Nifty Bible

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:44 AM

I just opened a Christmas gift of the Reformation Study Bible (ESV). It is edited by R.C. Sproul and has extensive notes on each page. It reminds me a lot of my Harper-Collins Study Bible (NRSV), save that it comes from a conservative scholarly viewpoint rather than a liberal scholarly viewpoint. It is nice to see it is a scholarly conservative viewpoint — the type of thing Sproul is good at providing — usually conservative leaning study Bibles seem to ignore or entirely dismiss the other side without sticking to scholarship. This new Bible and my Harper-Collins ought to balance things quite nicely. It seems to deal with points such as the documentary hypothesis rather fairly even as it expresses its disagreement with those points.

Oddly, for my general detachment from the KJV tradition (other than that I like the way the KJV sounds), my two study Bibles have a heritage linked to it. I'm not familiar with precisely how much influence the KJV exerted over the NRSV and the ESV, but the former is the official heir to the RSV and the ESV apparently draws enough from the RSV to merit reference to the RSV copyright.

Interestingly, the ESV apparently picks up the middle ground on gender translation, favoring a neuter reference (such as “people”) when the original text is not referring specifically to a male, but retaining the usage of “brothers” and other similar words as opposed to “brothers and sisters.”

I've ended up with two other ESV Bibles over the last six months, but I've not yet investigated it much. We'll see. I'm still partial to the NIV and NCV and I'm still using the NLT the most (since that's what edition of the One Year Bible I own).

To use Christopher's phrase, me likey.

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