English Standard Version (ESV)

Ted Armstrong posted on a recent comment that he prefered the English Standard Version translation of the bible.

I really hadn’t had much exposure to this translation and decided to check it out.

I’ve really only used the King James Version, New King James Version, NASB, and NIV versions. Of these the King James and New King James are my favorites. For generally reading the NIV is nice.

The latest statistics (September, 2006) show the following bible sales:

1 New International Version various publishers
2 New King James Version various publishers
3 King James Version various publishers
4 New Living Translation Tyndale
5 English Standard Version Crossway
6 Reina Valera 1960 (Spanish) various publishers
7 Holman Christian Standard Bible B&H Publishing Group
8 New American Standard Bible update various publishers
9 The Message Eugene Peterson, NavPress
10 New International Readers Version Zondervan

As you can see the NIV and New KJV lead the way. There’s no surprise there as both are very popular. I’ve seen the New Living Translation (#4) before and am not that impressed with it.

However, #5, is Ted’s favorite – the ESV.

From the ESV website:

How is the ESV Different from Other Translations?
All Bible translations seek to faithfully communicate God’s Word. But, depending on translation philosophy and purpose, significant differences are evident when comparing Bible translations.

There are two main kinds of Bible translations. The first is commonly referred to as (1) ‘word-for-word’ (or ‘formal equivalence’) translation, the second as (2) ‘thought-for-thought’ (or ‘dynamic equivalence’) translation. The main difference between these two translation philosophies is that the first one places the primary emphasis on what the words of the original say and mean (in their context), while the second one places the primary emphasis on the main thought or idea in the phrases of the original.

As an ‘essentially literal’ translation, the ESV is committed to the principle of ‘word-for’word’ translation, as the translation philosophy that most accurately conveys the Bible’s own understanding that ‘all Scripture is breathed out by God’ (2 Timothy 3:16), or as Jesus said, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4).

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