The English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible.
“A dream come true”??
By Art K.
Note to the Reader: After reading my report below, some has asked whether or not I am what some call a ―King James Only‖ person or a Ruckmanite. I am neither. I am a believer in Jesus Christ and in His Word, the Bible. I have tried to present my research as accurately as I can and hope it will be a blessing to many.
Introduction. Updated March 30, 2011
First, why I compared the KJV to the ESV is because the ESV study Bible has received such high praise for being an excellent literal translation.
Second, in the Preface under ―Translation Legacy‖ page 19, we read ―The English Standard Version (ESV)
stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526; marking the course were King James Version of 1611...” I understood this to mean that there would be a great similarity between the KJV and the ESV. What I found however, is that the ESV, is in the majority of the references, very similar or the same as the NIV. This I find difficult to reconcile with the statement made in reference to the KJV.
Third what motivated me to further compare the ESV to the KJV, was the very high praise that the ESV has received from so many people who are well versed in the field of bible translations. For example, John Piper calls it ―a dream come true‖? Please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlFsBdEkxMQ
Fourth what motivated me to examine the ESV Study Bible was what I read in the Introduction under the subtitle ―Divine Words and Merely Human Words‖, where it is written ―The ESV Study Bible contains two
kinds of words. The first kind is the actual of the Bible, which are the very words of God to us. These are printed in the larger font of each page. The second kind is the study notes, which are merely human words‖ page 9.
The problem is knowing which group of words to trust. The first group of words ―the very words of God to us‖
in the ESV have so many omissions compared to the KJV that it creates serious doubt, not trust. If there are so many omissions in ―the very words of God‖ in the ESV, how can we have confidence in the ‗words of men, in
Before we accept this translation as ―a dream come true‖ we need to examine the ESV bible carefully and
ponder the words of Jesus, ―And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you‖.
1) The following examples are from the New Testament only.
2) This is not an exhaustive study.
Comparing the KJV to the ESV and NIV (listed in this order)
Please note: all words missing in the ESV OR NIV are highlighted in BOLD underlined in the KJV.
Gospel of Matthew
1) Mt. 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
ESV 1:25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. NIV 1:25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
2) Mt. 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger
of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
ESV 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‗You fool!‘ will be liable to the hell of fire.
NIV 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‗Raca,‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‗You fool!‘ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
3) Mt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate
you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
ESV 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
NIV 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
4) Mt. 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the
power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
ESV 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
NIV 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
5) Mt. 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
ESV 6:27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? NIV 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
6) Mt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added
ESV 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. NIV 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
7) Mt. 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make
ESV 8:2 And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, ―Lord, if you will, you can make me
NIV 8:2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."
8) Mt. 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art
thou come hither to torment us before the time?
ESV 8:29 And behold, they cried out, ―What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?‖
NIV 8:29 "What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"
9) Mt. 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
ESV 9:13 Go and learn what this means, ‗I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.‘ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.‖
NIV 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‗I desire mercy, not sacrifice.‘ For I have not come to call the
righteous, but sinners."
10) Mt. 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him,
saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. ESV 9:18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, ―My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.‖
NIV 9:18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live."
11) Mt. 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man
out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
ESV 12:35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
NIV 12:35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
12) Mt. 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
ESV 12:47 verse missing
NIV 12:47 Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
13) Mt. 13:51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
ESV 13:51 ―Have you understood all these things?‖ They said to him, ―Yes.‖
NIV 13:51 "Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked. "Yes," they replied.
14) Mt. 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment
of God of none effect by your tradition.
ESV 15:6 he need not honor his father.‘ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.
NIV 15:6 he is not to ‗honor his father‘ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
15) Mt. 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but
their heart is far from me.
ESV 15:8 ―This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
NIV 15:8 "‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
16) Mt, 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
ESV 15:25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, ―Lord, help me.‖
NIV 15:25 25 The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
17) Mt. 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye
hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? ESV 16:3 And in the morning, ‗It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.‘ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. NIV 16:3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.‘ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
18) Mt. 16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
ESV 16:20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
NIV 16:20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
19) Mt. 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
ESV 17:21 Whole verse is missing.
NIV 17:21 Whole verse is missing.