For about the last year, I’ve been pushing the English Standard Version of the Bible pretty hard. See here how the ESV is different from the other translations. A snippet:
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).
Primary Features (From their website)
- 25,000-plus notes—focusing especially on understanding the Bible text and providing answers to frequently raised issues.
- Over 50 articles—including articles on the Bible’s authority, reliability, and interpretation; on biblical archaeology, theology, worship, prayer, and personal application.
- Over 200 full-color maps—created with the latest digital technology, satellite images, and archaeological research; printed in full color, throughout the Bible.
- 200-plus charts—offering key insights and in-depth analysis in clear, concise outline form; located throughout the Bible.
- 80,000 cross-references—to encourage easy location of important words, passages, and biblical themes.
- More than 40 new full-color illustrations—including historically accurate reconstructions of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, Solomon’s temple, Herod’s temple, the city of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time and throughout the history of Israel, and many more.
- “The ESV is a dream come true for me. The rightful heir to a great line of historic translations, it provides the continuity and modern accuracy I longed for. Now the scope and theological faithfulness of the ESV Study Bible study notes is breathtaking. Oh how precious is the written Word of God.”
John Piper, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church
- “The ESV Study Bible is the most important resource that has been given to the emerging generation of Bible students and teachers. The ESV Study Bible is the best. Period.”
Mark Driscoll, Preaching Pastor, Mars Hill Church; President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network
- “I can’t imagine a greater gift to the body of Christ than the ESV Study Bible. It is a potent combination indeed: the reliability and readability of the ESV translation, supplemented by the best of modern and faithful scholarship, packaged in an accessible and attractive format. A Christian could make no wiser investment for himself, a pastor could recommend no better resource for his congregation.”
C. J. Mahaney, President, Sovereign Grace Ministries
- “The ESV Study Bible is the finest study tool I have seen in fifty years of Bible teaching. The notes, articles, maps, and illustrations are all of the highest quality. It is a great achievement!”
Jerry Bridges, speaker, bestselling author of The Pursuit of Holiness
- “Outstanding! The ESV Study Bible is a treasure-a beautiful volume, filled with a wealth of resources. It will be just as useful for the seminarian and long-time pastor as it will be accessible to the brand-new Christian.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- “Like the ESV itself, this Study Bible sets a new standard in excellence. The craftsmanship invested in every page-from the insightful articles and informative notes to the crisp design and gorgeous illustrations-makes it an invaluable tool for students of God’s Word. As a pastor it’s my goal to get one into the hands of every member of my church.”
Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church