Tuesday, July 14, 2009

RSV-CE Inconsistencies

I've wondered about this. Take a look at this link I found while perusing the web today:


Especially this line:

"The Ignatius Bible Second Edition looks to have simply updated the Ignatius Bible First Edition according to the Douay Rheims/Latin Vulgate/Nova Vulgata in a few cases (I have separated the differences so it is visible), while the Oxford Press CE also matches the Douay Rheims/Latin Vulgate/Nova Vulgata, but by way of the 1971 RSV, and in different cases. "

Get that?

The "Ignatius Bible" is a revision of the original 1966 which was a revision of the 1959 RSV Protestant edition. The Ignatius Second Edition has some new, unique translations to make it in conform to the Liturgiam Authenticam. The version put out by Scepter and Oxford is a Catholic revision of the RSV 1971 Protestant edition. The matching to the Vulgate(s) happens at different occasions.

So they aren't the same. I wonder... when our Catholic apologists are recommending the RSV-CE to people which they have in mind? The RSV is kind of a mess isn't it? We essentially have two different lines of RSV-CE going on.

Nevertheless, and I explained this to some fellow Catholics a while back, the RSV is often touted for its ecumenical value. (Look, we all can use same Bible!) But if you walk into any generic Christian Bookstore you are going to be hard pressed to find a copy. While Catholics continue to use and love the RSV-CE it has been crowded out by various updates (with different translation philosphies) such as the NRSV and ESV. I recently purchased (shock I know) a copy of both for about $6 each.

So if we really want an ecumenical Bible it isn't going to be the RSV anymore. We might need to look at promoting the idea of an ESV-CE. But... why can't we have a Catholic version which is used as the base text? Perhaps it is the modern Catholic trend to continually bow to others in the ecumenical dialog rather than take the lead. That is another commentary altogether.

If what the above link says is true, then it appears the Wikipedia article needs some work too. A revision perhaps? :-)


I also found this here:

Roman Catholic Edition, 1966. The Holy Bible: Revised standard version, containing the Old and New Testaments. Catholic edition, prepared by the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain; with a foreword by His Eminence John Cardinal Heenan, Archbishop of Westminster. London: Nelson, 1966.

Although the RSV translators in their revisions of 1952, 1959 and 1971 turned a deaf ear to the criticisms offered by conservative Protestants, they did cooperate with Roman Catholics in the production of this edition. The extra books included in the "deuterocanon" of the Roman Catholic Church were inserted among the books of the Old Testament, in accordance with traditional Catholic practice. A number of minor alterations were made in the New Testament in accordance with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church (e.g., "full of grace" substituted for "favored one" in Luke 1:28). For this the chief editor of the RSV, Luther Weigle, was rewarded by Pope Paul VI, who conferred upon Weigle the "Papal Knighthood of St. Gregory the Great" in 1966. (7) In 1969 six Roman Catholic scholars joined the RSV Committee. The RSV Catholic edition received theimprimatur (i.e. it was officially declared to be acceptable for use by Catholics) and it went on to become a Bible of choice among many conservative Catholics who did not care for the "inclusive language" of later versions sponsored by the Roman Catholic hierarchy (i.e. the New American Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible).

From: http://www.bible-researcher.com/rsv.html


4 comments:

Moonshadow said...

First of all, I like Michael Marlowe's Bible Researcher site - I've linked to him from my blog for years.

I'm usually more concerned with the texts used than with the choice of words in translating it. But it sounds as if you'd like every English reading to be identical? Then why has "editions?"

I'm certainly missing what the objections are. I still think that people use the RSV because it comes coupled with the GNT.

I worked through one item on that table of differences, Matt. 19:5,6, 1 Cor. 6:16, which reads "one" instead of "one flesh" (more lit. to the Gk.). The NAB has "one flesh" but Gen. 2:24 has "one body" so the reference is obscured. :-(

So, something like this is a problem?

Matt said...

I'm usually more concerned with the texts used than with the choice of words in translating it.

In college and high school I studied Japanese and Chinese because I thought were useful languages at the time. Now I wish I had taken Greek, Hebrew, or Latin for my language credit. If I had only known where my interests would lie in a few years...oh well.


But it sounds as if you'd like every English reading to be identical? Then why has "editions?"

I don't think this at all. I re-read the post over again and I'm curious why it might sound that way. I'm not an anything-onlyist. Ironically though I did find a website of KJV-Onlyists refuting Vulgate-Onlyists. I got a good chuckle out of that.

I didn't write to post to point out problems but just to point out the fact that they are different. It is an irony that last night I was looking through one of my RSV-CEs, a pocket edition with a zipper. On the outside it says "Ignatius" but on the insides are printed by Oxford University Press and there are no indicators of Ignatius Press. I haven't looked at the table yet to see exactly which version it is.

I still think that people use the RSV because it comes coupled with the GNT.

I looked for RSV and GNT together and I get Revised Standard Version with Greek New Testament or the Good News Translation. I assume you mean the Greek right?

Moonshadow said...

Maybe it's been fixed, but because I was aware of different editions of the King James available from different publishers, I'm just not surprised about the RSV-CE.

A person almost has to have loyalty towards a publisher - which we tend to do, yes? I know I do - as well as a translation version in order to have some consistency. Is that right?

And maybe that's why the American Catholic bishops insist on controlling the copyright of the New American Bible - I have bought editions of the NAB from Zondervan and Nelson but the text of the translation has to be identical (I suppose).

Yes, yes, Greek NT. Anyone using the RSV wouldn't be interested in the Good News Translation :-) half-joking. I would be surprised if those languages had been offered in the first place. One almost has to go to seminary to get them anymore. To fumble around in those languages is easy enough.

Moonshadow said...

Oh ...

Ironically though I did find a website of KJV-Onlyists refuting Vulgate-Onlyists. I got a good chuckle out of that.

A clear case of cutting off the branch one's sitting on.

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton