In Late July, the Vatican’s Dicastery for Divine Worship (DDW) confirmed the new lectionary based on the English Standard Version – Catholic Edition and the Abbey Psalms and Canticles for England, Wales, and Scotland. Here is a link to the press release announcing the news.

The Catholic Truth Society (CTS) will be publishing the new lectionaries, and they will be used at liturgies beginning in Advent of 2024 (more than a year from now).

49 thoughts on “Dicastery for Divine Worship Confirms ESV-CE Lectionary for England, Wales, and Scotland”

  1. The Abbey Psalms and Canticles from the USCCB? I presume they’ll change the spelling some. Meanwhile, the standalone edition of the psalms is out of print again. I think Ascension Press sold off the old USCCB Publishing stock, and I don’t know if they’ll print it again. It seems strange that it’s so hard to get a copy. I got one from Ascension Press, before they ran out.

    1. They’re already gone again? Looks like I was right to get in quickly. Still bugs me that they’re glued, but eh, it really only needs to last until the updated LOTH comes out.

  2. I’m surprised the NRSV didn’t get accepted since it had Catholic involvement in it’s translation process while the ESV is altogether exclusively Protestant. It would be more of a “common” Bible if the lectionaries in Britain adopted a similar lectionary to North America, like some kind of amalgam of NRSV-CE with Revised Grail Psalms/or an Anglicized NAB-RE.

    So many different English versions might dilute the special appeal that a dominant (Vulgate-like) translation could have on it’s audiences while at the same time America and the Philippines, Britain and India, are like their own Catholic blocs with their own unique vernacular Catholic Bible translations/and liturgical needs. So the diversity may be a strength.

    1. The NRSV has been rejected by the Holy See for use in Mass due to its use of vertical inclusive language. The sole exception is Canada, and they had to rip the text apart to make it acceptable.

      Theologically, the ESV is far more favorable to Catholicism than the NRSV, especially in the Old Testament, which restores the Messianic passages to the traditional Christian reading rather than employing the Jewish readings as in the NRSV.

  3. With the DDW confirming the ESV-based Lectionary, I wonder how this will affect the promulgation of a revised Liturgy of the Hours in England, Wales, and Scotland. Here in the States we are looking at 2026 before the new breviary is available, largely due to the fact that the USCCB has undertaken yet another revision of the New American Bible. Any chance the British version might be out sooner?

    1. I suspect that the USCCB is more interested in revenue than allowing the people hear/read a faithful translation during liturgy. Such a shame.

      1. I see this kind of sentiment pop up a lot in discussions of the USCCB and the NAB lectionary, and while I also have had, and continue to have, some concerns about the rendering of some passages, I really think it isn’t a fair assessment. If this were purely a money making endeavor why wouldn’t the USCCB just create some kind of warmed over ‘84 NIV or CSB, altered just enough to avoid copyright infringement issues, and with the appropriate alteration to certain passages for Catholic theological considerations, and call it a day? Such a bland and inoffensive translation would also likely be something that would interest other English speaking conferences as well, so there’d be an even wider market to make even more money. But they haven’t done that, love it or hate it (and again, I can certainly understand the frustration with the NAB on certain issues) the NAB has a very distinctive voice and I really believe the Bishops and the NAB translators are making a good faith effort here.

  4. @ Dillon: “The Church by her authority and with maternal concern sees to it that suitable and correct translations should be made into various languages… And should the opportunity arise and the Church authorities approve, if these translations are produced in conjuction with the Separated Bretheren, they can then be used by all Christians.” –Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, VI, 22.

    “The ESV is directly based on the Revised Standard Version and it is suggested that c. 6% of the text has been revised. Changes were made to modernise the language and reflect the latest scholarship. The publisher Crossway emphasizes ‘word-for-word’ accuracy, literary excellency, and depth of meaning. Work on the Catholic Edition was done by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India in collaboration with Crossway.”–Lectionary FAQs, New Lectionary for England and Wales, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales, January 21, 2021.

    The Vatican approved the ESV-CE lectionary on December 9, 2019.

    With so little being revised, the ESV was never “exclusively” Protestant, and besides Mother Church is pleased to have translations in common with other Christians who use these translations.

  5. The copyright holder for the NRSV was not willing authorize the changes necessary to adapt it to the lectionary. This was discussed on the old blog, years ago. But consider this, most of the changes needed to the NRSV: correcting the “plural” language, Christological references, and general precision of translation… the ESV-CE is very similar to what a liturgical edition of the NRSV would look like. The main difference is the ESV Old Testament leans heavier on the Masoretic Hebrew, these instances are referenced in the notes.

    1. Yeah, a new “lectionary” NRSV-CE would require such extensive changes that it wouldn’t even be the NRSV-CE anymore. I’m not sure how extensive the differences between the NRSV-CE and the Canadian lectionary NRSV-CE are, but there’s probably a reason it took 20 years to hash out.

