Monday, November 30, 2009

RSV-CE vs. RSV-2CE Part 4 (final)

Well, this will be the final post focusing on the differences between the RSV-CE and the RSV-2CE. Consider this last post a sort of lightning round. I am just going to list a few more differences between the two which I find interesting or amusing.

Let the lightning round begin:

1) Exodus
The RSV-2CE, following the NAB revised NT, translates literally the Greek term exodos as "exodus" instead of original RSV's "departure" in Luke 9:31.

2) Covenant
The RSV-2CE translates "Ark of the Testimony", as found in Exodus 25:16, as "Ark of the Covenant". This change occurs 36 times in the Old Testament. (Not sure about that one.)

3) Donkeys
The RSV-2CE substitutes the term "donkey" for "ass" 151 times in the entire Bible. Is there a difference between the two? I think someone told me once that there was a difference, but I sure prefer saying "donkey", particularly when teaching Scripture to a bunch of high school kids.

4) Angels
The RSV-2CE goes with "angels" over "god/gods" in the Psalms 8, 82, 97, and 138.

5) Virgin
The RSV-2CE follows the LXX in Isaiah 7:14 with "virgin" instead of "young woman".

In the end, while there are a number of differences between the two editions, I think if you are comfortable with the original RSV-CE than there is really no need to get the update. The one exception would be whether or not you find the archaic language unbearable. Some of the changes in the RSV-2CE I prefer, like the use of "exodus" in Luke 9:31 and the change from "ass" to "donkey". However, I am still not sold on the use of "chalice" and "mercy" in the RSV-2CE, as oppose to what the original RSV-CE.

Finally, let me just point out that if you are interested in seeing all the differences, which are far more than I had initially thought, you really need to get the recently released The Catholic Bible Concordance: Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition by Emmaus Road Publishing. Along with the added RSV-2CE information, it has proven to be a very handy, yet compact exhaustive concordance. Those at Emmaus Road should be proud of this publication, which was so needed for serious Catholic Bible readers and students. It certainly reaffirms my belief that the RSV-CE will remain the most scholarly/literal translation of the Bible in the English-speaking Catholic world for the foreseeable future.


rolf said...

I like the changes in the translation of the RSV-2CE. I also like the updated font style, the chapter headings, the maps, and the quality of the overall Bible (including binding and paper)of the Ignatius RSV-2CE over the Ignatius RSC-CE. Plus the future Study Bible will be the RSV-2CE transaltion, and there is even a RSV-2CE lectionary. My only wish is that Ignatius would offer a large print edition like they do with the RSV-CE, but I guess they have too much on their plate right now.

Kevin Sam said...

I like the changes made so far. It seems like what the RSV should have been.

Timothy said...


Yeah, it reminds me a bit of the ESV in that sense. The RSV-2CE, however, is still an "update" of the older RSV-CE, not the ESV which may be closer to a new translation.

Timothy said...


I pretty much agree with you. I do think Ignatius needs to do two things for the RSV-2CE:

1) They need to have a website devoted to it, much like the ESV and NIV do. If they want it to be as popular as the original, I think that is essential.

2) They definitely need to publish the RSV-2CE in more editions. Like you, I was surprised that they published the large print RSV-CE recently and not the RSV-2CE. Perhaps that will change once the Ignatius Study Bible comes out. But it would be a real shame if the Ignatius Study Bible only came in hardcover, paperback, and bonded leather.

Dim Bulb said...

Concerning Exodus 25:16~"Ark of the Testimony." The Hebrew word "testimony" is basically synonymous with "covenant" in this passage because the tablets are a testimony or witness to the covenant stipulations. Covenant documents were legal witnesses to the covenant and could be brought forth in a reeb, a covenant lawsuit, against the violator of the covenant. In his speech in Acts 7:44 St Stephen speaks of the "Ark of the witness (or testimony)", using the Greek μαρτύριον=marturion=testimony/witness. This usage is important because it lays the foundation for his statement of condemnation is 7:51-53.