22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
cheap and cheerful,
This review is from: ESV Gift and Award Bible (Burgundy) (Imitation Leather)Ordinarily I use the New International Version (NIV), but I got this Bible to see what the new English Standard Version (ESV) had to offer. I don't claim to be qualified to compare the versions at any deep level - I'm sure there is plenty of material available on the internet arguing the pros and cons of different textual sources, the finer points of Greek and Hebrew grammar etc.
However, as an informed reader my first impression is that it is actually very similar in style and 'feel' to the NIV. The only real difference I noticed was that occasionally this version used slightly less elegant English, saying things in a more round-about way which I presume reflected a wish to stay true to the original text. On the plus side, there seemed to be a few more useful footnotes than in a standard NIV. These helped to clarify Greek/Hebrew meanings, explained terms of weight and measurement etc, or gave alternate readings where the translation was ambiguous. Overall, though, it didn't seem better or worse than the NIV, just slightly different. Given the current popularity of the NIV, I would imagine this new version will find it hard to make its mark.
This edition does have a few nice added features; there is a friendly "What the Bible is all about" page at the beginning, a paragraph of introduction at the start of each of the books and a couple of maps at the end. There is a short article outlining the background to the ESV translation, and some Bible reading notes, which you may or may not appreciate.
As regards quality, you know you're not getting the top-of-the-range product if you choose an 'imitation leather' cover. Indeed the text is a bit cramped, and there is a slightly 'cheap' look to the paper but it seems sturdy enough - I've had this one a few weeks now, and it's showing no signs of falling apart. Not a bad buy if you want to check out the ESV version.