Thursday, March 24, 2005

You never know who is reading. . . .

Its true. Blogging is a crazy thing. You never know who is reading. I received the following email yesterday from Steven Smith, the webmaster over at Crossway Bibles, publisher of the ESV, in response to my Hymnals & Pew Bibles Series (keep reading below). He, like me, likes the open diaolgue we're having. Thanks for logging in Steven. . . . Oh and yea, I'll take a look at that complementary pew Bible you mentioned. . . .


I’m the webmaster for Crossway Bibles, which publishes the ESV. I’ve read your ongoing Hymnals and Pew Bibles saga on your blog, and I want to let you know that if you have any questions about the ESV I’d be happy to answer them for you.

Some of your commenters have hit the nail on the head about why we like the ESV--that it is “word for word” accurate but retains the literary character of the King James. It’s not as tough to understand as a strictly literal translation might be. Obviously, we think it strikes the best balance between accuracy and readability, but we recognize that people prefer other translations--and in fact we think that’s great.

As to the cost issue, one of the commenters mentioned that we sell the ESV pew edition for $6.90 each if you buy them in packs of 24, which you might do if you’re planning to give them away.

Finally, the ESV’s popularity in the marketplace is something we grapple with. All I can say about that is that sales are growing strongly--they were up 114% over the last year. Obviously that growth comes off a small base, but we’re hoping to sustain the growth.

If there’s anything I can do to help you with your decision, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I would be happy to send you a free copy of the pew edition so you can examine it.

Finally, I want you to know that we plan to start an ESV blog in the near future, and this blog entry (#5) is one I’d like to link to. Even if you decide not to pursue the ESV, I think the discussion is valuable for visitors to our site to know about. A lot of churches are going through the decisions you’re facing; you’re just doing it in the open.

Stephen Smith
Good News / Crossway


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