I’ve been reading through the bible a few chapters a night for some time now. At the beginning of this year I realised I was a bit stale, so decided to change the version of the Bible I’m using. I’ve used the NIV for some years, so opted for a change to use the ESV (links to study bible versions). It has certainly helped to read something just a little unfamiliar – it helps me concentrate on the words in a bit more detail. But there are pros and cons to both, and last night I found myself with both volumes on the bed at the same time – and they are no lightweights!

The main difference is that while the ESV has more detailed, and very useful, notes and articles on the individual books and passages (*see below for another problem however!), the NIV commentary says more about individual verses and words. And last night there was a word I didn’t understand, for which the ESV had no comment whatsoever. I knew the NIV would have either a note or a footnote and so it proved. It seems that the NIV is more in tune with the reader who will stop at anything that interrupts the flow – or perhaps it’s simply that I’ve been reading the NIV for so long that I’m used to it’s style?!

However, I have really enjoyed reading the articles in the ESV – the introductions to the individual books have been very useful. The main articles too are very good. But frustratingly, *I struggle with the print of the footnotes on each page. I can’t read without specs now, and often use reading glasses instead of varifocals when settling to read for any length of time – even with the reading glasses I struggle to see the footnotes in the ESV. For some reason, although the print is a similar size, I don’t have the same issue with the NIV.

It was the ESV that I loaded to my Kindle when I couldn’t find a UK source for the NIV. And on the Kindle I can change the size of print at the touch of a button. It has taken me quite a while, and some persistence, to find a way of reading the study notes alongside the main passage … but now that I have mastered it, I can lay aside the hardback and take the Kindle to bed with me – providing of course I can resist the temptation to read ‘just a chapter’ :rolleyes: of any of the many other books I have loaded it with!

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