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ESV Deluxe Reference Bible: English Standard Version

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2006

    Could this be the Bible to please everyone?

    It is well known that there are two main currents in American protestant thought: the conservative/evangelical tradtion and the mainline/liberal tradition. Almost all translations of the Bible were designed to appeal to one or the other of these traditions. For example, the New Revised Standard Version was aimed at the mainline denominations, while the New King James version was translated with conservative or fundamentalist protestants in mind. In 2001 the English Standard Version hit the scene rather quietly, but the version is picking up steam as people begin to appreciate its combination of accuracy and literary quality. For mainline denominations, the ESV, which used the Revised Standard Version as a model, gives a the reader a translation that is not overtly conservative and, while not being politically correct in gender matters, at least puts the other possible gender translations in the footnotes. It is also the mostly 'stately' translation currently available, even better in my opinion than the New Jerusalem Bible and the New Revised Stadard Bible. The only version the reads better than it is (and this comes from an English teacher) the Authorized (King James) version. Nothing will ever supplant the AV version of 1611 for literary quality, just like no author will ever supplant Shakespeare. That said, when reading the English Standard Version one feels uplifted by the extrordinary use of language. Many versions have claimed that they will replace the King James Version as the 'people's Bible,' but all have failed. Could this be the one? Only time will tell.

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