Is the ESV a sound translation? How does it compare to the KJV and NKJV?
1. The ESV is widely acknowledged by the church at large to be a sound translation.
2. Because the ESV comes from a different family of original language manuscripts there are therefore some differences in translation between the KJV/NKJV and ESV. Major examples include the ESV’s omitting (only officially, not practically) the ending of Mark’s gospel (ch. 16:9-20) and the first eleven verses of John 8. There are some other finer points that could be mentioned that would merit a fuller paper, but in all it can be said that for both the KJV/NKJV and ESV, whatever differences there are between them, no major biblical doctrines are being denied or even needing to be adjusted.
More could be said here but it is easy to get unhelpfully bogged down and meanwhile our primary focus should be reading and keeping the precious Word of God, whatever translation is chosen (Luke 11:28). “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple…Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Ps. 119: 130, 18).