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Sunday, 27 February 2011

New New RSV to be published soon

The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible has been in print for some years. A new edition, the
"Anglicized New Revised Standard Version" with the Grail Psalms is to be published on 3 March. (See: Amazon UK) The Publishers' product description is as follows:
A new edition of the Bible aimed especially at Roman Catholics, including both the anglicized Catholic text of the NRSV translation, and the much loved Grail Psalms.

For years, Catholics have been waiting for a Bible including both the NRSV Bible and the Grail Psalms. Now, it is here at last.

The NRSV is increasingly becoming the most popular translation among Catholics, and it will be used in the new edition of the Lectionary which is coming soon. The much loved Grail Psalms are already in wide liturgical use, and will continue to be.

This Bible also includes additional features such as Mass Readings and maps.
It is understandable for the publisher to make claims such as "Catholics have been waiting" and "increasingly becoming the most popular translation" but I take them with a pinch of salt. The Douai-Rheims version has enjoyed a revival of popularity in recent years, not least because there are no problems of copyright and the text has been widely available in many forms on the internet free of charge. Many Catholics have also been drawn to the Revised Standard Version published by Ignatius Press.

The new new RSV is published by Collins but it seems that the text of the (unanglicized) version is available at Godweb and the oremus Bible Browser so there is reason to hope that the new new one will be available online too.

The original NRSV committee was strongly committed to "inclusive language" (see: this page for information). As I understand it, the version had to be edited for use in the Catholic Liturgy in accordance with Liturgiam Authenticam, particularly with regard to inclusive language. Indeed the NRSV in its original form was rejected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1995. (See this article.) One wonders why it was not simply decided to adopt the RSV as published by Ignatius. That had already been slightly edited precisely to accord with Liturgiam Authenticam.

Despite some misgivings I hope that the new new RSV will at least be an improvement on the Jerusalem version which we have had to endure for so long in the sacred Liturgy. The news that the text is soon to be published indicates that a lectionary based on it should be available in good time so that missals for the people can be provided with the texts of the readings as well as the propers of the Mass.
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