Development and Growth
of the English Standard Version As an association, we are excited about the transition of the modern English version of Scripture to the English Standard Version. Below are several answers to questions you may still have concerning the transition.
When is the transition from the New King James Version to the English Standard Version going to happen? While the work has been taking place for several months behind the scenes, printed copies will soon be in distribution. The new Scriptures will be available to preview at the Orlando International Convention, and the goal is to start the transition shortly thereafter.
Is the King James Version still going to be available? Yes. As always, camps decide whether to use the King James Version or the approved modern English version. The adoption of the English Standard Version as the Association’s modern English version in no way affects the use of the King James Version, which will remain available for use.
How did this change come about? Part of the responsibility of the International Cabinet is approval of Scripture versions in the languages we distribute. Scripture versions are regularly reviewed to assure that we are using those most suitable, both for our ministry and the people to whom they are given.
The Association currently uses nearly 100 languages of Scripture around the world, and the most prevalent is English. The International Cabinet decided the time had come to review the modern English version of the Scriptures, and the question before the Cabinet was, “Is there a better modern English version that we could share which would better reach today’s generation?” The English Standard Version was carefully and prayerfully evaluated and then approved as the modern English version of Scripture for use worldwide.
Where does the English Standard Version come from? The ESV that will be distributed by The Gideons International will be a unique edition produced with permission of Crossway Publishing, copyright owner of the ESV. The copyright page of the Gideon edition will state, in part, “At the request of The Gideons—and in appreciation for their worldwide, century-plus distribution of more than 1.7 billion Bibles—Crossway is pleased to license the ESV Bible text to The Gideons and to grant permission to The Gideons to include certain alternative readings based on the Textus Receptus, for exclusive free distribution of a Gideons edition.” The Gideons edition will include over 50 alternate renderings consistent with the Textus Receptus.
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