Wayne Grudem Discusses the Need for the ESV (Ask the Translators #1 Answer 10)

What was the main motivation behind the committee in gathering to produce another English translation? Some might argue that another updated translation is not needed when there are so many Bibles already in English.

Wayne Grudem responds:

We thought that, in the providence of God, there was room for a Bible translation that would be committed for a word-for-word or essentially literal philosophy of translation, but that still tried, perhaps more accurately than any previous translation, to maintain clarity and readability and beauty in the English language. We’re thankful for all of those other translations, and I know that they have been used by God. But we’re hopeful that this one might even, by God’s blessing, be somewhat of an improvement—certainly in clarity, and in accuracy, and in beauty and readability. When all those factors are taken together, that could then become a Bible that would be used throughout the church. There wouldn’t be just one Bible for children and another one for one denomination or another denomination, or this generation or that, but an accurate and readable Bible that could be used by all generations: in a church, it could be used in Sunday School classes, it could be used in adult Bible studies, it could be used for meditating and memorizing, and then could be used for the public preaching text of the church as well. So that then, if a church goes this route and has one standard Bible used throughout the church—that the pastor is preaching from that Bible, the adults are studying from that Bible in their Bible studies, the children are memorizing from that Bible (not that they wouldn’t consult other translations from time to time as well). But there would be a standard base of a reliable translation that people would gain familiarity with throughout the church. And we think it would be a wonderful benefit to churches if that would happen.

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