“Styria” writes about the ESV: “But what I like best about the English Standard Version, which became clear as soon as I opened it, is that it is very good for properly dividing the Law and the Gospel.”
He then cites Acts 9:31 in two translations to illustrate his point and discusses why he thinks the ESV gets the translation right in this instance: “The ESV, on the other hand, uses the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to characterize the growing church. I don’t think it’s a long stretch to say that that means the Law and the Gospel….” Read the complete post.
Here’s Malachi 2:16 in the ESV:
“For the man who hates and divorces, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
Here’s Malachi 2:16 in the RSV:
“For I hate divorce, says the LORD the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.”
You can see the different emphasis of the verse in these two translations. Why did the ESV translators translate this verse this way?
The answer turns on some fairly technical points in Hebrew, but it boils down to three arguments, as explained by ESV Old Testament Chairman C. John Collins:
- The translation of this verse found in the AV [KJV] (and most English Bibles since then), with God hating divorce, represents a departure from the translation tradition of the previous centuries.
- The rendering of the ESV, which has a Judean man “hating” his wife and divorcing her, does the best job of handling the details of the Masoretic Text, with no corrections. It also enables us to see how this fits into the context of profaning the calling of the people of God.
- This way of reading Malachi 2:16 allows us to see how the verse fits into the overall promotion of covenant fidelity as the ideal of marriage, an ideal for which the faithful among the people of God—whether in ancient Israel or in the Christian Church today—will seek all the resources of grace, of forgiveness, of fellowship with the saints, and of the Holy Spirit’s enabling power.
That’s the short answer. For the long answer, read this 25-page article (pdf) by C. John Collins. You can also find this article (and others) on the Articles page elsewhere on this website.
Crossway is reducing the retail price on the following ESV Bibles by 20% until December 31, 2005.
- Compact BattleZone editions (
$29.99 now $23.97)
- Compact Thinline editions – with slide tab (
$29.99 now $23.97) and without slide tab ( $24.99 now $19.97)
- Deluxe Reference editions – hardcover (
$34.99 now $27.97), bonded leather ( $54.99 now $43.97), and genuine leather ( $69.99 now $55.97) editions
- Pocket New Testaments – bonded leather (
$14.99 now $11.97) and genuine leather ( $24.99 now $19.97) editions
The prices shown are 20% lower than normal retail prices for these editions. Any additional discounts are off the reduced sale price. You should see the reduced retail prices at bookstores soon.
Shane Raynor, who blogs from a Methodist perspective, reviews several Bible translations in a recent entry. Of the ESV, he says:
There are several things I like about the ESV:
(1) It uses readable, modern English, yet still sounds dignified.
(2) Because of its RSV roots, people who have memorized scripture in the King James or RSV will be very comfortable with the ESV.
(3) Crossway, the ESV copyright holder, has been less strict on copyrights and distribution than most other publishers….
(4) I own a classic reference edition, and it has the best font and “feel” of any Bible I own.
At the ESV Online Edition, we’ve introduced a new option: you can now listen to verses from the New Testament in Windows Media format. Previously, only RealAudio was available.
We should caution that Windows Media Player is maddeningly imprecise in its start and stop times. If you’re listening to part of a chapter, you will often find that at the end of your selection, Windows Media Player will start playing the beginning of the following verse. For this reason, we can’t recommend using Windows Media as the default audio type.
(If you know a way to make Windows Media Player better obey start and stop times, we’d love to hear it.)
How to Do It
- Visit the Options page at the ESV Online Edition.
- Choose “Windows Media” in the “Audio Format” option.
- Press the “Save” button.
Passages in the New Testament (such as John 1) will now have “Listen” links that point to Windows Media files.
We’ve been having some intermittent reliability problems with our media server. If you get an error message while trying to listen to the audio, please wait a few minutes and try again.
Changes to the Web Service
Those of you using the ESV Web Service can control which audio you enable using the new “audio-format” option. Currently it takes two values: “real” (the default) or “wma.” We hope to add another value soon.
Sample web service query (John 1 with a Windows Media link).