Flagship Protestant English Standard Version Translation of the Bible Changed to Create “Catholic Edition”


The English Standard Version (ESV) is the most widely used English translation of the Bible in conservative Protestant circles. The translation, which is published by Crossway, aligns closely with the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts from which they are translated and has been lauded as one of the most theologically accurate and literal translations of the Scriptures to this day.

Last year, a “Catholic Edition” of the ESV Bible was released in India following a group of Indian Catholic Bishops who desired to have the ESV as an option for use in their religious services. The Catholic version is being released by the Augustine Institute.

According to Catholic Bible Student, the text was changed in order to prepare it for publication for Catholic use,

The Bishops Conference of India needed a new English translation for the Lectionary and other liturgical purposes. Crossway worked out a deal with them, where a team of Catholic theologians and Scripture scholars headed up by Fr. Lucien Legrand, O.P. (now 93 years old!), would review the ESV translation carefully and make some emendations. The Catholic team did indeed review–and change–the text of the ESV in preparation for publication.

Of course, this begs the question — what, exactly, were the changes?

We know that this Catholic Edition consists of the deuterocanonical books, also known as the Apocrypha, which are not inspired texts and not considered Scripture by Protestants and Evangelicals. Since this is a fairly new release, much information on the changes is not readily available. However, as time moves on, I’m sure that any unfaithful changes to the text will be exposed.

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