Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Bible translation infobox | translation_title = RSV-Catholic Edition

full_name = Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition
abbreviation = RSV-CE
NT_published = 1965
OT_published = 1966
derived_from = Revised Standard Version
textual_basis = Same as the Protestant RSV
translation_type = Literal
version_revised = 2006
copyright = Copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1957, 1965, 1966, 2006 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (also known as the RSV-CE) is an adaptation of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible for use by Catholics. It is widely used by conservative Catholic scholars and theologians, and is accepted as one of the most accurate and literary Bible translations suitable for Catholic use.

The RSV-CE, sometimes called the Ignatius Bible, was published in the following stages:

*New Testament (1946)
*Old Testament (1952)
*Apocrypha (1957)
*Catholic Edition of the New Testament (1965)
*Catholic Edition of the Old Testament Incorporating the Apocrypha (1966)
*Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition) (2006)


The Revised Standard Version stands within the tradition of the Authorized King James Version, which was updated in 1885 in the UK as the Revised Version, with an American Edition known as the American Standard Version published in 1901. The latter version was updated in 1952, and known as the Revised Standard Version.

The National Council of Churches, publishers of the Protestant RSV Bible, made arrangements with the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain to print a Catholic RSV Bible. In 1965, the RSV-CE New Testament was published and in 1966, the full RSV-CE Bible, with most of the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical works incorporated into the Old Testament text. The Prayer of Manasseh and 1 and 2 Esdras were omitted from the RSV-CE.

Although a New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition was published in 1989, the mechanical use of inclusive language did not find favour amongst many scholars, and the use of such language for Bible translations was specifically rejected by the Catholic Hierarchy. A Second Edition of the RSV-CE was negotiated with the National Council of Churches, and issued by Ignatius Press in 2006.

Significant Differences from the RSV

BibleHistory The RSV-CE was based on the 1962 printing of the Protestant RSV (see Revised Standard Version#Later Editions). The editors of the Catholic Edition made no changes to the Old Testament text; all they did was include the seven Deuterocanonical works in their traditional Catholic order. At the end of each testament, an appendix of explanatory and interptetive notes was added. In the Psalms, they preserved the numbering of the Protestant edition (which reflects the Hebrew system), but they placed in brackets the Catholic system of numbering, which is based upon the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. However, some minor changes were made to the New Testament in places that had variant readings more in line with Catholic understanding and tradition. Some of the more important changes were the use of the phrase "full of grace" in the angel's greeting to Mary in Luke 1:28, the restoration of the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) and the inclusion of the longer ending to the Gospel according to Mark (16.9-20). Other verses or phrases with questionable authenticity that had been footnoted in the Protestant edition were restored in the Catholic Edition (Luke 22.19-20; 24. 5, 12, 36, 40, 51-52) In other places, some word changes were made, and some texts were exchanged with footnotes. Furthermore, the footnotes regarding the value of New Testament coins were rewritten in terms of how long it took the average worker to earn the money (the denarius was no longer defined as twenty cents but as a day's wage). The book of Revelation, called "The Revelation To John", had added as a subtitle ("The Apocalypse") The differences between the 1962 Protestant RSV New Testament and the Catholic Edition New Testament were listed in an appendix to the RSV-CE. This appendix, however, is partially outdated, as some of the changes were introduced into the Protestant Second Edition of the RSV New Testament in 1971 in preparation for the issuance of the RSV Common Bible.

List of Changes in the RSV New Testament for the Catholic Edition

This is the appendix that appeared in the 1965-66 printing of the RSV-CE to show the changes between the Protestant and Catholic editions.

The RSV-CE Today

When the New Revised Standard Version was released in 1989, the original RSV-CE went out of print. However, many Catholics reacted negatively to the NRSV's wide use of gender-inclusive language. This use of inclusive language was a major reason the Holy See rejected the NRSV for use in the liturgy and the English translation of the Catechism.

