Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gideons edition of the English Standard Version

The Gideons International recently began distributing the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible. They distribute a modern English translation in addition to the King James Version (KJV). Previously, they used the New King James Version (NKJV). I believe that when HarperCollins bought Thomas Nelson the contract with Gideons for the NKJV was not renewed. This left them looking for a new modern English version.

The Gideons' agreement with Crossway allowed them to make changes to the ESV. Verses that were only in footnotes in the original ESV are restored. Other changes were made that often bring the ESV into agreement with the Textus Receptus. A full list of the changes in the New Testament was developed by Joshua Holman. You can read his list here. I have not found any changes to the Old Testament yet. You can read about the switch in the June issue of The Gideon.

You can read the Gideons' edition of the ESV online at their website. The link is for their reading schedule. Be sure to click on ESV under "select version."

Each camp will decide which issue to distribute. The existence of a modern English version does not mean they quit distributing the KJV.

I continue to be excited about the mission of the The Gideons International. According to their website history:

It's been just over 100 years since The Gideons International placed the first Bible in a hotel room in Montana. Today, Gideons are organized in more than 190 countries around the globe. Bibles and New Testaments are printed for distribution by The Gideons International in more than 90 languages. Through God's grace and to His Glory, more than 1.8 billion Bibles and New Testaments have been placed through our association, and the work continues. . .

“The sower soweth the word.”—Mark 4:14

Thank you, Joshua Holman, for links, your excellent chart and all your help!


  1. Hi!

    I'm pretty sure the Gideon ESV OT is the 2011 text. As part of the 2011 changes, Crossway dropped the ellipsis from 1 Sam 13:1. The Gideon text relfects this.They inherited these from the RSV. If anyone is interested I have posted high-res scans of a Gideon ESV NT, Psalms, Proverbs on my Flickr account here:

  2. I have a Gideons ESV New Testament. It is a nice little Bible well made with easy to read print size (for a pocket Testament). Thousands will be saved through this new Bible.

  3. It's good to see that they salvaged key verses in the ESV before distributing them. It is still a shame that they no longer distribute the NKJV which is a better bible.