Back in December I devoted a series of posts looking at the differences between the old RSV-CE and the Ignatius RSV-2CE. In these posts, I was not concerned so much about the elimination of the archaic language, which is both substantial and helpful to the modern Bible reader, but rather the various undocumented changes to the actual translation. In most cases, I found that the updated RSV-2CE was correct in making the adjustments it did, and really the only case which I found somewhat unnecessary was the use of "chalice" instead of "cup". Of course, this whole process of spotting the differences between the two would have been helped by a little more specific information from Ignatius Press, but nothing, as far as I know, has ever been released. The only real help, besides actually reading both editions side by side, came with the publication of the Emmaus Press Catholic Bible Concordance, which contained a section at the back noting the differences. As noted, the changes were significant. I have always wondered how the changes in the RSV-2CE matched up with the changes found in the other recent update of the original RSV, the English Standard Version. Perhaps we will never know.
This brings me to this post, which came about through my reading of Psalm 85 last night with my wife. We are still using the fine book Praying the Psalms with the Early Christians as a nightly devotional, which I highly recommend. While reading through it, which uses the original RSV-CE as it's base text, I noticed that there are a few translational choices that were made, outside of the elimination of the archaic language. So I have decided to show the original RSV-CE below, with the main translational differences in the RSV-2CE found in bold where appropriate:
LORD, thou wast favorable to thy land;
thou didst restore the fortunes (captives) of Jacob.
Thou didst forgive the iniquity of thy people;
thou didst pardon all their sin. [Selah]
Thou didst withdraw all thy wrath;
thou didst turn from thy hot anger.
Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away thy indignation toward us!
Wilt thou be angry with us for ever?
Wilt thou prolong thy anger to all generations?
Wilt thou not revive us again,
that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Show us thy steadfast (merciful) love, O LORD,
and grant us thy salvation.
Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love (Mercy) and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky (heaven).
Yea, the LORD will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
and make his footsteps a way.
Some comparisons to consider:
1) NRSV: Remains identical in the points highlighted above with original RSV
2) ESV: Remains identical in the points highlighted above with the original RSV
3) Douay-Rheims: The changes made to the RSV-2CE match the Douay-Rheims
4) NJB: Uses "captives" instead of "fortunes", as well as "heaven" instead of "sky"
Again the conclusion that we can make is that the RSV-2CE sides with the Douay-Rheims in most cases. It would be helpful, at some point, to have a complete chart of these changes. So far, the reasoning behind the changes have only been hinted at a year and a half back when Fr. Fessio commented on this blog. While not being specific, his response at least gives us the rationale for what went on between Ignatius Press and the Vatican. I hope to show some more instances of the differences between the two as I spot them.