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A history of the ESV Bible

ESV means English Standard Version. It is an attempt to present the Bible as accurately as possible, in a comprehensible language. It has gone through a series of printings because of its popularity in evangelical circles. It has given rise to certain study Bibles and materials derived from it, but there have been recent criticisms of its language. This article gives you an insight of the ESV bible.

The beginnings

The philosophy of the ESV The publishers Crossway produced the ESV bibles to meet a need for a Bible in easily readable English. Their philosophy was that the translation should be as literal as possible to prevent later interpretations from obscuring the original meaning. Also, that translation should as far as possible be in easily read English. They employed a noted evangelical theologian, J.Packer, to serve as general editor of the team translating the ESV. Antecedents The ESV was derived from the RSV, the Revised Standard Version, which is shared between all mainstream Christian churches. The National Council of Churches gave permission for the RSV to be adapted. There were some amendments made to deal with problematic language. The words 'thee' and 'thou' were replaced by the modern 'you'. Some amendments were made on theological grounds. For example, Isaiah's prophecy that the virgin [parthenos] will conceive, is replaced by the more technically correct alma, meaning young woman. However, only five to ten per cent of the RSV wording was altered.

Subsequent developments

The ESV was first produced in 2001. There was a minor amendment in 2007, which saw the text polished a little. Crossway Bibles produced a reprint in 2008 and there was a further reprint in 2009. At this time, Crossway Books introduced the apocrypha into the ESV. These are books that are not included in the Hebrew Bible, but which are accepted by Roman Catholics, but not by Protestants, e.g. Judith and Ester. They are known as deuterocanonical books by the RC and Ortodox churches. This development was done in cooperation with Oxford University to enhance the ESV's appeal to scholars. Later on, Crossway produced the Crossway Study Bible. This is a version of the ESV which is augmented by a set of notes, and is intended for more scholarly readers. There is also an ESV online and a Bible atlas, along with study software. However, there have been criticisms that the ESV was using gender-inclusive language, which is not present in the original Bible, so some critics claim that it is not being exactly true to its philosophy. The use of gender-inclusive language was defended by Strauss.

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