Switching from the NIV to the ESV

Why Are We Switching?

On September 12th of 2011, the elders of Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA) decided to switch our pew Bibles from the New International Version (NIV) to the English Standard Version (ESV).  Beginning on Sunday, January 8th, Pastor Jason will begin preaching from the ESV and the pew Bibles will also be the ESV.  This change was prompted by recent changes made to the NIV translation by Zondervan's Translation Committee.  In order to be more "gender inclusive," the new NIV (2011 version) makes some poor choices in how it renders important verses.  

If you would like to read more about the problems with the new NIV, you can find helpful information on these sites:

The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW)

World Magazine  

The English Standard Version (ESV) is published by Crossway Bibles, the publishing arm of the non-profit Good News Publishers in Wheaton, IL.  The ESV was released in 2001 and has been widely praised by prominent church leaders: 

  •  "I’ve loved using the ESV translation because I trust the scholarship behind it and the accuracy of the interpretation.” -Francis Chan, author, Crazy Love 
  •  “The ESV embodies both word-for-word exactness and easy readability. It has quickly become my primary Bible for both personal use and public teaching.” -Jerry Bridges, Author, The Pursuit of Holiness
  • “I have found that there isn’t any version better in striking that balance between accuracy and usability and understandability than the ESV.” -John Piper, Bethlehem Baptist Church
  • "I appreciate deeply the evident commitment to the absolute truth of Scripture, and the willingness of these scholars to yield to the Spirit rather than bend to the wind of cultural trends.” - Dr. Bryan Chappell, President of Covenant Theological Seminary, author, Christ-Centered Preaching



How Will We Switch?

We plan to buy 120 new pew Bibles, some regular print and some large print.  The estimated cost for the new Bibles will be $1,400.  We are asking members of Faith PCA to contribute special gifts above and beyond their tithe toward the cost of these new Bibles.  

A case of 24 regular-print Bibles (8.8 font) costs $191.88 ($8 each).

A case of 12 large-print Bibles (12.5 font) costs $143.94 ($12 each).

Church members can simply place a special check in the offering plate with "ESV Bibles" written on the Memo line.

Should I Buy a New Personal Bible?

The decision to buy a Bible for your own personal use is, of course, a very personal decision.  However, you may find it easier to switch to the ESV, since all teaching at Faith will be done from the ESV starting in January.  I also think that, once you get adjusted to the change, you'll find it to be a very accurate and readable translation.  Any change takes time, and the ESV is a more literal, word-for-word translation than the NIV, so it may take a little while before you get accustomed to its language.

The following study Bibles in the ESV are excellent and a worthwhile investment:

The Reformation Study Bible

The ESV Study Bible and Student Study Bible


 Glorifying and Enjoying God Together


Faith Presbyterian Church is committed to glorifying God through praise and worship, teaching the whole truth of God's Word, reflecting the love of Christ through fellowship and service, and reaching the world through evangelistic ministries.

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