Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Cambridge NRSV's in 2017

The fine folks at Cambridge University Press announced on their Facebook site that they will be publishing some new editions of the NRSV in 2017.  The quote from Facebook is as follows:

We have exciting plans for our NRSV Reference Edition. In response to customer feedback, we'll be introducing some premium binding styles, in a choice of colours. There will be some styles without the Apocrypha as well as with.
We will also be publishing new text editions using the Anglicized NRSV – a Large-print Edition and a Compact. The large-print edition will be available both with and without the Apocrypha; the Compact will be just Old and New Testaments.
When specifications are settled, we’ll announce the new styles on our website and on Facebook.

This is fantastic news for those of us who like the NRSV.  Cambridge has been one of the few places where a fan of the NRSV could find an edition in decent leather which contained both the apocrypha/deuterocanonicals and cross-references.  I'll post more news when release dates are announced.  


Erap10 said...

Wow that is great news. I have a bipolar relationship with the NRSV myself, but hey that is great for our brothers and sisters up in Canada and elsewhere.

citizen DAK said...

Shouldn't I be weary of any edition which calls the deutero's "Apocryphal"?

Timothy said...

Not in the least.

Jerry Mc Kenna said...

I went to Catholic high school in the 1960s, people regularly used the term 'Apocrypha'.

Zvonimir said...

"Shouldn't I be weary of any edition which calls the deutero's "Apocryphal"?"
I think we should; is it not that details as such Church uses to judge false apparitions? Hidden intentions suddenly revealed, some disparaging thoughts, slips, nonsensical statements and non-alignments.

"I went to Catholic high school in the 1960s, people regularly used the term 'Apocrypha'."
Yes, Catholic education in the 1960s was catching up with many advances in Lutheranism. Boy, have we outran them!

Anonymous said...

"Not in the least." is rather too weak, I feel...

The Protestants have declared some of canonical scripture as "apocryphal" and their splitting of books and reordering them (and usually simply omitting them) is an expression of that. Even if this in no way would affect the translation, then it would still be an actual anathema in print form. One really should remain somewhat bothered by that as a Catholic, even if it can be coped with for "apocrypha" editions. And in practice, the translation is invariably affected by Protestant attitudes as well, which we see acted upon in reverse when "Catholic editions" correct some of the translation.

What all this masks is the much more interesting case of the actual "apocrypha" (as far as Catholics are concerned). Namely, the Prayer of Manasses and 3 and 4 Esdras. These really should be part of every Catholic bible as apocrypha, following the Clementine Vulgata. Catholic are de facto in a similar situation to the Orthodox here as Protestants are to us, in particular so by for the most part simply having dropped these texts from our Catholic bibles. Instead of accepting Protestant minimalism, and accepting their chopped up and rearranged versions as "good enough" way of dealing with things, we should really look at (Eastern) Orthodoxy and consider making our bibles more like theirs. This may mean including even more apocryphal material (e.g., Psalm 151) and placing these extra materials in the standard Orthodox order (even if we would mark them as apocryphal).

That would be a proper Catholic way of dealing with the Apocrypha: go maximalist on the bible, and accommodate our closest brethren (that's the Orthodox, not the Protestants) as much as we can in terms of ordering while maintaining our decisions on canonicity.

Protestant bibles that include the deuterocanonical books as apocrypha do not adopt the Catholic ordering to make very clear that they are not actually Catholic. If there was any intention at "ecumenical accommodation" there, then they would use the Catholic ordering and simply tag parts/sections as "apocryphal" for their Protestant readers. That's easy enough to do.

So let's not pretend that there is some kind of ecumenical harmony here. These bibles may be useful, but they do make an implicit statement in their structure. And it is not one any Catholic should ever be comfortable with.

Timothy said...

