The New Revised Standard is a popular translation that follows in the traditions of the King James and Revised Standard Versions. It was written with the goal of preserving the best of the older versions while incorporating modern English.
The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) first appeared in 1989, and has received wide acclaim and broad support from academics and church leaders as a Bible for all Christians.
- The 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 Jewish scholar.
- Standing in the tradition of the RSV, which was the only major English translation 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), the NRSV is available in three 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.
Rooted in the past, but updated for today's Bible readers, 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 Hebrew grammar.
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.
Special thanks to The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA for permission to use the New Revised Standard Version
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.