Authorized King James Version
1 Timothy 4: 7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness."
English Standard Version
1Timothy 4: 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;"
Other versions of 1 timothy 4:7 supporting KJV reading
ASV "7 but refuse profane and old wives’ fables. And exercise thyself unto godliness: "
NIV "7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly."
NASB " 7 But [c]have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; "
Geneva Bible "7 [p]But cast away profane, and old wives’ fables, [q]and exercise thyself unto [r]godliness."
Complete Jewish Bible " 7 But refuse godless bubbe-meises, and exercise yourself in godliness."
" (Jewish, literally) A grandmother's fable. Although very close to the idea of an old wives' tale, bubbe-meise is a shade more serious." https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bubbe-meise
Douay Rheims " 7 But avoid foolish and old wives' fables: and exercise thyself unto godliness."
International standard version " 7 Do not have anything to do with godless myths and fables of old women. Instead, train yourself to be godly."
New living Translation " 7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly."
New King James version " 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness."
Young's literal translation " 7 and the profane and old women's fables reject thou, and exercise thyself unto piety,"
Now these translations are generally conservative but they have a wide range.
This issue of translating the passage is not limited to the Textus Receptus Greek NT since the latin based douay Rheims and the alexandrine based ASV both agree. There are other TR based agreement found in the geneva bible. Majority text agreement in the NKJV. And even the Messianic Jewish Bible genrally agrees. More important than this dynamic equivalence still allows for this translation in the NLT and NIV!
As far as I can tell the "silly" tradition comes from the RSV and amplified Bible and is preserved in liberal and modernistic versions.
Vines Expository Dictionary points out the greek Gra'ode's or Old Wives is defined thus...
"GRAODES "an adjective, signifying old womanish (from
graus, an old woman), is said of fables, in Timothy 4:7."
Now the reason this is being translated as "silly" is quite obvious.
the Revised Standard Version had the notorius nickname "The Red Bible" not only for liberal translations but because some translators were outted as members of the US communist party.
Feminism hasbeen a clearly wing of the socialist agenda.
Does the idea of old wives fables, express a sexist stereotype? Yes!
So obviously The verse shold be changed to be correct.
So obviously we should correct what God says in order for Him to live up to our standards.
The Word of God is divinely Authoritative, The word of man is subjective at best and at worst evil. The job of a translation should not be to interpret the scriptures but only to translate the scriptures. It is possible that "old wives tales" figuratively means "silly myths" but perhaps God is using this phrase to correct a problem manifested in the life of many elderly woman. Perhaps this also serves as a powerful illustration for the people of the time.
Here the Battle is obvious The "gender inclusive" debate has become a popular debate in recent years.
The problem of this issue hits the heart of humanism vs. The heart of Christianity. Humanism has to unconstrained by any label from God. Christianity must have a sovereign God. In reaction New evangelicals are quick to claim to be orthodox and champions for God.
But in reality they are committing as much heresy as possible as long as they are not caught.
The ESV is a pretty New translation. I saw it coming out in 2002. Quickly popular preachers endorsed it an churches started using it and buying it. it was hailed as the most literal translation of scriptures.
Actually the most literal translation in the strict word for word equivalence is Young's literal translation. KJV is the most pound for pound however. The reason it is because the translators recognizing difficulties carrying over implied meanings and so they use word to translate those meaning across to other parts of the sentence packing a dynamic translation inside the formal equivalence translation.
The New American Standard is the most literal of the contemporary alexandrine translations and those who favor it as the "most literal" have not been swayed by the ESV.
So what is the ESV then if it not the literal scriptures?
The ESV is the current" New Evangelical" Vulgate!