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All about the Revised Standard Version of the Bible

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is a translation of the King James version produced in the United States which spread to other countries and is now in some form shared between several mainstream Christian denominations. The text has undergone some revisions, notably the inclusion of apocrypha, but there has been criticism of some of the translation.

The history of the translation

The RSV This translation derived ultimately from Tyndale's Bible of 1525 and its descendant, the King James Version through an intermediate stage known as the Authorised version. In 1928, the International Council for Religious Education acquired the copyright of the Authorised Version and authorised a new translation to be published by Nelson. This new Bible translation, the Revised Standard Version, began as an American Protestant text. However, it has become accepted by most mainstream Christian denominations. It underwent several stages of development with the New Testament being published in 1946, followed by the Old Testament in 1953 and the Apocryha [books not accepted as authoritative by all denominations] in 1957. The Apocrypha was expanded in 1977 to include Orthodox Apocrypha so that the RSV could be used by members of the orthodox church. Roman Catholic editions were also published. In 1989, the text was updated and became the New Revised Standard Version [NRSV]. Sources of translation The New Testament was translated from the Nestle-Aland Greek text which is considered authoritative by most scholars. The Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew masoretic text, [Judaism's official text] but was at certain points checked against the newly discovered Dead Sea scrolls.

Issues

There have been objections. One was the translation of Isaiah 7:14: "The virgin will conceive." The RSV replaced the word virgin with young woman, a more accurate translation from the Hebrew. However, some ministers accused translators of being unfaithful to the King James translation, thereby leading one minister to burn the new translation with a blow torch in his pulpit. Some Baptist groups do not use the RSV because of this issue. The RSV restored the long ending of Mark's Gospel. There are two endings to a gospel which were probably incomplete [for a scholarly discussion of this problem, see Jesus of Nazareth by Maurice Casey] and arguments have occurred for many years as to which was the better ending. Less contentiously, the RSV modernised the Bible language by replacing 'thee' and 'thou' with 'you'. There were few objections to this. However, some monetary terms that were hard for readers to comprehend such as denarius, was replaced by more modern terminology. This was not universally accepted as some scholars thought that it was moving from the original text

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