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Occasionally when people visit Trinity they ask why we use the ESV Bible. That's a good question. So, here's a brief answer, along with a link to why others use the ESV Bible.

A good Bible translation should be literal and readable.

Literal

Some translations are not literal enough. They take liberties with the text. They add or take away words in order to explain the author's meaning. But that makes the translators' idea clear rather than the biblical author's idea. Some translations take liberties with the text, either adding or hiding words unnecessarily. A Bible translation should show the reader what the biblical author wrote without interpretation--without adding or taking away words.

Readable

A translation also needs to be readable. Some translations are difficult to read because they use outdated language (such as the King James Version) or because they are overly wooden (such as the New American Standard).

The need to balance literalness and readability is what makes Bible translation so difficult. It's also what makes some translations preferable over others. At Trinity, we've found the ESV to be faithful to the author's original words (literal) and is also easy to understand (readable).

Of course, people are not expected to use the ESV only. However, it is the translation from which most of our public teaching comes.

This article from Kevin DeYoung helped us in deciding which version we would use.

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