King James Version: “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+2%3A14-16&version=KJV
The King James Version has it right. It may be a vulgar expression — remember there was a “Vulgate” translation in Latin, too — but at some point a “dumb ass” is a dumb ass, and there is no excuse that modern readers cannot understand such plain and simple language.
English Standard Version: “They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+2%3A14-16&version=ESV
It was the evildoers who cursed the children in the King James Version, but now in the English Standard Version they twist the words around so that St. Peter himself curses innocent children. And no, the prophet’s madness was not “restrained” — the other man was a dumb ass, and that is what “forbade” or logically precluded the possibility that the prophet (Lot) was mad.
Do we have to go back to the original Greek? Can we? How original is it anymore? I do not have the proper degrees or education for that, but I know that there are far better translations than the ESV.
ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντες μεστοὺς μοιχαλίδος καὶ ἀκαταπαύστους ἁμαρτίας, δελεάζοντες ψυχὰς ἀστηρίκτους, καρδίαν γεγυμνασμένην πλεονεξίας ἔχοντες, κατάρας τέκνα, καταλείποντες εὐθεῖαν ὁδὸν ἐπλανήθησαν, ἐξακολουθήσαντες τῇ ὁδῷ τοῦ Βαλαὰμ τοῦ Βοσόρ, ὃς μισθὸν ἀδικίας ἠγάπησεν ἔλεγξιν δὲ ἔσχεν ἰδίας παρανομίας: ὑποζύγιον ἄφωνον ἐν ἀνθρώπου φωνῇ φθεγξάμενον ἐκώλυσεν τὴν τοῦ προφήτου παραφρονίαν.http://www.greekbible.com/