Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bible Translations and Handling Media Rights

An interesting thought:

One of the reasons I am coming to use the ESV so much is that of the fairly literal translations, it is so readily available and easy to use. Whoever owns the copyright has let publishers of free Bible software use it; it's on Bible Gateway, it's free on e-Sword and even on Gnomesword. I therefore use it a lot, and am more likely to get my church to use it and to buy copies, because I use it more for my own reading as well.

Compare that with, for example, the NRSV. Leaving aside translation issues, the NRSV is in some ways quite similar to the ESV. They are a similar age (came out within 10 years of each other) and had similar remits. The NRSV is the official translation for my course, and yet I hardly use it. Not because of translation issues, but because the publishers are so restrictive with its use. The NRSV is, as far as I know, only available online at this site, and isn't available free, as far as I know, for any software.

So when I write essays for my university course, I quote the ESV not the NRSV, because it's a lot easier to copy and paste. And over a year in, no-one's complained yet.


bcg said...

The NRSV is also available online here.

I like the ESV, but I actually prefer reading the NRSV. I find the English less stilted. I've never actually sat down and compared the two directly but that has been my impression since the ESV was published.

John said...

I agree the English in the ESV is slightly too stilted. But it actually translates Hebrews 2 correctly as about Jesus, unlike the NRSV...

bcg said...

perhaps we should write our own 'perfect' translation!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Custard,

I came to your blog from Casey's and I like reading it. :)

Regarding the ESV, I recently picked up a copy and use it in conjunction with my KJV. In fact, today, I read the ESV more often than my KJV.

God bless!