English Standard Version - ESV

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    English Standard Version - ESV

    The English Standard Version (ESV) stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale's New Testament of 1526; marking its course were the King James Version of 1611 (KJV), the English Revised Version of 1885 (RV), the American Standard Version of 1901 (ASV), and the Revised Standard Version of 1952 and 1971 (RSV). In that stream, faithfulness to the text and vigorous pursuit of accuracy were combined with simplicity, beauty, and dignity of expression. Our goal has been to carry forward this legacy for a new century.

    To this end each word and phrase in the ESV has been carefully weighed against the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, to ensure the fullest accuracy and clarity and to avoid under-translating or overlooking any nuance of the original text. The words and phrases themselves grow out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for our work. Archaic language has been brought to current usage and significant corrections have been made in the translation of key texts. But throughout, our goal has been to retain the 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.

    The ESV is an "essentially literal" translation that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. It seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original.

    #2
    I posted the above here because I thought the history is rather interesting. I use Esword myself for most studies which allows one to parallel as many bibles as a person wishes. Also tabs click various commentators so each can be observed. I find myself using the ESV more than any other bible given the wide range of bible resources in Esword.

    I have been using a King James Bible during my bible study. The Pastor leading the group uses another version, but he reads from the Hebrew and/or Greek, which I believe his bible parallels. Everyone else uses the ESV, and after having taken three months to complete the first chapter of John I can truly appreciate this translation. I definitely recommend it and I'll be purchasing it for myself in paper.

    One of the subtle differences I found in John 1:16:

    John 1:16 KJV - And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
    John 1:16 ESV - For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

    This difference actually lead me debating my Pastor. Turns out after some research my interpretation actually was Augustinian and I disagreed with my Pastor until reading the ESV. He then translated the Greek during a word study. Afterwards I had researched commentary and found Calvin which mentioned and corrected the Augustinian interpretation. I found these little subtleties throughout my bible study, and despite the differences and being well received as a positive contribution, I have since recanted my position.

    Here's an example given in Calvin's commentary:


    And, grace for grace. In what manner Augustine explains this passage is well known - that all the blessings which God bestows upon us from time to time, and at length life everlasting, are not granted as the reward due to our merits, but that it proceeds from pure liberality that God thus rewards former grace, and crowns his own gifts in us. This is piously and judiciously said, but has nothing to do with the present passage. The meaning would be more simple if you were to take the word for (ἀντὶ) comparatively, as meaning, that whatever graces God bestows on us, proceed equally from the same source. It might also be taken as pointing out the final cause, that we now receive grace, that God may one day fulfill the work of our salvation, which will be the fulfillment of grace. For my own part, I agree with the opinion of those who say that we are watered with the graces which were poured out on Christ; for what we receive from Christ he does not bestow upon us as being God, but the Father communicated to him what would flow to us as through a channel. This is the anointing with which he was anointed, that he might anoint us all along with him. Hence, too, he is called Christ, (the Anointed,) and we are called Christians.
    Lastly, another subtle difference:

    Romans 3:11 KJV - There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    Romans 3:11 ESV - no one understands; no one seeks for God.

    I have to admit, once again the ESV nails it. That subtle difference uncovers the seeker's intentions and motives. The KJV has most people thinking none seek God. The ESV, however, brings why a person doesn't seek with the correct motive and intention as well as lacking knowledge through understanding. The ESV brings about a whole new depth in my view. That simple "for" had me reading it in two different ways, although I did draw to the same conclusion with the KJV. Just saying and sharing my view, the ESV for me personally is easier to read and it has a lot of subtleties that I can appreciate.

    Gill pretty much sums up the interpretation I had learned:

    There are none that worships him in Spirit and in truth, or prays to him with the Spirit, and with the understanding; who seek him chiefly, and in the first place, with their whole hearts, earnestly, diligently, and constantly; who seek him in Christ, and under the assistance of the Spirit; who seek after the knowledge of God in Christ, communion with him through the Mediator, or his honour and glory.
    Now I am not saying that owning an ESV will magically make anyone align with the true meaning of Scripture, but again, besides it being a modern English there are general subtleties that make or break an interpretation. I kept wondering why I was coming up with constant novel interpretations in the group, then I just accepted whenever I was KJV'd. :lol:
    Comment>

      #3
      The ESV is an excellent choice for someone wondering which modern translation to use. There are a lot of bad choices.
      Comment>

        #4
        For those who may be wondering, I put "KJV" after the scripture reference like John 3:16 KJV so that the Biblia site pulls in the verse as KJV because I prefer it to the default ESV, which requires no "ESV" after the reference as in John 3:16.

        I do not trust modern translations for many reasons, and trust the older ones like KJV, Geneva, and Douay-Rheems Bibles for example. Tyndale was only one of the translations in KJV, others being Wycliffe and Bishop's Bible. It also closely matches the Dead Sea Scrolls. I just don't trust modern-day scholars, and I have my reasons. I do not wish to debate about it now, as it is late here, but it is a good idea to know your Bible's history on how it was put together/translated, edited, and published and understand what the motives were behind the publications of them. Why so many?

        Why so many rewrites of the same version such as the NIV? I think one person posted a huge list of Bibles on this site, most of which are modern. There are some bad Bibles out there that I have come across in the modern regime. Not all... I did not say all of them are bad, but when you see maybe a hundred (a guess) or so versions and editions, they simply can't all be right. The KJV has taken a lot of undue Bible bashing after 400 years of teaching and training solid Christians. The Bible says that as time goes on, more people will be deceiving and being deceived, so I see that the newer Bibles could easily play a big part in that. Deception is growing at a rapid rate... just look at what churches are doing over the years! It is abominable. All the while, the Bible versions of old have been under attack and replaced with new ones. One could spend a lifetime researching the new Bibles that come out, and still not know the Lord because they forgot to do that; they were so interested in knowing Bibles they forget about the Author. It will take enough time studying the history of the KJV and other old Bibles, much less the freight train of new ones. Meanwhile, if I were to do that, I'd lose track of worshipping God. So please don't ask me to be some sort of expert on all Bible history before I state my opinion because that won't wash. Pick whatever Bible you want, just know it can be trusted, then grow closer to the Lord with it. With me, it's the KJV. Just be careful what you pick, whoever reads this, as this is not directed at any particular person.
        Comment>

          #5
          A conservatively-minded Christian is right to not trust modern translations. Modern translations (and compilers of Greek/Hebrew critical texts) are often done in academia by people who don't hold the NT in uncompromisingly high esteem. I'm not trying to be divisive, but it's just a fact that someone who deliberately changes scripture for any ideological reason is compromising. An example is the use of "gender-neutral" language in a growing number of translations. We're past the days when most translators on a project held conservative Christian views.

          That said, the ESV is still an excellent choice for a modern translation.
          Comment>
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