Calling those books "apocrypha" is pretty standard and I don't find it offensive. To be fair to Cambridge, the apocrpyha section is actual labelled Apocrypha/Dueterocanonicals in the actual text. (It would be too long to include that on the spine of the bible.) Also, this sections contains additional books that are not a part of the Catholic Deuterocanonicals, including 3-4 Maccabees. So, at least from my perspective, I find the fact that these are included to be very ecumenical, as well as the fact that the NRSV remains the most ecumenical of all translations since it included translators from all the major Christian churches.

Biblical Catholic said...

I don't think the NRSV is as ecumenical as the RSV. The Revised Standard Version Ecumenical Edition (1977) includes every single book that is regarded as canonical by any Christian church anywhere in the world, including books like the Book of Jubilees which are accepted as canonical only by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Ethiopian canon has 81 books, all of which are in the 1977 RSV Ecumenical Edition, and which are not available in the NRSV or any other English edition of the Bible.

In addition, the RSV Ecumenical Edition is still the only English Bible (and possibly, as far as I know, the only Bible in any language on Earth) to be accepted for use in the liturgy by Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches. Even after 28 years, the NRSV has never been approved by any Orthodox Church.

Jeff S. said...

Biblical Catholic:
I own three copies of the 1977 Ecumenical RSV published by Oxford.
And in none of them are all the 81 books you mention. In particular
there is no "Book of Jubilees"

Please give the name of the publisher and the ISBN number if you could
of the edition you're speaking of.

And/or simply give me the page number that the Book of Jubilees starts on. Maybe I missed it somehow.

Mark D. said...

Given that the NRSV labels the books as Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical, and then arranges them according to their canonicity in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, I don't have a problem with it. The collection does include both Deuterocanonical Books and Apocryphal Books, so I don't feel it is being deceptive. I would of course prefer a full Catholic edition of the NRSV, with all the canonical books in proper order and then the Apocryphal Books (1 & 2 Esdras, 3 & 4 Maccabees, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151) in an appendix, but that doesn't appear to be in the offing. I agree with the commentator who suggested that it would be a good thing for Catholic editions of the Bible to include the Apocryphal Books -- I would love to see an edition of the NABRE that had them so that version could be used by all Christians. Maybe once the NABRE 2.0 is complete, the translators can work on an NABRE 3.0 that contains those books -- ready by 2050! :-)

Anonymous said...

This is "Anonymous" from above... Thanks for the comment on the ecumenical edition of the RSV, I wasn't aware of it! Apparently, it first appeared in 1973 and was expanded in 1977 - however, this simply made it a full Eastern Orthodox bible, it did not include the Ethiopian material. Or so says the all-knowing internet.

Since I found a used copy of the Common Bible for £5 on amazon (printed 1984), I guess I can report back soon on this. The Common Bible version of the RSV supposedly has the "(Expanded) Apocrypha" sorted in properly (properly both for Catholics and Orthodox, respectively). So it seems to do exactly what I said a good bible should do.

Meanwhile, there is "The Bible in Its Traditions" to look forward to. Quite possibly they will finish before I'm dead.

CarlHernz said...

The term "deuterocanonical" did not exist when the Scriptures were officially canonized by the Catholic Church. In fact, it was coined by Sixtus of Siena in 1566.

A Hebrew Catholic, Sixtus invented the word to label those books (and sectional writings from Jewry) which are included in the Catholic Church's canon but do not hold the same status in the synagogue. It was not an official Catholic term that would formally label these books when Sixtus invented the term. In light of challenges from the Reformation, Sixtus developed it to contrast holy writ differences between Judaism with Catholicism, with the canon accepted by both groups being the "protocanon" (or "primary" canon) and the additional writings making up the "deuterocanon" (meaning "secondary" canon). "Proto" is of course Latin for "first" or "primary" and "deutero" means "second" or in this case "next."

Outside of Sixtus' intended meanings, there really is no such thing as a "deuterocanon." The first canon of the Scriptures was invented by Marcion of Sinope (d. 160 A.D./C.E.), a bishop who became a heretic. Marcion was convinced of the Gnostic belief that salvific revelation was limited to special knowledge that could be gained only from holy writings. Marcion introduced a "rule" (which in Greek is the word KANON) that defined a small library of Christian writings which could be considered "inspired" with secret knowledge that could not be found in experienced revelations, Church authority or Tradition. The Church excommunicated Marcion, but not soon enough to stop a movement by him that followed Marcion's "rule" or "canon."

In response, the Church began to develop its own official "rule" or "canon" of books. By the 4th century an official canon was developed which adopted a particular version of the Septuagint that contained the Jewish books specifically found in the Catholic Church's Old Testament.

Since the idea of a "canon" is a Gentile invention introduced by Marcion, Judaism had no such thing--ever--that is until after the Church developed hers. While there is no central authority in Judaism, eventually by the 8th century A.D./C.E., the text as preserved by the Masoretes became the accepted "canon" for Jews. By the time of Sixtus' conversion to Catholicism during the Reformation, challenges by Protestants over the "additional Catholic books" lead Sixtus to explain the "canon" situation by his "ad hoc" vocabulary.

Since the Catholic Church developed the first "official" canon of Sacred Scripture (some 400 years before the Masoretic tradition became the standard), there is no actual "second" or "deuterocanon" of any kind. The term was merely invented out of convenience for those who were not Catholic and had a different "primary" canon by comparison. Thus the appearance of the term in a Bible is for the benefit of non-Catholics who may be using the edition. If you notice, Catholic Bibles do not have a section marked "deuterocanonical" in their Bibles.

Biblical Catholic said...

To my knowledge, the only copy of the 1977 Ecumenical Edition that I am referring to that is still in print today is the New Oxford Annotated Bible 3rd edition edited by Bruce Metzger and Herbert G May, published in May, 1977.

I used to own this book, but no longer do, so I can't you page numbers, but this is the edition I am talking about. I have never found an English edition of the Bible, in any translation, that contains more books than this edition, although to give them due credit, the Good News Translation Catholic Edition with expanded apocrypha, does come close.

Anonymous said...

Biblical Catholic, the NOAB you have linked to does *not* contain any "Ethiopian additions" (Jubilees, Enoch,...), but merely expands the Apocrypha by 3&4 Maccabees + Psalm 151 to a set that will cover all Eastern (rather than Oriental) Orthodox canons.

I did check the version you linked to online, using amazon's "look inside" feature that allows me to read quite a bit of the book as scanned pages.

Jason Engel said...

No variant of the New Oxford Annotated Study Bible has ever had Jubilees or 1 Enoch in it, including specifically the 1977 NOAB RSV 2nd ed. with Apocrypha (not 3rd, which was not published until 2001 and used the NRSV). Maybe some other RSV had that content, but Oxford never put it in any of the NOABs.

The 1977 NOAB RSV 2nd ed. is the one that Oxford still prints today.

Jason Engel said...

I am eager to see what Cambridge has planned for these NRSV editions. The reference edition with Apocrypha has been a favorite of mine for some time now, but they allowed some quality control flubs in the 2015 edition that I hope they will address and correct in the forthcoming edition. I would still prefer to purchase it with the Apocrypha rather than the one without, so I hope they do not charge too much more extra for it.

As for the large print and compact editions using the anglicized NRSV, I guess I'm curious to see what form that compact will take, but as I do not use the anglicized variant it won't be in my shopping cart (unless it's a Pitt Minion, I may make an exception for that).

Anonymous said...

Got the "Common Bible" now. It is *not* properly sorted, e.g., Psalm 151 is not placed after Psalm 150. It also has pages numbered separately for the "Apocrypha" section.

I find it thoroughly mystifying that even in this supposedly "ecumenical" edition the simple curtesy of maintaining the expected order of books for all possible users is not a thing.

Anyway, at least I got one maximal version of the RSV now...