Monday, November 24, 2008

Just Over a Month Away

I know that I posted on the ESV with Apocrypha a month ago, but I thought I might bring it up again as the January 1 publication date nears. I am still not sold about whether or not I should get it. There has been some discussion about the ESV in general over at Better Bible Blog, mostly pointing out it shortcomings. At this point, I will probably just pass on it for now, unless I see it at a local bookstore. After spending a half year using the NRSV-CE for class, prayer, and ministry work, I decided to switch back to the original RSV-CE. (Perhaps I should post the reasons why at some point.) I know that the ESV is an update to the RSV, reacting to some of the changes done in the NRSV. Yet, from what I have read, I am not sure those reasons are all that good. Yet, it is closer to the original RSV than the NRSV in many ways. Hmm....


Biblical Catholic said...

I already own a copy of the ESV, and I have pre-ordered a copy of the ESV with Apocrypha. It is a good translation, but definitely needs to be revised more. Right now, it has already been revised once, and I think they are going to continue to revise it. The one thing they should NOT change is the supposedly 'outdated' language. A Bible translation should have some dignity to the language, and the 'old fashioned' language of the RSV/ESV is very dignified indeed. It sounds good when read aloud.

Meg said...

Get lots of different translations, Tim. No single one will capture all the nuances of the original languages (because NO translation ever can), but altogether, you might get a very good picture of what the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek was trying to convey.

Michael makes an interesting point about the language -- I like exalted language in Scripture proclaimed at Church, but I prefer a less formal language -- say the NEB or the New Jerusalem -- for silent reading on my own. Sometimes the Bible can be quite raunchy and down to earth, and I think that is lost in higher English. But the ancient Hebrews wrote in many different styles -- and some of them were lower than others.

That needs to be a part of a good translation too, IMO.

Timothy said...


I think you might have sold me on at least purchasing the ESV with Apocrypha. There is definitely a place for 'old fashioned' language, particularly in proclamation and Bible study settings. (And I looked and Amazon is selling the ESV with Apocrypha for only $16.50....why not!)

I fear that I may own too many translations! Although, perhaps that is not necessarily a bad thing. Recently I have been considering using a less formal translation for my daily reading and prayer. Perhaps the NJB fits that need.