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HCSB Revisions of Ephesians 1

One change that I do not like from the HCSB revision is found in Ephesians 1.

Ephesians 1:7 (HCSB)
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 1:7 (HCSB)
7 We have -redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 1:11 (HCSB)
11 In Him we were also made His inheritance, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will,

Ephesians 1:11 (HCSB)
11 We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will,

Ephesians 1:13 (HCSB)
13 In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation–in Him when you believed–were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13 (HCSB)
13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

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This grid is from www.maybetoday.org, which I recommend if you want to see more of the changes in Ephesians.

Okay, so the revisions make the sentences more readable. The sentence structures of verse 7, verse 11, and especially verse 13, are certainly clearer. But in making a sentence clearer, the force of the sentence and the force of the chapter has been lost. With the phrase “In Him” at the start of the sentence, the reader can see that the discussion is really about what we have in Christ. Redemption is not really the point. The point is that in Him redemption is available (vs. 7). An inheritance is not the focal point of verse 11. The focus is that it is in Him that we have an inheritance.

Notice in verse 13 we lost an “in Him” in the revision. The original HCSB has two “in Him” phrases while the revision only has one. Again, it is not that the revision is an inaccurate translation. It is accurate. But the revision obscured the force of the verse which could not be missed in the original HCSB. Everything is “in Him.” But that is much harder to see in the revision.

In my opinion, this is a disappointing change. Readability is gained, but some of the force of the text is lost.