I’m having a hard time convincing myself to buy an ESV Bible.
I think I’m pretty much over the old war between the ESV and the TNIV. It’s not always the easiest thing to let go of, but it’s less and less in my thought process these days. I’m trying to look at the translation for what it is, not for what its supporters did to another translation.
But when I get right down to it, I’m having a really hard time convincing myself that I should buy one. The fact is that I do own one, a hardcover pew Bible I picked up for something like $11 back when the ESV first came out. So I can read it whenever I want, except that I understand the translation has been updated a little bit since the original ESV. And you know that I really don’t care for hardcover Bibles.
So why am I even considering getting an ESV? Well, you also know that I have that old NASB that I used so hard for several years, and it’s falling apart, so I want to replace it. But I’m also realizing that I’m not only replacing a NASB, but I’m also trying to replace a formal translation Bible that was my main Bible for quite some time. I could get another NASB, but I’m not always happy with the NASB translation and it’s style of English. So I could replace it with an ESV, or maybe a NRSV. I have copies of both, but only hardcover. I’m also using the NIV and TNIV more these days, but I’m not always happy with either of those versions, either.
I figure I could use the ESV, and it would be closer to the old RSV than my NASB was, so it would be relatively easy to use in my church where the pew Bible is the NRSV, yet it would be a more “evangelical” translation, a little more in my comfort zone, so to speak.
Or…I could go with the NRSV, the pew Bible and default translation in my church; an easy-reading translation by comparison, but whose liberal scholarship makes me a little bit uncomfortable. I could live with it, but there are precious few NRSV Bibles available with a large font for easier reading, and with a nice, soft genuine leather/bonded leather/soft imitation leather cover.
I know, it’s a consumer mentality. I’m curious about the upcoming NIV next year. I’m quite happy with the NIV/TNIV translation, though not always! I’ll probably be looking to buy the new NIV when it comes out. I’m also very curious about the CEB. From what I’ve seen of it in the two downloads I have, Matthew and Genesis, it will have some rather, uh, controversial renderings, but it also will not be a simple Bible for simple-minded people. It looks like it will be a mediating translation much in the mold of the NIV/TNIV, maybe even a little more formal.
So I may just hold onto what I’m using for the time being, and check those two out when they come along in the next year or two.
But I’m still trying to like the ESV.