Crossway’s Marketing of the ESV

The most important part of this post is at the bottom.

Crossway has done a lot of innovative and helpful things for those who like the ESV translation. They’ve made free modules for e-Sword, The Sword Project, mobile devices etc. and many other things I listed here (and got completely misunderstood and slammed for it here).

Lately a video has come out that really send negative vibes through me to put it nicely.

ESV Trusted By Leaders from Crossway on Vimeo.

A commenter on TC’s blog named Ronald (raddestnerd) wrote a comment that sums up how many of us feel. Both him and I respect many of the people in the video but don’t have warm happy feelings about it. He says, “I am not attacking or disparaging these individual Christians. I am sure they love God and care about people as much as any believer. I am trying to critique Crossway’s marketing message. Enjoy the tongue-in-cheek!”

An example:

Tullian Tchividjian:
What I love about it, is that it’s both accessible [except for Millenials, but screw them], and accurate [all other translations are inaccurate]. It’s both readable [but, if you weren’t brought up in church hearing Christianese, sorry], and the product of rigorous scholarship [because the NIV — even though it was a fresh translation from the original language that started from scratch, unlike the ESV that was a revision of the RSV — is not a product of rigorous scholarship. Sorry Doug Moo and the CBT, your scholarship is not rigorous.]

Two things that bother me about the video are one person who says there are “word for word” (of which there is no such thing but maybe it’s just an antiquated term some people still like to use) and ‘paraphrastic’ translations leaving people who aren’t educated in these things to believe those are the only two types and you definitely want the type the ESV is.

The other is John Piper saying the ESV is the best ‘version’ of the Bible. That’s quite a statement to say the least!

I don’t need to say anything else that’s negative. You’ll find a lot of that and maybe for good reason. Here are some positive things.

Stan has a positive spin on the video in his comments on his blog post about it.

Keith Williams of Tyndale/NLT writes about the value of endorsements.

I would like to leave you with the most important part of this post and that is a link to an open letter to Crossway from Stan McCullars at his blog. If Crossway sees this that would be great.

An open letter to Crossway re: the marketing of the ESV

With the new NIV coming out, we don’t need another round of Bible translation wars.

Also see:
It is time for a truce…

6 Responses to “Crossway’s Marketing of the ESV”


  1. 1 Esteban Vázquez

    I nearly threw up when I saw this video.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    I felt very very sad when I first saw it but I wasn’t sure exactly why. I don’t idolize those people (or anybody) or anything. If I really try, I can see it more positively with others help like I mentioned. But it’s all very strange. A slight, hurried revision of the RSV can’t be THAT important.
    Jeff

  3. 3 Mark Stevens

    I was saddened as well.

  4. 4 Stan McCullars

    A slight, hurried revision of the RSV can’t be THAT important.

    Money quote!

    Thanks for the links!

  5. 5 Michael Acidri

    The reason why the Western world evangelical community is belching and undecided about which version of Bible to hold up and which one to use as afootstool is because they have not gone through persecution enough to realise that any scripture available should be guarded with with utmost sacredness. In one of the persecution stories from behind the communist curtains, christian tore up bible pages and distributed these among themselves. During times of fellowship each one came with a verse to share with the the others and hence the whole community memorised large portions and shared these during meetings. Why dont we treat these days of plenty as time to delve into which ever version you are comfortable with. Who knows times of scarcity could be around the corner. In which case, Where is that Message Bible?

  6. 6 Mark Stevens

    I’ve read this comment before Michael…

  1. 1 It is time for a truce… |
  2. 2 Is “This” Video then UnChristian? | New Leaven
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