The RSV Legacy- NRSV and the ESV

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Kiffin, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    The Revised Standard Version which at one time seemed to be the successor to the KJV will probably be retired in the near future (joining the ASV, RV, Living Bible etc..) but it's legacy is far from over. The RSV has 2 successors to it's legacy in the NRSV and the ESV

    1.NRSV- which is the official revision of the RSV is the standard translation used among liberal mainstream churches and a few conservatives use it. The NRSV is a gender neutral translation (though it does not go to the radical extremes of the TNIV). Personaly I like it better than the NIV.

    2. ESV - Many say the ESV may be more faithfull to the original RSV than the NRSV. Some even say it is nothing but the RSV with the "thees" and "thous" taken out. It is a unofficial revision that is a current buzz among conservatives. Time will tell if the ESV can gain a foothold among conservatives in that it has to compete with the NIV, NASB and the NKJV and of course the venerable KJV. I have even heard some praise by some more liberal RSV lovers who think the ESV is a better revision of the RSV than the NRSV. I just wonder if people who are used to loose translations like the NIV, CEV etc.. will embrace a literal translation. Will the ESV become like the NASB? One that scholars love but not greatly popular with the pew goer?

    The NRSV seems to be here to stay and the ESV if it can get a foothold with some major study Bibles, may have a chance to continue the RSV legacy among conservatives. It appears that the RSV will continue to possibly live on in these 2 translations.

    How many of you use either the ESV or NRSV or possibly both?

    [ July 01, 2002, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  2. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    I think that there is truth that the NRSV is better than the NIV as it is more formal. However its gender-inclusivity (which errs more in changing singulars to plurals) makes it really unaceptable for conservatives. I am surprised you like it, Kiffin.
    Don't know who says that, but it is much more. I believe general editor J.I. Packer estimates the ESV to conform to the RSV about 80-85% of the time; however the liberal bias of the RSV has been corrected, and other words have been better translated as well.
    I don't think its proper to call it an "unofficial revision"; Crossway received full permission from the NCC to update the 1971 RSV into the ESV.
    Yes it will. Currently the ESV is BIG in scholarly circles. And with its superior literary style to the NIV, and its superior accuracy to the NASB, it will be first used by pastors, and then by their congregations, IMO.

    The NRSV is respected, but has never been a popular seller. The ESV comes out in a study edition in the fall. I believe the ESV will work its way into the top three translation spots (KJV, NIV, ESV).
    I currently use the ESV to teach and to preach.

    [ July 01, 2002, 01:13 PM: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  3. Pete Richert

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    I am a little more then 3/4 of my way through the NRSV and I have no major complaints. I didn't even really notice the gender inclusivity but I was just reading the Bible and not really studying it. (It's funny I should make such a statement about the Bible as the first sentence, as if I could have complaints agaist it! If anything, the NRSV, like all good translations, complained agaist me it terms of my rebellious life, apathy towards God and others, and general lack of trust in our Creator.)

    That said, I have already obtained an ESV with plans on making it my main study and reading Bible. I can't predict whether it will become popular but I sure hope so. I read a lot of commentaries and it seems that scholoarly (sp) types tend to use the RSV a lot. I guess they want to stick with the formal equvilence despite its liberal sides. I don't know why they don't use the NASB more (Someone else mentioned they did so perhaps I am just reading the wrong circles). Guys like Piper, Hafemann, Mounce, etc all seem to use the RSV and therefor I think they will all pick up the ESV without reservation. It should be perfect considering it retains the formal equilvalence while correcting the liberal bias. I have one commentary, The Gospel of Mark by William Lane in the NICNT which uses the AV!
     
  4. Chris Temple

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    Well said, Pete.
     
  5. Kiffin

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    Hi Chris and Pete,

    I do not care that much for the gender inclusive translations though I can see that in certain situations it might be needed. Some versions such as the CEV and NCV and even the Catholic NAB also follow the NRSV lead. My great fear is that some will follow the lead of the TNIV or even go even further. I am really suprised that John Armstrong endorsed the TNIV.

    Like Peter, I have not noticed the Gender neutral in the NRSV that much. It is lacking in many ways but it's translation I believe is better thn the NIV.

