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Two ESVs after “the Permanent Text of the ESV Bible, unchanged forever, in perpetuity”

September 14, 2016

Like the stone tablets Moses brought down from Sinai long ago, this web page recently went up on the English Standard Version Bible site:

There is declared this:

ESV Permanent Text Edition (2016)

Word Changes (52 Total)

Beginning in the summer of 2016, the text of the ESV Bible will remain unchanged in all future editions printed and published by Crossway—in much the same way that the King James Version (KJV) has remained unchanged ever since the final KJV text was established almost 250 years ago (in 1769)….

It is within the framework of this commitment, then, that we are pleased to provide the following list of the final changes to the ESV Bible text, thereby establishing the Permanent Text of the ESV Bible, unchanged forever, in perpetuity:

Permanent Text Verses Previous Text Verses
Genesis 3:16
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.
Genesis 4:7
Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.

Then Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra posted on 9/11/2016 an article in the Theology section of Christianity Today entitled, “After Tweaking 29 Verses, Bible Translation Becomes Unchanging Word of God: The new permanent ESV echoes the example of the KJV.”

And Anugrah Kumar reported this for readers of the online Christian Post an article entitled, “ESV Bible Is Now ‘Permanent,’ to Remain Unchanged in Future Editions Like KJV.”

Then Scot McKnight wrote the very next day for his blog Jesus Creed a blog post entitled, “The New Stealth Translation: ESV.”

And Kyle Roberts wrote for Patheos a blog post entitled, “Why There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Permanent Text’ of the Bible.”

And Claude Mariottini wrote for his blog a blog post entitled, “The Permanent Text of the ESV. ”

And Gene Vieth wrote the very next day after that for Patheos a blog post entitled, “ESV makes its final changes.”

Here we post the very next day after that only just for a couple of reasons, to point us readers to the two variants of ESV in 2016 that will continue “in perpetuity” perhaps. One of these variants is in current post-summer 2016 editions and may be also in “future editions printed and published by Crossway.”

The other is one that Theophrastus at this blog in a blog post some time ago already pointed us to, “The odd Gideons Textus-Receptus ESV.” That Gideons ESV is published in print and also is available in perpetuity digitally. The digital versions are online, here:


and in your favorite app (store), like so:


The astute reader can see the old ESV, not the 2016 permanent ESV, in the (highlighted) words there. This is that second perpetual variant ESV, published by Gideon Bibles with the consent of Crossway.

The first ESV variant I mentioned earlier is published by Crossway. If we go to all the ESV Bibles being sold (here, then we can find these 2016 versions, for example:

ESV Reader’s Bible

Top Grain Leather, Black

Availability: In Stock

Retail Price: $109.99

About the ESV Reader’s Bible

The ESV Reader’s Bible was created for those who want to read the books of Scripture precisely as they were originally written. Verse numbers, section headings, and translation footnotes are helpful navigational and interpretive tools, but they are also relatively recent conventions. In the Reader’s Bible they have been removed from the Bible text, and the result is a new kind of Bible-reading experience in a volume that presents Scripture as one extended storyline.

On the top of each page a verse range is included for orientation. Other features include a single-column text setting, readable type, and a book-like format. The Reader’s Bible is a simple but elegant edition, and is perfect for devotional reading, for extended Bible reading, or for focusing on the overarching narrative of the Bible.

  • Black letter text, with no verse numbers or footnotes
  • Single-column, paragraph format
  • Two ribbon markers


Format: Top Grain Leather
Page Count: 1,840
ISBN-10: 1-4335-5336-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-5336-3
Trim Size: 5.25 in x 7.75 in
Weight: 35.07 ounces
Published: September 30, 2016
Type Size: 9.5
Page Layout: Single Column
Additional Features: Sewn Binding
Lifetime Guarantee
Gilded edges
Words of Christ Black


This September 30, 2016 ESV has this:


And there’s also another September 30, 2016 ESV for sale that’s not the Permanent ESV:

ESV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible

Hardcover, Berries and Blooms

Availability: In Stock

Retail Price: $54.99

About the ESV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible

The ESV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible combines the popular Thinline Bible features with larger type and cross-references in a highly readable Bible for all uses. Though the Bible text is presented in generous 10.5-point type, the Large Print Thinline Reference Bible is close to one inch thin. In addition, cross-references are located in the bottom corner of each page, making this Crossway’s most affordable large print reference edition.

  • Double-column, paragraph format
  • Concordance
  • More than 80,000 cross-references


Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 1,248
ISBN-10: 1-4335-5331-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-5331-8
Trim Size: 6.125 in x 9.125 in
Weight: 36.17 ounces
Published: September 30, 2016
Type Size: 10.5
Page Layout: Double Column
Additional Features: Sewn Binding
Words of Christ Black

Crossway provides potential purchasers a free downloadable excerpt of that one as well. It reads like this:


It is quite possible that the website folks at have not yet quite caught up with the permanent change. In other words, it may be that these digital excerpts to help buyers are actually in need of updating to the new Permanent ESV, presuming that the paperbound editions (The September 30, 2016 ESV Reader’s Bible and the September 30, 2016 ESV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible) that the purchasers buy are actually correctly now the changed English Standard Version Permanent Text Edition (2016) text version.

At any rate, this news has given us all another look at the ESV and what the men on the team who translated it and those who publish and sell it seem to want from it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2016 11:28 pm

    In the old days of the life of a new ignorant convert, I longed for such permanence. What a false hope. I assume you have seen Claude’s post here.

  2. September 15, 2016 6:08 am

    Thanks, Bob. I’d missed Claude Mariottini’s post and now have added reference and a hyperlink to it above in mine. Because of what he and Scott McKnight highlight, particularly the permanent changes in Genesis 3:16, I also updated my post to show how quickly the ESV permanent change webpage gets to that same permanently changed verse (and you should have noticed already that I had so highlighted the images in my post of the Gideon ESV — from the Gideon website and from the Gideon smartphone app — and of the Crossway ESV free digital excerpts — from the September 30, 2016 Crossway ESV Reader’s and from the Sept 30 2016 Crossway ESV Large Print).

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