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This document lists variants in various Roman Catholic editions of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. In 1966, a Catholic version of the 1957 RSV was published, which included the Deteurocanonical books (originally prepared for the Episcopal Church in 1957) and several dozen changes to the basic text of the New Testament brought forward by Catholic scholars. As a result of this, the RSV began making inroads in Catholic circles, and later, in 1977, in Eastern Orthodox circles, with the inclusion of 3 and 4 Maccabees and Psalm 151 to the RSV Apocrypha/Deteurocanonicals.
The version of the book of Tobit used by the RSV Apocrypha (as well as the Orthodox Study Bible) is the shorter Alexandrinus and Vaticanus text, as opposed to the longer Greek form of the text, critically constructed from Codex Sinaiticus (corrected by Qumran), which forms the backbone of the version used in the NRSV. Both textual families of Tobit are presented side by side in the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS).
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the RSV-CE as a result of Catholics looking for alternatives to existing English language versions currently used in liturgical settings (New American Bible, New Jerusalem, New Revised Standard Version). And more recently, modified Catholic versions of the 1971 RSV (RSV -2nd Catholic Edition or RSV-2CE) have appeared.
We reproduce here Appendix 2 of the first edition of the New Testament, RSV Catholic Edition (1965), which purports to list all changes made by the Catholic editors.
|Passage||RSV||RSV CE||RSV||RSV CE|
|Mt. 1.19||divorce her||send her away|
|Mt. 18.24||(f) This talent was probably worth about a thousand dollars||(f) This talent was more than fifteen years' wages of a laborer|
|Mt. 18.28||(g) The denarius was worth about twenty cents||(g) The denarius was a day's wage for a laborer|
|Mt. 19.9||(k)||...; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery." (k)||(k) Other ancient authorities insert and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery||(k) Other ancient authorities omit and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery|
|Mt. 20.2||(m) The denarius was worth about twenty cents||(m) The denarius was a day's wage for a laborer|
|Mt. 21.44||(q)||44 And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." (q)||(q) Other ancient authorities add verse 44: "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on anyone, it will crush him"||(q) Other ancient authorities omit verse 44|
|Mt. 25.15||(d) This talent was probably worth about a thousand dollars||(d) This talent was more than fifteen years' wages of a laborer|
|Mt. 27.24||this man's blood; (l)||this righteous man's blood; (l)||(l) Other ancient authorities read this righteous blood or this righteous man's blood||(l) Other ancient authorities omit righteous or man's|
|Mk. 6.37||(u) The denarius was worth about twenty cents||(u) The denarius was a day's wage for a laborer|
|Mk. 9.29||(j)||and fasting." (j)||(j) Other ancient authorities add and fasting||(j) Other ancient authorities omit and fasting|
|Mk. 10.24||(r)||for those who trust in riches (r)||(r) Other ancient authorities add for those who trust in riches||(r) Other ancient authorities omit for those who trust in riches|
|Mk. 13.33||(a)||and pray; (a)||(a) Other ancient authorities add and pray||(a) Other ancient authorities omit and pray|
|Mk. 14.5||(b) The denarius was worth about twenty cents||(b) The denarius was a day's wage for a laborer|
|Mk. 16.9-20||(k)||insert into the text the entire italicized verses 9-20 from note (k) and add (k) at end of verse 20||(k) Other texts and versions add as 16.9-20 the following passage:
9 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdelene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, and they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table, and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.
