The ESV® Catholic Edition is approved by the Catholic Church. Drawing on recent archaeological discoveries, the ESV® Catholic Edition is translated directly from more reliable manuscripts of the biblical books than older English translations. It also seeks to better reflect the Church’s theological tradition, emphasizing the unity between the Old Testament and New Testament.
While the ESV® Catholic Edition offers readers a more precise translation of the biblical texts, it is also recognized for its beautiful, accessible prose. Instead of using archaic English, its clear and elegant English offers readers a fresh experience of God’s Word, enabling the Bible’s meaning to come alive for readers in new ways.
Faithful to the meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek, this translation offers readers a more precise rendering of the actual words, language, and images used by the biblical writers. It seeks to translate the Bible’s meaning word for word rather than through a general paraphrase. In this, the ESV® Catholic Edition follows the translation principles set forth in Church documents such as Liturgiam authenticam.
"Approved by the Vatican for liturgical use, adapted by Catholic biblical scholars in India, and beloved by English-speaking Catholics around the world, the ESV® Catholic Edition is easily the most up-to-date, most literal, and most beautiful English translation of the Bible in print. A true gift to the universal Church."
"Based on the RSV, it stands in the grand tradition of English Bible translation, and because it follows the Church's express principles for translation, it's the most faithful translation to the original biblical languages. In short, it overcomes the broad, ugly ditch between modern scholarship and the Church's understanding of Scripture."
“Because of its fidelity to the original languages of Scripture, the Catholic Edition of the English Standard Version is destined to be a great contribution to Catholic biblical studies and devotional life for years to come!”
“The ESV® Catholic Edition, by its elegance and clarity, provides the English-speaking world with a reliable translation of Sacred Scripture that will inform Catholics for study, meditation, prayer, teaching, and preaching for many years to come.”
"The ESV Catholic Bible is the Indian Church's contribution to the universal Church....It is our earnest hope and prayer that the ESV® Catholic Edition will bear abundant fruit in the lives of Catholic readers."
“An excellent translation, and the Augustine Institute has every reason to boast of its publication.”
As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him.
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is overall all be blessed forever. Amen.
To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God overall, blessed forever. Amen.
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
It is a new Catholic translation of the Bible. In 2018, the Catholic Church in India approved this new translation: the English Standard Version, Catholic Edition (ESV® Catholic Edition). This new translation is a modified form of the ESV Bible, which was translated by Evangelical scholars and first released in 2001. The ESV is an update of the trusted Revised Standard Version (1952, 1971). It was reviewed by a team of Catholic scholars in India, who modified the translation to ensure it adhered to Catholic teaching. Now the translation is required for liturgical use throughout India. This translation is precise and as transparent as possible to the original languages.
Yes. Under the Code of Canon Law, 825 §1, only the Vatican or a national bishops’ conference can approve a Bible translation for publication. In accord with canon law, the ESV® Catholic Edition was approved by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India on February 4, 2018, and granted the Imprimatur by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, a member of Pope Francis’ top advisory team, the Council of Cardinals. The translation explicitly adhered to the Vatican’s translation principles prescribed by Liturgiam authenticam (2001). The Vatican approved the ESV® Catholic Edition Lectionary on December 9, 2019, and it is mandated for liturgical use throughout India as of Palm Sunday 2020.
The team of scholars that the Catholic bishops of India entrusted with the task of revising the ESV for Catholic use included Rev. Dr. Lucien Legrand, M.E.P.; Rev. Dr. Assisi Saldanha, C.Ss.R.; Rev. Dr. Govindu Rayanna; Rev. Dr. A. Alfred Joseph; Rev. Dr. David Stanly Kumar, Sr.; Rev. Dr. Prema Vakayil, C.S.S.T.; Rev. Dr. Shabu Joseph Thottumkal, S.D.B.; and Rev. Dr. Stanislas Savarimuthu.
If you have ever read the King James Bible or its twentieth-century update, the Revised Standard Version, the ESV will sound familiar. As an intentional update of the RSV, the ESV removes archaic-sounding words and phrases, while trying to improve on the translation and changing about 60,000 words in all. It is close enough to the RSV to sound familiar, but different enough to feel fresh.
