My wife and I had a lovely first wedding anniversary this past weekend. We spent a few days at the Anniversary Inn in Logan, Utah. It’s a very romantic place and we’d recommend it to any couple.
As an anniversary gift, Janene bought me a new Bible. I have a couple of study Bibles, but this time around I was looking for something lightweight with less distractions. Those study Bibles get pretty bulky and I’m starting to think study notes (and even cross-references) distract too much from the actual text of scripture. I’m excited about studying the Bible by itself and not relying on those “crutches”.
I also wanted a new translation. As I’ve mentioned here before, I really appreciate the diversity that currently exists in Bible translations. I try not to get attached to any one translation for too long, and lately I’ve been really intrigued by the English Standard Version.
The ESV is not a complete re-translation of the Bible like the NIV. Instead, the ESV translators used the RSV (1971) as a starting point. The RSV text in turn owes its existence to the ASV (1901; from which the NASB also comes), the RV (1885), and ultimately the KJV (1611). Since the ESV is a direct descendant of the KJV, it retains, according to its preface, “the same depth of meaning and enduring language that have made their indelible mark on the English-speaking world and have defined the life and doctrine of the church over the last four centuries.” To see how similar the ESV is to the KJV, compare both translations of Romans 8 side-by-side.
As similar to the KJV as it is, the ESV is also as up-to-date as possible, yielding one of the most accurate translations available today. It’s an “essentially literal” translation and I like it for many of the same reasons I like the NASB. That said, I think it pulls ahead of the NASB in being slightly more readable. It just seems to flow better to me.
Anyway, I haven’t really had the time to break my new Bible in yet, so I think I’ll go read it now.