Thursday, October 9, 2008

ESV with Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals)

Over at Bible Design Blog, J. Mark Bertrand discovered that the new ESV with Apocrypha has a full listing at the OUP website. I am certainly happy that the ESV is coming out with an edition that could be utilized by both Catholics and Orthodox, but I am still unsure if I am going to give it a look. Why add another Bible translation to the mix when I am already trying to narrow down the ones I already have to use as a daily Bible? Perhaps I could use some convincing! :)

Here are the details, thus far:

The English Standard Version Bible captures as far as possible the precise wording of the original biblical text and the personal style of each Bible writer, while taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. The ESV thus provides an accurate rendering of the original texts that is in readable, high quality English prose and poetry. This Bible has been growing in popularity among students in biblical studies, mainline Christian scholars and clergy, and Evangelical Christians of all denominations.

Along with that growth comes the need for the books of the Apocrypha to be included in ESV Bibles, both for denominations that use those books in liturgical readings and for students who need them for historical purposes. More Evangelicals are also beginning to be interested in the Apocrypha, even though they don't consider it God's Word. The English Standard Version Bible with the Apocrypha , for which the Apocrypha has been commissioned by Oxford University Press, employs the same methods and guidelines used by the original translators of the ESV, to produce for the first time an ESV Apocrypha. This will be the only ESV with Apocrypha available anywhere, and it includes all of the books and parts of books in the Protestant Apocrypha, the Catholic Old Testament, and the Old Testament as used in Orthodox Christian churches. It will have a lovely pre-printed case binding, and will include a full-color map section, a table of weights and measures used in the Bible, and many other attractive features.

The English Standard Version Bible with Apocrypha is certain to become the preferred Bible in more conservative divinity schools and seminaries, where the Apocrypha is studied from an academic perspective. And it answers the need of conservative Christians in general for a more literal version of these books.


rolf said...

I like the ESV I bought in 2005, I bought it because I liked the RSV in general but am not a fan of the 'thees and thous' especially in the psalms. But when the RSV 2CE came out in 2006, I replaced it with that. Though there are times when the ESV translated verses are a lot smoother than the RSV 2CE. But it is not a Catholic involved translation, so I don't know whether I will buy one or not, but knowing me I probably will.

Meg said...

My Bible professor (catholic) told us that the ESV was designed for people who read the Bible very literally. Where it is possible to translate so that creation is compatible with science, for example, they do so. It was made, essentially, for Bible fundamentalists.

He didn't provide any quotations, though, so I'm afraid I can't back it up.

rolf said...

Yeah the ESV is a re-do of the RSV for Evangelicals. Like the RSV CE & RSV 2CE, the majority of the text is the RSV. So as the RSV it is very literal, as your intructor said. Out of all the Protestant versions of the Bible, I think it is one of the best. I like having a couple of Protestant versions available when talking with Protestant freinds, that way if I quote any Bible verses when taking about the Saints, Mary or any other Catholic teachings, I can use their own Bible to prove them.

ElShaddai Edwards said...

Tim, if you want to read more about the potential reception of the ESV + Apocrypha, I'll refer you to my post just after it was listed on Amazon and CBD - see the comments for discussion. I will note that both retailers have pushed the anticipated release date up from Feb 1 to Jan 1 (or thereabouts).

I don't use the ESV, but if I were to get another one, this would probably be it.

Timothy said...

Thanks Elshaddai! The ESV seems to be a very controversial Bible translation. (83 comments is quite a bit!) Having read a bit about it, and its intentions from the start, I guess I can see why. At the very least, I will have to take a look at it when it comes out.

Biblical Catholic said...

I have pre-ordered a copy of the ESV with Apocrypha from I would prefer that they do an actual 'Catholic Edition', but I guess that is up to some Catholic publisher to do that. I figure that if the ESV with Apocrypha proves to be profitable that a genuine Catholic Edition can't be far behind.

As far as it goes, the ESV is the RSV with about 4% of the text changed. Some of the changes seem to make no sense at all, but other changes are very good, for example Matthew 2:2.

Timothy said...


One snag with having an official Catholic version of the ESV is that it would need an Imprimatur from bishop. That could take some time.

Dan Crawford said...

Knowing several of the translators of the ESV, I am a little startled at the characterization by a Catholic "Bible Professor" that the ESV was made for "fundamentalists". It was an attempt to provide a literal translations which was also literate - unlike some literal translations. And it is not guilty of pc "paraphrases" as some translations including the NRSV and the NAB are. Maybe the professor's bias was showing.