Other ancient authorities add after verse 8 the following: But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this, Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvtion
|(k) Other ancient authorities omit verses 9-20. Some ancient authorities conclude Mark instead with the following: But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this, Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvtion|
|Lk. 1.28||O favored one,||full of grace (b2)||(b2) Or O favored one|
|Lk. 8.43||(b)||and had spent all her living upon physicians (b)||(b) Other ancient authorities add and had spent all her living upon physicians||(b) Other ancient authorities omit and had spent all her living upon physicians|
|Lk. 10.35||(i) The denarius was worth about twenty cents||(i) The denarius was a day's wage for a laborer|
|Lk. 15.8||(t) The drachma, rendered here by silver coin, was about sixteen cents||(t) The drachma, rendered here by silver coin, was about a day's wage for a laborer|
|Lk. 19.13||(e) The mina, rendered here by pound, was equal to about twenty dollars||(e) The mina, rendered here by pound, was about three months' wages for a laborer|
|Lk. 22.19-20||(j)||which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood." (j)||(j) Other ancient authorities add which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."||(j) Other ancient authorities omit from which is given in verse 19 to the end of verse 20|
|Lk. 24.5||(u)||He is not here, but has risen.(u)||(u) Other ancient authorities add He is not here, but has risen||(u) Other ancient authorities omit He is not here, but has risen|
|Lk. 24.12||(v)||12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened. (v)||(v) Other ancient authorities add verse 12, But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened||(v) Other ancient authorities omit verse 12|
|Lk. 24.36||(x)||..., and said to them, "Peace to you." (x)||(x) Other ancient authorities add and said to them, "Peace to you!"||(x) Other ancient authorities omit and said to them, "Peace to you."|
|Lk. 24.40||(y)||40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. (y)||(y) Other ancient authorities add verse 40, And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet||(y) Other ancient authorities omit verse 40|
|Lk. 24.51||(a)||and was carried up into heaven. (a)||(a) Other ancient authorities add and was carried up into heaven||(a) Other ancient authorities omit and was carried up into heaven|
|Lk. 24.52||(b)||worshiped him, and (b)||(b) Other ancient authorities add worshiped him, and||(b) Other ancient authorities omit worshiped him, and|
|Jn. 6.7||(l) The denarius was worth about twenty cents||(l) The denarius was a day's wage for a laborer|
|Jn. 7.52||(r)||omit (r) here; insert 7.53-8.11 in the text (from the italicized footnote) and insert footnote reference (r) at the end of verse 11||(r) Other ancient authorities add 7.53-8.11 either here or at the end of this gospel or after Luke 21.38, with variations of the text:
53 They went each to his own house, 8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?" 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."
|(r) Some ancient authorities insert 7.53-8.11 either at the end of this gospel or after Luke 21.38, with variations of the text. Others omit it altogether.|
|Jn. 12.5||(b) The denarius was worth about twenty cents||(b) The denarius was a day's wage for a laborer|
|Rom 1.4||designated||designated (a2)||(a2) Or constituted|
|Rom 9.5||Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. (n)||Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever. (n)||(n) Or Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever||(n) Or Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever|
|1 Cor 3.9||are fellow workers for God; (f)||are God's fellow workers; (f)||(f) Greek God's fellow workers||(f) Or fellow workers for God|
|1 Cor 4.6||to live according to scripture||not to go beyond what is written|
|1 Cor 7.25||unmarried||unmarried (x2)||(x2) Greek virgins|
|1 Cor 7.28||a girl||a girl (m2)||(m2) Greek virgin|
|1 Cor 7.34||girl||girl (m2)||(m2) Greek virgin|
|1 Cor 7.36||betrothed,||betrothed, (m2)||(m2) Greek virgin|
|1 Cor 7.37||betrothed,||betrothed, (m2)||(m2) Greek virgin|
|1 Cor 7.38||betrothed||betrothed (m2)||(m2) Greek virgin|
|1 Cor 9.5||brothers||brethren||(n) Greek a sister as wife||(n) Greek woman, sister|
|Eph 5.32||I take it to mean||I mean in reference to|
|Phil 2.5||you have||was|
|1 Thess 4.4||how to take a wife for himself||how to control his own body|
|1 Thess 5.13||among yourselves.||among yourselves. (c2)||(c2) Or with them|
|Heb 11.19||hence, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.||hence he did receive him back and this was a symbol.|
|Rev title||The Revelation to John||The Revelation to John (The Apocalypse)|
|Rev 6.6||(a) The denarius was worth about twenty cents||(a) The denarius was a day's wage for a laborer|
In 1978, the Vatican published the Nova Vulgata (New Vulgate), a revision of the traditional Vulgate text that brings it in line with the Greek text published in the 26th edition of Nestle-Aland. As a result, many readings are no longer in the official Latin Bible used by the Roman Catholic Church. Five of these deleted traditional Vulgate readings were included in the original RSV-CE of 1965.
a) Changes in the RSV-CE consistent with the 1978 Nova Vulgata:
b) Changes not consistent with the 1978 Nova Vulgata:
In recent years, the RSV-CE has been republished as the Ignatius Bible first edition, as well as the Reader's version. Various second editions (RSV-2CE), incorporating RSV1971 readings are also available. There are also two online variants of the RSV-2CE:
For comparison, the University of Michigan carries the original RSV1971.