  6. @ Johnny: The NRSV and ESV do not differ in the amont that they rely on the Masoretic Text. Being that they are updates of the same source material, namely the RSV, and that the ESV only revises the RSV by 6%, that is not true. The NRSV not only updates based on the Masoetic Text but adds material based on the Dead Sea scrolls which the ESV does not.

    The reason that the NRSV is not being considered is that with the introduction of the NRSVue, the NRSV has been discontinued in all its formats, including the NRSV-CE. (Compare for instance 1 Samuel 10:27-11:1 between the two versions.)

    When Joseph Crockett (who was then the CEO of Friendship Press) was interviewed about the NRSVue for The Christian Century, he stated: “The RSV will remain in print, but the NRSV will go out of print. Based upon the particular product line–be it a commentary or a pew Bible or something else–there is a timeline for when its NRSV edition will go out of print.” –The Christian Century, “An Even Better Bible,” December 19, 2022.

    You might wonder why your Word on Fire Bible is still available, right? It takes 3 years to produce each volume. And the idea came to WoF before SBL and Friendship Press finalized the plan for the update. So it was too late to stop it. It can anywhere from 3 to 20 years for a print work project to be completed.

    @Steve: Speaking of which, there is nothing of which to indicate that the NABRE New Testament revision is off schedule. I wish I saved the information, but from what I remembered last year I heard the academic/translation part was complete, leaving a two year window for the Bishops to do their work.

    Frankly, I don’t know why it matters. Can we not serve the Lord with what we have? Are our Bibles so tattered we cannot love our neighbors well enough? Or do we need to spend more money so we might find more reasons to use the Internet to complain, bicker, and cause further division among ourselves? If using what we have right now isn’t making us better people, what we get tomorrow surely isn’t going to save us.

    1. So, does this mean the WOF Bible, in all its eventual 7 volumes, will be the final licensed Bible product to use the old NRSV-CE text throughout? Despite the fact that WOF was listed on the original NRSVue press release as a publisher, I have a hard time imagining they’ll change Bible texts midway through the WOF Bible project. What’s more likely is that, since WOF’s other books use the NRSV-CE text as the default Bible translation, they’ll eventually start using the NRSVue instead. That said, I don’t know if the NRSVue is even approved yet, or whether they need to wait for an NRSVue-CE to be approved and printed before they can use it.

    2. The NRSV is not being considered because it has been explicitly rejected due to the de-Christianization of the Old Testament. It is worthy of note that the editor of the NRSV OT, Jewish scholar Harry Orlinsky, was the editor of the 1985 New Jewish Publication Society translation of the Old Testament and many of its readings were carried over from the NJPT into the NRSV virtually unaltered. Now I have read the NJPST and while it is on the whole a good translation, it is NOT a Christian translation, but was written specifically for the purpose of promoting rabbinic Judaism at the expense of Christianity.

    3. Joseph Carmichael, you have a great point. The RSV did have Catholic involvement, I just think the ESV is altogether a bad omen since those who use it and read Crossway’s books voiced their opposition to Crossway creating the ESV(CE) and so Crossway reassured them that they (I paraphrase) will keep producing books in line with the historic Reformation (so not at all trying to make a bridge with Catholics or in any way be ecumenical at all).
      If you really like the KJV-RSV tradition of English Bibles then why don’t Catholics have an RSV3CE? Since we already have superb scholarship behind the NABRE and NRSV there is not a reason to, as regards to the ESV(CE) it still doesn’t look too good since Crossway owns the translation and England/Wales/Scotland had an opportunity to adopt the RNJB, the RNJB being far more of an improvement for liturgical expectations than both the NRSV and NABRE since it now uses words like “virgin”, phrases like “Rejoice, full of grace” and more. If you want an up-to-date, literary translation then I don’t see why not to use it. When the NABRE (2025) comes out I’m sure it should bring about more unity in spite of these people who don’t know what TEXTUAL NOTES are. Instead of backpedaling there are much more advanced Catholic translations that will offer more unity than appeal to any particular (fundamentalist) group.

      1. You keep talking about an alleged problem caused by the fact that the ESV is owned by an evangelical publisher, yet you have no problem promoting the RSV and NRSV, which is owned by the National Council of Churches, which is a group of liberal Protestant churches which are barely even Christian anymore.

        Why is evangelicalism supposed to be more of a threat than progressive Protestantism, many of whose clergy deny basic tenets of Christianity such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ or the historical truth of the Resurrection.

        Who is more of a friend to Catholics, Billy Graham or John Spong?

  7. The consideration of a ESV Lectionary goes way back to 2011, long before the ESV-CE or the NRSVue. Most Reverend Mark Coleridge, the Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn and Chairman of the International Commission for the Preparation of an English Language Lectionary (ICPELL) discussed why the ESV was chosen over the NRSV. It wasn’t the only reason, but the copyright holders unwillingness to allow the necessary changes took the NRSV out of consideration as a liturgical text.

    The ESV’s preference for returning to Masoretic readings is well known, it is mentioned in the preface of the Bible:
    “The currently renewed respect among Old Testament scholars for the Masoretic text is reflected in the ESV’s attempt, wherever possible, to translate difficult Hebrew passages as they stand in the Masoretic text rather than resorting to emendations or to finding an alternative reading in the ancient versions. In exceptional, difficult cases, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Syriac Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate, and other sources were consulted to shed possible light on the text, or, if necessary, to support a divergence from the Masoretic text.”

    A lot has happened since 2011, and I did get a ESV-CE when it came out. I still preferred the language, style, and in some cases the translation choices of the RSV-2CE. These things are interesting to discuss but regardless of the lectionary people will continue to read the translations that they enjoy the most. I have excellent “pocket” sized RSV and DRC Bibles that I often bring to Mass with me to meditate on the Psalm and readings, and it is interesting to compare the differences from the lectionary. They are often minor!

  8. I just don’t have it in me to get worked up about the comparative virtue of approved translations anymore. All of these have their merits. It’s good that they all exist. For Catholics, cradle and convert alike, it’s important to have this variety of approved translations to find the one that you can personally live and pray in for the long term.

    Having been raised Methodist, grown into an Episcopalian, and confirmed Catholic, I prayed in different flavors of the Wesleyan/Anglican traditions. Morning and Evening Prayer came to me through the Book of Common Prayer before I came to the Liturgy of the Hours. Scripture spoke to me through the RSV/NRSV first.

    So as a Catholic, who still hears and reads through Methodist/Anglican eyes and ears, I’m glad to have familiar options for my private prayer and study. Whatever text the bishops choose in a given place to unite us in mass is fine. When I pray with Scripture or the Daily Office, I’m glad to pick the texts that unite me to my past.

    For scripture, that’s the Catholic edition of the NRSV. That’s what I read in seminary, and it’s also the one approved Catholic translation that’s also approved BOTH for use in Episcopal worship AND in United Methodist publishing. Reading this, I can feel a faith continuity running through and uniting my Methodist, Episcopal, and Catholic experiences. I recently bought the illustrated Catholic NRSV from Thomas Nelson’s Catholic Bible Press and it’s a real treat to hold and look at while reading.

    As for a Psalter, I guess mine’s the Coverdale Psalms from the 1928 Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. That’s the translation used in the Divine Worship Daily Office, the ordinariate alternative to the Liturgy of the Hours. As a layperson, I’m free to pray the hours devotionally from whatever approved text appeals to me most. Even though I’m not part of the ordinariate, having what’s essentially a Catholic version of the BCP really resonates with the Episcopal part of myself that formed me for Catholicism.

    The point is, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Different texts for different temperaments and different settings.

  9. It was Bruce M. Metzger and not Harry Orlinksky who was the senior editor of the NRSV. Harry Orlinksky (who was the editor-in-chief of the NJPS–no “T”) “was invited to join the Old Testament section only at a rather late stage,” according to “The Story of the New Revised Standard Version” by Robert C. Dentan from the Princeton Seminary Bulletin, 11/3, 1990.

    The translators were revising the RSV by updating the language according to Christian critical language methodologies and comparisons with discoveries made from the Dead Sea Scrolls. But they basically ignored Orlinsky, nor did they lift anything from the NJPS translation.

    In fact, Orlinksky was only invited after the NRSV Old Testament translation was completed (which is what the expression “only at a rather later stage” means from the above). Thinking he was going to be used as a translator, he was somewhat suprised that he was only asked to read over the text after it had been completed, as the story goes, so that “the presence of an eminent Jewish scholar on the Old Testament committee, participating as a full contributing member, was intended as both an expression of good-will and an assurance that the NRSV translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Christian Old Testament) would contain nothing offensive to our Jewish neighbors.”

    In other words, he was there to check over the work to make sure nothing in the finished work was “wrong” or “antisemitic” in his eyes.

    The NRSV would forever “hype” the fact that a Jew “helped” produce the translation, when in fact, Orlinksky only did little more than give a nod. It would not be until the NRSVue that actual Jewish scholars would literally help in the revision work.

    On another note, I should also point out that there was much to-do from a group of Protestants on a site called the “Puritan Board” who do nothing but write anti-Catholic sentiment all day. When Crossway published the ESV-CE they started sounding very distrusting as well, saying how they were betrayed by them for creating a “Papist Bible” via the ESV-CE, ‘doing it just for the $$$’ and claiming how Crossway had made a ‘partnership with the devil!’ There were actually several long threads on the site about it, that is how upset people were.

