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.
While there are no perfect translations there are good translations and there are those that we could not, before the Lord Jesus, recommend to others. Therefore we remain very fond of and therefore continue to use and enjoy the KJV, NKJV, and NASB translations for our study, research, etc. This is simply because they are very good translations. Translations that we can trust in the Lord Jesus Christ!
The ESV or The English Standard Version however, is my preferred translation after years of prayerful consideration, study, and research. In the end it just became so clear to me that this is the translation that the Lord was calling me to use and to lead our church into. Therefore, this is the translation we have and are strongly recommending to our church families. I use this for all of my preaching, teaching, study and personal use. I have also posted on this blog site, two of several articles I have written on the ESV. The first one has to do with why I changed translations. The second article is on what I consider a rampant and serious issue regarding “the dumbing down of the church“. Both are longer, but I pray worth the read.
The chart below has to do with the placement of various translations on a scale of how close to or how literal they are in reflecting the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts that we have today.
PS. A Great Resource for buying the ESV, English Standard Version Bibles, or KJV, or NKJV, is our friends at EvangelicalBible.com. We have purchased several Bibles through them for ourselves and others. They are great to work with and have extremely high quality Bibles available. You just might want to give them a good look? You will discover they are a great resource for all of your Bible needs.