Revised Standard Version

What is the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition?

The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (also known as the RSV-CE) is an English-language adaptation of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible for use by Roman 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, originally copyrighted to the International Council of Religious Education) Old Testament (1952) Deuterocanonical Books (1957) Catholic Edition of the New Testament (1965) Catholic Edition of the Old Testament incorporating the deuterocanonicals (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 revised in 1952 by a Standard Bible Committee authorized by the National Council of Churches; this was known as the Revised Standard Version.

A revision of the Apocrypha was authorized in December of that year, and would be completed in 1957. In 1954, after a year of negotiations, the Standard Bible Committee granted the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain permission to print a Catholic RSV Bible. Originally, the RSV-CE New Testament was to have been issued as early as 1956, but Cardinal Griffin, who had approved the plan, died before he could give it an imprimatur. A delay of nearly a decade ensued before Archbishop Gray of St. Andrews and Edinburgh gave the RSV-CE New Testament the necessary imprimatur. And so at last, in 1965, the RSV-CE New Testament was published.

In the following year, 1966, the full RSV-CE Bible was published, with the deuterocanonical works incorporated into the Old Testament text. The Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees and Psalm 151 were omitted from the RSV-CE, as they are not part of Catholic canon.

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.

The Bible in English Old English (pre-1066) Middle English (1066–1500) Early Modern English (1500–1800) Modern Christian (1800–) Modern Jewish (1853–) Miscellaneous v t e The RSV-CE was based on the 1962 printing of the Protestant RSV.

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 interpretive 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.


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