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Best Bible Version and Translation is the ESV Study Bible
Best Bible Version
Leading Christian scholars, pastors and teachers believe that the ESV Study Bible is the best Bible version currently available today. They enthusiastically recommend it for it's easy to read and understand, it's highly accurate to the original Greek and Hebrew languages, and include a wealth of study notes and cross references that really help people understand what the Bible really says.
There are many good versions that could easily vie for the best Bible translation, and having any of them is much better than having none at all. However, the best Bible version currently out there is the ESV Study Bible published by Crossway.
Prior to the English Standard Version or ESV Bible, scholars primarily recommended the New American Standard Version. They recommended the NASB version Bible because it was a word-for-word, literal translation of the Bible. The NASB version was a Lockman Foundation Bible translation that was a conservative reaction to the more liberal Bible which eventually became the also popular New Revised Standard Version.
But many found this version difficult to read and understand sometimes because Greek and Hebrew doesn't always translate smoothly. So many turned to the NIV Bible, which instead of a word-for-word translation, was a thought-for-thought translation that was easier to read and understand. The newest release from this line of translations is the TNIV Bible Translation.
Everyone is really excited about the release of the ESV Bible primarily because it combines both the readability of the NIV with the accuracy and faithfulness of the NASB, making it probably the best Bible translation available today.
When we say that the ESV Study Bible is the best Bible version we currently have, what we don't mean is that the other Bible translations weren't good. We have much to be thankful for, for the works of great Bible translators like William Tyndale, the authors of the original King James Version, as well as other great translations like the New International Version (NIV) and the New American Standard Version (NASB).
In fact, much of the work that was done for this English Standard Version (ESV) was built upon the foundations of the works of Tyndale and the King James Version. Crossway, the publisher of the ESV Bible like to say that this version was 500 years in the making.
In choosing the best Bible version for you, there are many to consider and this is just one of them and you really can't go wrong on. Each version has it's own history and it's own merit to consider.
ESV Study Bible
The ESV Study Bible is one of the most recent and popular translations of the Bible today. Many Christian leaders and scholars like John Piper, Mark Driscoll, and Joni Eareckson Tada believe that this is the best bible version currently available. It is a word-for-word translation that's been worked on by over 100 leading Bible scholars around the world. This team of scholars was led by the famous J.I. Packer who served as the General Editor of this version.
The ESV Study Bible includes more than 2,750 pages of Bible resources, notes, color maps, illustrations, charts, time-lines, and articles created by a team of 93 evangelical Christian scholars and teachers. This volume of insightful explanation and teaching is equivalent to a 20-volume Bible resource library.
What Christian Leaders Are Saying About This Bible
Many Christian leaders are saying that this is the best Bible translation that you can currently get. Many pastors, teachers, scholars and churches are endorsing this version and encouraging their members and students to buy one.
John Piper, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, also the author of books like Desiring God, Future Grace and Don't Waste Your Life, has said the following about this version of the Bible:
"The ESV for me personally, is a dream come true. It combines a kind of balance between accuracy, faithfulness, readability, and dignity in an unusually good proportion. I can make use of it in all the churches needs...I love it!"
Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA says the following regarding the team of scholars that worked on this version:
" And what I love about this project, it brings those people together on one project, for one cause, that being to understand exactly what the scriptures are originally intended to mean and how they apply to our lives today."
This Bible is a word-for-word translation from the original Greek and Hebrew languages that the Bible was first written in. Scholars also call this a literal translation. There, of course, places where the translators had to account for certain grammatical structures and idioms that don't make any sense when translated directly, however, the translators have tried to the best of their ability to stay true to the original language.
One of the reasons why Christian leaders, teachers and scholars think that this is the best Bible version is because it tried not to leave any words out of their translation. John Piper has said, 'get a Bible with all the words,' meaning get a literal, word-for-word translation.
Features - Introductions
The introductions to each of the 66 books in the ESV Study Bible is well worth the cost of this volume itself. Good introductions are important in that it sets the stage and gives you important background information for what you're about to read. There are a host of information that is assumed by the original authors and readers of the Bible, and these assumptions that we often miss in our modern day are essential in us understanding the story of the Bible.
The introduction includes who the author was, when it was written, the background and historical setting around each book. Each introduction includes an illustrated time-line giving you a visual of where in Biblical history the book fits into. It also includes a color map that shows what geographic location the book is set in. It also includes the key themes of the book as well as an outline so you can have a framework for the book.
Features - Notes, Commentaries and References
Throughout the pages of this Bible, there are 20,000 notes and commentaries specifically written for this version, explaining different passages as well as answering frequently asked questions. The notes also explain pertinent historical background and archeological information. It also includes theological discussions and issues that are raised as you read through the Bible. Many people believe that this is the best Bible version partly because of these extensive notes and commentaries.
Articles for Application
There are over 50 articles on various Christian topics written by today's leading Christian leaders and scholars. Topics include the authority of the Bible, worship, theology, and many others to help you apply the Bible to your personal life. This Bible was set up not only so you would understand God's word, but so you would also be able to apply it to your life.
It also includes over 80,000 cross reference verses are also included. Why is this important? Because the Bible isn't a compilation of 66 separate books. It's one big story, written over the course of thousands of years. The Bible interprets and explains each other. For example, the Old Testament sacrificial system is explained in the New Testament. Hebrews in particular points out how the sacrificial lamb was really just a symbol of Jesus and his sacrifice to take away our sins. Without the New Testament, much of the Old Testament doesn't make sense, and vice versa.
There are over 200 full color maps throughout the ESV Study Bible, helping to bring you into the story as well as give you important background information. The maps incorporate the latest in archeological research and discovery and satellite images.
Detailed Color Illustrations
A profession design firm under the guidance of Biblical archeologists has created over 40 full color illustrations of various places and buildings mentioned in the Bible with a great deal of detail. You'll see pictures of the tabernacle, Solomon's Temple, Herod's Temple, and the city of Jerusalem. It's amazing to see in visual form the transformation of Jerusalem in the different eras under the leadership of different kings and governors.
More Endorsements and Official Website
There are a host of other Christian leaders, teachers and pastors who are raving about this version of the Bible. The leaders above aren't the only ones who think this is indeed the best Bible version. These leaders include Joshua Harris, the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and the Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Church in Maryland. It also includes speaker and author Joni Eareckson Tada as well as Tony Evans, R.C. Sproul, Max Lucado and many others.
For the official website for this Bible, you can go to the ESV Study Bible website for tons of great information on the contents with all the features and benefits. It gives you a sample preview into the pages of this great work and more information on all that this book offers.