KJV & ESV (or another trans.)

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Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
I've been using the KJV as my main Bible for the past 5 years. However, I recently picked up the ESV Study Bible, and would like to use that more. My church uses the ESV Bible, so that was a push for me to check it out (I also wanted a more modern translation). But I'm still torn between the translations. I would somehow like to use both and not abandon my KJV. I ultimately have to settle on which one I will use as my main bible though. I'm thinking of using the ESV as my new daily reader and the KJV for certain books of the bible. For those who still use the KJV and another translation along with it (whether it be ESV or something else), how do you choose which one you use?

I haven't memorized too many passages using the KJV, so switching translations won't be that big of an issue as far as memorization goes. But at the same time, I don't want to start memorizing using the ESV to only have it fall out of use in a few years.

I'm sort of torn on what translation to use. I want a modern translation that will be here for some time, but at the same time I don't want to completely abandon the KJV. What do you guys say?
 
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Elimelek

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello Claudiu

As far as I know the translators of the English Standard Version tried to honour the tradition of the King James Version to the extent that if someone reads from the one, you can follow in the other. That is why some readers of the English Standard Version often complains about the prepositions. Maybe if you put the two translations next to one another you might find that they don't differ so much, expect for the old English pronouns "thee," "though," "ye" etc.

Kind regards
 

baron

Puritan Board Graduate
I use the KJV for my Bible reading. I used to use so many versions that I was getting confused. Our church uses the ESV which I do not care for, I can not explain why it just does not read good espically out loud. I do like the HCSB, it seems to flow as you read it. Also the ESV and HCSB seem to be a lot alike. I can follow when the pastor is reading out of the ESV in my HCSB. But I still like the KJV the best. Sorry if I confuse you but I also enjoy the Geneva Bible 1559.
 

rookie

Puritan Board Junior
For reading, I use the KJV and the NASB in English, and I have my Louis Segond in French. I enjoy the NASB over the KJV since it's today's English, and quite accurate in translation. I gave my ESV to my brother in law, praying he will read and see his sin and that Christ will reveal Himself.

But as far as wanting a modern one that will be here for sometime? Most have a "shelf life" of over 100 yrs. I think you will be safe, lol.

But when doing my bible study, it's the KJV, NASB, Segond, and Biblos.com: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages

---------- Post added at 05:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:16 PM ----------

As a side note, I was once told by the church I use to attend not to read the ESV as it promotes Calvinism....lol
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
As a side note, I was once told by the church I use to attend not to read the ESV as it promotes Calvinism....lol

Now now Ray, have you not read David Cloud's articles about what a bad thing Calvinism is. Fundamental Baptist Publishing Ministry of David Cloud Read it then you will understand why the ESV is a bad translation - as Cloud convincingly shows, it does not give enough space to the free will of man :lol: :lol:
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
As a side note, I was once told by the church I use to attend not to read the ESV as it promotes Calvinism....lol

Funny, I ran into the same problem with the KJV. And the NIV. And the NASB. And the NKJV.
 

SolaSaint

Puritan Board Sophomore
I don't think you need to worry about the ESV going out of print. Have you thought of using a parallel bible.
 

Bad Organist

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello Claudiu

As far as I know the translators of the English Standard Version tried to honour the tradition of the King James Version to the extent that if someone reads from the one, you can follow in the other. That is why some readers of the English Standard Version often complains about the prepositions. Maybe if you put the two translations next to one another you might find that they don't differ so much, expect for the old English pronouns "thee," "though," "ye" etc.

Kind regards

Hi,

There is a notion perpetuated that the ESV is sort of the replacement of the KJV. I don't agree with it. A lot of so called in the line of the KJV, standard bibles, etc. make that claim. You can look it up. The ERV, ASV,RSV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, and so on.

The version that pays the most homage to the KJV is the NKJV. The words and word order are much closer overall than any other.

I don't find reading along in the KJV while the ESV is being read always an easy thing to do. Certain passages are radically different making following along a royal pain.

For memorization, the KJV is easiest, as the language is so often memorable, so quotable.

Someone mentioned about the shelf-life of modern translations being over 100 years. I don't know where that comes from, but you would have been hard pressed to find bibles such as the ASV or RSV, or a host of others in stores even 50 years after they were brought to market. They tell me that the original NIV from 1984 is no longer in print. Even the ESV 2001 text and the ESV 2007 text are no longer printed. Do you really think it will be easy to find an original ESV ninety years from now? I doubt it. Versions are temporary. There is much tweaking and tinkering going on, that the bible reading public knows little about. It will be amazing to me if a version remains available for more than even 30 to 40 years now.

