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Jul 19

My First ESV Review: Psalm 51

I
haven’t received my free
ESV Bible
yet, but I thought I’d get the review ball rolling
anyhow. I’ll start off with something easy – Psalm 51. It’s my favorite
psalm and may even be my favorite bit of Scripture. I’ll review the
lexical and grammatical choices made in translating this chapter. Below
is the psalm from the RSV (my favorite translation), the ESV, and the
NAB (the officially endorsed Catholic translation in the U.S. and a
example of banality raised to an artform).

RSV ESV NAB
1: Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast
love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my
transgressions.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast
love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my
transgressions.
3 Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your
abundant compassion blot out my offense.
2: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me
from my sin!
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me
from my sin!
4 Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse
me.
3: For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever
before me.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever
before me.
5 For I know my offense; my sin is always before
me.
4: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done
that which is evil
in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless
in thy judgment.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is
evil in your
sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your
judgment.
6 Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such
evil in your sight
That you are just in your sentence, blameless when you
condemn.
5: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin
did my mother conceive me.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin
did my mother
conceive me.
7 True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother
conceived me.
6: Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and
you teach me
wisdom in the secret heart.
8 Still, you insist on sincerity of heart; in my inmost
being teach me
wisdom.
7: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me,
and I shall be whiter than snow.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me,
and I shall be
whiter than snow.
9 Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me,
make me whiter
than snow.
8: Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which
thou hast broken rejoice.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you
have broken
rejoice.
10 Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the
bones you have
crushed rejoice.
9: Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my
iniquities.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my
iniquities.
11 Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my
guilt.
10: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new
and right spirit within me.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right
spirit within
me.
12 A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a
steadfast spirit.
11: Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not
thy holy Spirit from me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not
your Holy Spirit
from me.
13 Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me
your holy
spirit.
12: Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold
me with a willing spirit.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold
me with a
willing spirit.
14 Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a
willing spirit.
13: Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and
sinners will return to thee.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and
sinners will return
to you.
15 I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may
return to you.
14: Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of
my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my
salvation, and
my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
16 Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my
tongue may praise
your healing power.
15: O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show
forth thy
praise.
15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your
praise.
17 Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your
praise.
16: For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to
give a burnt
offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would
give it; you will
not be pleased with a burnt offering.
18 For you do not desire sacrifice; a burnt offering
you would not
accept.
17: The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and
contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken
and contrite
heart, O God, you will not despise.
19 My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not
spurn a broken,
humbled heart.
18: Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the
walls of
Jerusalem,
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the
walls of
Jerusalem;
20 Make Zion prosper in your good pleasure; rebuild the
walls of
Jerusalem.
19: then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in
burnt offerings and
whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt
offerings and
whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
21 Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifice,
burnt offerings and
holocausts; then bullocks will be offered on your altar.
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