So, last year, around New Years, I decided to give the NRSV-CE a good read through by using it as my primary Bible. I was faithful to this commitment, using the NRSV for personal devotions, work in ministry, as well as class work at the seminary. This lasted for more than six months, almost into August. For devotional reading, I utilized the NRSV-CE edition published by Oxford, while using the HarperCollins Study Bible for study.
I found the overall quality of the NRSV translation to be pretty high. In particular, I appreciated the nice mix between literal and dynamic renderings, certainly leaning more towards the literal end. And while the NRSV is not as literal as the original RSV, I found that to be a positive. In particular, I found reading through the OT to be very enjoyable. I think the text flows quite well, in both Testaments. Also, I appreciate the textual notes at the bottom of each page. They were very helpful. However, some of the excesses in inclusive language use bothered me at times. I am one who believes that it is appropriate to use some inclusive language, but I feel the NRSV is too much. (I think the NJB does a nice job overall.) In particular, the "Son of Man" renderings in the OT, by rendering them "mortals", obscures the messianic meanings behind them. Sure, I know that there may be some legitimate linguistic reasons for an inclusive rendering, but the fact that Jesus referred to himself as the "Son of Man" indicates that he read those OT inferences in that way. In addition, I am not sure changing a passage to the plural is always a good idea.
Also, while I mentioned above that I like the fact the NRSV provides many textual notes, the one thing I noticed is that many of them are simply the more literal Greek rendering. Oftentimes, those notes are the actual text in the RSV or even the NAB. There are a few other things that nag me, but I don't want to harp on the NRSV too much. Like I said, overall I think the NRSV is pretty good, but there are just some things about it that make me uncomfortable with it.
So, since on Sunday we begin a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent, I have decided to do the same thing I did with the NRSV earlier in the year. But, what translation should I go with? Right now, I am seriously considering going with the new Emergent New Testament: The Voice! Actually no, I am just kidding. Truthfully, I am considering the NAB, which in all honesty, I have rarely used. (Of course I hear it every time I go to Holy Mass). I certainly own a few copies of the NAB, including the nicely made Fireside Librosario NAB and a leather 1990 edition of the Catholic Study Bible by Oxford. But, I am still considering which translation to go with. I am open for any of your thoughts! RSV-2CE?
In any case, I hope to blog about my experiences with whatever translation I decide to use. I would like to show, possibly on a weekly basis, how I have used it in study and ministry, along with insights from my daily devotional reading.
Update: I think I shall make the REB a candidate as well.
Update 2: Five additional translations I am considering are the RSV-2CE, NJB, NLT (Catholic Edition), Good News Translation, and the Christian Community Bible.
Update 3: Leaning towards the RSV-2CE.
Update 4: Now leaning nowhere!