English Standard Version

ESV Bible, Classic Thinline Edition

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.

ESV Bible

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. :)

This entry was posted in essay.
  • http://www.fixapicture.com Steve

    Happy Anniversary, you guys! May you have many, many more…

  • Keith

    Have you tried/would consider trying the “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures”?

  • http://www.joeyday.org Joey

    I had a copy of the New World Translation on my LDS mission, but another missionary (my district leader) very inconsiderately threw it out one day without telling me. “Missionaries shouldn’t have something like that,” he explained, and of course he was right.

    I’d like to get another copy, and until I can get a good look at one I’d hate to make a judgement call about whether or not I’d really trust it. They do have it online. Perhaps when I have a little time I’ll try reading parts of it. I just added it to my todo list.

  • Keith

    Awww, what a waste. If you want a tangible one, I could mail one to you (if you’d actually use it) free of charge. But you’d have to keep it away from any overzealous district leaders. :)

  • http://www.joeyday.org Joey

    Keith said:

    If you want a tangible one, I could mail one to you (if you’d actually use it) free of charge.

    Yeah, I’d love to have a copy. Shoot me an email from my contact page and I’ll shoot you back my mailing address.

    Oh, and so I don’t get confused in the future, would you mind adding a last initial (or some other clarification) to your name? My father’s name is Keith and he sometimes posts here. I contacted him on instant messenger tonight specifically to ask him where he was going to get me a New World Translation. He was about as confused as I was. :)

  • Keith (with an L, not a K)

    Is your mailing address the same as the one used to mail donations to the HRWiki? If so, It’s already posted on the Donations page.

  • http://www.joeyday.org Joey

    Keith said:

    Is your mailing address the same as the one used to mail donations to the HRWiki? If so, it’s already posted on the Donations page.

    Good point, and yes, that’s the only mailing address I have. I really appreciate you mailing me a copy. I’ve been interested in studying the NWT for several years now.

  • http://www.timgoldsmith.com Tim

    Hey. I found your site while I was trawling for source material on paid ministry. Anyway, I’ll definately be back to read the blog.
    There is an interesting article in “The Reformed Theological Review” (62:2, August, 2003) about the ESV. I’m a fan of the ESV too, but was challenged to question the claim of being “essentially literal”.
    However, till my Koine improves considerably, on the ESV and NIV I’ll rely…