ESV Thinline Bible Calfskin, Black
The English Standard Version (ESV) Bible is a great choice—for personal reading and study. An essentially literal translation, the ESV Bible combines word-for-word accuracy with readability, literary excellence, and depth of meaning.
Its thinline design makes it ideal for use at home and on-the-go.
Why have we chosen the English Standard Version translation of the Bible for this site? There are two main reasons: accuracy and clarity.
The ESV first appeared on the scene in 2001, the result of a growing concern among scholars that existing modern translations had sacrificed accuracy for the sake of using informal, conversational language, and for the sake of "gender inclusive language," which is considered by many as an unnecessary bow to political correctness. A translation committee was formed, and it was decided that instead of creating a wholly new translation, the work would start with the existing Revised Standard Version (itself a revision of the King James Version), comparing it thoroughly with ancient texts, and so a translation would be created that both reflected the familiar King James Version tradition and modern scholarship. The result is a text that has the ring of familiarity to those who have grown up with the King James Bible, while clarifying things that are considered by Bible scholars to be weak or faulty translations or language choices.
On a personal level... I had been an NIV-reader for over a decade when I happened across the ESV. Over the years I had run across one or two of the places that the NIV translation appears to have taken a wrong turn in translation, and when I heard that there was a new translation that was specifically intended to address those very kinds of issues, I was intrigued. Since I discovered the ESV I have spent quite a bit of time with it, and I have to say that in my study times it seems to me to have a high degree of accuracy and clarity. Is it perfect? No, of course not. An English translation can never be perfect; it is mankind's attempt to replace the inspired words of God in the Scripture with equivalent words in another language. But I consider the ESV a good start, trustworthy for reading and study. With the help of this site, you can see for yourself if you agree!
If you would like to read more about the ESV, visit Crossway Bibles' "About The ESV" Page. If you are interested in finding out about some of the other translations currently available, try this list of the grade levels of different translations.