Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | May 30, 2007

Bible translations – the ESV

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

In recent months I have really enjoyed using the English Standard Version both for reading and preparation or study. For many years I have regularly used the New International Version. However, the ESV seems to capture details and specifics in the biblical text in way that reminds me of the New American Standard Bible, another translation that was my mainstay until the NIV took the Christian world by storm.

This brief excerpt from the preface to the ESV explains something of why I think this translation is significant:

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. As such, its emphasis is on ‘word for word’ correspondence, at the same time taking into account differences of grammar, syntax and idiom between current literary English and the original languages.Thus it seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original text

You can check out more details of the ESV on the publisher’s website but (particularly if you liked the NASB) I would really recommend getting a copy for yourself – if only to add to your study shelf. Also, if you are looking for more detailed information, Mark Driscoll has prepared a paper which talks specifically about the strengths of the ESV.



  1. Any recommendations for a bible which could be recommended to someone with poor literacy skills. I have previously recommended The Good News Bible but find it is over simplified rather than just using simple language i.e. it sometimes takes away from the fullness of the meaning. Any suggestions from anyone would be welcomed. Thanks folks.

  2. That’s a great question Liza. My suggestion would be the New Living Translation. Much better than the GNB you mentioned and the Message which are both often positioned as ‘easy to read’.

    However, something you could consider is the Bible on MP3 if they like using an iPod or similar. You can now get 70 hours of audio for $17.99 (about £9 plus shipping). More info

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: