View Full Version : NRSV Bible

Sep 8th 2008, 04:24 AM
Can someone give me some good feedback about this version?

How reliable is it? Thanks so much

Richard H
Sep 8th 2008, 05:14 AM
I have no personal knowledge to share, but here's two links.


http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Religion_and_Spirituality/Christianity/Bible/Translations/New_Revised_Standard_Version/ (http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Religion_and_Spirituality/Christianity/Bible/Translations/New_Revised_Standard_Version/)

Sep 8th 2008, 05:39 AM
OK... here it goes. The NRSV is a revision of the Revised Standard Version. Both translations were conducted by the mainline organization, the Worldwide Council of Churches. The OT translators used both the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. They took the Septuagint's rendering over the Hebrew in some of their translations, particularly in 1 & 2 Samuel where the Septuagint offers additional details that the Hebrew doesn't. These differences appear in the text instead of as footnotes. Both the RSV and NRSV contain the apocrypha in addition to the 66 books of the OT & NT, not because it's trying to be Catholic, but because the Apocrypha has generally been part of the Greek Septuagint. Evangelicals have a love/hate relationship with the Septuagint, even though it's 400 years older than the Hebrew Masoretic text that we currently have and was the Old Testament translation used in the NT period. It is the Septuagint, not the Masoretic Text, that is cited in the NT whenever the OT is referenced. Evangelicals dislike both translations mainly due to their translation of Isaiah 7:14, a key Messianic prophecy. It says 'a young woman shall conceive' rather than 'a virgin shall conceive.' The Septuagint's translation, cited in Matthew 1:23, does indeed say 'virgin.' Evangelicals generally only take the Septuagint's translation of Messianic passages as they appear in the NT and place them in their OT translations. The NIV, ESV, etc. defer to the Hebrew for everything else. I like both the RSV & NRSV for their readability and honesty. The NRSV contains mild gender inclusive language. EVERY occurence of a discrepency between manuscripts is contained in footnotes. I've preached and taught from both numerous times. If you want a thoroughly conservative Evangelical translation, then buy the English Standard Version (ESV) instead, which is a revision of the RSV. It doesn't contain the apocrypha or the few liberal translation choices that one finds in the NRSV. It's quickly surpassing the NASB as the preferred formal translation among Evangelicals.

I know I've said a mouthful, but one cannot discuss either the RSV or NRSV honestly without mentioning their deference to the Septuagint in some of their translation decisions as well as Protestantism's preference for the Masoretic Hebrew text, which was compiled during the post-apostolic period, over the Greek Septuagint. The rejection of the Septuagint by Protestants occurred during the Reformation largely because of Martin Luther's assertion that since the Jews are the custodians of the OT, Protestants should accept the Hebrew Masoretic text that doesn't contain the seven apocryphal books. I'm not trying to paint you a pretty picture of translation history, just an honest one. No single translation is completely unreliable. All of them are the result of choices made by the translators, some more accurate than others. This is true even of the 1611 KJV, some of whose translation choices were heavily influenced by the teachings of the Church of England, contrary to the nonsense one sometimes hears about its translators being infallible. Some Evangelicals, myself included, appreciate the NRSV. It's not the diabolical translation that some conservatives make it out to be. I recommend it highly, having read it alongside other translations for several years now, especially for many of it's OT translation decisions. Both the RSV and NRSV earned my utmost respect when I used them while taking both Basic and Intermediate Hebrew in seminary. Neither one is perfect, but both are very good overall. The links above are excellent resources. I recommend that you consult them.

Sep 10th 2008, 12:16 PM
If you have a choice between the RSV and NRSV you should - in my opinion - select the RSV. The NRSV uses mid gender inclusive language: in other words, instead of saying "brothers" or "brethren" it will say "brothers and sisters" and foonote "brothers". The rationale is that the Greek word used, while masculine in nature, was obviously inclusive of both genders in such a way that the word "brothers" is not. In theory teh gender inclusive choices reflect the actual intent of the authors. Also, the NRSV does away with using the formal older-English pronouns for God (i.e.: thee, thou, etc). All in all, the RSV is, in my opnion, my favourite translation and one of the best out there and has the widest approval amongst various Christians. The NRSV is a good "modern" runner up.

Sep 10th 2008, 08:34 PM
The ESV seeks to be an update of the RSV as well and is very highly regarded - you should try it too! :)