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English Standard Version (ESV)


The Translation:

The English Standard Version of the Bible is represented by the abbreviation "ESV." It is described as an "essentially literal" translation of the Bible using contemporary English.


The English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible was first published in 2001. It was written by a team that included over 100 evangelical scholars and pastors. One goal of the Engish Standard Version's creators was to create a Bible that was accurate in a word-for-word way that captured the elegance and majesty of the original languages of the Bible. Meanwhile, a second goal was to make this version a readable literary translation.

The creators of the ESV wanted to honor the longstanding history and reliability of the King James Version (KJV) that had been used for centuries around the world. Keeping in mind the historic legacy of those who translated the King James version , the ESV's translators wanted to make the version fresh and compelling for today's audiences.

What Sets It Apart:

The English Standard Version (ESV) is different from other versions of the Bible in that it tries to maintain the word-for-word translation but with modern day language. There is a transparency so that we can see the original text inherent in the modern day writing. This type of writing is different from other bible versions that seek to maintain the themes or thoughts inherent in the original writings, but are not as literal. The writers of the ESV feel that their translation then prevents too much interpretation of text from entering the translation.

How the Bible Was Written:

The creators of the English Standard Version used the original writings in three languages - Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. They also sought to follow the words and phrasing in both the Tyndale King James Version and the RSV. When facing difficult passages, the group also looked to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Syriac Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate and some other sources to help get clarification.

See the Differences:

See the differences between the ESV and two other Bible translations (the KJV and NIV) in Psalm 108:1-6:

O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth; That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.

My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.

My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer me!


The English Standard Version (ESV) Bible was first published in 2001. Since then the ESV Study Bible has been also published, and there is an interactive free website that can help Christians grow by watching videos and following reading plans.

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