Thursday, April 14, 2011

What to do with the RSV-2CE?

The RSV-2CE from Ignatius Press is truly an enigma. This blog has spent considerable time over the past two years looking at it, dissecting it, and discussing various topics related to it. In many ways it is an improvement over the already established RSV-CE, most notably with the elimination of the archaic "thees and thous", as well as making more than simply "minor" changes to the text. It is also the basis for the wonderful Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. Yet, at least for me, there is something strange about the RSV-2CE. However, I can't really pin down what it is. Is it that there are very few editions of the RSV-2CE available? Maybe. Or is it perhaps the lack of information about the revision coming from Ignatius Press? Maybe. Or perhaps the "hideously garish cover" as commented previously by Theophrastus. Maybe. How about the very little promotion that this translation has received? (See how much press the NABRE received recently?) Many people who I speak with at "Church gatherings" are simply unaware that the RSV-2CE even exists. So what is it about the RSV-2CE? I say this with the belief that if I were to only choose one English Bible translation, I would probably go with the RSV-2CE. Strange.


Daniel said...

The RSV-2CE is a project that seems to have reached a dead end. It was an attempt to become the standard bible of the English speaking Catholic world for both personal study and liturgical use.

Liturgiam Authenticam provided a unique opportunity for this to become a reality.

The adoption of revised texts of the NRSV for liturgical use in Canada and the United Kingdom and the USCCB's involvement in the NAB has pretty much have pretty much made that goal unattainable.

It remains a choice for personal study but hardly a compelling one due to the lack of editions and resources (The ICSB being the only resource developed as of yet that is keyed to the RSV-2CE and even that is not yet completed).

Francesco said...


Funny you should mention the RSV-2CE, because I noticed last night that it is the translation used by the "YouCat", the youth catechism published last week for the World Youth Day. Apparently a copy of the YouCat is going to be in every backpack they give to the youth who assemble in Madrid this summer.

This is at least the case for the edition published by Ignatius Press for the US. I'm not sure if that's the case for the CTS edition in the UK and the others in Australia, Africa, and Asia.

I'll have to check when I get home if I read that right.

Timothy said...


Yes, you are certainly correct in regards to the the RSV-2CE's liturgical usefulness.


I noticed that as well. I really like the YouCat! Very attractive and full of good info and quotes.

Francesco said...

Yes, it's very interesting. For the most part it seems like a summary of the CCC (much like I imagine the Compendium to the CCC is), but there are sections that are original that I've noticed. The Q&A about globalization and the environment are new and even cite Caritas in Veritate directly.

It's definitely geared towards kids. Did you see the dancing man in the lower corner? Pictures on every page and colored text boxes, O my! I wonder how they're going to put it on the website, if they every do that.

Timothy said...

I love the dancing man in the lower corner!

Aidan said...

A new lectionary has not yet been adopted for the UK and probably won’t be for at least another five years or so. If they wanted to make anything of it, now would be the time for Ignatius to be promoting it and lobbying the Bishops’ conferences.

Imagine if the introduction of an RSV-2CE lectionary were to coincide with the completion of the ICSB!

Steve A. said...

I saw Fr Fessio on "The World Over" last week, and as Raymond Arroyo made some (valid) sarcastic remarks about the NABRE, Fr Fessio proudly proclaimed the RSV-2CE is the only Bible to conform to L.A. (even though it does not use "amen I say to you", which, correct me if I'm wrong, L.A. requires) and said it is used in liturgy in Africa. He hinted with a knowing smirk that within the next 5 years, the "newer" US bishops who are gaining control will "take care of" the NABRE (in the context, I think he meant "get rid of"). So maybe he has some quite negotiations going on behind the scenes for the RSV-2CE.

Timothy said...


Thanks for the remarks. I had been wanting to see that interview, but haven't yet had the time to sit and watch it. Interesting......

Jim said...

I use my RSV-CE2 all the time. I am a lector at my church and I find it to be very useful when preparing the Sunday readings. If I come across a passage in the NAB that is particularly dreadful (which happens quite often) I look it up in the RSV-CE2 to see what it's really supposed to say.

