The new English Standard Version is the translation of the Bible I have been waiting for my entire Christian life. I trust you will find the same to be true for you. It is as precise and accurate as the New American Standard, but is far more literary. It is as readable and accessible as the New International Version, but is far more scholarly. The NAS has always fallen short because of its clunky, ungrammatical prose. The NIV has always fallen short because of its blatant inaccuracies. Thus, Crossway has rendered us all good service by bringing the ESV to market despite all the hazards and costs of Bible translation these days.
With J.I. Packer serving as the general editor and Leland Ryken serving as the literary chairman, the ESV translation team was able to do what no other English language translation committee has been able to do since the Hampton Court Committee was established to translate the King James Version in the first decade of the seventeenth century: render the Greek and the Hebrew into beautiful, accurate, and accessible English vernacular prose. No other modern Bible even comes close. The ESV should become the standard--and the awful compromise of the NIV and the sundry other translation, transliteration, and paraphrase pretenders should happily recede from the forefront of Evangelical culture. Would that such a should could become reality!