Isaiah 53:11 – An Important Textual Variant

The Old Testament lectionary reading for yesterday was Isaiah 53:10-11.  Verse 11 contains an interesting textual variant revolving around whether or not the word “light” is a part of the text.  It is one of those text critical issues where it really is a tough call.  An older manuscript contains the word light; however, the more difficult reading (which is normally to be preferred) does not include the word.   HERE is a link to a post about this issue from a blog entitled Evangelical Textual Criticism.  To whet your appetite to go over and check out the post I’ll cite the comparison of translations.  You should be able to see a major difference.

Translations of Isaiah 53:11

Taken from the blog post linked to above:

ESV: Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

RSV: he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities.

NRSV: Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

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