RSV Confusion HELP

Ive read some threads where people have bashed online versions of the RSVCE and said that they are not accurate catholic versions, for example EWTN’s searchable version, and they cited dates of publication as proof.

So, I’d like to know, whether my versions are ‘alright’, as it were:

Scepter RSV Leatherbound (Its on their site)
Oxford Leather RSV Readers Ed. With Tabs (Can be seen on amazon)

I’m not sure what date theyre from, the smallprint at the start has the dates of the original publications of the original RSV. I’m confused! I think they have the same Imprimaturs, are they the same editions but in different covers and from different publishers?

Also, is the RSV-CE2 from Ignatius a ‘good version’? Ive noticed it has no imprimatur just a mention of it being ‘approved’.

I might be able to help you here. Although someone may post something more scholarly…

The RSV-CE 2 is a revision of the first edition, which takes out some of the “archaic” language such as thee and thou but also updates some of the text to bring it in line with Liturgicam Authenticam so it may be used in the Liturgy. I believe that means it adheres to the Nova Vulgata. It has been approved by the USCCB.

As for the Imprimatur I have no idea whether that is even necessary. The Council of Trent required that all translations into the vernacular were approved by proper authority and that it would be clearly printed in the front of the book. I believe the note at the beginning of the Bible meets the basic requirement. You can find the exact wording of the Canons of the Council of Trent regarding the Vulgate on Catholic Answers or New

Something to remember also, that no translation is going to be perfect. The general rule of thumb I follow is 2 fold. First, approval of the proper authority is important to have. Second, I use more than one translation when I’m unsure about a particular passage. Typically I switch between the Douay, RSVCE, and NAB.

Regarding the Scepter one you have, I would have no doubt regarding the things they publish. The Oxford one I am ignorant about. The Oxford Publishers NAB Catholic Study Bible I have is abysmal however. I got it for $10 at a wholesalers but I wouldn’t recommend it to any serious Catholic.

thanks for your help :slight_smile: its a little clearer now! I’m english so dont need to worry about the NAB.

Oh ok. Well in that case you can be proud of your English Catholic scripture heritage! The RSV is a British translation along with the Douay and Ronald Knox translations.

The Knox translation, from the Vulgate is a fine version if you can find it. He did consult the Greek/Hebrew text as well and the language is very bright.

I have the New Testament of the Knox, sitting next to my Douay Rheims Bible. I’m looking forward to Baronius’ Forthcoming reprint of the whole Knox bible!:slight_smile:


The Scepter, Oxford and Ignatius are all good choices. If you like a nice leatherbound first-edition RSV-CE with better typesetting, get the Oxford Readers’ Edition.

The Second Catholic Edition contains some modifications that removes most archaic language and changes some obscure texts to match the Nova Vulgata and revised according to Liturgiam Authenticam and is the only published Bible that matches an approved Lectionary without modification. But like the Oxford, it also has new typesetting and a nice not-too-thick/not-too-thin cream-colored paper.

As for the imprimatur, current Canon Law requires that Catholic Bibles be published with the approval of the Episcopal Conference. In other words, since 1983, a single-bishop imprimatur is not sufficient. The new Ignatius complies with this requirement.

I was not aware that the RSV-2CE was approved by the USCCB. For what - use in the Liturgy? I’m afraid not. The USCCB holds the copyright to the RNAB and that’s all you need to know.

i believe the episcopal conference in the Antilles did approve RSV-2CE for Lectionary use, but I’m aware of no other.

I’ve been posting here long enough to know that.

The RSV-2CE was approved for publication by the USCCB, in accordance with CIC Can. 825.1. This is now the requirement for Bibles, not just a mere Imprimatur. That’s not the same as approval for liturgical use.

i believe the episcopal conference in the Antilles did approve RSV-2CE for Lectionary use, but I’m aware of no other.

It’s the only one so far.

Wow. Did you misconstrue the fact that Manfred was responding to a comment from mattwcu and not you?

My understanding was that the RSV was approved for use in the Liturgy but then its approval was either removed or never followed through. The RSV-CE2 was revised to be in accord with Liturgicam Authenticam, as it says on the inside of the first page.

I believe you can even purchase an RSV Lectionary for use at Mass…not that it can be used in the US though.

Just an aside, I think it is kind of sad that our current Ordinary Form lectionary is held hostage because of a copyright. Is that really the reason? Or is it that way for consistency, or to promote some sort of liturgical ideology?

This is essentially correct. Liturgiam Authenticam requires that a single translation be used within a single region (see sections 87-91). Before the rule was imposed, the RSV-CE could be used in the liturgy. *LA *also states:

With due regard for the requirements of sound exegesis, all care is to be taken to ensure that the words of the biblical passages commonly used in catechesis and in popular devotional prayers be maintained. On the other hand, great caution is to be taken to avoid a wording or style that the Catholic faithful would confuse with the manner of speech of non-Catholic ecclesial communities or of other religions, so that such a factor will not cause them confusion or discomfort.

However, I do not know if this is a factor or not in the non-use of the RSV-CE by the American Bishops. In Canada, they use the NRSV, and the Liturgy of the Hours for the UK uses the RSV, and both the RSV and NRSV are used in the English Catechesis of the Catholic Church.

Oops. Sorry Manfred.

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