Daniel said...

The RSV-CE2 always seemed like an overtly political translation to me.

It's informed on the one hand by a strong dislike modern principles of translation and on the other by an aesthetic preference for the Tyndale tradition.

Remember Ignatius's issuing of the original RSV-CE predates Liturgiam Authenticam by seven years and the entire reason they went ahead with the RSV-CE2 is because the RSV-CE could not be approved for liturgical use in its wake.

I like the RSV and, aside from some minor quibbles, the RSV-CE2 as well. I don't like the attitude of many Catholics who use it towards other translation though. We now have our own KJV only movement on our hands.

Timothy said...


That already exists with some people who will only read the Douay-Rheims.

Theophrastus said...

[Fr. Fessio] hinted with a knowing smirk that within the next 5 years, the "newer" US bishops who are gaining control will "take care of" the NABRE (in the context, I think he meant "get rid of").

Ignatius Press has done some wonderful things, and it has brought some truly outstanding titles to us. But given Fr. Fessio's controversial professional history, I rather doubt that he has any sort of special ability to prognosticate.

Theophrastus said...

Actually, I just watched the interview, and the topic was the disconnect between the lectionary and the NAB. Fr. Fessio says the new bishops will "straighten this out."

Theophrastus said...

It is also interesting to watch this extended interview (less than six minutes long) in which Fr. Fessio claims that Mother Angelica gave the $100,000 loan that made the RSV-2CE possible.

Timothy said...


Thanks for the link.

Timothy said...


I find that his story of how they decided on the RSV and the role Mother Angelica played in funding the RSV-2CE to be informative and fascinating. I wish they would be even more transparent, since it can only be a benefit for the RSV-2CE.

Anonymous said...

I have known Fr. Fessio and the Ignatius press staff for 20+ years and I applaud some of the contributions Ignatius Press has made to the Catholic publishing world. With that said, what has always bothered me about the RSV-2CE is that it is not the work of the Church in its broader magisterial sense (at least by acceptance and promotion) but is exactly that adjectiveused above by Steve: smugness. The IP staff and their followers speak and act as if only they in their RSV-2CE have brought to the Catholic world the "real" version of the Bible. I will admit that I find it very hard to separate the personalities from the publication. But that's my take.

Charles G said...

RSV-2CE has been adopted by the Bishops of the Antilles for their Lectionary. I also saw a notice from the Pauline sisters in Africa that several African bishops' conferences will also adopt it for the Lectionary. Lucky people. Unfortunately the rest of the Anglophone world will likely be saddled with NAB or NRSV.

Francesco said...

Charles G,

I did a quick Google search and found this:

A new lectionary for Africa will also be adopted. The lectionary by the Ignatius press combines the second Catholic edition of the revised standard version of the Bible and the new Psalms as revised by the graille association. (sic)

Very interesting. The article says that this would cover the episcopal conferences of South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. Does anyone know if this group of 5 countries is "missing" any African countries with lots of English speakers?

Thanks for mentioning this!

rolf said...

I think the RSV-2CE has a niche in the Catholic Bible reading world. It might not wind up in the Lectionary in many countries (too bad), but it fills the void for people who want a translation which uses relatively modern English (no old English)and yet want a slightly elevated liturgical language, and a formal translation that does not use inclusive language. There are not many other choices out there but the RSV-2CE. So it may not be offered in multi-colored bindings, but this niche of readers probably does not care about that (though a large print edition would be nice!)

Theophrastus said...

South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. Does anyone know if this group of 5 countries is "missing" any African countries with lots of English speakers?

Botswana, Cameroon, Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Dan Z. said...

you said regarding KJV-onlyism, "That already exists with some people who will only read the Douay-Rheims."

I think you're being a little harsh. In my experience, I find those attached to the RSV-CE are the ones who have the strongest "onlyismist" attitude, like Jimmy Akin and others. They seem to be elitists as well.

Daniel said...

Does anyone know how widely English is used in churches on the African continent? English is rarely the primary language of Africans.

