Bible for "Liberals"

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Have always heard that the RSV (and NRSV) were translations for "liberals" and liturgtical, left-wing baptists.

    Much to do, methinks, with translating "virgin" in Isaiah as "young woman" or some such.

    Would like the proponents/opponents of this "liberal" version to share reasons for/against its acceptance. It would be good to base such decisions on REAL FACTS, not personal opinions and pulpit rhetoric.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Pete Richert

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    Me thinks you are right, Doc, that virgin in Isaiah is the major culprit. The NRSV also has that knew Gender-accurate language (or so they like to call it). I grew up with a bias that the RSV and NRSV were liberal perversions and there only value was for heat from the fire. Of course, I never actually opened them and read one word [​IMG]

    Then I decided to give the NRSV a shot and read it from cover to cover. To tell you the truth, I don't notice a single difference. Perhaps I don't pay close enough attention. I didn't have time to scruitinize and critisize (sp) the translation, I was to busy being convicted of my sin, in awe of God Almighty, trusting more and more the finished work of Christ, and growing in my hope in His bodily return in the future. The Bible scrutinized and critized me!, not the other way around.

    As for the RSV, if Piper and Grudem used it, it couldn't be all that liberal. I use the ESV now almost exclusivly, so I guess I have joined that translation tradition.

    Sorry. I guess that was all my personal opinion, I don't really have any facts on the subject.
     
  3. Clay Knick

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    Hmm...

    Historically speaking the RSV and the NRSV
    have been attacked as "liberal" translations.
    Ironically a number of evangelicals use and
    have used both. I can list a few who have
    used the RSV: Ladd, Hoekema, Piper, Grudem,
    Stott, Lindsell (Harper Study Bible, RSV),
    and until recently Ryken.) This is only
    to name a few.

    Most critics see a bias where there may or
    may not be one. Some passages that are
    debated are debated because of translation
    choices. I'm not always sure that there is
    a conspiracy from "liberals" as much as there
    are translation choices I would not make.
    Isaiah 7:14 is an example.

    The NRSV reads well. It is elegant in some
    places. Some do not like how it treats
    gender issues. Some do. I'm in the middle.
    There are places where it really does a
    very good job giving us a readable and
    accurate translation of the Greek text.
    John 20: 1-18 is one place among many.
    But I wouldn't agree with all the choices
    it makes either, as I don't with any
    translation.

    There is an evangelical study Bible
    based on the NRSV, The Harper Study
    Bible, edited by Harold Lindsell right
    before he died.

    No translation is perfect. None. A lot
    of hard work goes into all of them. As
    for the RSV and NRSV I know Bruce Metzger
    was the NT editor for both and he's as
    orthodox as there is.

    I'd say it would benefit all of us to
    buy one of these translations. Get
    an inexpensive paperback copy and
    see for yourself how they translate
    passages you know well. Both are
    in print.

    Clay
     
  4. Artimaeus

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    I would call Isa 7:14 a deal breaker for me. Not only the purposeful watering down of the virgin birth but just the stupidity of the statement. Aren't you impressed with the "sign" that a young woman will give birth. WOW! what a convincing sign. :rolleyes: .

    As to it being a "liberal" Bible, I have found that for liberals it really doesn't make much difference to them which version they use. They get to "decide" what everything means and will proclaim it to mean anything they want to anyway. Any Bible is just a spring board to push off from, and go into their own world of make believe.
     
  5. go2church

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    One of the reasons I like the NRSV is because of the gender inclusive language, that and it is a good translation. I do think it suffers from the Ish. 7:14 problem, which even Charles Ryrie points out us translated "wrong" in his study bible. But if someone is going to read a Greek word back into the Hebrew language what are you going to do? I used to think that the NRSV was a bible that suffered from political changes but after reading it and using it to study from my opinion has changed.
     
  6. mesly

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    So, with all of the choices avaialble (RSV, NRSV, and now the ESV), which one would be the best to use? I am also confused as to the marketing of these three translations. Usually as an updated translation becomes available, the old one fades into memories (ie. the ASV replaced by the NASB, the RV replaced by the RSV, etc...). This isn't the case here. Doesn't this cause confusion by potential purchasers?

    This brings up another question. Where in the world do you buy an RSV or an NRSV? None of my local Christian bookstores carry either of these translations. I did happen to walk into a Catholic bookstore yesterday (first time in such a store) and noticed that they carried the NRSV with the Apocrypha, but even then they were cheap paperback versions. :confused:
     
  7. mesly

    mesly
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    I just did a little searching on google and came across the following article comparing the NRSV to the RSV. I can only come to the conclusion that the author is more liberal in his approach to scripture than myself. In fact, his statement about the NIV brought a smile to my face because he states the exact opposite of what has been stated here on the BB about it.

    Nonetheless, it is an interesting comparison between the two translations.

    Click Here for RSV/NRSV comparison article
     
  8. Clay Knick

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    You'll find an RSV or NRSV in catalogs
    from Christian Book Distributors and
    in bookstores at theological schools.
    Neither makes the CBA Top Ten very
    often, but the NRSV was there not long
    ago. Sales do not always indicate
    what one might say is "best." An
    excellent translation might not sell
    well, but is still excellent.

    Oxford has printed a beautiful 50th
    Anniversary RSV. Cambridge still sells
    the RSV too.

    Zondervan publishes a hardback NRSV
    Harper Study Bible.

    Both are good and useful. I have a friend
    who teaches at Southern Seminary who
    ranks the NRSV second behind the NASB.
    He thinks it is great.

    Clay
     
  9. Forever settled in heaven

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    actually, the sign seems to involve not just the birth but the deliverance fr the 2 kingdoms to the north, something totally incredible to Ahaz n company. while the ultimate deliverance will be in Messiah's 1st n 2nd coming, there wld be a miracle in the days of Isaiah of Judah's national survival.

    but i doubt that wld convince the mockers. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Pete Richert

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    The ESV will not phase out the NRSV since they are competing translations, both finding their roots on the RSV and not each other. The NRSV is the flag ship translaton of more liberal and main stream churches. The ESV on the other hand, was an attempt by more conservative scholors to reclaim the translation tradition that ended with the RSV (Tyndale - KJV - RV - AV - RSV - ESV), since they reject the NRSV. I expect the ESV will phase out the RSV as all the more conservative pastors and teachers who used the RSV (Piper, Grudem, Hues) are switching over.
     
  11. Refreshed

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    Oh, I see, the national deliverance of Israel is the point of that verse. Do you think it was important that Jesus be born of a virgin?
     
  12. Haruo

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    Oh, I see, the national deliverance of Israel is the point of that verse. Do you think it was important that Jesus be born of a virgin? </font>[/QUOTE]The question is not whether it was important Jesus be born of a virgin, but what Isaiah or his amanuensis was writing. Virgin is a correct translation when the passage is cited in the NT, but arguably not correct in the OT. In any event, right or not in the context, to put "virgin" in the OT because of what is in the NT is eisegetical by present standards, conservative or liberal.

    Haruo
    whose main daily-use Bible is one of those cheap paperback NRSV-with-Deuterocanonicals

    PS: But whose churches both have NIV as pew Bibles.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    Thank you for your replies. This is a real "version" problem facing our church members.

    The liberal bent of the RSV actually makes it appealing to many who do not WANT an "authoritative" Bible.
     
  14. Pete Richert

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    Dr. Bob, such a statement will need some examples. In what passages is the RSV not authoritative.
     

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