Is the ESV gaining steam.

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pete Richert, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    I usually hate it when people try to argue a universal because of a few antadotal (sp) experiences, but that said. . .

    Does anyone else see the ESV gaining steam? Is there hope for it yet? When I first moved to Texas I spent a few Sundays at a moderatly chasamatic independent church and while I believe the NIV was their pew Bible at the moment, the pastor went out of his way to mention his growing respect for the translation in an email exchange and a few of the elders were carrying ESVs (thinlines I might add, God's true word). I think it might have been sparked by an email exchange between the pastor and Wayne Grudem.

    And then my wife and I seddled in a Independent Reformed Baptist Church and the ESV was already the pew Bible there! I once started a thread on whether anyone noticed that the ESV seemed to be more popular in more reformed circles but I don't believe it went anywhere.

    But then . . . (yes there is more), my brother came to visist with his wife. We were talking about a whole host of Christian subjects when somehow the subject of translation came up and my brother commented that they had heard of this new translation that was supposed to be pretty good (being pretty anti-NIV, he has always used the KJV). Well I was able to quickly correct him in that the ESV is not good but excellent and I think my reccomendation will probably be acted on.

    Oh oh oh one more, I was in another independent reformed baptist church (this one with about 15 membors) and one of the other quests commented about me carrying the ESV. Her husband then chimed in that he was soon going to be standardizing his family on it.

    So what do you guys think? Has anyone else noticed or is this just that continued crawling along that has plauged it since its inception.
     
  2. mesly

    mesly
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    Pete,

    You are correct that it is gaining steam in Reformed Baptist Churches. Look at the translators and the people who are recommending it - it is a literal whos-who in Reformed circles (this is not a slam by any means).

    I think the problem lies in the fact that the ESV is not getting any publicity (at least in anything I read or with people whom I know). I learned about the ESV here on the Baptist Board. After hearing about it, I visited a local Reformed Baptist church and found out that the pastor was preaching from the ESV. I then went out an purchased a copy (in fact I have purchased several copies). I have made the ESV my preferred translation for the past year now and the only thing I do not like is the paragraph format for I prefer a verse-by-verse listing. Other than that, it has been a blessing.

    Maybe when authors such as Sproul and Piper start using the ESV in the their books, it might catch on faster. Unfortunately, everybody I run across that is not connected with a Reformed church has not heard of the ESV. My observations tell me that the ESV, for the moment, is a Reformed believers translation. I hope this changes.

    The bottom line is that Crossway needs to market this a whole lot better than they have! I was saddened to walk into the local Family Bookstore (yes just walking in usually saddens me ;) ), to find a hard bound copy of the ESV in their bargain bin. When I asked why it was there they said that it had sat on their shelf to long and that they were clearing inventory. I was able to pick it up for $12.00. Not a bad price for me, but it shows me that nobody is purchasing it here in Dayton, OH. On the other hand, Zondervan and Tyndale have been marketing the NIV and NLT respectively very aggressively. I have never seen an NIV or NLT on the bargain table.

    Oh well, too bad it is such a good translation and its unknown to most believers.

    Take care,
    Michael
     
  3. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    Piper is preaching from it so it should be in his books soon. I think it might become the translation of choice for more serious commentary series. Of course, each commentary writer usually basis all of his comments on original translations of the text, but when a standard version is quoted (unless otherwise noted) it seems to be the RSV over all other translations. Except for the Pillar series I don't know of any series that uses the NIV (oh, and the NIV application commentary). I think the RSV is used DESPITE its liberal leanings here and there just because it is a literal translation so I would expect the conservatives scholars to jump at the ESV. Piper and Grudem continued to use the RSV until the ESV was written.

    Interesting. I am the exact opposite. I have always found the verse by verse distracting (for reading narrative especially) and since it wasn't in the original I am not a fan of it now. Of course the paragraph divisions arn't in the original so it is arguable where authors change thought and perhaps a verse by verse is better for allowing the reader to determine it themselves. I had a professor who advocated getting a text with no verses or paragraph breaks but just one long book and you should do all the breaks and flow of thought yourself. THAT WAS A DAUNTING TASK! Anyway, to bring this point back, the main reason I never favored the NASB is because I could only find it in verse by verse form.
     
  4. mesly

    mesly
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    Pete,

    You bring up an interesting question that I have, why would anybody want to use the RSV (with its liberal leanings) over the NASB? I have never understood this. Incidently, the NASB is available now in paragraph format (I have one).

    Thanks,
    Michael
     
  5. neal4christ

    neal4christ
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    He has already used it in his books Counted Righteous in Christ and Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.

    God Bless,
    Neal
     
  6. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    You know, I have never figured that one out either. I guess the moral that I am learning is that the RSV wasn't THAT bad though improvement was needed. Historically speaking it was burned by the same people who would burn the ESV today, and it is easy looking back from our vantage point with quite a few literal conservative translations to easily condemn it, but at that time there was less choice. But then again, the NASB arrived roughly the same time (both revisions of the American Standard Version) so you would think that is where they would have gone.

    Here is an interesting note about the NASB. Why don't they make a MacArthur study Bible. I heard (and this is second hand so it might just be rumor) that MacArthur preaches from the NASB and wanted to publish his study bible there but that Lockman (they do the NASB?) didn't want it so he found a publisher with the NKJV. I think if NASB wants to pick up sells they should publish his Bible. Perhaps the ESV should pick him up??? I heard they were doing there own study Bible, but I don't see harm in having two.

    I thought "We Are Not Professionals" was an older book then that. My time perspective is off here.
     
  7. mesly

    mesly
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    I don't know specifically about any dealings that MacArthur may have had with the Lockman Foundation regarding the NASB, but I do know that Nelson is literally giving away the NKJV (very low royaltys - compared to other translations/publishers). It would make sense if someone was looking to publish a study bible and cost was an issue, that the NKJV would be the right choice.
     
  8. Gunther

    Gunther
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    Pete, I heard the same thing about MacArthur and the NKJV.

    I do believe the ESV is picking up speed. I have God's word (the thinline) and also the genuine leather reference of the ESV. It is a great bible. I find myself using it all the time.
     

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