I find the choice of the RSV-CE2 a strange one for the church in Africa as English dialects very wildly on the continent.

Timothy said...


There are certainly RSV-only elitists out there, like you mentioned. However, I have found that some of the Douay-Rheims-only people to be far more uncharitable and elitist. At least from my own experiences.

Theophrastus said...

While the RSV is obviously a very important translation, I don't regard the RSV-2CE as a very important translation.

It is a very odd bird because the original translators made the deliberate choice to include archaic language (such as thee/thou -- forms that were hardly used in common conversation mid-century) -- but some later (unknown) 2CE reviser just removed it from the text. That seems odd to me because it clearly goes against the original translation committee's intent -- and it makes it a strange translation.

But even odder is that the RSV, rather deliberately, uses some awkward/formal syntax. That syntax makes the English unnatural, but can help provide greater transparency into the original languages of the text. It also makes the RSV better for people who have at least college level reading ability.

Here's the odd thing -- such a reader presumably would be able to handle the "thee"/"thou" problem. The main complexity of the RSV is not in its use of "thee"/"thou" but rather in the way that it more closely tracks the Hebrew and Greek.

The result is that the RSV-2CE looks "kitschy" as a translation -- it is the verbal equivalent of some sort of kitschy Biblical illustrations that were popular in the 1950s. Those aren't Renaissance masters, and they certainly aren't modern art, and in the same way, the RSV-2CE isn't in the spirit of the mid-century translators, neither is it in the spirit of contemporary translations. It is just an anachronism.

So the changes in the RSV-2CE are different in:

(1) Unlike the RSV which was positioned as an ecumenical Bible, the RSV-2CE is aimed to be a sectarian Bible;

(2) The RSV-2CE uses archaic language and syntax throughout, but for some reason thinks it is very important to drop all the second person singular forms.

(3) The RSV was developed in a display of openness and transparency, while the RSV-2CE, as you have frequently pointed out, was not transparent.

(4) The RSV was truly designed to be a standard (the "S") while the RSV-2CE is just the in-house publication of Ignatius Press.

(5) The RSV is still heavily used in scholarship, while the only publications that seem to use the RSV-2CE are a few Ignatius publications.

(6) The RSV, no matter what its faults, was embraced by a broad range of scholars. The RSV-2CE on the other hand seems to be primarily promoted by Fr. Fessio -- and while Fr. Fessio has done some great things (such as publish English language version of Hans Urs von Balthasar), he has also promoted some fairly dubious things in the past (such as his home schooling "college" Ignatius-Anglelicum Liberal Studies Program.) It would be better if the RSV-2CE were associated with some major Catholic Bible scholars.

To see how strange this all is, let's perform the following mental experiment -- suppose we were to take the Douay-Rheims-Challoner translation and remove all the "thees" and "thous" from that -- but keep the (often archaic or difficult) syntax otherwise the same. That would be a pretty strange book -- not true to Bp. Challoner's vision and hardly a contemporary translation. Who would read such a strange hybrid?

If a reader can't easily process archaic or unusual syntax, the reader probably shouldn't be reading the RSV or the D-R-C.

(Note that Protestant attempts to update classic translations, such as the NKJV or ESV have at least involved some degree of review of the entire text and a much more extensive modernization of the text. The RSV-2CE efforts, on the other hand, are sketchy in comparison.)

For me, the RSV-2CE is the verbal equivalent of having Margaret Keane redo the Michelangelo Sistine Chapel Ceiling. (If you don't know who she is, google her and you'll recognize her work.) Sure, it is possible, but what's the point?

Dan Z. said...

Tim, I find it in my experience to be the opposite. It is the RSV-CE onlyists that are elitist and uncharitable. I never met a person who prefers the Douay Rheims to be anything but kind and truely "Christian". Perhaps you're associating in the wrong circles... I did notice you're from Detroit ;) lol

Timothy said...


Actually, it isn't from the folks in Detroit. ;). I have been to a number of TLMs in the area, including at my own parish. Many of the DR-only folks, with 'attitude', I find are via emails and the such.

rolf said...

