The English Standard Version Bible (ESV) is the revised and edited version of the Revised Standard Version, which many consider to be the twentieth century’s best translation. Led by Dr. Lane T. Dennis in the early 1990s, hundreds of people assisted in translating the ESV, with oversight from the National Council of Churches.
The ESV combines the specific wording of the original text with current English grammar, syntax, and idiom, allowing you to more easily relate to the text while maintaining the fullest accuracy. Using a word-for-word translation approach instead of a thought-for-thought method, the ESV is an “essentially literal” translation that captures both the precise wording of the text and the personal style of each Bible writer (ESVBible.org).
The ESV retains several classic theological terms—including “sanctification,” “justification,” “redemption,” “regeneration,” “propitiation,” and “reconciliation”—that, due to their importance in Christian doctrine, cannot be eliminated without loss of meaning. The version includes section headings, called pericopes, which guide you toward important themes.
The ESV translators worked with a high degree of scholarly integrity, which resulted in as close to perfect work as anyone could expect.
We know that no Bible translation is perfect or final; but we also know that God uses imperfect and inadequate things to his honor and praise. So to our triune God and to his people we offer what we have done, with our prayers that it may prove useful, with gratitude for much help given, and with ongoing wonder that our God should ever have entrusted to us so momentous a task.
A number of today’s leading Christian authors and pastors recognize the excellence and clarity of the English Standard Version.