As a youth pastor and even more as a pastor, I was often times asked what is a good “Bible” to get. I mean, there are tons of different choices in the Christian bookstore when it comes to what Bible you buy. There are paperbacks and calfskin with a ton of types in between. There is the KJV, the translation most of us have used growing up. There are some modern translations that you don’t recognize when you read them. I personally prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible. While it is a new translation, it is a more “literal translation” while still being more “readable” than most other literal translations. Many scholars that I think highly of have endorsed the ESV. The truth is, I have several translations that I like a lot. I just personally prefer the balance found in the ESV. Since I now have a preferred translation, you’d think that would answer the question of which Bible to recommend. But it didn’t answer the question…
The truth is when I got this question, it was usually more directed at the “study bible” market. The question was more about which study bible than which translation. It took me a while to figure this out. The truth is, just like with the translations, there are a host of good ones. There are ones that are more devotional in nature and one or two that are more technical. I have had different study bibles that I have appreciated, but I have never had one that I absolutely wanted to recommend.
Now I do!
It won’t be in bookstores until October, but the ESV Study Bible appears to be about as fine a study Bible as I could imagine. If you click on the link above you’ll see the endorsements are rather glowing. You’ll also see some sample pages and the “specs”. Check it out and see what you think.
**** IMPORTANT**** Please know that the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible are COMPLETELY PERFECT AND WITHOUT ERROR! There is NO perfect translation and certainly there is NOT a “one size fits all” study bible. I wrote this post today because I have been excited about this project for nearly 2 years now and I wanted to share it with the people I care about.