Dan, I have to agree with Tim, that has been my experience also, especially on forums such as Catholic Answers.

rolf said...

One thing that the RSV-2CE has up on the NAB in its promotion, is that it was made available in e-book form early on, where as we are still waiting for the NAB/NABRE to make their Bible available in that format.

Timothy said...


Indeed! Even though I tend to give Ignatius a hard time on the promotion of the RSV-2CE, they really have been committed to making not only their biblical books, but others as well available as E-books.

Tim B. said...

I would like one with a genuine leather cover and sewn binding. I wish Ignatius would work with Oxford to print an edition like this.

Anonymous said...

Theophrastus asked, "what's the point?"

Clearly the point is to offer a Catholic edition of the Bible in a somewhat contemporary format which is accurate, conforms to the translation norms set out by the Church, does not participate in gender-language expirimentation, and offers as clear a view to the underlying original text as possible in English. While the RSV-2CE does not achieve all these goals evenly or entirely, nevertheless, it is the only currently approved Catholic edition of the Bible which attempts these goals. Such is the purpose of the RSV-2CE and the reason why it is an important effort. I pray the 2CE marks a first attempt which will be followed by a new direction in Catholic Scripture scholarship. Furthermore, I applaud Ignatius Press for forcing the conversation.


Simon Ho said...

Theophrastus criticisms of the RSV-CE2 seems unnecessarily harsh. The RSV-CE2 was never intended to be a new translation, but merely an updating and variant to the text. In that regard, it stands within the family of texts that is the RSV (the original 1946 RSV NT is quite different from the 1971 RSV NT). If the RSV is an ecumenical translation, so is the RSV-CE and the RSV-CE2, if the RSV is a scholarly translation, so is the RSV-CE and the RSV-CE2.

In any case, the removal of the archaic second person forms from the RSV happened long before RSV-CE2 came into the scene. The Divine Office published in 1974 adopted the RSV as one of the biblical texts, with modifications to remove all the thee-thou-thy.

rolf said...

Brad I agree,
Ignatius is not trying to win any popularity contests with the RSV-2CE, they don't offer a different Bible every other week (The Green Bible, C.S. Lewis Bible, etc) like some other publishers do. The last couple of times I saw a list of the top ten best selling books at Ignatius, the RSV-2CE occupied 1-2 spots. So as long as Ignatius is around, I am confident that the RSV-2CE will be. Despite other opinions stated, there are many of us that like and use the RSV-2CE every day, does it have to be widely used for me to continue using it, not at all.

rolf said...

So to answer the question that started this tread, 'What to do with the RSV-2CE?', my answer is, buy it!

Timothy said...


Congrats, you are the first to answer the question! ;)

Theophrastus said...

I would like to address several points raised above.

* It is clear that the RSV-2CE falls short of the standards for language set in Liturgiam Authenticam.

* The RSV-CE and RSV-2CE are not even used by the Vatican. For example, the CCC, when it quotes the RSV, quotes the 1971 RSV, not the RSV-CE. (Look at the copyright page.) Similarly in the Pope's Jesus of Nazareth volume 1, the translator uses the 1971 RSV, not the RSV-CE. (The Ignatius-published volume 2, though, does use the in-house translation, the RSV-2CE.)

* A comment above raises the issue of "gender-language experimentation." I would not use this term (few of the translations discussed on this blog are actual experiments), but all translations, even the Douay-Rheims-Challoner and the RSV, regularly and often use some inclusive language (on the very sound basis that masculine forms in Hebrew and Greek are inclusive in a way that masculine forms in contemporary English are not.) I can give hundreds of examples, but here is just one (Ezekiel 12:24 in the Douay): "For there shall be no more any vain visions, nor doubtful divination in the midst of the children of Israel." (One can certainly talk about the degree and types of inclusiveness in translations, but it is important to realize we are arguing over issues of degree -- there is no widely used translation that is free of inclusive language.)

From these points, it is clear that many claims made for the RSV-2CE are at best exaggerated.

