Starting this week, I am switching to the English Standard Version in my preaching ministry. I’m making the move partly out of the necessity to get a new Bible. For almost ten years, I’ve used a large-print NIV, but it is so worn and torn that it needs to be replaced. I had been thinking about making the switch to the ESV and now seems like a good time to do it.
This is my third translation in 30 years of ministry. I started with the NASB in the late 70s, switched to the NIV and have used it every since. Starting this week, I’ll be preaching from the ESV. These days there are many good translation options, some would argue almost too many. It’s hard to imagine that any modern translation will hold sway like the venerable King James Version did for so many years. Some people lament the fact that we don’t have a unified Bible translation in the evangelical world, but that’s like lamenting that instead of the “Big Three” TV networks that once dominated the scene, we now have hundreds of choices. I’m glad that Bible students have many translations to read, and I’m glad that most of them are available online.
My personal favorites are the ESV, NIV, the NET Bible, NASB, KJV, NLT, CEV, and the Message. I enjoy reading a wide variety of translations/paraphrases because each one gives you a slightly different picture of what the Bible writers were trying to say. I know that some people (lots of people, actually) feel very strongly about their favorite translation. I don’t have a dog in that fight. I’m switching to the ESV because it seems like the right time for me to do it.