The following editions are modified versions of the RSV1971, each incorporating the RSV-CE changes from 1965 against the RSV1971 text: Scepter, Oxford Press Compacts, My Daily Catholic Bible: Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, Oxford Catholic Comparative New Testament. In a handful of cases, readings have been changed back to RSV1952.
The Ignatius Bible 2nd edition is a hybrid text, updating only a few dozen readings from the RSV1971, while retaining many of the original readings from RSV1952. Like the ESV, it also removed most of the archaic language and introduced many readings peculiar to that edition. For example, 'behold' and 'baby' were used for 'lo' and 'babe' in the NT, and 'mercy' and 'donkey' used throughout the OT for 'steadfast love' and 'ass'. From a stylistic standpoint, the Ignatius 2nd edition is the closest thing in the Catholic publishing world to the English Standard Version.
a) Restorations of the RSV1952 text
These are common across nearly all the various second editions.
b) Uncorrected RSV1952 readings
There are various versions of Eph 5:32:
There are various versions of Phil 2:5:
Numerous other RSV1952 readings from the RSV-CE were left unchanged in the Ignatius Bible 2nd edition. A complete list is here:
c) New Testament variants peculiar to the Ignatius Bible 2nd Edition
Yet, other passages have been left alone, such as the rendering of Matt 16:19 (and Matt 18:18) in the future perfect as opposed to the future. The RSV reads, 'whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' The AV and ASV renders the passage, 'whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,' an interpretation consistent with all versions of the Vulgate as well as the Douay-Rheims.
Heb 11:1 in the RSV (and ESV/NRSV/NASB) follows Martin Luther in reading 'Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.' Here the RSV carries forward the main reading of the ASV, of which it is an update. The traditional reading, found in the AV and Douay-Rheims (and the Vulgate) is 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' (ERVm 'Now faith is the giving substance to [things] hoped for, the proving of things not seen.') Pope Benedict XVI expounded on the traditional Catholic translation of the passage in "Spe Salvi".
To Luther, who was not particularly fond of the Letter to the Hebrews, the concept of “substance”, in the context of his view of faith, meant nothing. For this reason he understood the term hypostasis/substance not in the objective sense (of a reality present within us), but in the subjective sense, as an expression of an interior attitude, and so, naturally, he also had to understand the term argumentum as a disposition of the subject. In the twentieth century this interpretation became prevalent—at least in Germany—in Catholic exegesis too, so that the ecumenical translation into German of the New Testament, approved by the Bishops, reads as follows: Glaube aber ist: Feststehen in dem, was man erhofft, Überzeugtsein von dem, was man nicht sieht (faith is: standing firm in what one hopes, being convinced of what one does not see). This in itself is not incorrect, but it is not the meaning of the text, because the Greek term used (elenchos) does not have the subjective sense of “conviction” but the objective sense of “proof”. Rightly, therefore, recent Protestant exegesis has arrived at a different interpretation: “Yet there can be no question but that this classical Protestant understanding is untenable” [H. Köster in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament VIII (1972), p.586]. Faith is not merely a personal reaching out towards things to come that are still totally absent: it gives us something. It gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for, and this present reality constitutes for us a “proof” of the things that are still unseen.
d) Old Testament variants peculiar to the Ignatius 2nd Edition
Verses added back into the text in the Ignatius Bible Second Catholic Edition:
Below we reproduce in full the Introduction of the Catholic Edition of the RSV New Testament published in 1965.
