Honza Pokorný

A personal blog

Evaluation of the Modern English Version translation

The Modern English Version is a 2013 translation of the bible based on the Received Text.

Albert Hembd, a consultant to the Trinitarian Bible Society, wrote an extensive article called An examination of the New King James Version. You can find it on the TBS website. In this article, he reviews the changes that the NKJV introduces over the KJV. In this present article, I’d like to go over his examples of NKJV errors, and see if the Modern English Version (MEV) does better or worse. The headings, and subheadings that follow are taken directly from the article. The reader may wish to have the original article open while reading through this evaluation.

1. Translational errors of a major doctrinal impact

Eternal punishment or annihilation?

Where the KJV has hell, the NKJV has Hades. The MEV has Hades in at least Matthew 11.23, Matthew 16.18, Luke 16.23, Acts 2.27, and Acts 2.31. It has hell in Luke 10.15.

Romans 5.1–5: Experimental religion, or mere orthodoxy in the head?

The NKJV changes experience to character. The MEV has character.

Matthew 7.14: The way of salvation: narrow or difficult?

The NKJV has difficult instead of narrow. The MEV has narrow.

Zechariah 9.17: Man’s goodness or God’s goodness?

The MEV handles the pronouns correctly.

Matthew 20.20: Is kneeling before Christ the same as worshipping Him?

The MEV follows the NKJV in saying kneeling.

The marginal notes on 1 John 5.7: Are the Three Persons of one essence, equal in power and glory?

The MEV doesn’t have a footnote.

Hebrews 2.16: Did Christ take upon Himself the nature of the seed of Abraham, or did he merely ‘help’ the seed of Abraham?

The MEV follows the NKJV in saying He does not help the angels.

1 Thessalonians 5.22: Abstain from even the appearance of evil, or merely from every form of evil?

The MEV correctly says appearance.

Another look at the margin—Acts 8.37: Do we baptise infidels?

The MEV doesn’t have a footnote.

Psalm 45.13: Is the bride spiritually glorious, or merely outwardly glorious? Or, is the Psalm only speaking of Solomon, and not of Christ?

The MEV follows the NKJV error.

2. Translation problems of a lesser doctrinal impact, but which incorrectly render the sense of the passage

Isaiah 11.3

The MEV follows the delight language of the NKJV.

2 Corinthians 10.5

The MEV retains the KJV’s imaginations.

Colossians 3.2

The MEV retains the KJV’s affections.

‘Thee’, ‘thou’, ‘ye’, and ‘you’ versus ‘you’ and ‘you’

MEV doesn’t use these pronouns.

3. Departures from the Textus Receptus, where it follows the Critical Text instead

Acts 19.9

The MEV follows the NKJV (and the critical text) in omitting the word one.

2 Corinthians 3.14

The MEV follows the KJV in saying the veil which.

Philippians 2.9

The MEV follows the error of the NKJV, and renders it as the name.

Revelation 6.11

The MEV follows the error of the NKJV, and renders it as white robes.

Other resources

Jeff Riddle has published another helpful review as part of his Word Magazine.

This article was first published on September 30, 2022. As you can see, there are no comments. I invite you to email me with your comments, criticisms, and other suggestions. Even better, write your own article as a response. Blogging is awesome.