“God's sacred Word...is that inestimable treasure that excelleth all the riches of the earth.” The words of the King James Bible translators in 1611 and the motivating force behind the publication of the English Standard Version Combining faithfulness to the text and a vigorous pursuit of accuracy with simplicity, beauty, and dignity of expression, the English Standard Version is an “essentially literal” translation that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. As such, its emphasis is on “word-for-word” correspondence, at the same time taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. Thus it seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original. As an essentially literal translation, then, the ESV seeks to carry over every possible nuance of meaning in the original words of Scripture into our own language. As such, it is ideally suited for in-depth study of the Bible. Indeed, with its emphasis on literary excellence, the ESV is equally suited for public reading and preaching, for private reading and reflection, for both academic and devotional study, and for Scripture memorization.
Note: This add-on edition of the English Standard Version is the 2011 edition. The 2011 version vs. previous version changes as described from the publisher Crossway's web site.
"The extent of the word changes is comparatively small, involving about 275 verses and less than 500 words out of more than 750,000 words in the Bible text. To put this into perspective, the changes to the ESV are about one one-hundreth of the changes made recently in other leading Bible translations.
A few examples are changes from “yourself” to “you”; from “servant” to “worker”; from “has not” to “does not have”; from “young man” to “boy”; from “capital” to “citadel”; from “bondage” to “slavery”; from “nor” to “or”; from “trustworthy” to “faithful”; from “competent” to “sufficient”; from “everyone” to “each one.” A complete list of changes , shown in the context of each verse, is provided (via the link).
This list of 2011 changes was reviewed and discussed over the last five years by the thirteen-member ESV Translation Oversight Committee (TOC). The TOC then met in the Summer of 2010, and finalized the list in the Spring of 2011. The changes were then approved by the Crossway Board of Directors in April 2011. Editions of the ESV with the 2011 text changes include the following notice on the copyright page: “ESV Text Edition: 2011.”
Most changes to the ESV text were made to correct grammar, improve consistency, or increase precision in meaning. In making these changes, the Committee was deeply conscious of the enormous responsibility entrusted to it—to translate the very words of God, with the greatest possible accuracy and precision, depth of meaning, and literary excellence."
On behalf of the ESV Bible Translation Oversight Committee and the Crossway Board of Directors, Lane T. Dennis, PhD Crossway President and ESV Translation Oversight Committee Chair