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The ESV and the English Bible Legacy Paperback – November 2, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (November 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143353066X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433530661
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,274,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Leland Ryken brilliantly demonstrates historically and linguistically that Bible translation philosophy is a life and death matter, and that it takes a thorough commitment to producing an ‘essentially literal’ translation to convey (and not obscure) the multiplex, polychrome fullness of God's Word. Unflinching. Powerful. Convincing.”
R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

“In this fascinating book, one of the world’s most renowned experts on the literary qualities of the Bible explains what made the King James Version of 1611 the standard of translation excellence for centuries, and shows convincingly how the ESV and several other modern versions compare favorably or unfavorably to that enduring standard. An excellent book for understanding why translations differ, and why it is important.”
Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

“Every generation has to fight their own ‘battle for the Bible.’ Today the issue is seen through the ‘What does this mean to you?’ syndrome, an aversion to propositions, and most recently, the questioning of the historicity of Genesis. That’s why The ESV and the English Bible Legacy is so critical. In the current climate of pop Bible translations it is critical to have a translation like the ESV, which is faithful to the original text, honors the traditional treasures of literary style and readability, and is widely accessible. Last year we began using the ESV officially in our church and sold over two thousand Bibles in our church bookstore, most of which were ESVs. Obviously, we believe in the legacy Dr. Ryken explains in this book!”
Jon McNeff, Senior Pastor, NorthCreek Church, Walnut Creek, California

About the Author

Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for over 43 years. He has authored or edited over three dozen books, including The Word of God in English and The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version Bible.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Famolari TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Bible is a literary book filled with poetry, metaphor and flowing prose. Ryland makes the case that these qualities should be maintained in translation and that a literal translation does this best. The Bible is a book to be read aloud and savored , as we savor good poetry. It shouldn't be treated as a throwaway dime novel and the poetry and prose relegated to the standard of informal communication.

Ryland traces the evolution of the literal translation philosophy of the Bible from Tyndale through the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version. I found the history of translation fascinating. Translation isn't easy under any circumstances, particularly when the translators try to be true to the exact meaning and wording of the original author and also try to make the text accessible to a modern audience. I think he does an excellent job of showing how the ESV committee tried to maintain this standard.

At the other end of the spectrum from literal translation is dynamic equivalence. Ryland's examples make a good case for how much of the literary quality of the Bible is lost in this style of translation. No matter how good the editor or interpreter, it's very difficult to maintain the quality of the original if too many additions and substitutions are made. Personally, I find it degrading and arrogant to assume that a translation must be aimed at the lowest common denominator, in this case a sixth grade reading level, and that the general public can't be trusted to interpret poetry or prose metaphors.

I highly recommend this book. I learned a great deal about the history of English Bible translation and came to appreciate the qualities of the King James Bible and it's successor, the ESV. If you have any interest in the history and quality of the Bible you're using, this book is a must read.

I reviewed this book as part of the Crossway Reviewer Program.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MissDaisyAnne on March 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
The ESV or English Standard Version was published in 2001. I bought a Crossway Study Bible in this version October 31, 2008. I'd read this Bible and used it to study sometimes. I'd also read most of the additional information in the study Bible such as: Interpreting the Scripture, The Canon of Scripture, Biblical Ethics: An Overview, and God's Plan of Salvation. These are just a few examples of additional information in this wonderful study Bible. I always had the Bible sitting next to my reading chair. But, it was not my primary Bible for reading and studying. I was still holding on to my Zondervan NIV--New International Version Study Bible. My latest version published 2008. In 1990 I took Old Testament and later New Testament in college, it was at this time I was introduced to the NIV. All these years I loved my NIV translation. I was possibly too comfortable in this translation.
After reading The ESV and the English Bible Legacy by Leland Ryken; I made a decision to put aside, at least on the book shelf, my NIV Bible. The Crossway ESV Study Bible is now my main Bible for reading and studying.

Ryland's main theme throughout the book is, "The ESV is the Bible in the tradition and legacy of Tyndale and the King James Version.

There were 2 important points I will review on.
1. The ESV is a "literal translation that preserves the full exegetical potential of Biblical text."
2. The translators of the King James Bible believed that what one believes about Scripture governs everything.

William Tyndale had dreamed that people would be able to read God's Word as literal and accurate and readable as possible. Tyndale wanted English speaking Christians to know God's Word, and to not depend on what someone else told them was in the Bible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Campbell on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We often treat the Scriptures translation we use as simply a matter of personal taste. But the Bible translation we use is a matter of how concerned we are to know the Word of God, how seriously we take the revealed will of God. The author takes a reasoned look at the issue using his personal skills in literature as a spring board into this broad issue.
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More About the Author

Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) is Professor of English at Wheaton College. He has authored or edited several books, including The Word of God in English, The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, and The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society and served as literary stylist for The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.

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