Question: "What is the English Standard Version (ESV)?"
English Standard Version – History
The English Standard Version (ESV) is a revision of the 1971 edition of the Revised Standard Version. The first edition was published in 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. The ESV Study Bible, also published by Crossway Bibles, was published in October 2008. It uses the ESV translation and adds extensive notes and articles based on evangelical Christian scholarship. Under noted theologian J. I. Packer, who served as general editor, the translators sought and received permission from the National Council of Churches to use the 1971 edition of the RSV as the English textual basis for the ESV. Difficult passages were translated using the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other original manuscripts.
English Standard Version – Translation Method
The stated intent of the translators was to produce a readable and accurate translation that stands in the tradition of Bible translations beginning with English religious reformer William Tyndale in 1525–26 and culminating in the King James Version of 1611. Examples of other translations in this genre are the Revised Version (1881–85), the American Standard Version (1901), and the Revised Standard Version (1946–1971). In their own words, they sought to follow a literal word-for-word translation philosophy. To that end, the translators sought as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer, while taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. The result is a translation that is more literal than the New International Version, but more fluent and colloquial than the New American Standard Bible.
English Standard Version – Pro’s and Con’s
The English Standard Version receives complaints from both sides. Some say it is too literal. Others say it is too dynamic. Often, criticism from both sides of an argument indicates that something has achieved a good balance between the two.
English Standard Version – Sample verses
John 1:1, 14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 8:58 – “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’"
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Titus 2:13 – “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”