This Bible features a single column of text, over 80,000 cross-references on the inside margins, and verse-by-verse layout instead of paragraphs. In other words, each verse begins on a new line. It incorporates the minor textual updates from the ESV Translation Oversight Committee meeting in 2005. Crossway designed this Bible especially for pastors and others who want to find a verse quickly.Note that this will be the first edition which includes revisions since the ESV was first published in 2001. Unfortunately, as we can see from the pdf sample of some early chapters from Matthew, many of the needed revisions have not yet been made. For instance, Matt. 1:25 continues to use the inverted word order which has been obsolete as an active word order for most English speakers from nearly the time of the publication of the KJV in 1611 A.D.:
he [Joseph] knew her not until she [Mary] had given birth ...Current English would call for negative word order to be
he [Joseph] did not know her until she [Mary] had given birth ...Another inverted negative word order retained in the revised edition is Matt. 7:1:
Judge not that you be not judged.English word order since the mid 1600s calls for:
Do not judge so that you will not be judged.The ESV does get the word order right a few verses later in Matt. 7:6:
Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.The obsolete word order would have been:
Give not dogs what is holy, and throw not your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.The ESV team appears to continue to prefer traditional, and often obsolete, wordings rather than current, good quality English which still conforms to the Colorado Springs Guidelines (CSG) on use of gendered language, the kind of English which is found in the HCSB. The ESV and HCSB are the only two recently published English Bibles which follow the CSG.
I predict that the ESV will not become a top selling Bible version unless its translation team adequately revises its English so that it is good quality, grammatical, literary English for today's speakers. It will continue to receive strong support from some who like a Bible version in the Tyndale-KJV tradition. Some people prefer to use a Bible version which sounds familiar to them, even if its language is not current nor even very well worded in terms of literary standards, linguistic collocations, register, etc.
The HCSB continues to rank as #5 among the top 10 best selling English Bibles, at least at Christian bookstores. After an initial spot in the bottom of these top 10 due to heavy promotion by Crossway and some pastors, the ESV has not appeared on the top 10 list and may not unless its English will revised to be the kind of English that good English authors and speakers use today.
Better Bibles are worded in the language of the people for whom they are translated. The audiences to whom Crossway has targeted the ESV, including children, and those being evangelized, do not use inverted negatives nor many of the other awkward English wordings found throughout the ESV.
HT: David Dewey