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About the NRSV
The NRSV first appeared in 1989 and has received the
widest acclaim and broadest support from academics and church leaders of any modern
English translation. It is the only Bible translation that is as widely ecumenical:
- The ecumenical NRSV Bible Translation Committee consists of thirty men and women
who are among the top scholars in America today. They come from Protestant denominations,
the Roman Catholic church, and the Greek Orthodox Church. The committee also includes a
- The RSV was the only major translation in English that included both the standard
Protestant canon and the books that are traditionally used by Roman Catholic and Orthodox
Christians (the so-called "Apocryphal" or "Deuterocanonical" books).
Standing in this tradition, the NRSV is available in three ecumenical formats: a
standard edition with or without the Apocrypha, a Roman Catholic Edition, which has
the so-called "Apocryphal" or "Deuterocanonical" books in the Roman
Catholic canonical order, and The Common Bible, which includes all books that
belong to the Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox canons.
- The NRSV stands out among the many translations available today as the Bible
translation that is the most widely "authorized" by the churches. It received
the endorsement of thirty-three Protestant churches. It received the imprimatur of the
American and Canadian Conferences of Catholic bishops. And it received the blessing of a
leader of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The NRSV is truly a Bible for all Christians!
Rooted in the past, but right for today, the NRSV continues the tradition of
William Tyndale, the King James Version, the American Standard Version, and
the Revised Standard Version. Equally important, it sets a new standard for the 21st Century. The NRSV
stands out among the many translations because it is "as literal as possible" in
adhering to the ancient texts and only "as free as necessary" to make the
meaning clear in graceful, understandable English. It draws on newly available sources
that increase our understanding of many previously obscure biblical passages. These
sources include new-found manuscripts, the Dead Sea Scrolls, other texts, inscriptions,
and archaeological finds from the ancient Near East, and new understandings of Greek and
Improvements over the RSV are of four different kinds:
- updating the language of the RSV, by replacing archaic forms of speech addressed
to God (Thee, Thou, wast, dost, etc.), and by replacing words whose meaning has changed
significantly since the RSV translation (for example, Paul's statement in 2
Corinthians 11.25 that he was "stoned" once)
- making the translation more accurate,
- helping it to be more easily understood, especially when it is read out loud, and
- making it clear where the original texts intend to include all humans, male and female,
and where they intend to refer only to the male or female gender.
If accuracy and clarity are important to you, the New Revised Standard Version
should be your next Bible!
The Translation Committee invites proposed revisions of the NRSV text. Send
Clare J. Chapman.