Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cast Your Vote on Your Favorite RSV!

What is your favorite version of the RSV?
RSV (w/ full Apocrypha and including 1971 NT Revision)

Reasons why you chose one over the others are encouraged in the comments.


Theophrastus said...

I prefers the RSV Expanded Edition which is included in of the 1977 edition of the New Oxford Annotated Bible.

This translation contains a number of advantages:

(1) The two other translations you list (including the misleadingly entitled "second Catholic edition") are based on the minor 1965 revision of the 1946 New Testament translation. But this was not the final word -- the full translation committee met and in 1971 issued a second edition of the New Testament that included most of the 1965 "Catholic edition" changes as well as other important changes. Many errors were fixed in the 1971 edition, and it is by far better than the 1946 and 1965 translations.

(2) The RSV-CE and RSV-2CE include the Catholic Deuterocanon but omit works in the so-called "Catholic Apocrypha" -- works that Clement VIII included in an appendix to the Vulgate (Prayer of Manasseh, 3 Esdras, 4 Esdras). In addition to have an important role in Catholic history,, most Eastern churches regard these works (and others included in this translation) as inspired Scripture. Thus, the Expanded Edition is invaluable for scholarly work, for someone reading the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate,and for ecumenical dialogue.

(3) This version is a direct predecessor to the most widely used translation in the family now, the NRSV (which was not listed in the poll above.) It is also a direct predecessor to the ESV with Apocrypha.

(4) Finally, as a secondary matter, this version is tied to one of the best study Bibles ever produced, the 1977 New Oxford Annotated Bible.

Tim B. said...

The 1977 version gets my vote as well for all of the reasons above. I wish that it was still available separately from the NOAB RSV.

Jonny said...

You ask a difficult question, Tim. I will have to say that the RSV-CE is my favorite for Eucharistic meditation, lexio divina, RCIA, and other parish activities because it is the traditional Catholic edition with the deuterocanonical books and their parts in order.

The RSV-2CE is my favorite for a group Bible study that I am involved in, but I also compare it with the NABRE and the Douay Rheims. I find it interesting that some of the changes in the RSV-CE1 and 2 in the Old and New Testaments (which supposedly make it more acceptable to Catholics) actually contradict the newer NABRE translation. For these and other reasons I do think that the RSV 1971 is more accurate and understandable in places, but I don't think the difference is really that significant that it totally usurps the RSV-CE. For group study my experience is that the RSV Catholic Editions are more commonly used. I think this is mainly because they have more traditional renderings and also because of the Ignatius New Testament Study Bible available now. I think it is more benefical to have a study group looking at the same text, rather than similar ones and pointing out the weaknesses in translations... I know that is not an absolute statement, but that is just my opinion.

The NOAB RSV (1971 NT) with Apocrypha Expanded edition in genuine leather is my favorite RSV for personal study. Yes, there are linguistic improvements to the text, but it is more the style and features of the book itself that make this Bible a joy to read over and over again.

So my conclusion: I must still choose the RSV-CE as my favorite RSV translation because I am a sucker for conformity and tradition (any suprise there considering I am Catholic?) I like the phonetical pronunciation in the text of the original RSV-CE, and being the only Catholic Bible I know of to include this, it seems the blue Ignatius edition is a must-have. I know it is strange to say that my favorite Bible is not in my favorite translation, but somehow I am content to own and use multiple Bibles for different occasions.

Michael Demers said...

At least in the RSV-CE Ignatius edition, there's a list of changes made by the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain. As far as I know, there's no such list in the RSV-2CE.

Theophrastus said...

I think there is some problem with your "MyPollCreator" site -- I find it hard to believe the total number of votes for the first option is "0." And the total number of votes (which seemingly randomly fluctuates up and down) is not at all close to the sum of the individual reported votes.

Timothy said...

Yeah, the RSV w/ apocrypha is not adding up, but I think one can deduce the number of votes for each by a little math.

Chrysostom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonaventura said...

I use the RSV with Apocrypha in the anniversary edition that OUP published some years ago.

My main problem with the CE was the condition of the film from which it was reprinted. I'm disappointed that OUP only published a tiny type edition (AFAIK). I haven't seen the St. Benedict edition.

The RSV CE2 is completely out of the running for me. The design isn't very good (although much better than the [profoundly ugly Catholic Book Publishing editions of NAB), and the "following Liturgiam Authenticam" feature results in stilted Douay throwbacks like "chalice" for "cup."

I still have a fondness for the KJV; if only it could be authorized for public worship in the Anglican Use!

Chrysostom said...

