Monday, February 22, 2010 Updates

After many months (or years) of little in the way of updates or any activity, the main NRSV site has now been overhauled. While the design of the site is different, much of the material seems to be the same. With that being said, it looks like they are making an attempt to better promote the different NRSV editions offered by HarperCollins. They also have information about getting a customized NRSV. I wonder what the options are on this, as well as if this is only for large, bulk orders for Churches and groups. I will see what I can find out about this. One thing that still surprises me is the fact that they don't have a search feature, which would allow you to look up passages of the NRSV.

Update: A reader found out that the custom option: "No, it is not available for individual purchases. You would need to order them in bulk as an organization."


Dwight said...

This Easter will mark my one-year anniversary of joining the Catholic Church! I've been sticking with my Protestant translations until recently, but really want to read the deuterocanonicals. I'm nowhere near the learned individual that most of you are regarding Church-approved translations, although I'm catching up pretty quickly. I've enjoyed the NRSV (I'm surprised to say so, coming from a pretty conservative Evangelical background) but am aware of its shortcomings (all translations have them, to be sure). I also am very familiar with objections to the NAB, especially its notes (I am aware a revision is due soon as I check this blog almost daily). I know this is a topic that has probably been hammered to death on this site, but I'd love to hear recommendations from you good folks on which translations you prefer, and why.

Timothy said...


Let me first say congrats on one year in the Church. I would truly love to hear your conversion story sometime.

As to translations, that is the annual question on this blog (and elsewhere). To be honest, I tend to go back and forth. I think the three main options are the RSV, NRSV, and NAB. Mostly because they are fairly close enough in translation philosophy thus making them usable with each other and many different study tools that are on the market.

As for each translation, here is what I am thinking.... at least on this fine day:

NAB: The NT is good, but the current NAB OT is dated and more dynamic than the NT. I am not a fan of the current Psalms, because of it's vertical inclusive language and many of it's renderings. Of course all of this "could" change with the revised NABRE. Let's pray!

NRSV: I like the NRSV quite a bit even with it's shortcomings. I think the fact that it contain all the textual notes, particularly in it's use of inclusive language and other textual variants. I think the NRSV reads very well. Finally, there are many study tools keyed into the the NRSV, which makes it very useful.

RSV: Of course this comes in it's original edition and the second edition by Ignatius. It's positives are that it is the most literal translation fir Catholics, as well as being ilused in the forthcoming Ignatius Study Bible. In addition, there have been additional study aids being keyed to the second edition. One thinks of the stuff coming out of Emmaus Road Publications these days. The main negative, IMHO, is that it is still a 50+ year old translation, even with the "update" by Ignatius Press. So what is the future of this translation? I also don't think it reads as well as the NRSV.

becket said...

Both the Douay Rheims, and the RSV Catholic Edition have very bright futures. St Benedict Press have helped out allot. The RSV and Douay may be old. But they are gems to the Catholic Church.

DRB said...

In earlier comments, some suggested that the revised NAB NT would be improved if it incorporated the changes the Holy See mandated for the lectionary. I wonder if it would be possible to publish a Catholic NRSV edition in conformity with revised lectionary in Canada?

Anonymous said...

My 2 cents:

RSV-CE or 2CE for fidelity to manuscrits and literary excellence. New study bibles, commentaries, and Catholic Scripture studies keyed to these editions mean this version has legs.

Douay Rhiems for insight into the Vulgate and an abundance of theological material.

ESV with Apocrypha for an excellent update of the RSV with all the books. Pleasure to read.

*A committee under the leadership of an Australian has received permission to revise the NRSV for use in English speaking countries. Let's pray it goes well and quickly as this holds significant promise

**I'm not a fan of the NAB.

Raphael said...

This is what I use.

The Douay Rheims for serious prayer and devotional reading.

I usually alternate between the 1966 Jerusalem Bible and NAB for more casual reading. Regarding the NABRE, I do hpe it is not too late for the bishops to reconsider and include the altered version of the NT approved for Liturgy. It's already complete, so they need not do any work on it. As long as the NABRE is still incomplete (i.e., still working on the Psalms), there still hope the bishops could decide to go with the Litugical NT, if they get many respectful requests for it (hint-hint-hint!!).

Dwight said...

Thank you, Timothy, for congratulating me in coming home! I love sharing my conversion story with any and every person who will listen. I've written a "letter" (it's actually 20+ pages, with plenty of room for expansion, hence the quotes) that explains the two main reasons for my joining the RCC: authority and the Eucharist. My pastor is currently reading it to make sure I've not misrepresented Church teachings. I plan to give it to family (none of whom are happy with me leaving the Southern Baptist tradition, to say it mildly), friends, and whoever else asks. I would love to share it with you and your readers if interested (yes, I do have an apologetic bent).

Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions! I fell in love with the ESV about 5 years ago, but I'm looking for a Church-approved translation now. I've bugged the good folks at Crossway several times to inquire about a Catholic version of the ESV, but of course there are no plans in the future. I am aware of the ESV Apocrypha from Oxford, but haven't picked it up because I hesitate to plunk down more cash on translations that aren't Church-approved. Am I wrong for thinking that way?

I'm intrigued by Anonymous' comments regarding the NRSV revision... any word from thou on this, Timothy?

Thanks again to you all, and God bless!

Paul said...

I must take the opportunity inthis thread to make a plug for the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB), my favourite Roman Catholic translation, which is widely used outside of the USA and Canada.

My only disappointment with the British Catholic Truth Society's 'New Catholic Bible' is that it used the Grail Psalms and the freer Juruselem Bible as base translations, rather than the more literal and careful NJB. It would have been perfect then :).

Timothy said...


I agree with you. The NJB is better and more precise, IMHO, than the original JB. It's too bad that it is so little used here in the US.

JT said...

Personally, I wish the Lockman Foundation would publish a NASB with Apocrypha.

Alas... I'm sticking with my RSV2CE for now.

Dwight said...

Thanks again to you all!

rolf said...

Hey Tim,
This is off subject, but I thought you might like to know that the forth coming Ignatius Catholic Study Bible - New Testament is going to be offered in leather, hardback and paperback. This is not reflected on the Amazon site where I had a pre-order in for the (only offered) paperback copy. The Ignatius site is offering all three. I cancelled my pre-order with Amazon and put one in at Ignatius for the leatherbound copy.

rolf said...

Me again, I noticed on the Ignatius site that the Catholic Study Bible - New Testament is listed in hardback and paperback twice, but one of the paperback copies is listed with the leather price. I guess I will call them tomorrow.

Timothy said...


Interesting! I imagine that it will be the same bonded leather cover as the current RSV-2CE. Hmmm..... I am not quite sure which edition I will order. To be honest, I can only see myself using the NT edition as reference, so perhaps the hardcover. Will have to think about that!

Anonymous said...

I have contacted Harper Collins Special Markets Department if a regular customer can request a Custom NRSV Bible and their response was:
No, it is not available for individual purchases. You would need to order them in bulk as an organization.