Read it all here. . .
I must admit to being rather surprisingly relieved by this. No, I do not consider the ESV the perfect translation (not even the KJV merits this judgment) but as a pastor I have tired of the constant meddling with the text to the point where it is not enough to know the version but the edition of that version. It is a pesky problem when Bible studies bog down on minor translation differences (although the major ones can be useful studies in and of themselves). I am happy that we will eventually have an ESV without the changes that have turned the NIV into something different than it was first envisioned.
Updates are helpful sometimes but continuity is also very helpful. It is, after all, not the Word of the Lord that has changed but how convention has decided to render that word into a language other than the original that has changed. Of course language changes, evolves, and transitions and we will have to deal with some of that with an ESV that ignores those changes. But the truth is that we have not suffered so greatly and the KJV has remained essentially unchanged and ever popular despite the fact that editorial committees have not updated its text.
In the beginning I was enamored of all the changes. I have a dozen or more versions on my bookshelves (everything from The Cotton Patch Version to the New Jerusalem) and I thought it was the cat's meow. But at that stage of my life I saw the Bible as a fluid word subject to change -- if not in text then in meaning. Instruction and maturity have taught the error of my youthful ways. Fascination with change is its own weakness, especially when it comes to Scripture.
I recall most passages in some form of the KJV/RSV that were the two most predominant versions of my youth and I learned the Catechism in the same way (1943 copyright). The constant juggling of words is important more for the restraint of past exuberance over change than the deficiencies of the older texts. In most cases, we are restoring rather than revising, going back rather than breaking new ground (both with catechism and with Bible translation and updates). The years have taught me that what I thought was cool as a youth are at odds with the way we learn and our ability to meet together at the same texts even though we are separated by generations of time.
Having only recently upgraded to an IPhone SE, it is disconcerting to think that the 7 is already out. I am more than happy to have some problems fixed but after a while the constant need to upgrade to new technology makes the devices only more expensive and more trouble. These are, after all, only means and not ends. So it is good that we distance Scripture, catechism, and even liturgical change from the way commerce views the introduction of a product new and different but predictably more pricey than what it replaces. Incremental changes in the church are best and I for one laud the folks at Crossway for saying this is the text for today and for all the foreseeable future.
UPDATE: The Text will be open to update after all, though seldom and minimally, it is hoped. It turned out the world was not as ready to accept a constant text for Biblical and liturgical usage and Crossway changed its mind. That said, I kept what I initially wrote.
Here is what Crossway has to say: “The means to that goal, we now see, is not to establish a permanent
text but rather to allow for ongoing periodic updating of the text to
reflect the realities of biblical scholarship such as textual
discoveries or changes in English over time,” stated Dennis. “These
kinds of updates will be minimal and infrequent, but fidelity to
Scripture requires that we remain open in principle to such changes.”