The ESV And The English Bible Legacy – Leland Ryken

I recently read The ESV And The English Bible Legacy as part of the Crossway blog reviewer program.  I really enjoyed reading it.  The depth of insight by Leland Ryken was very impressive.  He really seeks to break down the ESV Bible and to show how it is the latest and the best in the line of great English Bibles that started with John Wycliffe, continued with William Tyndale and saw its greatest fruition with the King James Bible.  Ryken does this by showing how it was translated, its rhythm, and how it is literary in nature.  He compares it to other modern translations, which is one arena where the greatness of the ESV is really seen.  He shows how it stacks up with reviews of other modern translations, and how the ESV is better.

Ryken ends by really examining the ESV according to the criteria he had set forward in the first part of the book.  By doing this Ryken shows that this translation really meets the standard of a great version of scripture, how it is one you can trust shows the original intent of the Authors and how it is easy to read and learn from.  I do encourage you to read this book.


One response to “The ESV And The English Bible Legacy – Leland Ryken

  1. Hikari

    August 19, 2012 at 9:32 am

    It looks to me (from just reading your post) as if Ryken is sainyg this: 1. The KJV translators created great literature as the form into which they moulded the Bible text; 2. It is important to preserve in translation this great literary form as well as the meaning of the text.Now #1 might be debatable but I will not dispute it here. The point I will dispute is #2, that the Bible should be presented now in this great literary form. To my mind we need to separate out two very different things which have become confused in Ryken’s mind, the great literature of KJV and the word of God. If we try to combine them in a modern translation, we necessarily distort both or I suppose Ryken could improve on the first if he is indeed a better literary author than the KJV translators.So, it seems to me, if we want to admire KJV as a work of literature, we should do so through KJV without any updates, just as we still use Shakespeare in the original; and if we want to read the Word of God and allow God to change our lives through it we should make it as clear as possible, which in the modern world means freeing it from the mould of KJV.


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