English Standard Version (ESV)

Home | Index |  B Index | E Index | English Standard Version (ESV)

Introduction and History

The beginning of the ESV was May 1997 with a meeting headed by James Dobson. Dobson was deeply troubled with the gender-inclusive issues within the NIV and TNIV. The results of the meeting was the "proposed" creation of a new version without the new-age, homosexual, gender-inclusive agenda. Surprisingly, the “troubled” group united around the liberal and apostate Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible. Thus the dubious birth of the ESV was conceived. In September 1998, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School professor Wayne Grudem and Crossway President Lane Dennis received the blessing of the ecumenical National Council of Churches to build the ESV upon their 1971 revision of the Revised Standard Version. And thus the ESV came to life.1

The publishers mislead people when they claim that the ESV is a "word-for-word translation" of the original Greek.1 What they DON'T tell people is that there is a raging debate over which "original" Greek texts are trustworthy. The ESV is based upon an entirely DIFFERENT Greek text than the precious King James Bible. The ESV and other modern "versions" of the Bible are all based upon the corrupt Greek work of heretics Westcott and Hort. Thank God for the reliable King James Bible!2

Gender-Neutral Language

Remember, the primary reason Dobson and crew devised the ESV was to counter the introduction of gender-neutral language in the new versions. And yet, the ESV did the same thing! And this is no small change. For instance, the word “man, men” is “neutered” in the ESV 968 times. The masculine pronoun, “he, him, his” is neutered 1832 times! And the new-age, evolutionist, neuter buzz-word “human” is employed 63 times.1

The following are a few examples (from the thousands) of gender-neutral changes flooding the ESV. Notice, replacing “man” with the generic term “person, human, peoples, one” etc. significantly deflects the direct application of the verse.1

Matthew 5:13
KJB: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."

ESV: "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."

1 Corinthians 2:11
KJB: "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

ESV: "For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."

We Are Commanded Not To Add or Subtract From God's Word

The Lord has some strong warnings against adding and subtracting from the Word of God. Deuteronomy 4:2 reads,"YE SHALL NOT ADD unto the word which I command you, NEITHER SHALL YE DIMINISH ought from it..." Proverbs 30:6 reads, "ADD THOU NOT unto his words..." GOD'S LAST WARNING is Revelation 22:18,19, "...If any man SHALL ADD unto these things... And if any man shall TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life..." And Jesus Christ, in Luke 8:12, gives a clear aim of Satan, "...then cometh the devil, and TAKETH AWAY the word..." The ESV completely removes the following 17 verses:1

Matthew 12:47 "Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee."

Matthew 17:21 "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

Matthew 18:11 "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost."

Matthew 23:14 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."

Mark 7:16 "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear."

Mark 9:44 "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

Mark 9:46 "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

Mark 11:26 "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

Mark 15:28 "And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors."

Luke 17:36 "Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left."

Luke 23:17 "(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)"

John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

Acts 8:37 "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Acts 15:34 "Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still"

Acts 24:7 "But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands," (note half of Acts 24:6 and 24:8 is also removed)

Acts 28:29 "And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves."

Romans 16:24 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

After Mark 16:8 the ESV states, "Some of the earliest manuscripts do not include 16:9-20.” There goes another 12 verses. And by the way, that is absolutely untrue! The book, The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel of Mark, by Dean Burgon contains over 400 pages of documented evidence for Mark 16:9-20, that has never been refuted, nor ever will. After John 7:52, the ESV, reads, "The earliest manuscripts do not include John 7:53-8:11" There goes another 12 verses.1

A word comparison with the New Testament of the KJB and the ESV reveals the ESV removes over a staggering 33,000 words! And that is nothing to sneeze at. That equals removing the complete books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Jude - combined! That’s a huge part of your Bible that someone decided you didn’t need. And that’s just the words removed from the New Testament.1

In case you think the ESV simply removes insignificant archaic words. The ESV removes “key” words and phases from hundreds of verses. The following are some examples of the words “taketh away” in the ESV. Here are a few examples with the words the ESV omitted marked in red.1

Mathew 19:9
KJB: "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."

