The Modern English Version (MEV) a Curious and Surprising Translation.

Passio MEV Bible 009

I came across the MEV by chance while searching for different translations.  I was curious because I have never heard of the MEV before.  When looking into it I found out some more details that made me even more curious.  I found out that it is a modern translation that seeks to be as “word for word” accurate as it can be while maintaining the King James text in modern English.  I was a bit puzzled by this as we now have many more manuscripts, some are older and some are more reliable than the Textus Receptus. As for a modern version of the KJV, well we already have the New King James Version (NKJV) as for modern translations, I prefer the NASB as it makes use of many of the manuscripts we have discovered over the last couple hundred years without including the errors Erasmus made for the sake of expediency.  This is one of the differences between the MEV and other modern translations.  It is kind of like building a modern car, but using an old flat head motor.  The Textus Receptus isn’t horrible, it just isn’t as good as the manuscripts we now have.

With those concerns considered I turned my attention to the actual translation of the MEV.  I’m glad to say, that so far this has turned out to be pretty accurate and reliable.  I’ve been reading it with my NA28, NASB, KJV, and NKJV side by side.  I actually prefer the way the MEV renders some words over the NASB.  For instance, in the New Testament the NASB renders, “Χριστός” as, “Messiah” instead of, “Christ” where the MEV renders it as, “Christ.”  The MEV makes us of capital letters when referring to God, but not as much as the NASB.  The NASB does a better job in other areas as well.  For instance in John 1:5 I like the rendering of, “κατέλαβεν” as, “comprehend” more than, “overcome.”  I understand that there is the implication in the Greek of struggling with a concept to finally comprehend it or overcome it.  I just think that the English word, “overcome” has connotations that could lead one to think of a contest, battle, or race, without and missing out on the more important implication of comprehension.

Here is an excerpt from the MEV page, “The MEV is a translation of the Textus Receptus and the Jacob ben Hayyim edition of the Masoretic Text, using the King James Version as the base manuscript.  The MEV is a literal translation. It is also often referred to as a formal correspondence translation.  The Committee on Bible Translation began their work on the MEV in 2005 and completed it in 2013.”  It also appears that some of the endorsers mention that this is the 1611 authorized with modern language.  These lead me to believe that they haven’t fixed the problems that Erasmus introduced.  Here are the last 8 verses from Revelation out of the 1611 Authorized KJV, the Cambridge KJV, The MEV, and the NASB, in that order:

“14 Blessed are they that do his commandements, that they may haue right to the tree of life, and may enter in thorow the gates into the citie.

14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoeuer loueth and maketh a lie.

15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

15 Outside are dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and practices a lie.

15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16 I Iesus haue sent mine Angel, to testifie vnto you these things in the Churches. I am the roote and the offspring of Dauid, and the bright and morning starre.

16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things  [fn]for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is a thirst, come. And whosoeuer will, let him take the water of life freely.

17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let him who hears say, “Come.” Let him who is thirsty come. Let him who desires take the water of life freely.

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

18 For I testifie vnto euery man that heareth the wordes of the prophesie of this booke, If any man shal adde vnto these things, God shall adde vnto him the plagues, that are written in this booke.

18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book.

18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;

19 And if any man shall take away from the wordes of the booke of this prophesie, God shal take away his part out of the booke of life, and out of the holy citie, and from the things which are written in this booke.

19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City and out of the things which are written in this book.

19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and  [fn]from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20 Hee which testifieth these things, saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Euen so, Come Lord Iesus.

20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. {THE END.}

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with  [fn]all. Amen.

You can see some of the differences between translations due to the error of Erasmus in the above verses.  Of course the first three translations will look more alike when compared to the last one.  The NASB is a modern translation that utilized more than just the Textus Receptus.  It used the third edition of Rudolf Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia for the Hebrew.  It used the Eberhard Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece for the Greek.

According to their web page they were not allowing any cultural or theological agendas to dictate how they did their translation.  I’m glad to see that there isn’t any gender neutral nonsense so far as I have read.

Overall it accomplishes what it sets out to do.  It brings the KJV into modern English.  I think it does a better job in some areas and could be better in others.  I think they should fix the problems with the work of Erasmus.

The Bible Passio sent me to review is a Thinline Reference Bible.  Here is an excerpt from their product page, “Thinline Reference Bible Black Leatherlike ATTRACTIVE AND LIGHTWEIGHT, this Thinline Reference Bible is a Bible your customers can take anywhere. Complete with study tools such as cross-references, a concordance, and four-color maps, it is sure to be a favorite for home, church, or giving as a gift.” The Bible was provided gratis for the purpose of review by Passio.  It arrived in an envelope.

Passio MEV Bible 001

It was packaged in a card-paper sleeve.  The sleeve or slipcase is not heavy enough to use for storage and actually was bent quite a bit from being mailed.

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The Bible itself didn’t suffer too much, just some bent corners.  The MEV was printed and bound in America.

Passio MEV Bible 019

I found this refreshing.  So many of the Bibles I review are imported from China and South Korea.  The Bible was covered with what they call a black leatherlike cover.  It was black.  It was textured.  That was about where the similarities ended.  This had some of the cheapest cover material I’ve ever seen.

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The inside cover is lined with paper.

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Keep in mind that this Bible has a very low price, very white opaque paper with sharply printed text.

