Anglican Liturgy Press is blessed to offer to Anglicans in the United States and Canada this Anglican Edition of the English Standard Version of the Bible (ESV) with Apocrypha.
Why the ESV?
The ESV Bible is based on the premise that the words of the Bible are the very words of God. As a word-for-word (or essentially literal) translation, the ESV seeks to express the deepest nuance of meaning and power in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek of the Bible – and thus to bring the reader as close as possible to the timeless truth, beauty, and depth of meaning of the original languages. Since its publication in 2001, the ESV Bible has gained wide acceptance in numerous denominations (including the Roman Catholic Church in India) as well as millions of individuals around the world.
Renowned Anglican theologian Dr. J.I.Packer, General Editor of the ESV Bible and Theological Editor of the ESV Study Bible, and ACNA Archbishop Emeritus Robert W. Duncan, prepared the Prefaces and Introductions to the Bible and the Apocrypha.
Why the Apocrypha
As stated more fully in Article VI of the Articles of Religion, the Apocrypha is not part of the canonical Scriptures of the Holy Bible; therefore, it has been included in a separate section following the Old Testament and the New Testament. This ESV translation of the Apocrypha stands in the mainstream of classic Apocrypha translations extending back over the last five centuries.
The lectionaries of most editions of the Book of Common Prayer since 1549 include canticles and readings from the Apocrypha at Morning and Evening Prayer, as does the Book of Common Prayer 2019 of the Anglican Church in North America.
Article VI states that the fourteen ancient books of the Apocrypha are read “for example of life and instruction of manners; but…not (to) apply them to establish any doctrine.” The Apocrypha is primarily an aid for reading the Daily Offices, for instruction in living, and for lectionary readings in the Church.
Foreword to the Anglican Liturgy Press Edition
The Apocrypha is not strictly speaking part of the canonical Scriptures of the Holy Bible. That is why it has been included here in a separate section following the Old Testament and the New Testament. As stated in the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the fourteen ancient books of the Apocrypha are read “for example of life and instruction of manners; but . . . not [to] apply them to establish any doctrine.” As stated fully in Article VI:
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church. [Here the 39 canonical books of the Old Testament are listed.] And the other Books [The Apocrypha] the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine. [Here the books of the Apocrypha are listed.] All the books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.
The Lectionaries of the Church of England Book of Common Prayer of 1549, 1552, 1559, 1604, and 1662, together with the Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer of 1789, 1892, 1928, and 1979, and the Anglican Church of Canada Book of Common Prayer of 1918 and 1962, all include canticles and readings from the Apocrypha. Although Anglicanism draws from the Apocryphal books for the Lectionary of the Church, such readings generally occur only in the Morning and Evening Prayer readings rather than the Eucharistic readings.
The Apocrypha, therefore, is included with this Anglican Edition of the English Standard Version of the Bible (ESV) primarily as an aid for reading the Daily Offices, for instruction in living, and for Lectionary readings in the Church.
Preface to the Anglican Liturgy Press Edition
This translation of the Apocrypha stands within the mainstream of classic Apocrypha translations extending back over the last five centuries. The present translation is an adaptation of the ESV with Apocrypha published in cooperation with Oxford University Press in 2009, which took the 1971 Revised Standard Version (RSV) Apocrypha and the 1977 Revised Standard Version (RSV) Expanded Apocrypha as its starting point.
Like the English Standard Version (ESV) itself, the ESV Apocrypha has been translated in an essentially literal way, which seeks to provide a word-for-word and phrase-by-phrase translation of the original text that is both accurate in substance and dignified in expression.
The word Apocrypha means “hidden.” This refers to the distinction that Christians have made between the 39 books of the Old Testament and the writings of the Apocrypha, the origin of which is not fully known (i.e., “hidden”). Until the sixteenth century, many, if not most, Christians accepted some of the Apocrypha as part of the Bible. In any case, the Apocrypha was generally regarded as worthy of reading for spiritual enrichment. Most Protestant churches eventually decided not to include the Apocrypha in the Bible, mainly because these books do not exist in their entirety in Hebrew or Aramaic, but also for doctrinal reasons. Many Anglicans, Lutherans, and other Protestants continue to affirm the spiritual value of reading the Apocrypha. The books of the Apocrypha are collected here in the back of the Bible and reproduced in slightly smaller type than the canonical books of the ESV Old Testament and New Testament, in order to reflect the Apocrypha’s less authoritative status within the Anglican Church in North America.
We are pleased to offer this version of the Apocrypha to all those readers who wish to explore these ancient writings, which provide additional insight into the history and thought of the Jewish people during the centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ.
This edition of the ESV with Apocrypha is published by Anglican Liturgy Press, an imprint of Anglican House Media Ministry, Inc. Copyright © 2018 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.