Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Review: New Testament and Psalms Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition

The New Testament and the Psalms
Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition
2006, Ignatius Press, 727 pages
Leather bound pocket edition (4 3/8" x 6 3/4" x 3/4")

This is essentially The Ignatius Bible (Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition) which presents a helpful and reasonable middle ground between the older translations which feature "archaic" language (which is less accessible to many readers) and more modern translations which usually feature "inclusive" language (which distorts both the meaning and the beauty of the language).

Two ribbon markers and a beautifully embossed leather cover enhance this new pocket-edition. Perfect for high school or college students and busy homeschool moms! My teenage daughter and I each got a copy for Easter. We refer to the Bible quite frequently in our weekly Catechism /Apologetics discussions (and for our prep work beforehand), most of which focuses on the New Testament. This is perfectly portable and easy to juggle with a few other books during class.

Here's a little translation sampling from Psalm 16. There are quite substantial differences in the translations, as you can see. Unfortunately, I'm not a Biblical scholar and really couldn't explain their significances to you. I do like to have several translations on hand in order to compare notes.

Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition:

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you."

As for the saints in the land, they are the noble,
in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
their libations of blood I will not pour out
or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
yes, I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

New American Bible:

Keep me safe, O God; in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, you are my Lord,
you are my only good.

Worthless are all the false gods of the land.
Accursed are all who delight in them.

They multiply their sorrows who court other gods.
Blood libations to them I will not pour out,
nor will I take their names upon my lips.

Lord, my allotted portion and my cup,
you have made my destiny secure.
Pleasant places were measured out for me;
fair to me indeed is my inheritance.

I bless the Lord who counsels me;
even at night my heart exhorts me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
with the Lord at my right, I shall never be shaken.

Douay Rheims Version (Psalm 15):

Preserve me, O Lord, for I have put my trust in thee.

I have said to the Lord, thou art my God, for thou hast no need of my goods.

To the saints, who are in his land, he hath made wonderful all my desires in them.

Their infirmities were multiplied: afterwards they made haste.

I will not gather together their meetings for blood offerings: nor will I be mindful of their names by my lips.

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me.

The lines are fallen unto me in goodly places: for my inheritance is goodly to me.
I will bless the Lord, who hath given me understanding: moreover my reins also have corrected me even till night.

I set the Lord always in my sight: for he is at my right hand, but I be not moved.
The Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition is also in conformity with the Catholic Church's official translation guidelines, found here.

Reviewed by Alicia Van Hecke (4-10-07)
Available from Ignatius Press.


Margaret Mary Myers said...

Do you know if the "Ignatius Bible", which Ignatius Press also sells, is similar and also in accord with the Church? I'm just wondering because I notice they have it on tape, while the one you quoted from is not. Thanks!
Margaret Mary

Love2Learn Mom said...

I don't really know. As far as I can see from the website, Ignatius Press only makes that claim for their second edition. I think you're right that the audio (which we also have and enjoy - my 11 year old son in particular needs to have a lot of his educational materials in audio format) is not the second edition. It sounds like the changes made for the second edition were relatively minor, but made for the purpose of bringing it into line with the Church document. So I'm inclined to conclude that the older edition of the Ignatius Bible is good, but not as good as this newer second edition.