"The decision now to create the Permanent Text of the ESV was made with equally great care—so that people who love the ESV Bible can have full confidence in the ESV, knowing that it will continue to be published as is, without being changed, for the rest of their lives, and for generations to come."
The first time I ever laid eyes on the English Standard Version of the Bible was around 2003, just two years after the ESV was first published by Crossway. My Sunday School teacher, who taught English at the College at Southeastern, had a copy that looked just like the one pictured above, and he would often read from it as he taught the lesson. I was intrigued and came close to buying my own copy; however, in fairly short order my husband and I ended up switching Sunday School classes, and the desire to own this version of the Bible faded. Divine providence perhaps? My pastor at the time preached from the New American Standard Bible (NASB), so I stuck with that one.
It wasn't until Dee and I began doing internet research in late 2008 and early 2009 that we learned the ESV was the Bible of choice for those who identify as Neo-Calvinists (aka New Calvinists, or Calvinistas as we call them). According to the ESV website:
The English Standard Version (ESV) is an "essentially literal" translation of the Bible in contemporary English. Created by a team of more than 100 leading evangelical scholars and pastors, the ESV Bible emphasizes "word-for-word" accuracy, literary excellence, and depth of meaning.
The ESV is essentially a revamped version of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible. When I graduated from Duke many years ago, I was presented with a navy blue RSV Bible from the university, which I still treasure.
According to information provided by Wayne Grudem:
In 1997, Crossway Books, an evangelical publisher based in Wheaton, Illinois, obtained the rights to use the 1971 update of the RSV as the basis for a new translation in the KJV tradition, to be called the English Standard Version (ESV).
A footnote at the bottom of Grudem's article The Advantages of the English Standard Version (ESV) Translation reveals the following:
A recent Christianity Today article indicates that the ESV had been gaining ground since it was first published 15 years ago. The CT article states:
By most counts, the ESV is the third most popular Bible translation in America, after the KJV and the New International Version (NIV). More than 100 million printed copies have been distributed since the ESV was first published in 2001, including 30 million last year.
Hopefully, those who use the ESV are aware of this recent announcement:
Here is the complete list of word changes that have been incorporated into the 'Permanent Text of the ESV Bible'.
The Christianity Today article highlighted wording changes in Genesis with which many complementarians would agree (see below).
These are significant changes that are in direct contradiction to the wording in most (if not all) other versions of the Bible.
Scot McKnight wasted no time in sharing his concerns about these changes and how the translation committee went about making them. In his post entitled The New Stealth Translation: ESV, McKnight begins with this:
McNight then states the following (with which we agree):
Denny Burk, who succeeded Owen Strachan as president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), recently published a post entitled: Five Quick points on the ESV's rendering of Genesis 3:16. In that post he addresses Scot McKnight's concerns this way (see screen shot below):
The ESV version of Genesis 3:16 has gone from this…
to this… (screen shot)
So what do you think about these significant changes to the ESV?