Saturday, January 24, 2009
ESV w/ Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals) is Here!
Well, after a fairly long wait, I finally received the Oxford University Press English Standard Bible with Apocrypha. The photo on the left gives you a decent view of what the pages look like. (I hope to be able to get some better pictures up in the coming days.)
Here are my first impressions:
Overall, I think the product, itself, is quite good. Since there was very little information about it given on any of the vendor websites, I must say I am pleasantly surprised. It contains the 2007 edition of the ESV, with the new Oxford 2009 ESV Apocrypha. The new translation of the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals) is really an updating of the older RSV Expanded Apocrypha. The Preface to the Apocrypha says that this edition's goal was "updating archaic language, clarifying obscure words, removing inaccuracies, and bringing punctuation up to current American standards." The scholars who worked on the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicials were David A deSilva (Ashland Theological Seminary), Dan McCartney (Westminster Theological Seminary), and Bernard A. Taylor (Loma Linda University). There was also a post edit job to achieve consistency by David Aiken (Ada, Michigan).
The Table of Contents Lists the Following:
Alphabetic Listing of Books of the Bible
Alphabetic Listing of Books of the Apocrypha
Preface to the ESV
Explanation of Features
Apocrypha Table of Contents
Preface to Apocrypha
Tables of Weights and Measures
Oxford Maps (9)
1) I really like the size of this Bible. I was worried at first that it might be too big and heavy, but it really isn't. In fact, if I were to compare it to one of my other Bibles, it is almost identical in size with the Ignatius RSV-2CE. As a matter of fact, it may be a touch smaller, but not by much.
2) The page layout is pretty good. I think it is similar to many of the Crossway ESV editions that I have looked at in the past, although I could be wrong on that. Each page contains paragraph headings, textual notes, alternative renderings, and cross-references (primarily in NT).
3) It seems to have a solid binding. (I am no expert on this however!) It also lays open nice and rests well in the hand.
4) It contains maps and the previously mentioned cross-references. As I have stated in previous posts, it is amazing, particularly in some Catholic Bibles, that the publishers decide not to have maps or cross-references. Hello HarperCollins? (A concordance would have been nice too, but I am not going to complain about that omission.)
1) I don't like the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals placed at the back. Yeah, I know, the ESV is a conservative, Evangelical translation, but I would have thought that Oxford would have placed them in the middle, like they do with the NRSV. Perhaps that was a condition of Crossway.
2) I think it would have been helpful to have a list of the various OT Canons in the Apocrypha section. This would certainly have helped the mistake, IMHO, of placing them in the back. Although, I should point out that the Apocrypha are arranged with the Catholic Deuterocanonicals first, before the Orthodox.
3) The last negative feature, thus far, is that the paper is very thin. My guess is that there would be some considerable bleeding through when using any type of Bible pen. While time will tell whether or not I will be using this regularly, it is certain that I won't be writing in this ESV, except perhaps for erasing the "a" in 1 Timothy 3:15. (There is no definitive article, thus using "the", which is in the vast majority of Bibles, or not using an article at all, would have been better.)
That is all for now. I really haven't spent any time reading the ESV before. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am interested in comparing it to the NRSV and the RSV-2CE. Since this edition of the ESV has all the books of the Catholic Bible, as well as maps and cross-references, I am going to consider using this as my reading Bible for 2009.
PS: It looks like the this Bible is now in stock at Amazon.
PS2: It seems that the ESV Apocrypha translators decided to translate the entire Greek edition of Esther, instead of just the additions. (The RSV NOAB just translated the Greek editions of Esther.)