It is very interesting to me, that the KJV is still the second best selling english bible today. I'm sure the ESV promoters, the NRSV promoters, etc. are confused why this should be so. Maybe God is honoring the KJV translation even these days.

Arie Vandenberg
Free Church of Scotland
Toronto, Canada
 

Fogetaboutit

Puritan Board Freshman
As far as I know the translators of the English Standard Version tried to honour the tradition of the King James Version to the extent that if someone reads from the one, you can follow in the other

Actually according to the Trinitirian Bible Society the ESV is a revision of the RSV "http://www.trinitarianbiblesociety.org/site/articles/a120.pdf"

I don't find reading along in the KJV while the ESV is being read always an easy thing to do. Certain passages are radically different making following along a royal pain.

I completely agree, I use the KJV and the church I attend uses the ESV, it is sometime hard to follow along, some of the verses in the ESV are written backwards when you compare it the the KJV.

As a side note, I was once told by the church I use to attend not to read the ESV as it promotes Calvinism....lol

I believe many people believe this because of the Calvinistic men often associated with it (Sproul, Piper, Grudem etc.). Actually I would say the most calvinistic bible are the Geneva and KJV and the reason would be due to accuracy over the new version especially the dynamic translation/paraphrases. It is Ironic that most advocates of the KJV today are arminian and often anti-calvinist when the KJV itself was translated by a strong calvinistic commitee and most reformed people today actually advocate newer version which are results of an ecumenical greek text commitee.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
The other thing to remember is that there are whole verses in the KJV that are NOT in the ESV. I used to attend a congregation that used the ESV. Many times when they read, and I followed along with my KJV, I would be left dumbfounded. Why didn't they read that verse? Why did they leave this out? And then I would pick up an ESV and find out that the verse was just not there.

Either the KJV adds or the ESV takes away. You can find extensive debates on this elsewhere on the PB. My point is only that I don't see how these two versions can work in concert. I think one needs to decide upon one or the other.

Have you looked into such issues? That might help you decide? What do you believe concerning the textual basis for each version?
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
Tim, I'm familiar with the textual debate. I used to be a KJVO, but I don't hold to that anymore. I don't have an issue with using a bible based on manuscripts different from the ones that were used for the KJV.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I've slowly warmed to the ESV and see it as the logical replacement (sob) to the NASB. I like the familiar "you" still in place in the NASB and perhaps that would give you some of the feel of KJV while using that other text. Heh, Heh.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The King James Version, although it is almost 400 years old, I believe is still the best translation available today. It was translated by men who were both intellectually and spiritually qualified for the work. The great version which they produced is faithful to the originals, accurate, incomparable in its style, and easily understood by all those who are serious about reading and studying God's Word. It is also the bible of the Protestant reformation. I love My KJV bible and read it more than others.

The first English translations were study Bibles in both senses. Translators sought to create a version that could be studied by the masses. They wanted to take the text from the tight grip of academics and clerics and put it in the language of the people. They also wanted to provide guidance to their readers with explanatory notes and cross references.

I was recently loaned a Geneva Bible and it is fascinating. These early study materials in protestant bibles were often as polemic as informative. William Tyndale was strangled to death and burned at the stake for the crimes of translating the Bible into English and of challenging the teachings of the Roman Catholic church in his notes. This pattern continued in all Protestant Bible translations of the sixteenth century.

The Geneva Bible of 1560, for example, promoted the Reformed doctrines of John Calvin and criticized all contrary systems. At Revelation 9:11 "the Angel of the bottomless pit" is identified as "Antichrist the Pope, king of hypocrites and Satan’s ambassador."

I also have The Reformation Study Bible (ESV) by Dr. R.C. Sproul .I love that bible because it has helped me understand the Reformed faith and traditions as supported in scripture.

I have kept my catholic bible but only refer to it when I want to confirm a false teaching of the Roman church.
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
I think I will read through the ESV completely next year (and compare with the KJV here and there) and then see which one I will keep as my main bible. Maybe the KJV will remain my daily reader.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think I will read through the ESV completely next year (and compare with the KJV here and there) and then see which one I will keep as my main bible. Maybe the KJV will remain my daily reader.

