Tim Challies has written a nice article on the ‘Beauty of a Good Bible Translation’. He articulated his reasons for preferring the English Standard Version (ESV) over several other modern translations. I have to say he has hit the nail on the head with his observations. I completely agree with his sentiments. The ESV is a wonderful literal translation of the scriptures that many believe captures the poetic flow of the original languages. Here is an excerpt:
Whenever I take the time to read the Bible slowly and meditatively, and this is particularly true of reading the Old Testament, I am struck by the beauty of the language as it is translated in the English Standard Version, my translation of choice. While I do not know how to read Hebrew, I often hear people speak of the poetic nature of the language which leads even the prose to have poetic qualities. It seems to me that the ESV does an admirable job of capturing that. The same cannot be said of all Bible translations. I have come to love the little literary devices, the metaphors and phrases used by the ancient writers and find that they add so much to the reading of the text. Without a translation that accurately rendered these sayings we would lose so much of the flow and meaning of the text.
There is so much beauty in the prose of the Old Testament and I am thankful to have access to a translation (and to several translations, really) that accurately renders the metaphors and phrases used by the original authors. Let me provide you with a few examples. I am going to use the ESV as my standard essentially-literal translation. I do this not necessary to indicate that it is superior to the others within the category, but simply because it is the translation I use for my devotional and study work.
Read the entire article HERE.
Thanks, Brandon, for pointing out this article! I had not seen this before, and it is a good read.
Thank you. I had not really considered reading the ESV before having rarely heard of it. I have been leaning on the NASB. For those who don’t have access to the ESV, here’s where I went to check it out.
The ESV has been my translation of choice the past couple of years and I couldn’t quite pinpoint the reasons why I preferred it to others until Tim so succinctly explained why he liked it. It retains a poetic flow like the KJV or Geneva without the archaic language. That’s the best of both worlds in my humble opinion.
I like the ESV for its nice cross references. I don’t own an ESV; but I do have it available in my Bible software. I have an NASB like Tim. Much like the ESV, the NASB has great cross references and it is an excellent word-for-word translation. However, I do find myself using my 1560 Geneva Bible more than my NASB. It’s like I say…
“You need-a to read-a Geneva.”
Corny, I know; but at least it rhymes. Hahaha.
Yep, i will eventually cave in a buy me a Geneva bible here pretty soon. If for no other reason then its historical significance.
I use the ESV most of the time now. One of the things I don’t like about the NASB is that it has a rough feel when reading. Recently, I was comparing the NASB & the ESV the only real difference I found was the word order. Geneva Bible’s are getting hard to find. I was looking for one for a customer last week. Our vendor is back-ordered.