Conserative Romanists, but endorse liberal study bible?

Something to ponder:  The Revised (and New Revised) Standard Versions of the Bible are openly modernist.  The editors reject supernatural presuppositions, as evidence by their translations of Isaiah 7:14.  How come these bibles received an imprimatur by the Pope?


6 comments on “Conserative Romanists, but endorse liberal study bible?

  1. Andrew says:

    I own a copy of the RSV, and it is clear from the notes that the editors did not reject supernatural presuppositions. Being conversant with and open to historical-critical methods is not necessarily the same as rejecting supernatural presuppositions. It’s honest scholarship. As for the translation of almah in Isaiah 7:14, I really don’t understand the fundamentalist knee-jerk reaction to it. It does not boil down simply to a modernist rejection of the virgin birth. The rendering of almah as “young woman” is a matter of being faithful to the Hebrew original.

    The NRSV may be another matter. I wouldn’t know, because I don’t read it. I have heard that some of the notes have been revised for the worse — i.e. “fixing” some of the more devotional language and replacing it with more academic language. That’s too bad. But again, the RSV is the real deal.

    • Metzger did not reject supernaturalism. I know that from his other writings. And the RSV is a beautiful translation per the Psalms and Prophets (Is. 7:14 excepted).

      On the other hand, if you have the Oxford Study Bible RSV, the essay on how to read the Bible is modernist in outlook.

      The NRSV is pure feminism and deconstructionism.

  2. If you are genuinely asking the question and not just casting stones, I would be glad to send you a copy of the foreword to the RSV, Catholic Edition, prepared by the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain.

    Also, the RSV, CE received an imprimatur from Gordon Joseph, Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, on the Feast of Epiphany, 1966. Though Pope Paul VI got around, I’m pretty sure he is not the same person.

    Also, it does no one any good to go around casting terms like “Romanist.” People who use those terms know they are disparaging and hurtful and use them precisely for that reason.

    • Thanks, but I have numerous editions of RSVs and I don’t have shelf space.

      Romanist is not meant to be perjorative. I say that because Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Reformed, and those who claim “Rome” call themselves “Catholic,” so I use a term that isn’t open for ambiguity. I will continue to use Romanist for that reason.

  3. Chris Poe says:

    My understanding is that some of the RC produced Bibles have modernistic critical notes as well. I think there was some issue(s) with the NRSV that RC’s eventually objected to. Perhaps it was the gender neutral approach and maybe some other issues.

    It’s been a while since I looked into the RSV but if I recall correctly there were perceived inadequacies in the way certain Messianic Psalms were translated. John Piper says that the ESV is the RSV “with the theological problems fixed.” I’m sure one can find material online that explains why conservatives by and large rejected the RSV. Isaiah 7:14 became something of a litmus test but there were other things that were considered unacceptable. (This rejection led to the development of several evangelical versions later in the 20th Century, (such as the NASB, the NIV and the NKJV) all of which aimed to replace the KJV.)

    With regard to the Oxford Annotated Bible, conservatives would say that the higher critical line that there is a Second Isaiah, etc. reflects an anti-supernatural bias in that it entails a rejection of predictive prophecy. Then you have the purported forgeries with several epistles, among other issues.

  4. Chris says:

    I went into a RC bookstore the other day. They had their edition of the RSV in stock. It has “virgin” at Isa. 7:14. I had forgotten they had made that change to accomodate them. I don’t know that that was done with the NRSV. I actually picked up a copy of the much coveted American made NASB Side-Column Reference there. It was hardcover instead of leather but it was still a decent pickup. I saw a statue of the pontiff too. I wonder if they have Pope bobbleheads?

    I recently learned that some accommodations were made with the original NIV upon consulting with the WELS. (The WELS then adopted it as their official translation.) However there is a controversy among them over the 2011 NIV and whether or not to adopt that or something else instead since it’s not acceptable to a large number of their constituency. Interesting how the WELS (depsite its reputation as generally being “more conservative”) favors a more dynamic approach to translation whereas the LCMS adopted the ESV. But a lot of Reformed people used the NIV until the gender-neutral controversy erupted and the ESV became available.

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