Lost in Translation(s) Part 2

Last week we discussed the different types of Bible translations, and looked at the history of the very popular NIV translation.  This week I am going to tackle the English Standard Version (ESV) and discuss which translations Christians should use.

The ESV was first printed in 2001.  It was a revision of the old Revised Standard Version (RSV).  I remember when Memorial Church took the RSV out of the pews and replaced them with the NIV, perhaps some of you have similar memories!  To avoid confusion the publishers gave the new version a different name.

The ESV is a more literal translation of the original manuscripts of the Bible when compared to the NIV, but it isn’t quite as readable.  The ESV also doesn’t strive to be gender-neutral like the modern NIV.  It has become popular in churches who wish to use a modern but more conservative and literal translation.  Crossway Bibles (the publisher of the ESV) had a few nationally-known pastors, theologians, and Christian speakers endorse the ESV, which helped its popularity immensely.

So which translation of the Bible should a Christian read?  It’s really a matter of personal choice.  All translations have their advocates and critics.  The more literal ones are typically best for studying the Scriptures, while the more readable ones are great for personal devotions.  I tend to prefer more literal translations like the ESV, but during my sermon prep I typically read the passage from 2 or 3 different translations (sometimes more).  Here is a link that gives a good overview of the spectrum: http://www.biblereviewer.com/bible-translation-comparison

As I alluded to, many churches end up preaching and teaching from one translation, if for no other reason than so folks can read along from the same one.  That’s how you end up with KJV churches, NIV churches, ESV churches, and so on. 

So which one will I use from the pulpit moving forward?  Whichever one I think is the best fit for the message that morning!  What I can say is that when I use the NIV it will be the NIV84 version, not the modern one.  We may also experiment with putting the text on the screen so everyone can be reading the same text.  BUT that doesn’t mean that you should stop bringing your Bibles!  NOTHING can replace have God’s Word in your hands, where you can circle, underline, highlight and mark verses and passages that are meaningful to you!

Here’s what’s happening:

  1. We could use some folks to help out as greeters before Sunday school.  If you are willing to help please see Dave Weimer.
  2. We are still in need of volunteers to serve in the nursery during the worship services.  Please see Shirley Echternach.
  3. CVCCS is having their annual “Walk & Ride from Hunger” fundraising event on Sunday afternoon, 4/29 at the Conestoga Valley High School.  This involves participating in either a 2 mile or 3.1 mile walk or a motorcycle ride through Lancaster County.  Check it out at http://cvccs.org/walk-ride-from-hunger
  4. Evangelical Theology Seminary turns 65 in 2018.  They have requested that all E.C. churches consider giving a “gift” in celebration.  We will be taking a love offering on Sunday, April 29, and again on Sunday, May 6th in support of the seminary.  If you would like to contribute, please note your contribution for “Evangelical Seminary” in a separate envelope or using a separate check.
  5. There will be a VBS Meeting on Tuesday, May 8 at 6:30 pm at the church.  This meeting is for ALL who are planning to help with VBS this year.  Registration for VBS is now LIVE on the church website.
  6. Twin Pines Camp is holding their annual “Summer Celebration” on June 9th.


This Sunday we will be looking at Esther’s rise to the throne in Persia.  I encourage you to read Esther 2 this week!