ESV: "And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery."

Luke 9:55-56
KJB: "But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village."

ESV: "But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village."

Ephesians 3:14
KJB: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,"

ESV: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

The Attack On The Lord Jesus Christ

Among the more troubling changes in the new versions is the strategic attack on the Lord Jesus Christ. Some times the attack is small and subtle, such as removing “Lord” or “Christ,” or at the virgin birth or the blood atonement. Other times, the attack is a nuclear assault, such as stripping “God” from 1 Timothy 3:16. But make no mistake – the attack is real. And most people reading just the ESV (or the other versions) never realize this sinister attack on the Lord Jesus Christ.1

There’s something very special about the name of “Jesus”. The Bible says in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Philippians 2:10 says about the name of Jesus, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” (Philippians 2:10)1

And the ESV removes the precious name of “Jesus” 18 times! And believe it or not – it removes “Jesus Christ” 51 times. And that’s not all, the ESV removes the word “Christ” 39 times. The “Lord” 66 times. And “God” 38 times.1

In Matthew 5:22, the ESV removes “without a cause” hence making Jesus Christ (who got angry in Mark 3:5 and other places) danger of the judgment.1

Matthew 5:22
KJB: "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

ESV "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire."

The ESV robs Jesus Christ of His deity, claiming that He couldn't grasp being equal with God. Yet the King James Bible proclaims that Jesus is Almighty God (Revelation 1:8).2

Philippians 2:6
KJB: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:"

ESV: "who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,"

1 Timothy 3:16 is easily the clearest declaration in the scriptures that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, and the ESV replaces the word God with He, thus diluting the clear representation of Jesus as God. Everyone was “manifested in the flesh”. “He” is a pronoun that refers to a noun or antecedent. There is no antecedent in the context. The statement does not even make grammatical sense.1

1 Timothy 3:16
KJB: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

ESV: "Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory."

The Virgin Birth

Following the RSV’s attack on the virgin birth of Isaiah 7;14, an onslaught of Christian leaders came rushing out of the woodshed vehemently attacking the apostate RSV in 1952, even publicly burning copies of the RSV. And yet the ESV (and nearly every other new version) attack the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 2:33 by changing “Joseph” to “his father”.1

Luke 2:33
KJB: "And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him."

ESV: "And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him."

Note: Some new version defenders have sought to justify the “his father” of Luke 2:33 in the ESV with the KJB in Luke 2:48, “And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” But here’s the important difference. In Luke 2:48 the Bible is quoting Mary recognizing the parental role of Joseph, but in Luke 2:33, the Holy Spirit is narrating the facts concerning the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.1

The Godhead

In addition, the ESV diminishes the Godhead by removing reference to Them.1

1 John 5:7
KJB: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

ESV: "For there are three that testify."

Colossians 1:14 takes a swipe at the precious blood of Jesus Christ by removing the words – “through his blood." The ESV deliberately leaves out the words “through his blood.” Salvation is ONLY “through his blood.” Hebrews 9:22, reads, "...without shedding of BLOOD is no remission." That old song says, "What can wash away my sins, NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!" But not according to the ESV.1

Colossians 1:14
KJB: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"

ESV: "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

No Lucifer In The ESV

Isaiah 14:14 reveals Satan's grandest desire, "I will be like the most High." The ESV in Isaiah 14:12 grants Satan's wish. In Isaiah 14:12, the King James Bible clearly identifies “Lucifer”. But the ESV refers to “Lucifer” as one of the titles of the Lord Jesus Christ – “Day Star” in 1 Peter 1:19 and the Morning star of Revelation 22:16.1

Isaiah 14:12
KJB: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"

ESV: "How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!"

