Bible and Bits

Just got two books I ordered: my new ESV, Compact Thinline, to replace the lost one; and Web Standards Solutions by Dan Cederholm, which I hope to be an excellent practical reference for XHTML and CSS markup.


  1. nikkiana says:

    Good choices. I’ve yet to really thumb through Web Standards Solutions (which was intrestingly enough my first gift recieved from a stranger via my Amazon wishlist).

  2. You need to start a new sidebar blog: Things I Have Lost.

  3. Sparticus says:

    I’m not such a fan of the ESV, for a super word for word translation I still think the NASB does it better.

  4. The Dane says:

    But Spart, the ESV doesn’t ever attempt strict word for word translation. You critique the ESV for not being what it never intended to be. It’s like saying, “I’m not such a fan of Cy Young, for home runs, I still think Hank Aaron is better.” (note for the abyssmally clueless: Cy Young was a pitcher and therefore pitched rather than became a homerun king, like Aaron)

  5. The abyssmally clueless thank you. I thought he was a hockey player.

    I haven’t gotten into the ESV only because I have so many Bibles that I can’t justify buying another one. Not even if only to be able to print out and use The Dane’s designer ESV cover. Although when I ran over my sub-compact snap-flap NASB a while back, I wanted to buy an ESV to replace it, but they just didn’t have any editions that would do for a purse-sized replacement.

    And no, I didn’t really think Cy Young was a hockey player. I’d probably have guessed baseball, but not pitcher.

  6. Sparticus says:

    I hate to disagree but:

    ‘The ESV 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.’

    ‘Within this framework we have sought to be “as literal as possible”‘

    (from the ESV website

  7. Russ says:

    I just wish they published the ESV Compact Thinline in *genuine leather*, not the fall-apart-if-you-look-at-it-wrong bonded leather. (I would expect that Crossway uses better bonded leather than the other publishers, though.) I have both the NIV and NASB in compact, genuine leather editions, and they go with me everywhere. But I use the ESV quite extensively as well.

    And Spart, there’s no inherent superiority of a word-for-word philosophy of translation. As someone who’s taken the requisite seminary-level Greek and Hebrew, and has had to produce translations of texts, there are times that a word-for-word makes no sense, obscure idioms, or just don’t produce grammatically correct English.

    Languages do not always have strict one-for-one correspondences.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the NASB just fine (and use it most), but there are times where it’s down right clunky and I need to refer to another translation (usually the ESV or NIV).

  8. The Dane says:

    Spart, yes. I too have read the ESV translation philosophy. It’s similar to the Holman translation philosophy as well. Translation falls in between the more strictly literal translating of the NASB and the dynamic translating of the NIV. This is what they mean by essentially literal. Their word-for-word approach is not so staunch that it ignores things like voice, grammar, genre, and cultural idiom – as a strictly literal translation would. This is why the NASB, the NIV, and the ESV are incomparable in how they translate – because they are using different philosophies. I’m happy you like the NASB for it’s a fine literal-as-possible translation. I prefer the ESV or NIV personally because they offer, to my taste, a more readable version of Scripture. And because they aren’t as slavish in their translation, I think in some areas they may translate better than more strictly literal translations like the NASB, the NKJV, and the RSV.

  9. Sparticus says:

    I’m not claiming that word for word translation is superior, I’m just saying that I thought the ESV was meant to be a word for word translation, and therefore I felt the NASB was superior as it translated word for word better. If it really isn’t meant to be a strict word for word translation then I withdraw my criticism, as it’s no longer valid.

    If we’re going to compare bible’s then I used an NASB thinline bible most of the time, but I generally try to have my NLT around as well. Best of both worlds I reckon.