ESV: One version for everyone?

One Version to rule them all. One Version to find them. One Version to bring them all. And in the…..oops sorry, wrong post!

No seriously back to todays ESV post:

What was the main motivation behind the committee in gathering to produce another English translation? Some might argue that another updated translation is not needed when there are so many bibles already in English.

Wayne Grudem responds (sorry no video today)

We thought that, in the providence of God, there was room for a Bible translation that would be committed for a word-for-word or essentially literal philosophy of translation, but that still tried, perhaps more accurately than any previous translation, to maintain clarity and readability and beauty in the English language.

We’re thankful for all of those other translations, and I know that they have been used by God. But we’re hopeful that this one might even, by God’s blessing, be somewhat of an improvement certainly in clarity, and in accuracy, and in beauty and readability. When all those factors are taken together, that could then become a Bible that would be used throughout the church. There wouldn’t be just one Bible for children and another one for one denomination or another denomination, or this generation or that, but an accurate and readable Bible that could be used by all generations: in a church, it could be used in Sunday School classes, it could be used in adult Bible studies, it could be used for meditating and memorizing, and then could be used for the public preaching text of the church as well.<!– D(["mb","

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So that then, if a church goes this route and has onernstandard Bible used throughout the church that the pastor is preachingrnfrom that Bible, the adults are studying from that Bible in their Biblernstudies, the children are memorizing from that Bible (not that they wouldn'trnconsult other translations from time to time as well). But there would be arnstandard base of a reliable translation that people would gain familiarity withrnthroughout the church. And we think it would be a wonderful benefit to churchesrnif that would happen.

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Commentrnon this post for your chance to win a freernESV Bible.

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So that then, if a church goes this route and has one standard Bible used throughout the church that the pastor is preaching from that Bible, the adults are studying from that Bible in their Bible studies, the children are memorizing from that Bible (not that they wouldn’t consult other translations from time to time as well). But there would be a standard base of a reliable translation that people would gain familiarity with throughout the church. And we think it would be a wonderful benefit to churches if that would happen.

My repsonse to this reply

I think this reply may to some degree reflect the kind of church Wayne Grudem himself attends. In a more traditional church, pew bibles are often provided and you could imagine the scenario of an individual translation being adopted by the whole church. In the kind of church I am in we tend to leave it to each member of the church to purchase and bring their own translation, which means that on the average Sunday a range of translations will be represented in the congregation.

The only significant issue this raises is what do we do about corporate reading of the scripture? Since we make use of a computer and projection system it is a relatively simple matter for us to project the version we wish the congregation to read together. There have been times in recent years when we didn’t do this, and the resultant cacophony of ESV, NIV, NLT, NASB, KJV and GNB made a terrible din! All our current local preachers use the ESV, although this was not as a result of a conscious decision and visiting preachers will use whichever
version they are comfortable with.

As far as adopting the ESV as a bible for children goes, I have been reading it to my 6 and 8 year olds for a few months now. I paraphrase or substitute simpler words myself when doing so, however as there is no way they would understand some of it. I suspect in the average church with younger children an easier to read version would be used. It should be possible for older children to learn to use the ESV if desired, however, after all I am old enough to remember using a KJV in my own childhood, which was obviously considerably harder for a child to use.

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About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he seves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso.

Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus.

Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway.

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