Opinions on the ESV


I’ve been reading lots of good things about this particular translation, seems like an updated, fixed RSV (if that was needed?).

Sounds like they’ve adjusted lots of the Old Testament verses that are more overtly Christological in nature, whereas in the RSV they read more obscurely.

I am tempted to get hold of the ESV with the ‘Apocrypha’ but just don’t want to let go of the RSV 2CE.


The ESV is not a Catholic Bible; so I’d stick with the RSV-CE or another Catholic translation.



What about the NCB? I have the CTS compact printing of that one, and it is lovely (plus it is used and approved for the UK liturgy). I would also recommend the RSV over the RSV-2 (CE of course) :slight_smile:


The ESV takes a literal approach to translation and attempts to translate each individual word as literally as possible. From what I can tell, it seems to be one of the favored translations of Evangelicals.

It’s actually much closer to the RSV than the NAB is. I can do side by side comparisons with my Verbum Bible Software and (of the few chapters I chose to look at), the ESV seems to be generally 7-10% different from the RSV2CE, where as the NABRE is about 25-30% different from the RSV2CE. That doesn’t tell you much about the significance of the individual differences, though, just the amount of differences in phrasing and word choice.

I think you could do far worse than the ESV, but I also generally recommend sticking with translations that are Catholic-approved.


The Church is “a” pillar and foundation of truth, according to the ESV.


Yeah, that’s an example of a small change in verbiage that can make a big difference.


I don’t object to this rendering so much because it goes against my Catholic sensibilities about the Church, but especially because it doesn’t carry the sense of the Greek.

The Greek has neither the definite article (“the”) in this passage, and the Greek language has no indefinite article (“a”). But reading the Greek in context doesn’t sound to me (and to pre-ESV translators) that the reference to the Church is indefinite. In English, it would read more like “the household of God, which is the Church, pillar and foundation of the truth”, the “the” being implied from the sense, but even if the “the” were simply omitted, it won’t even be nearly as objectionable. Placing an “a” there sounds less justified to my ears and makes me suspicious of an evangelical slant to downplay the Church’s role as arbiter of the truth.


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