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Karen North wrote:

Hi, guys —

In a previous reply to one of my questions, John said he would recommend that I get the
(RSV) Revised Standard Version Bible as opposed to (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version.

I looked at my Bible and it is, of course, the NRSV.

  • I was just wondering why he recommended the RSV and if I should get a new one?

Along, those same lines, I have a Catechism from the mid-nineties.

  • Is there any reason to get a newer one?

Thanks for your time!


  { Why is the RSV better than the NRSV and is my cream color Catholic Catechism good enough? }

John replied:

Hi, Karen —

The NRSV contains politically-motivated translations. Rather than being concerned with accurately translating the text, the translators were worried about being politically correct. They caved into feminists and, in the process, they did violence to the meaning of the text.

Now when it comes to other aspects of the Bible, the translation is very accurate, but there are enough serious, politically-motivated mistranslations that I would stay away from it.

Here's an example:

John 6:10 reads:

[Jesus said,] "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number, about five thousand.

Some translators might be tempted to translate the word men as people but it's not the Greek word "Anthropoi" which can mean people or men. That word (Anthropoi) is used earlier in the verse and the translator translates it people: "Make the people site down" but now John uses another specific Greek word for men. It is the word "andres", which specifically means male or masculine human beings. So what's the point? Well for starters, we want to be accurate.

For another, there is a reason why John used two different words. Back then when you counted a crowd, you only counted the men. Now that might be sexist but that's the way it was. They didn't count the women or children. They just counted the men. So the first century person, reading or hearing this text, would have understood that far more than 5,000 people were fed, because they would have known what John meant when he said the men (andres), verses men (anthropoi),
sat down, in number, about five thousand.

By changing the translation to be politically correct, we underestimate the number of people that were fed plus we are translating the text wrong!

I don't know if the NRSV mistranslates that specific text but it's a classic example of the kind of thing the NRSV does. They do all kinds violence to doctrine, just to avoid using the words like:

  • son
  • men
  • His, or
  • Lord.

It's just sick; they do these verbal gymnastics with the text, (changing the person that the text is written for), just to avoid using a male pronoun. It's just silly.

  • Now, about your Catechism; what color is it?

If it's the cream colored one, you should get the second addition which is green.

The cream color one is not totally horrible, but it has some errors in the translation and some missing data.


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