In the last few weeks I have been using the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible by Crossway Publishers and I am VERY impressed with its readability and accuracy. It is written on an 8th grade level and is supposed to be textually accurate. It claims to be in the same tradition as the King James Bible (but much more readable!). An online version is at www.esv.org if you want to evaluate particular verses.
I know there are some “King James Only” advocates but it has been my experience that kids have great difficulty reading many passages in the KJV. I know some claim that the KJV is easy to read but they are usually adults and people who have been reading that version all of their lives. However, the archaic language is very difficult for kids to understand as they read which discourages them from reading and makes some conclude that the Bible is too tough to read. It is interesting that the “KJV Only” advocates don’t insist on going back to THE KJV: the 1611 version (see picture at http://www.kjv-only.com/oldscans/kjvgen1.jpg). Parents, make sure your children have a Bible that faithfully renders the original texts and is readable. The ESV certainly fits that requirement.
Categories: Know the Bible