Finally, I very much appreciate the point that popularity is not a valid way to rank Bible quality. However, the relative lack of high quality tools for translations such as the the RSV-2CE, as well as disuse by the scholarly community are valid factors to consider when selecting a translation as a teaching text.

exodus14-14 said...

I generally use the RSV-2CE, but I'm not in love with it. In the end we have to face the fact that no translation is perfect. At the end of the day, I'm happy enough with the RSV, NAB or NRSV.

Anonymous said...

As an Eastern Rite Catholic, I was somewhat insulted by the comment about the "hideously garish cover". The cover of the RSV-2CE is a beautiful example of iconography, and is worthy of more respect than some snide comment. It makes me wonder what your idea of sacred beauty is - - a post-Vatican II building that looks like a Pizza Hut on the outside and on the inside is a bare auditorium with some felt banners on the wall?


Timothy said...


For me it is not the icon itself. I have a number of them which I have hanging up at home and in my classroom. My issue is actually with the way it is done on the cover. I have owned two different versions of the RSV-2CE, and in each case the cover icon has faded quickly after continual use. I should also mention that I prefer a clean leather cover for my Bibles. I will not speak for others.

Jonny said...

I have found the use of the archaic language slightly confusing in the original RSV.

1. Why are archaic verb forms used to address God the Father and not God the Son? This is most confusing to readers, especially when the same scripture in one Testament uses the archaic language and the other Testament doesn’t. (Hebrews 5:5 / Psalms 2:7)

2. Archaic language is used in seemingly random inappropriate places. Revelation 18:21-24, for example, the angel of God uses the archaic pronouns in reference to Babylon. Why does Babylon get treated with this dignity and yet many times Jerusalem does not?

3. Why is the archaic language in the RSV at all? It is apparently not consistently used within any theological or grammatical context. I enjoy reading the Douay-Rheims, where it is used as normally, but why make up a pseudo-English that interchanges modern and archaic word forms? That has never been normal speech for any English-speaking generation.

I do believe that the RSV-2CE did a good job interchanging the modern forms in without damaging the text (for example, removing the word “didst” which was stapled to many verbs in the original RSV to make them past tense, see Baruch 2:11 for example.) I do like the fact that the Lord’s Prayer is conformed to the liturgical version in the 2CE.

The RSV-2CE definitely has the edge over the old one for these reasons, and because it’s general format, column headings, cross-references, and notes are easier for the reader than any other available edition.

Theophrastus said...

Amazon is currently having a sale (presumably tied in with Holy Week) on many of its Bibles -- they are 50% off.

Here are some Bibles on 50%-off sale that might be of special interest to a Catholic audience:

NRSV w/Apocrypha

* New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha (NRSV)

* NRSV Go-Anywhere Thinline with Apocrypha

* NRSV Go-Anywhere Compact Thinline with Apocrypha

* New Interpreter's Study Bible (NRSV)


* NRSV-CE Catholic Gift Bible

* Catholic Faith and Family Bible Hardcover (NRSV-CE)

* Catholic Faith and Family Bible Paperback (NRSV-CE)


* Ignatius RSV-2CE Hardcover

* Ignatius Catholic Study Bible NT (RSV-2CE) Hardcover


* Ingatius Catholic Bible Compact Zipper (RSV-CE)

* My Daily Catholic Bible (RSV-CE)


* New Catholic Answer Bible (NAB)


* Common English Bible New Testament Decotone

There are also quite a few non-Catholic Bibles on 50% off sale, including the hardcover editions of the ESV Study Bible, the Zondervan NIV Study Bible, the NLT Study Bible, and the NLT Life Application Study Bible.

This list is by no means exhaustive -- so if you are considering buying a particular Bible, it may be worthwhile to look at Amazon soon.

Timothy said...


Awesome links! Thanks!

Timothy said...

BTW: just ordered the compact Ignatius RSV. Can't beat the price!

Theophrastus said...

I somehow missed this Bible also at 50% off, even though it is especially relevant to this discussion:

* Ignatius RSV-2CE Bonded Leather

rolf said...

Thanks for the info, I purchased The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible NT as a confirmation gift for a lady in my RCIA class.