RSV-2CE for "virgin" and "full of grace" in appropriate places, and for "mercy" instead of "steadfast love", and albeit a very minor consideration, I like the swapping of the word "chalice" for the former "cup", as (disregarding any differences that may have originally been implied in the two words as to the style of handle or pottery involved), today, "chalice" seems to belong to a higher linguistic register. I'm not a fan of changing "ass" to "donkey", as it seems a little too much like fundamentalist protestant "oh noes, swear words" hysteria that one sometimes hears when legitimate words (albeit almost all swear words were once common) take on a "swearing" connotation

(E.g. almost all of the English swear words are derived from words for bodily functions from the Germanic and Saxon languages, such as "sh*t", whereas the "polite" terms are those descended from Latin and used in medicine, such as "faeces"; so, it stands to reason, before English gained a Latinate vocabulary, there was only the former word, which eventually developed a connotation of either ill education or uncouthness, being native to the language instead of of the more cultured lingua franca [I think that might be an anachronism here, because it might be that French was not yet the "lingua franca", so it would be "lingua Latina", but it doesn't have the same meaning! Ugh!] of the time.)

Now that's enough of an excursus on the "donkey" - "ass" issue.

Luke just doesn't read right with "O favored one", and it's not the same dubbing "Hail Mary, full of grace!" over it in my mind.

Also the archaic language in parts of the original RSV suck. Especially, that in the version I've seen (the NOAB 3rd EE, I believe the same one Theophrastus is talking about), there are odd constructs such as "thou will", instead of "thou wilt" that make it even more jarring (resurrecting the T-V distinction without the accompanying verb-forms). As he says, it's good for Orthodox and ecumenical use, but it personally annoys me to have to flip back and forth to read Esther or Daniel in Catholic canonical form. For the other books, it's not that much of a problem, because pretty much everyone (I think) knows the proper order of the Bible, and can find the book in the "Apocrypha" section when they come to it.

On an interesting note, I've not heard anyone ever complain about the order of the "testaments" in the RSV NOAB 3rd EE - which is OT, NT, Intertestamental - just like the ESV w/ Apocrypha, which I've heard maligned many a time for "dishonoring" the books by sticking them in the back instead of in the middle, as Luther did (which is more historically-accurate, in a sense, as they were written "between testaments"). I actually prefer a Bible with the DC/Apocrypha in the back, as it makes the Bible easier to manage when reading the New Testament (as it's no longer at the extreme back of the Bible), and, I, for one, read the Gospels and St Paul far more than I read Maccabees or Wisdom (as anyone knows, especially in less-than-perfectly-bound books, pages towards the front and towards the end are much harder to read/keep open properly than pages near the middle).

I don't think they went nearly far enough with making the RSV-CE "Catholic" ("young woman", anyone?) but it has advantages in being similar to one of the scholarly standards (along with the NRSV), especially in Catholic and more conservative circles

The 2CE revision process was too opaque, but I like the result.

Chrysostom said...

\\(although much better than the profoundly ugly Catholic Book Publishing editions of NAB)\\

Almost everything put out by the CPBC is "profoundly ugly", and not just in your eyes and mine, but in the eyes of pretty much everyone I've talked to. The St Joseph NAB, while, one of my favourite old NAB editions (based on internal content, especially size of font, not cover: still, I much prefer the newer Fireside ones, which, while still not up to high cover-design standards, are much better; St Benedict Press is up to nice external design standards, but they only make "red-letter" editions, which is a non-starter for me) has one of the ugliest covers of any book I've ever seen.

The CPBC set of "Christian Prayer" (abridged Divine Office), and other installments of the Missal and Liturgy of the Hours are just as ugly on the outside, in addition to having incomprehensible, almost Kafkaesque, two-colour modernist comic-books drawings as illustrations.

Good Bible design for leather-bound or naugahyde Bibles is as follows:

Cover: "HOLY BIBLE" or nothing, and maybe a cross.

Spine: "HOLY BIBLE", name or abbreviation of translation, number of edition, name of publisher in small type.

Back: Nothing, but I like the option of the embossed rosaries like the Librosario edition.

(It's unabashedly Catholic, so no one mistakes you for a Protestant when reading the Bible. Outside of a few sites on the blogosphere, Bible study isn't considered a very "Catholic" tradition, discipline, or pastime: many Catholics are of the opinion that all the Bible one should have is what's proclaimed by the lector).

For hardcover Bibles and "student Bibles" (HarperCollins and NOAB), it's alright to make it look like a textbook (like the NOAB 4th Edition, looks like a Euclidean geometry book), or, like the cover of the "ESV with Apocrypha" cover design by Black Kat Design.

Understatement, solemnity, plainness, traditionalism, these are the orders of the day when it comes to the cover design of Bibles and other similar books (Missals, Lectionaries).

But, please, oh please, don't put weird symbols and embossings and debossings and gildings and dozens of words of all sorts in half a dozen different fonts all over every surface of the Bible, to the point where it looks like it's a mediaeval grimoire printed in the 1950s - under the ministrations of a flunked-out disciple of the guy who designed the library at Philips Exeter Academy - like the St Joseph NAB from the CPBC.

Michael Demers said...

re: "I still have a fondness for the KJV; if only it could be authorized for public worship in the Anglican Use!"
I understand that it's indeed the case. Check out bookofhours.org