There was a lot of passionate testimony at the hearing — both pro and con — about the ESV. It is a Bible with a strong evangelical flavor — a bishop said it was the successor of the Geneva Bible, strongly reformed, somewhat Calvinist. But much of the material that many find particularly offensive or of questionable scholarship is in the annotations and commentary rather than the translation itself, which is what we are considering. One person said the translation was a project that James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” had a large hand in. Many evangelical Episcopalians very strongly prefer the ESV. We already have translations that use similar phrases and English words for some of the “clobber passages,” as the verses are sometimes called that are used to defend interpretations that define gay intimacy as essentially sinful.
Our committee chose to refer the resolution to the Standing Commission for Liturgy and Music, since this translation was not part of their earlier study, and to ask them to make a report back to the next General Convention. Since the recommendation for the ESV came from the floor of this Convention, some felt they didn’t have the time and resources to evaluate it. We hope to adopt the Common English Bible (2001). I imagine this will provoke a floor fight.