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ESV and 1 Peter 4:3

On the whole, I think the criticisms against the ESV are overboard. But there are readings from time to time that I wonder if the translators and editors fell asleep on the job. 1 Peter 4:3 is one of those instances.

For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do…. (ESV)

Consider the differences in other formal translations:

For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles…. (NASB)

You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do…. (NRSV)

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles…. (NKJV)

We might think that this is a RSV carryover. But not exactly…

Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do…. (RSV)

So the translators and editors examined 1 Peter 4:3 in the RSV and decided the only change that needed to be made was to change the first word from “let” to “for.” Curious, to say the least. The next ESV revision needs to update this sentence to something clearer.

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