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We have to be fair.  You can pick up a copy for around $20.00 online.  The paper is 19.8 lb basis weight Tervakoski.  According to the publisher it is the equivalent of approximately 29.3 gsm.  Having used this Bible for a couple of weeks now, I’d have to agree.  The paper is pretty opaque given its light weight and how thin it is.  The font is an 8 point Delima MT Std regular.  The words of Christ are in red.

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The text is arranged in a typical double column format with center column references.  There are not as many cross references as I’d like to see.

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I have a feeling that there will be more as the translation matures.  The page edges are gilded.

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There is one black ribbon marker.  The ribbon is narrow, thick, and seems to be better quality than most of the Bibles in the same price range.

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There are short book introductions before each book and when a book ends the next book starts on a new page sometimes giving you room for notes at the end of the book.

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There is a helpful concordance in the back and after that 4 color maps.

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Now keeping in mind that this is a $20 Thinline Bible I want to tell you how impressed I am with its flexibility.  After only a couple of hours of use this thing is flexible enough to double over and to wrap around itself.  It is great for carrying with you in a bag or lunch box.  It isn’t so expensive as to make you afraid to use it.  It isn’t so small you can’t read the text.  It is a very practical Bible if you are looking for an inexpensive Thinline to carry and read.

Amazon has them here.

  • ISBN-13: 978-1621369967

7 thoughts on “The Modern English Version (MEV) a Curious and Surprising Translation.

  1. I thought this was quite good – especially the content on the Textus Receptus. However, I’m of the opinion that the editorializing on the Charismatic movement and the fact that the publisher is a Charismatic publisher is irrelevant.

    Charismatics have worked on several respected translations and continue to do excellent work in bible translation. Further, there have been several good publishing houses owned, managed, and staffed by or with Charismatics with no ill effect or obvious theological bias. I would, for example, point to Chosen Books and Stang Publications.

    In the interest of full disclosure, yes, I am a Charismatic Christian. I am also Reformed with strong Calvinist leanings.

    That said, I don’t hold the “errors” of cessationalists or Arminians against them in regard to their translation work or publishing houses – and yes, I have heard things just as wrong as what that AoG Pastor told you from both. I can quite content to let their work speak for itself, and I have rarely been disappointed.

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    1. I understand what you are saying. I would like to explain one thing. I included my personal possition for sake of integrity. If I gave the MEV a less than perfect rating and people later on found that I am a cessationist, they might claim that my bias was prejudicially responsible. Since this is my personal blog and publishers send me publications for my honest opinion, I feel that it is necessary for any personal position to be mentioned during the review process. If I were working for someone, and the directive I had would not allow for personal commentary, I would just put down the observable facts. I hope that helps you understand why I mentioned my personal convictions. We all have personal convictions in regard to theology if we recognize it or not. We agree on soteriology and probably all of the primary essentials. On this tertiary issue there is variance. I saw that Dr. Brown was one of the endorsers. I respect his position due to his ability to give reasonable defense to his position. That is one of the reasons I requested a review copy of the MEV. There are quite a few continuationists that are on the conservative end of charismaticism whom I hold in high regard due to their well thought out positions. Matt Slick from CARM.ORG would be one. John Piper is another. God bless, and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

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      1. I understand and appreciate that stance. However, that being the case a simple, “While I am not a Pentecostal or Charismatic and disagree with aspects of their doctrine and theology I have attempted to keep my personal feelings in check while reviewing this product – though I’m happy to say that I found no hint of doctrinal or theological bias in their translation choices.”

        Or better, say nothing.

        In the end the publisher’s theological stance is irrelevant UNLESS you do in fact find the publisher’s doctrinal bias skewing their translation decisions. For example, if you were reviewing the Jehovah’s Witnesses New World Translation – which does engage in such practices – I would be criticizing the review for not saying something.

        To me, citing examples of Charismatic or Pentecostal error – like that errant statement from that misguided AoG Pastor – when it had absolutely nothing to do with this bible in the end, served no purpose and in fact revealed reviewer bias.

        I would encourage you to refrain from this in future reviews.

        Thank you and keep up the good work – you’re filling a much needed niche.

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      2. I think I asserted as much about revealing my own bias. While I value your opinion, I reserve the right to have my own and exercise my liberty to do so on my blog, where I not only do product reviews, but write articles as well. This is a personal blog and not a business or official Church blog. I operate it on my own, independent of any sanctioning body. I don’t endeavor to offend brothers and sisters in Christ, but I also expect them to demonstrate grace and give me the benefit of the doubt. I do offend cult members with some of my articles due to my blunt and direct language. Thanks for the kind words and insight. I will consider what you have said, but don’t feel bad if I don’t employ your suggestions on every review in the future. Charisma House just added me to their list of reviewers. They are going to send me a book from Dr. M. Brown that I am excited to read and review. I will definitely attempt to review the content without commentary on his charismatic stance.

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      3. Diamond Thompson

        Diamond Thompson tried to post a pro KJV onlyist rant on my web site. I edited their comment because they are obviously in the sin of idolatry and are in a cult. They need to repent of their KJV onlysim.

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  2. Pingback: A Review of the Modern English Version (M.E.V.) Personal Size, Large Print, Reference Bible, Covered in Cherry Brown, Imitation Leather. | Snyder's Soapbox

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