The ESV® Catholic Edition includes all the Deuterocanonical Books and additions. The original ESV from 2001 was a Protestant publication, so it did not include the deuterocanonical books and additions (1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, additions to Esther, additions to Daniel). The 2018 Catholic Edition of the ESV includes all of the books held to be canonical by the Catholic Church.
The ESV was originally translated by a team of Evangelical scholars under the auspices of Crossway Books, a Protestant publisher. It was, however, adapted by Catholic scholars and only then approved by the Catholic Church in India in 2018 as the ESV® Catholic Edition. In this way, the ESV is much like the RSV before it. The RSV was originally released in 1952 as a Protestant translation and only later approved by Catholic bishops in 1965-1966. Both the RSV and the ESV are valuable ecumenical efforts that allow Protestants and Catholics to read Scripture together.
The 2001 ESV translation effort was headed up by the Translation Oversight Committee brought together by Crossway Books. That original twelve-member team of Evangelical scholars included Dr. Clifford John Collins, Dr. Lane T. Dennis, Dr. Wayne A. Grudem, Dr. Paul R. House, Dr. R. Kent Hughes, Dr. Robert H. Mounce, Dr. William D. Mounce, Dr. J.I. Packer, Dr. Leland Ryken, Dr. Vern Sheridan Poythress, Dr. Gordon Wenham, and Dr. Bruce Winter. A group of Catholic scholars in India updated the translation before the 2018 release of the ESV® Catholic Edition.
The ESV® Catholic Edition is a translation that seeks as far as possible to reproduce the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each biblical writer. As such, its emphasis is on a word-for-word correspondence, at the same time taking full account of differences in grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. Thus, it seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and exact force of the original.
Some Bible versions have followed a thought-for-thought rather than word-for-word translation philosophy, emphasizing “dynamic equivalence” rather than the precise meaning of the original. A thought-for-thought translation is of necessity more inclined to reflect the interpretive views of the translator and the influences of contemporary culture. In contrast, the ESV® Catholic Edition follows a word-for-word translation philosophy, offering the most precise and up-to-date translation available.
Every translation is at many points a trade-off between precision and readability, between “formal equivalence” in expression and “functional equivalence” in communication—and the ESV® Catholic Edition is no exception. Within this framework, we have sought to be as precise as possible, while maintaining clarity of expression and literary excellence.
The Constantine cross. After seeing a vision of a cross in the sky in 312, Constantine the Great converted to Christianity, signed the Edict of Milan legalizing the faith, and sent his mother, St. Helena, to Jerusalem to look for Christ's tomb. Over a century prior to this in 135, Emperor Hadrian built two pagan temples over what the early Christians knew to be the places where Jesus died (Calvary) and had been laid to rest (the tomb). Providentially, Emperor Hadrian constructed the pagan temples in order to stop the early Jewish Christians from making pilgrimage to the sacred sites, which had become a tradition as early as the end of the first century. With the help of the bishop of Caesarea, Eusebius, and the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, three crosses were found near a tomb, leading the Romans to believe they had found Calvary. According to Church tradition, in 326, in order to discern which of the three crosses found was the true cross of Christ, St. Helena and Bishop Macarius witnessed a healing miracle when a terminally ill person touched all three crosses but was healed when they touched the last cross. Not long afterwards, with the blessing of Emperor Constantine, St. Helena removed the pagan temples and built a church over Calvary. As a way to honor the place where Christ died and to transform the image of the cross from one of shame to glory and honor, St. Helena had a large gold cross that contained large jewels constructed on top of the church.
The ESV® Catholic Edition was first released in India in 2018 by the Asian Trading Corporation. The ESV® Catholic Edition was released in the United States in 2019 by the Augustine Institute.
The ESV (English Standard Version) is esteemed, and we believe rightly so, as the most faithful English translation of the Bible today. Continuing in the line of noble English translations of the King James Version to the Revised Standard Version (RSV), the ESV emphasizes close proximity to the original Hebrew and Greek texts, most consistently among modern translations. Therefore, when the publisher of the ESV, Crossway Books, chose the Augustine Institute to be the exclusive Catholic publisher of the ESV® Catholic Edition in North America, right after they received the Imprimatur for this translation from the Vatican, this was confirmation of the Augustine Institute’s charism and calling. What is more, the day the contract was signed was August 28, which is the feast day of St. Augustine—a welcome sign from Divine Providence that we are called to steward and spread the Word of God.