The new permanent ESV echoes the example of the KJV.

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Jim's picture

Craig wrote:

... this could pass for one of those Babylon Bee articles ....

Kind of does!

ESVO doesn't have the same cachet as KJVO ... but give it another 100 years!

Paul J. Scharf's picture

I agree that the ESV statement was poorly written and misses the mark. Comparing the ESV to the influence of the KJV was a bit, well . . .  presumptuous. . . .

On the other hand, I find it frustrating that these modern versions make continual changes. The ESV in the past has been on the other extreme of this issue, up to and including these latest 52 "soft changes." If you preach from the ESV tomorrow and do not read these changes, are you preaching from the ESV or not? Which version is one free to quote in print? How do you cite it?

I am similarly a little frustrated that the NASB is coming out with a new edition in 2017. Perhaps a compromise would be putting new "updates" in "new and improved" notes in future editions.

One wonders if all of these attempts are not really part of a marketing strategy.

Of course, the NIV tried making a "hard change" and we all know how that turned out. . . .

The NKJV, by contrast, has done a good job of maintaining its identity—although, interestingly, you will find "variant readings" in various editions. I hope it stays on the course of consistency.

Church Ministries Representative, serving in the Midwest, for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry 

Barry L.'s picture

But also there are too many different versions competing that it is not surprising that most people still stick with the ol' KJV. See related article linked in the article above.

It would have made sense for conservative evangelicals to get together and agree on one new version, but we know that commercial interests at publishing houses and pride will prevent that. 

Bert Perry's picture that if I cannot understand a Bible translated before 2010 (or whatever), God help me as I try to understand any piece of great literature, our laws, or any historic technical document.  Somehow there must be a nice balance between updating a translation as the language greatly changes (e.g. getting rid of verb endings, singular & plural formal/informal 2nd person, and the shambles), and updating each year with the most popular words of the year.  We seem to be getting closer and closer to the latter caricature.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture


There's a difference between a revision and mere tinkering. I don't think any translator can ever stop tinkering with his work. Tyndale, for example, revised his NT in 1534. It was better than the 1526. Is the "new" ESV, all 52 changes worth, better? I think we're probably in the tinkering realm here. Their work is done. I'm glad they stopped. Hopefully they won't change their minds in 2030.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TylerR's picture


I can't critique the translation from a Hebrew language perspective (give me two years or so), but that translation conforms to what the best material I've read on that verse says the text actually means. 

The NET, my current favorite translation, reads: "You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you." 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jim's picture

Crossway Statement on the ESV Bible Text

In August 2016, we posted on our website that “the text of the ESV Bible will remain unchanged in all future editions printed and published by Crossway.” The goal behind this decision to make the text permanent was to stabilize the English Standard Version, serving its readership by establishing the ESV as a translation that could be used “for generations to come.” We desired for there to be a stable and standard text that would serve the reading, memorizing, preaching, and liturgical needs of Christians worldwide from one generation to another.

We have become convinced that this decision was a mistake. We apologize for this and for any concern this has caused for readers of the ESV, and we want to explain what we now believe to be the way forward. Our desire, above all, is to do what is right before the Lord.

Our goal at Crossway remains as strong as ever to serve future generations with a stable ESV text. But the means to that goal, we now see, is not to establish a permanent text but rather to allow for ongoing periodic updating of the text to reflect the realities of biblical scholarship such as textual discoveries or changes in English over time. These kinds of updates will be minimal and infrequent, but fidelity to Scripture requires that we remain open in principle to such changes, as the Crossway Board of Directors and the ESV Translation Oversight Committee see fit in years ahead.

TylerR's picture


Jim, this must be a terrible joke. Are you kidding? The folks at Crossway must have gone mad. I'm "shocked, shocked!" to see this. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?