The original RSV-CE was revived in 1994 when Ignatius Press re-published it as the Ignatius Bible. Today, the 1966 edition of the RSV-CE is still published by Ignatius, Scepter Publishers, and Oxford University Press. It is a common misunderstanding that "-CE" versions were the Bible translations used in the English edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The versions used in the first edition of the Catholic Catechism were the "non-CE" versions of the NRSV and the RSV. However Catholics who wish to remain in communion with the Catholic Church need to understand that the NRSV was revised and became the NRSV-CE due to the formers use of "inclusive language." The NRSV-CE (1989) is an adaptation for Catholic use of the NRSV. Although the NRSV was used in the American edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the NRSV (non-CE) was rejected for liturgical use by the Holy See owing to inclusive language in some unacceptable places. With this exception, like the predecessor RSV, it is a good formal equivalent translation (i.e. literal, but literary).

Second Catholic Edition

In Early 2006, Ignatius Press released the Second Catholic Edition of the RSV (though it is listed on the copyright page as being the Ignatius Edition). This edition removed the archaic language in references to God (thee, thou, thy, art, hast, hadst, didst, etc.), revised some passages according to Liturgiam Authenticam, and exchanged some texts with footnotes in passages that had significance to Catholics. The Isaiah 7:14 controversy in the Protestant RSV was resolved in the RSV-SCE by replacing "young woman" with "virgin", as Catholics (as well as Protestants) point to this verse as foretelling the role of The Virgin Mary in the birth of Christ. Psalm 139 [138] .14 – which for grammatical reasons is not easy to translate – was also retranslated to show more clearly its support of the Catholic teachings opposing abortion. The verse reads (and still reads in the Protestant edition):

"I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well..."

It now reads:

"I praise you, for I am wonderously made. Wonderful are your works! You know me right well..."

Other changes include substituting "mercy" for "steadfast love" in Psalm 136 [135] . For a more thorough list of changes found so far by readers, see []

The new edition also features new typesetting, section headings, and maps. As was the case with the original RSV, gender-inclusive language is not used. However, some readers have pointed out that the revision of the marginal notes was not very thorough, and that there are several misspelled words in the text.

This edition has had various claims about it regarding the extent of its status of "conformity" to, or to being "revised" based on, the translation principles called for by the Vatican Instruction [ Liturgiam Authenticam] . Some reviewers of this edition have noted that while a number of Liturgiam-Authenticam-corresponding revisions were made to the text, the changes made were actually relatively small, and an Ignatius Press claim of "conformity" on its website has been misleading. Ignatius Press has stated that the changes were suggested only by the Congregation for Divine Worship, and were not an in-house edit. The title page of the edition actually states "This edition was revised according to Liturgiam Authenticam, 2002" which can be accepted as a more proper and accurate description, compared to the Ignatius Press website's usage of the stronger word "conformity".

As with the Protestant and First Catholic Editions of the RSV, the copyright remains in the hands of the NCC's Division of Christian Education.

Liturgical Use and Endorsements

The RSV-CE text is permitted for liturgical use in the United States. The New Revised Standard Edition's permission has been withdrawn, but not the RSV-CE. [] The RSV-CE, along with a modified version of the New American Bible with the 1986 Revised New Testament (with inclusive language removed) and the Grail Psalter are the liturgical texts permitted in the United States. The RSV-CE is also approved for use in the English translation of the Liturgy of the Hours for use in England and Wales, Australia, India, and many other English-speaking nations outside of the United States and Canada.

Ignatius Press is also publishing a Lectionary based on the RSV-Second Catholic Edition, approved for use by the Episcopal Conference of the Antilles. This Lectionary is not, at present, approved for use in the United States, although Ignatius Press is hopeful that other Episcopal Conferences will follow suit.

Many well-known Catholic personalities, including Scott Hahn (see also "Ignatius Catholic Study Bible series"), Curtis Mitch, Steve Ray, Jimmy Akin, and others use it as well. It is also used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and in English translations of Church documents. The English translations of the works of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) also use the RSV-CE or its Second Edition.

However, the New American Bible remains the official English-language Catholic translation for the United States, as is reflected by its use on the Vatican website. Australia and Europe use the first edition Jerusalem Bible.


External links

* [ United States Conference of Catholic Bishops]
* [ Vatican]
* [ Current list of discovered revisions found by Catholic Answers Forums members, made between the original RSV-CE and the RSV Second Catholic Edition, with comparison to other editions]
* [] Online bible versions includes the RSV

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