1 Peter 1:19
KJB: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"

Revelation 22:16
KJB: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

The ESV makes Lucifer the “Day Star” in Isaiah 14, and the Hebrew word for star (kokab) is not in Isaiah 14:12. Why did they do it? Hint. Read Genesis 3:11

Attack On The Word Of God

With all the significant changes made to word of God in the ESV, you would expect the ESV to cover their tracks by changing “corrupt the word of God” in 2 Corinthians 2:17, and you’re right – they did. The ESV conveniently takes care of 2 Corinthians 2:17 by quietly changing “corrupt the word of God” to “peddlers of God's word.”1

2 Corinthians 2:17
KJB: "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."

ESV: "For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ."1

2 Timothy 2:15 (this sites's namesake) contains the only command in the scriptures to “study” the word of God. The ESV surgically removes the only command to “study” your Bible, and rips out the only instructions on how to study it - “rightly dividing”.1

2 Timothy 2:15
KJB: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

ESV: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."

In Luke 4, the devil tempts the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Lord battles the devil with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17). Believe it or not (please check it out) while the Lord is battling the temptations of the devil, the ESV disarms the Lord by removing His sword! The ESV removes “but by every word of God.”1

Luke 4:4
KJB: "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."

ESV: And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"

To make matters even worse, the Lord Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. The ESV obviously doesn’t even know what Deuteronomy 8:3 says.1

Deuteronomy 8:3
KJB: And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

ESV And Salvation

Paul warns the Christian in 2 Corinthians 11:3 of Satan’s attempt to corrupt your minds “from the simplicity that is in Christ.”1

2 Corinthians 11:3
KJB: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

Remember Hort despises the blood atonement of Jesus Christ labeling it “an almost universal heresy.” He also adds the “doctrine of substitution, (how that Jesus took our place (substitution) on the cross) is “an immoral and material counterfeit.” In the ESV and Hort’s view of salvation, at what point does someone actually become “saved” and no longer “being saved”?1

1 Corinthians 1:18
KJB: "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

ESV: "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

The ESV perverts “narrow is the way” of salvation into “the way is hard”. There’s nothing “hard” about God’s wonderful way to salvation. It’s as simple as “opening a door” (John 10:9) or drinking a glass of water (John 4:14). But it is “narrow”. It’s very “narrow”. There’s only one, single, “narrow” way. Jesus Christ says in John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Again the ESV totally changes and perverts the simple way of salvation.1

Matthew 7:14
KJB: "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

ESV: "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."


The Bible teaches in John 8:44 that the Devil is a liar and the father of all liars. The Bible also teaches in 2nd Corinthians 11:13-14 that Satan masquerades himself as an Angel of Light who relentlessly works to pervert, corrupt and deceive. Satan's teachers are everywhere.

In today's apostate world, few people can distinguish between truth and error. The Word of God is our only defense. This is why Jesus commanded in John 5:39, "Search the scriptures". Is it any wonder why Satan is corrupting the Scriptures to prevent people from obeying Jesus' command in John 5:39? Not at all. The ESV is just another attempt of Satan to malign and twist the Word of God into a lie.

In addition to the problems listed above, and in the linked sources below, there are thousands of similar problems with the ESV. I beseech you my friend, use only the King James Bible (and NOT the New King James Version either, it's corrupted too). By close comparison, you'll find that many of the same problems are found in the ESV and NIV, because they both originate in the same Greek text of heretics Westcott and Hort.

Westcott and Hort, two unsaved men who hated the Word of God. The King James Bible came from an entirely different Greek text (the Textus Receptus) which originated from Antioch, Syria, where believers were first called "Christians" (Acts 11:26). The corrupted Greek text which Westcott and Hort used originated from Egypt. How can you have "accuracy and precision" if you have a broken manuscript to begin with?

There's not a more trustworthy Bible available today in English than the precious King James Bible.

Final Conclusion

The King James Bible is the gold standard in translations. King James commanded, and received, an accurate translations true to the original Hebrew and Greek. As noted above, most modern Bible translations attack the deity of Jesus and otherwise attempt to defame him (e.g. virgin birth, etc.) See some problem texts in some of the more popular bible translations here.

1 The Truth About The English SUBStandard Version, Dr. Terry Watkins [Backup]
2 The Damnable English Standard Version, David J. Stewart [Backup]