Introduction to the New Testament
This edition of the New Testament from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible has been prepared for the use of Catholics by a committee of the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain. It is published with ecclesiastical approval and by agreement with the Standard Bible Committee and the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
The Revised Standard Version itself needs no lengthy introduction, being already well known and widely read. It is "an authorized version of the American Standard Version, published in 1901, which was a revision of the King James Version, published in 1611" (Preface to RSV). In Britain the King James Version is more commonly called the Authorized Version. It occupies a unique place in English Biblical and indeed literary tradition. The Standard Bible of 1901 was the work of an American committee revising it in the light of modern textual criticism. In 1937 it was decided to make a revision of the Standard Version which should "embody the best results of modern scholarship as to the meaning of the Scriptures and express this meaning in English diction which is designed for use in public and private worship and preserves those qualities which have given to the King James Version a supreme place in English literature." The New Testament in this new version was published in 1946 and the whole Bible in 1952.
The remarkable success which attended the new revision on its appearance seems to be ample justification of the revisers' aims and it has been acclaimed on all sides as a translation which combines accuracy and clarity of meaning with beauty of language and traditional diction.
For four hundred years, following upon the great upheaval of the Reformation, Catholics and Protestants have gone their separate ways and suspected each other's translations of the Bible of having been in some way manipulated in the interests of doctrinal presuppositions. It must be admitted that these suppositions were not always without foundation. At the present time, however, the sciences of textual criticism and philology, not to mention others, have made such great advances that the bible text used by translators is substantially the same for all — Protestants and Catholics alike. Thus, for example, Catholics no longer make their translations from the Latin Vulgate; though it is arguable that before the development of textual criticism it was in certain respects a better way of making a translation than to make it from late and in some places corrupt Greek manuscripts as was done by some of the Reformers. Today, and indeed since the appearance in 1943 of the Encyclical Letter "Divino Afflante Spiritu" encouraging Biblical studies, Catholics like everyone else go back to the original languages and base their translations on the same critical principles.
Although twenty years have passed since the Encyclical Letter first appeared, there is still no Catholic translation of the whole Bible from the original languages available to English-speaking readers, though at least two are well on the way to completion. It was in fact with a view to filling this rather obvious gap in the shortest possible time that some Catholic scholars considered the possibility of so editing the Revised Standard Version, on its appearance in 1952, as to make it acceptable to Catholic readers.
Following up these advances in Biblical knowledge comes the great improvement in relations between the Christian Churches of which we are witnesses at the present time and which is not without its influence in still further narrowing the margin of difference between Bible translations. This is not to say that all differences have disappeared. There is frequently more than one way of translating a word or phrase with the critical evidence for each interpretation fairly evenly balanced. In such cases each man will translate according to his background and training. Thus a Roman Catholic might and indeed usually would give more weight to a reading or an interpretation which was traditional in his Church.
With the improvement in inter-denominational relations and the advance of Bible knowledge, the possibility of producing a Bible common to all Christians was mooted as far back as 1953. It was felt that if such a thing could be achieved, it would be of incalculable benefit in wiping away remaining misconceptions and prejudices and in fostering still further good relations between the churches. The Word of God would then be our common heritage and unifying link not only in theory but also in fact, and those engaged in theological discussion could appeal to the same authoritative text. This objective could be achieved in the quickest and most practical way by editing the Revised Standard Version for Catholic use. It would also provide Catholics with a complete version of the Bible from the original languages.
A small committee of members of the Catholic Biblical Association was formed and permission obtained to examine this translation and suggest any changes that might be required to make it acceptable to Catholics. The Standard Bible Committee of the U.S.A. was then approached and they gave a warm welcome to the proposal. Here was a wonderful opportunity to make a real step forward in the field of ecumenical relations. However, ideas of this kind take time to penetrate all levels and many difficulties and delays ensued. But a change of mind has taken place and what seemed to many in 1953 to be a novel idea of doubtful value, or even of no value at all, is now generally recognized to be a legitimate and desirable goal.
In the present edition the aim has been to make the minimum number of alterations and to change only what seemed absolutely necessary in the light of Catholic tradition. It has not been the aim to improve the translation as such. There are some places, however, where, the critical evidence being evenly balanced, considerations of Catholic tradition have favored a particular rendering or the inclusion of a passage omitted by the RSV translators.
The thanks of Catholics are due to their Bishops who have approved this edition and to the American Standard Bible Committee, who have throughout given and unfailing and generous support in spite of difficulties and delays.
May this edition of the New Testament contribute both to the increase in knowledge of God's word and to better understanding between Christians according to the mind of our Savior, who prayed "that they may be one, even as we are one" (Jn. 17.11).
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