL the ESV came along and makes this massive concession and capitulation to what Jewish scholars have been insisting all along to be the result of Christian bias, tampering with the text, giving it a forced, “unnatural” meaning. But unnatural to who?
They argue that it is the Christian who has the vested interest to “force” the text to yield a meaning that would be unnatural unless one was already predisposed to see in it one Messiah rather than two. For Jews who have no such vested interest (?), it is argued that one should see two messiahs, not Israel’s long awaited anointed Davidic ruler of ancient promise, but two priestly figures or anointed leaders, one after the first seven weeks (49 years) and another after the 62 weeks (434 years), with the latter anointed leader killed, usually by some usurper.
So what’s the tiebreaker between (some would argue) equally technical options? Well, it’s context! context! context!
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