Thursday, April 01, 2010

Why I Switched

A few months ago, I realized that my New International Version of the Bible was nearing the end of its life cycle. It was wearing out. Pages were close to falling out.

Since the publisher of the NIV planned to replace it with an updated translation in 2011, I decided against purchasing another NIV. I didn't want a Bible that would be out of print within the next year. However, I also did not want to wait to see whether I would like the updated NIV.

In addition, I had been thinking about switching to a version that would translate the original languages in a more word-for-word manner rather than in a thought-for-thought style. I considered the New King James Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the English Standard Version.

Eventually, I chose the ESV. I liked the philosophy of the translators (from the preface of the English Standard Version):

"The ESV is an 'essentially literal' translation that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. As such, its emphasis is on 'word-for-word' correspondence, at the same time taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. Thus it seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original...

"Every translation is at many points a trade-off between literal precision and readability...and the ESV is no exception. Within this framework we have sought to be 'as literal as possible' while maintaining clarity of expression and literary excellence...As an essentially literal translation, then, the ESV seeks to carry over every possible nuance of meaning in the original words of Scripture into our language."

Therefore, the English Standard Version became my new primary Bible. However, I still enjoy reading other translations.

No comments: