As we prepare with joyful expectation to celebrate Christmas, here is the latest installment in the comparison series between the ESV-CE and the NRSV for one of the readings at Sunday’s Mass. Today, I’ve chosen the gospel from Luke’s Annunciation narrative.

Last week, I also began checking the ESV-CE against the ESV text available on Bible Gateway to see if there are any differences between the two. Last week’s selection was identical between the ESV-CE and the ESV. This week, the Catholic Edition adds a single word compared to the ESV. I’ve highlighted it in bold.

Sunday, December 20th, 2020 — Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38

ESV-CE:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O highly favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

NRSV:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

3 thoughts on “ESV-CE vs. NRSV: 4th Sunday of Advent”

  1. If you’re interested in the creative expression of “Bible journaling” and illustration, I recommend using a sketchbook or buying a separate Bible specifically for this purpose. (That might be hard to find in a Catholic Bible. Look for one made with extra wide margins and heavier paper to handle colored pens and even paint and glue.) While this kind of illustration can be an aid to meditation, heavy marking can draw attention away from the Word itself on subsequent readings — which is why I recommend a separate Bible for it. Other Bibles, which also are good for personal reading, are closer to the original text and thus better for study: The

  2. Another passage where they are practically identical, only a handful of small differences that difficult to notice unless you compare word for word. It turns out that the ESV and the NRSV are much more alike than I realized, neither of these seem to have made many major departures from the RSV. it is becoming harder and harder to justify the existence of these two translations given that they seem to b rff 90%or more the same.

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