May God bless your reading of His Word. Whatever you do, do decide on one and stick with it. The idea, which is common today, that it is profitable to the layman to be often reading from multiple translations of Scripture is, in my opinion, "bunk." It teaches us to be judges of Scripture rather than letting our hearts and minds be judged by Scripture, and it makes retaining the text difficult. Bible memory does not only mean memorizing verses; we remember the flow of what we read and using multiple translations can neuter our ability recall what we have read.

It sounds like you already know all this and are planning to settle on one primary translation when you have enough information to decide which one. While weighing your options, you really owe it to yourself to read this thread, to give the KJV a fighting chance: http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/av-case-single-english-translation-18102/. Whatever you choose, I go back to my first statement: May God bless your reading of His Word!
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Claudiu,

Full disclosure: I'm NOT KJVO, am willing to call it "God's Word" whether it is based on the Textus Receptus (KJV, NKJV) OR a Critical Text (ESV, HCSB, NIV, NAS, NLT, and practically all of the modern translations), and do NOT share the view that it hurts to compare translations.

In honor of the KJV anniversary, I've read a scad of books about the KJV, viewed several DVDs, and use the KJV for my daily devotions and most of my teaching this year.
* It is magisterial, memorable, and nearly musical.
* The general level of scholarship exceeds that of any translation (that I am aware of) completed since then.
* The book is surprisingly readable and understandable in most places and even the odd archaic word here are there can be fairly well deduced from the context in most cases.
* The translation was accomplished scholars representing a higher percentage of Reformed thinkers than most/any(?) modern "evangelical" Bible translations.
* It was our last "single" Bible standard for English speakers and the loss of this is a HUGE problem in a number of practical areas. Not only was it good to have a standard for Bible memorization, but it made it easier for the average lay reader to say "the Bible says" without endless equivocations and uncertainties.

I actually prefer the NKJV, but will probably use the ESV more than any other after this anniversary year.
* The KJV will not likely return to pre-eminence again among English speakers (and it does have some archaic words).
* The NKJV has not shown the ability to "catch on" and become widely enough used (cf. HCSB). This is too bad since it "flags" where the textual variants are: TR, Byzantine Majority, Critical Nestle-Aland/UBS.
* The ESV is a very satisficing choice, balancing a number of factors (literal, readable, current English usage, etc.).
* The ESV is representative of a collection of faithful and essentially literal translations (KJV, NKJV, NAS, ESV, and HCSB).
* The ESV is emerging as a standard of sorts for Reformed persons and Reformed-leaning evangelicals.
* The ESV has strong support by a surprising variety of Reformed and evangelical leaders, making it convenient to follow along with the preacher.
* While I disagree with some of the decisions of the NA/UBS tradition, some of the elections by the TR seem manifestly wrong to me as well. I would probably be happiest with a Majority Text translation. But, the differences are not enough to make me throw the ESV in the trash.
 

Bengibor

Puritan Board Freshman
Check this link: English Standard Version

It's a very good review of strengths and weaknesses of ESV from perspective of a biblical scholar who prefers the Critical Text of NA and UBS. ESV is basically good conservative revision of the very liberal RSV. I use it pretty often along with KJV, NASB and WEB (modern update of ASV 1901 but with Greek Majority Text). Anyway I use NKJV as my default Bible. It's slightly more readable than ESV, more accurate (with added words in italics) and I reckon that the underlying Greek text is by far superior than the Critical Text which is composed by a host of liberal scholars like Bruce Metzger who have denied some of the basic Christian truths.

Earlier I was more inclined to Critical Text but after I started reading the church fathers of the first 5 centuries I discovered that they mostly used the texts much closer to TR/MT tradition than to Alexandrian CT. As a matter of fact, mostly heretics of those days used 'corrected' texts than we can now see re-emerging in new translations which adopted the 'scholarship' of modern liberals and deniers of orthodox Christianity.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
My simple answer to all questions of Bible Translation choice: use the translation that you will read more.

Nearly all the Bible translations out there are good translations. The best translation will be different for different people. For the majority of the English-speaking population, this will not be the King James because of the antiquated language.
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
Jer_31:19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth [KJV]

Jer 31:19 For after I had turned away, I relented, and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was confounded, because I bore the disgrace of my youth.' [ESV]


Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. [KJV]

Job 21:30 that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity, that he is rescued in the day of wrath? [ESV]


These two sets of verses are what makes me scratch my head when I think about trusting in one translation over another. What should one do? which one is the correct one? Because in these two verses the KJV and the ESV gives two completely different translatons that lead in different directions.
 
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