I agree with you, I like the icons on the cover of the RSV-2CE very much. I never get tired looking at them. Beside the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, the RSV-2CE Bible, they are also on the two RSV-2CE Lectionary Books that I have (which I use for my daily readings). The icons to me reflect the sacredness of the Bible and the word of God in general!

Daniel said...

I went back over Liturgiam authenticam this weekend (It had been a long time) and find that the RSV-2CE seems to have been revised according to it in the most superficial and haphazard manner.

I find many of the guidelines established by LA to be problematic but the entire justification for the RSV-2CE was the adoption of the guidelines set forth in LA.

So the question is, should we expect a further revision of the RSV-2CE? Is a RSV-3CE on the horizon?

To answer the question of what to do with the RSV-2CE, I'd say watch and wait to see if it ever realizes its stated goals as a translation.

Theophrastus said...

Some comments above address the new YOUCAT.

I recently had a chance to look over the English version of YOUCAT, and I have to say, I was impressed. What particularly impressed by the extensive inspiration quotes in the margins. It makes me wish that there was an adult version of YOUCAT.

(I should mention that the CCC can be read together with a useful volume called the Companion. I find the Companion an invaluable resource when reading the CCC, but the Companion has deficiencies: (1) it is keyed to the French first edition rather than the English second edition, so the references don't match up and some references are missing; and (2) it only includes "c.f." references from the CCC, and not the direct partial quotes from the CCC -- often, knowing the extended context of a partial quote is useful.)

Besides being interesting in their own right (and helping the reader think about the words, rather than simply running one's eyes over the text of the Catechism) the YOUCAT quotes also serve to demonstrate that the Catechism does not come out of thin air, but rather is part of a long tradition of thought.

I've read criticism in some quarters that YOUCAT is patronizing or "dumbed down." I disagree. While parts of it are a little gimmicky (e.g., the dancing man) it is a thoughtful work that is in many ways superior to existing works such as the Compendium or other restatements/abridgments of the CCC.

Timothy said...

I love the design and think it would work well with youth and young adults. I think it is a great resource. The intro by B16 is worth the cost alone, particularly when he commends readers to study it with friends. Then he remarks that they (youth) need to be better educated in the faith than the previous generation.

Jonny said...

I just got a copy of the leather RSV-CE2 for a friend from Amazon. The one I got about a year ago from Ignatius Press directly is a bit different: it was published for Ignatius by Thomas Nelson. The pages have a yellow tint, the ribbons are burgundy instead of red, there are 3 less map pages (it has the Thomas Nelson maps), and the icons stamped on the front are of a better quality, and stamped in finer detail.

Seems that perhaps Amazon was trying to exhaust its leftovers from the initial printing?

BTW, I also have the RSV-CE concordance from Emmaus Road Publishing. It has a Appendix in the back that is the addition of all the changes that went into making the second edition.

Timothy said...


Yes, I wrote about the difference in the newer RSV-2CE's about a year ago:

It is a nice improvement, but still could be better. Particularly in regards to the cover, which should be in an option of genuine leather or premium ultrasoft.

Jonny said...


The Bible I received the other day seems as you described in the link mentioned, except the pages definitely are not glossy. Makes me wonder if Ignatius is publishing the RSV-2CE apart from Thomas Nelson again. The NT and Psalms and the New Testament Study Bible hardcover I got from them in the past 6 months are not done by Thomas Nelson, either.

Tim, have you seen of any typos in the RSV-2CE? I just heard a rumor, but don't know if perhaps the later printings are corrected.

One last thing, I got the Genesis Study Bible booklet. Like the NT, it has many interesting interpretations in it, especially in places that are not specifically defined by the Church.

Timothy said...


I haven't seen any typos with the newer edition. I too have heard the rumors. I will look into it.

I also recently received the Genesis commentary. Hope to post a review in the coming weeks.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog and have been enjoying it! I know this post is older, but I'm a little confused. I thought awhile back you chose the NRSV as your everyday bible and you wrote a few posts stating the reasons why and that you were using the Cambridge reference edition. But now I am reading that you chose the RSC-2CE and even had your copy rebound. Could you offer some clarity for this poor, confused soul? :)

Anonymous said...