    I hope to place a order for a ESV soon. There needs to be a translation that has clarity and is literal.

    Here is a review from Amazon .Com by Reverend Raoul Comninos http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/1581343167/customer-reviews/qid=1025561220/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/102-0547853-9471366

    and a Roman Catholic reviewer states,
     
  6. Johnv

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    I think that there is truth that the NRSV is better than the NIV as it is more formal. However its gender-inclusivity (which errs more in changing singulars to plurals) makes it really unaceptable for conservatives. I am surprised you like it, Kiffin.

    I'm not familiar with this translation. Can you list a few examples of this? I'd heard that there are some places where "man" means "man", and others where "man" means "all people". (ie, peace on earth, good will to your-term-here)

    Not trying to pick a fight, just curious.
     
  7. BrotherJesse

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    I got a NRSV Bible for my Confirmation and it is the only Bible I will ever use.
     
  8. Jude

    Jude
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    I have heard that the ESV will be published in Britain with the apocrypha. This will likely be done in America as well...as the demand amongst Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and others groups will be quite high. The ESV is going to be THE number one translation the first half this new century. The NRSV, as good as it is (especially in the OT)does use 'gender neutral' language, which is sometimes stilted, and sometimes loses the original meaning of the Greek/Hebrew text. I am THRILLED that the ESV is on the market, and look forward to a LARGE PRINT edition.
     
  9. Clay Knick

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    The ESV is an excellent successor to the RSV. It
    continues the Tyndale/KJV tradition of formal
    English while remaining slightly idiomatic in
    translation philosophy. The ESV is a great
    "literal" or formal eqivalent translation, quite
    good for study. I use it and the RSV along with
    the NASB when I am doing detailed study of a
    passage for a sermon or Bible study. The ESV
    has become my default translation for teaching
    and preaching.

    There are scholars and preachers, three of them
    who are women, who have been less than satisfied
    with the NRSV. I use it when I study as a translation to compare with the ones I listed
    above. For my tastes it is a little too revised
    and a little too inclusive for me.

    The RSV was the text we used in every class in
    college and theological school. The first study
    Bible I owned was a Harper Study Bible in the RSV.
    It is still available from Cambridge as the
    RSV Study Bible. In many ways the RSV is a treasure the church had no need to lose; thankfully we have the ESV. I love them both!
     
  10. Chris Temple

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    The RSV never got the hearing it deserved, due to its liberal renderings in the OT concerning Christian doctrine. Still overall, it was (is) a very good translation, and was used by many conservatives, like John Piper, George Ladd, Ray Stedman and Anthony Hoekema.

    The ESV is excellent and corrects the RSV where it needed correction.
     
  11. Clay Knick

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    I really hope the ESV catches on to the Bible
    buying public. I hope I am not being too
    optimistic though. While I think there are
    strengths in translations like the NIV it
    seems that the ESV has an uphill battle in a
    day when people want versions that read easily.
    I would hope that Crossway would market the
    ESV more aggressively in the future. I can see
    it becoming a Bible used primarily by preachers
    and scholars. Time will tell.
     
  12. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    Yes, the ESV has an uphill battle, but if pastors use it, their congregations will as well.
     
  13. David Cooke Jr

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    Some of my Sunday School literature uses the NRSV. I sometimes read my father-in-laws ESV. I have bought neither and still use my wife's Oxford RSV. I don't feel the need to buy a new one.
     
  14. KenH

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    Chris,

    That is interesting information. Are there examples of the the superior accuracy of the ESV over the NASB. I thought the NASB was the most literal translation. Or are literalness and accuracy two different areas?

    Ken
     
  15. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    Ken:

    There are examples, though they fail to spring to mind. I know my last semester at seminary, I took a Minor Prophets course with Alan Moseley who used the NASB. Time and again he would come to a passage and say "now the NASB isn't the best here..." and he would give the better translation, and 100% of the time, the ESV had already done it that way. That sold me. ;)
     
  16. Clay Knick

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    Oxford will be publishing a 50th Anniversary
    Edition of the RSV this fall.
     

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