In 2007, as a family we went through a purposeful process to choose a Bible translation. You can read a summary of my goals and our process here.
Keep in mind, since our first purchase of ESVs for our family in 2007, I have purchased ESV Study Bibles for my wife & I as well as new Bibles for our two oldest children.
In addition, I use the ESV App on my iPad/iPhone. I have the ESV Study Bible in my Olive Tree App. I use the ESV online regularly. And my wife & children use Desiring God’s Fighter Verse App for memorisation which uses the ESV.
All of this has added up to a level of frustration.
As you can see in my post from 2007, one of the main goals in choosing a Bible translation for our family was consistency. I believed then and still believe now that there is great benefit that comes from consistency.
However, we are now, regularly experiencing inconsistency even though we are all using the ESV.
Come to find out there are three ESV texts (at least) 2003, 2007, & 2011. Four years between each.
One difficulty is that you cannot readily tell which “version” of the ESV you have. They all say simply ESV. It is only on the copyright page where you find a small note regarding “Text Version:.”
I find this all very unhelpful. It isn’t that I am opposed to new English versions or even necessary updates. I am just not convinced that the frequency or many of the updates is really necessary. I am certainly convinced that it is not helpful.
As a church, in a short period of time we find ourselves with two to three different “versions” of pew Bibles though we selected a pew translation partly for consistency.
As a family we already have two to three different “versions” (print and electronic) in our home though they are all technically ESVs.
As a result we have invested hundreds of dollars with a desire to have the benefit of a consistent translation in our home and church only to find ourselves reading the Bible together or attempting to memorise Scripture and each of our ESVs not matching.
Though I do not prefer the NIV as a translation, I do appreciate their clarity and transparency in introducing new updates. It is easy to tell if you have a 1984, TNIV, or 2011. In addition though there wasn’t a large number of years between the TNIV and 2011, they are still a far cry from three different editions in eight years.
Though I am thankful for the ESV and have benefited greatly from their online resources along with the Study Bible, I am very reluctant to continue investing in ESV Bibles because I have no certainty that the next one I purchase will be the same as the last one.