I know this is a very old post, but I would like to offer a few thoughts, if I may:

1) The RSV-2CE is a great Bible for Bible study, particular if using the Scott Hahn/Curtis Mitch New Testament edition.

2) Let's not hate on the icons-they are beautiful! That being said, it may be good to improve the durability-I always worry I will scratch one right off by accident.

3) I think part of the issue is people mistake Bibles that are great for study primarily, but that can be used for reading alone, as Bibles specifically designed for reading ONLY, a la Lectio Divina style.

As a suggestion, if the goal is Lectio Divina, I highly recommend the Knox translation-it DOES have the "thee/though" archaics, but it was written by a British Catholic whose goal was to provide a Bible in beautifully written, easy-to-follow English. I can attest to the beauty, and I can't tell you how many reviews I have read of people crying over the power of the particular translation (particularly in the Psalms).

It is accurately keyed to the Vulgate (D-R-C style in that sense), but it is a little looser than the D-R-C in its translation method, so it is a very pleasant read.

As a final thought, I have to admit that the NABRE lacks the "punch" of any other the other versions discussed (D-R-C, RSV-CE, RSV-2CE)in terms of style of writing, and I have a particular concern for the footnotes/endnotes included in EVERY NABRE Bible. They seem to rely overly-extensively on the historical-critical method, and seem to insist on the "Q" theory of Gospel authorship as the only possible explanation for authorship, despite more recent, more bountiful, and more convincing, evidence suggesting that "Q" is bunk as a theory.

But that's just me. Anyway, God Bless everyone, and have a great evening!

John Kennedy said...

I have been using the Catholic NRSV, mainly because its use by the Vatican, but the use of inclusive language is often wooden and unnatural. Also some of their choices of renderings seem to be made just to be different. The translators seem to care not one whit about the traditional rendering of a text. For example Gen 1:2 "while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters" removes the Holy Spirit from the Genesis account.

I just purchased a leather bound RSV-CE2 from Ignatius Press and one of the first things that struck me was the lack of any sort of introduction explaining anything about the text(s) used or principles of translation or what has been revised and why. There are simply the introduction from the 1966 edition of the RSV. It is the first translation I have ever seen without any kind of introduction explaining why this translation exists and what it accomplishes. I was also shocked that this leather bound edition uses a kind of yellow tinted paper that seems to be of poor quality.

Timothy said...


You point out some issues with this Bible that have perplexed people on this blog for years. There remains little transparency on this revision and a lack of willingness to make it into a premium edition. Maybe that will change with time.....

David Brainerd said...

As I understand it, the RSV-CE only has "thees and thous" in the Psalms anyway, so what is the point of removing them in the RSV-CE2? Personally I have the blue cloth covered hardcover of the RSV-CE (whole Bible) and a New Testament and Psalms of the RSV-CE2, and I much prefer the Psalms in the RSV-CE precisely because I like "thees and thous." The obliteration of the "thees and thous" for me means I won't be buying any more RSV's unless its to get one more with the "thees and thous" before they become unavailable.

Eric E. Durnan said...

I cut my teeth on a Melton 1971 RSV Protestant Bible. I loved the translation other than the these and thous. I converted to Catholicism in my 20's and have searched for a Catholic bible that was as good as my original RSV bible, not then understanding that the RSV came in a Catholic version too. I ended up settling on the 1966 Jerusalem Bible as my go to Catholic bible, but after purchasing my daughter a bible, a NABRE, I got to looking into the various translations again and discovered that the RSV comes in Catholic version too. Lo and behold, the 2CE has the these and thous removed while leaving the rest of the beautiful English text. I have purchased several 2CE's for my family and that is our go to bible now. The NABRE is too flat in it's translation. There's little feeling in the words and while that is what is used at church, it's the 2CE that's used at home, with our fall back being the 1966 Jerusalem Bible as it has great footnotes and I do prefer the use of God's proper name in that version.