I am grateful that Kevin Deyoung has written this 31 page pamphlet, in which he humbly presents a case for why his church switched from the NIV to the ESV. Personally, I found it helpful and clear. Our youth ministry switched from the NIV to the ESV back in 2006. I remember making a presentation to our Senior Pastor, then explaining to our students why we are making the switch to ESV. I wish I had this pamphlet back then. The nature of this being a pamphlet makes it less intimidating for those in your congregation who don't like to read, and it's small enough to hand out to every member of your church.
DeYoung begins by sharing how his church switched from the NIV to the ESV. Then he offers seven helpful reasons as to why he preferred the ESV and why ultimately they made the switch:
1. The ESV employs an "essentially literal" translation philosophy
2. The ESV is a more transparent translation (which means the ESV leaves interpretive ambiguities unresolved, so that the reader can determine the most accurate meaning).
3. The ESV engages in less over translation (other dynamic translations tend to add extra interpretative words that aren't necessary)
4. The ESV engages in less under translation
5. The ESV does a better job of translating important Greek or Hebrew words with the same English word throughout a passage or book.
6. The ESV retains more of the literary qualities of the Bible
7. The ESV requires much less "correcting" in preaching
What I appreciate most is DeYoung's conclusion, which demonstrates his humility in approaching this issue. He writes: "I want to reiterate that the NIV is not a bad translation. It was not wrong for my church to use the NIV, or for me to preach from it. Churches will continue to grow using the NIV. The lost will still be saved through the NIV and Christians will be built up in the faith with the NIV. I don't want to tear down the NIV. I do, however, want to recommend the ESV..."
In summary, if you are considering the ESV translation, or desire to share with your congregation why the ESV is a preferable translation, I would recommend this little pamphlet.