Q & A with Dr. Dane C. Ortlund

On starting and completing the English Standard Version (ESV)…

“It was a matter of entrusting it to the Lord. We believe that God had called us to do it and so we took one step in faith after another. But never did we imagine that in 2019, we’d be in Manila, working with the Philippine Bible Society, and seeing thousands of ESVs being sold and distributed.”

Q: What are some of the milestones of the ESV?

2005 – Crossway entered into a partnership with the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS).

Dr. Dane: That relationship with BFBS was particularly meaningful for us because it was a way for the Lord to bring a good translation to every corner of the earth.

2008 – The ESV Study Bible was published.

2018 – Crossway launched the ESV Archaeology Study Bible. It received the ECPA Book of the Year Award for Bibles. This project took 6 years to complete.

Dr. Dane: We don’t really aspire to greatness. What we love to do is to quietly and seek faithfully the small things every day. Do that today and then get up tomorrow and do it again. Let the years unfold and let God sort out how fruitful our ministry is. This is a very liberating way to work. Looking back and looking ahead, we just want to be faithful in the small ways.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered in publishing the ESV?

Dr. Dane: Operating day by day out of the flesh rather than in the spirit. Trying to accomplish things in our own cleverness, ingenuity, and hardwork rather than working hard and prayerfully trusting the Lord. I think this is our number one challenge. This is an ongoing battle.

On daily Bible reading…

“Read the Bible every day in the same way you’d take a multi-vitamin every day, because our souls get hungry. Physically, you feel the hunger. But you don’t feel the spiritual hunger in the same way. In actuality, our souls are just as needy as our bodies are getting fed. We do want to be regularly taking in God’s delicious Word so that we’re built up, nourished, healthy, calm, happy, and enjoying life. It’s miserable to go through life and constantly feel exhausted, depleted, discouraged, and of course, we all face that. The Bible is like oxygen.”

Q: How has the Bible personally changed your life?

Dr. Dane: It has given me a lifelong friend. I feel as if there’s a major element of my life which is me walking ever more deeply into knowledge of this faithful friend called “Scripture.” A friend that never lets me down, that always understands me and gets me, that helps me understand myself, that fuels me and gives me joy. I would be a much shallower person if I didn’t have a Bible. Because I would not understand myself, the world, human history, salvation, and my sin. You need Scripture to get any kind of clarity about the world, life, where things started, where things are going, why I’m so ruined, and how to get rescued. [God] comes to us only through this book—the Spirit working with the Word, in tandem. We revere and spend a lifetime wading ever more deeply into Scripture.

His closing remarks to encourage you to read the Bible…

“Life for all of us is like one big never-ending storm. Wind and rain and dark. Spending a few unhurried minutes with Scripture is stepping out of the storm of life. I’m not saying ‘read the Bible’ because I want to give you one more duty to execute in your life or one more thing on your to-do list. But I’m saying, don’t you want to come out of the storm every once in a while? Re-center? In a sense, to become human again. Don’t impoverish your life by neglecting the Scripture.”

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I am a Bible Ambassador because I believe that the Bible can help people a lot. And knowing the Bible, people come in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.Apostolic Administrator, Achdiocese of Manila

Gusto kong makipag-fellowship sa kanila, masaya sa Philippine Bible Society kapag may mga (membership) meetings.  Gusto ko rin madagdagan knowledge ko... yung opportunity makapag.distribute ng Biblia sa maraming tao at magamit ako ng Panginoon. Pangatlo ay yung ma.bless din ako and be a blessing to many people.

Ptra. Dolores “Loy” Fulgencio
Ptra. Dolores "Loy" FulgencioAnnual PBS Member

It's an honor and a privilege for me to support the Philippine Bible Society - to reach out to the unreachable people by giving Bibles not only in the Philippines but the whole world.

Ptra. Nina Vergara
Ptra. Nina VergaraAnnual PBS Member

“It is a blessing to be able to support our local churches in need of Bibles and Bible study programs. It is our hope that they not only grow in terms of membership but also have the heart to extend spiritual help to others, just like how they have received help.”

Ptr. Callum TabadaUCCP Cosmopolitan Administrative Pastor (AACP benefactor)

“We are thankful since each individual now has a Bible. Our members will no longer have a hard time reading. Thank you also for the discipleship materials for these will help all in getting to know Jesus and to know how to be a better Christian.”

Ptr. Eric BulanteChurch Pastor, Shepherd's Church in Hills of Zion, Talim Island (AACP beneficiary)

“Philippine Bible Society organizes trainings that really respond to the needs of people who are suffering.
It has well-equipped leaders who facilitate trainings and workshops.
Its mission to reach out to Filipinos using God’s Word is fulfilled through its works.”

Miriam del RosarioExecutive director at The Birthright Educators Foundation

“I praise and thank our Almighty God that, through PBS, I now own a Poimen version of MBB (Magandang Balita Biblia) in the national language of the Philippines – Tagalog.
Knowing Matthew 10:32-33, I read and study the Bible so that I will not be dismayed when the Lord Jesus Christ comes. Life is too short compared with the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom.”

Jorge BianesLocal Church Elder at LJOR Unified Commonwealth

I think this is very helpful to every readers. The word of the Lord are the food of our soul which we always need every minute of our life. I dont often read the Bible but everytime i open it, God was always like in front of me and speaking as what is something i'm just needing to hear. He speaks to me and i can feel it. A million thanks to You my Lord.

CrisTin Bocar AtregenioHousewife, Stay-at-home parent

I love the ministry of the Philippine Bible Society in sharing the Word to the world. God bless PBS!

Ganni BanzueloScripture Marketing Officer at Philippine Bible Society