Modern English Version (MEV) review

Recently I have fallen in love with a new (well new to me) Bible translation, the Modern English Version (MEV) . The MEV is new English translation of the Bible begun in 2005 and completed in 2013. It is published by Passio (Charisma House) a Pentecostal Publishing House.

The MEV is a translation of the Textus Receptus (the Greek Received Text) and the Jacob ben Hayyim edition of the Masoretic Text. The chief editor, and executive director of the project was Southern Baptist Rev. James F. Linzey with Assemblies of God ordained Stanley M. Horton serving as the senior editorial advisor. The ecumenical Committee on Bible Translation was composed of 47 American and English scholars.

The MEV is a formal correspondence translation and seeks to present the same Greek and Hebrew texts used for the King James Version in modern English. I love the MEV and highly recommend it.

When it comes to the Old Testament I believe that Christians need to be aware of both the Masoretic Text (which the MEV uses) and the Old Greek (LXX) translation as Jesus and the Apostles used both. Some Messianic Prophesies make little sense in the Masoretic Text whilst others are reliant upon it. The same can be said of the LXX. I have detailed how the MEV witnesses to the Messianic Prophecies in the Masoretic Text and LXX.

The vast majority of modern translations such as the NIV, ESV, NLT, NRSV, NASB etc. are all translated from what I will call the Critical Text (CT). This is a patchwork Greek text that is not found in any manuscript but rather picks and chooses various readings from different manuscripts to make what certain scholars think it is most likely version of the original (now lost) text.

There are a few other translations such as the KJV, NKJV and MEV that are based upon the Majority Text (MT) and the Textus Receptus (TR). The Majority Text (MT) is based upon the readings found in the majority of manuscripts. Where the majority of manuscripts agree – that is the Majority Text. The Textus Receptus (TR) is closely related to the Majority Text (MT) and is the “received text” of the Greek New Testament passed down through the Greek-speaking church from antiquity edited by Erasmus of Rotterdam.

I hold to an “Ecclesiastical Text” position meaning that I like to read a New Testament that is translated from the manuscripts passed down to us through the church rather than readings favoured by modern liberal scholars. Here are some examples for comparison:

Matthew 18:11
1. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. (MEV)
2. Verse removed. (No ESV)

1 Timothy 3:16
1. Without question, great is the mystery of godliness; God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up into glory. (MEV)
2. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (ESV)

In holding to an Ecclesiastical Text position I am saying that I trust the majority of manuscripts that we have and I trust that God has preserved his word through his church. Just because one or two manuscripts are older does not make them better. If Marcion’s butchered New Testament ever surfaced, it would be older than the manuscripts used in the Critical Text but that would not make it better.

The MEV has also been released in a number of Pentecostal Study Bibles;
1.The Fire Bible ;
2.The Spiritual Warfare Bible ; and
3.The Spirit Led Woman Bible.

The bonded leather cover feels great and the words are very readable. I love my thin line MEV and really cannot recommend it enough.

If you would like an introduction to some of these textual issues please check out this YouTube video by Jonathan Sheffield “The Textual Criticism of James White, Bart Erhman and Daniel Wallace”. Jonathan is a devout Calvinist and supports the Reformation and its understanding of these texts:

I would also recommend Jonathan Sheffield’s video retelling Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, this video focuses on Jesus’s words on the cross in Luke 23:34.