    Eventually moderators made lists of every single change made–every single word–between the regular ESV and the ESV-CE. The moderators supplied this list to everyone and closed all discussions on the subjects criticizing both Crossway and the ESV-CE. They had to do this because things got out of hand, and they needed to show that was nothing wrong that had occured on the part of Crossway nor was they anything wrong with the ESV-CE:

    I cannot say that I am not disappointed to read similar things here and the very innacurate comments that often come across this site. I have been reading this blog for sometime, quitely, in the shadows, but saying nothing. I appreciate greatly what Marc has done. I don’t know his background in Bible research or Catholicism, but the facts show that he is working diligently to put a great site together for the public’s edification. But you have heard enough from me. I retreat back to the shadows. There should be joy and happiness that we have so much at our hands to rejoice in God’s Word.

    1. Joseph Carmichael, I agree with you.
      How do you see a potential alternative to the ESV-CE since it’s quickly shown to fall out of favor among Catholics and Augustine Institute is now pushed to produce yet another translation? I’m not even a fan of the NRSV, but if Bishop Barron recommends it in his Word on Fire Bible series then it can’t be that bad whereas the issue I see with Crossway is specifically that they are not ecumenical and they make a lot of profits railing against Catholicism, heck a lot of Protestants I used to converse with at the local coffee shop would hold onto their ESVs while holding their anti-Catholic positions, lastly I just watched a video where the ESV uses some awkward word choices to seemingly undermine any potential Catholic theological point such as “overseer” instead of “bishop” but this is a minor point to be made. Subjectively the ESV seems like an overrated new-NKJV, while the NRSV is the (true) heir to the RSV as a common Bible for Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholics despite liberal bias, the ESV simply is not…
      Change my mind.

      It would seem a little better if Catholics collaborated with the CSV and involved some Orthodox as well and come to an agreement with the Southern Baptist Convention to produce a modified CSV-CE of some sort, since the SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the US. Or since the USCCB already owned the NABRE, just include more evangelical biblical scholars to its committee and make the translation more ecumenical.

    2. I said Orlinsky was the editor of the Old Testament, and he was, I didn’t say he was the editor of the entire NRSV. Orlinsky was an expert in Hebrew and had little or no knowledge of Greek, plus as an orthodox Jew, he didn’t care one way or the other about the New Testament, why would he edit the entire Bible?

      Orlinsky is also the only translator who worked on the RSV and the NRSV. It would probably be wrong to attribute the de-Christianization of the New Testament entirely to Orlinsky, that was a mandate from the NCC when they commissioned the NRSV in 1974. I mentioned Orlinksy mainly to highlight the similarity between the 1989 NRSV Old Testament and the 1985 New Jewish Publication Society translation of the TANAKH. If you compare both, you will notice the similarity as well, most of the most controversial Old Testament translations of the OT first appeared in the NJPS translation. This cannot be a coincidence.

      1. I will give you the benefit of the doubt. There are so many different terms out there, that they are hard to keep track of. You may have just meant one thing and typed another, perhaps meaning the same thing I was talking about.

        For those not sure or if the wrong words were indeed being used, Orlinsky was not an editor on the RSV or the NRSV. He was a scholar.

        An editor is someone who prepares a written work for publication, in cooperation with proofreaders, to finalize a manuscript for typesetting, final production, and printing.

        An editor-in-chief or “senior editor” is a publication’s production leader who has the final responsibility for its operations and, in the production of a Bible translation, leads the translation commitee.

        Orlinsky did neither of these jobs either of these times when he was invited to work on either the RSV or the NRSV. The job of an editor is a technical job and not that of an academic or scholar, and, once again, Metzger was the senior editor. (In fact, right before you typeset, a page gets edited, and then printed, so a simple editor is pretty down low of the “food chain,” so to speak–not to be confused with an “editor-in-chief.”)

        Orlinsky was sought after because of his connection with Max Margolis. “The ‘old’ JPS Bible translation, published in 1917, was directed by a scholar named Max Margolis, who was (briefly) Orlinsky’s teacher. Margolis thought an American Jewish translation of the Bible ought to be modeled on the King James Version, whose Shakespearean diction would teach English to the immigrants who made up such a large proportion of American Jewry in those days.”–The Bible Guy, Incorporating Bible Talk, “Harry Orlinsky,” 1/1/2013

        Orlinsky would eventually grow to take over the reigns of the Jewish Publication Society itself, growing into a very intellectual scholar of his own right. But when he called for a revision of the then current JPS it would not follow Christian philological principals of translation, but Hebrew forms of thought based on Rashi (Shlomo Yitzchaki). Rashi was a great rabbi from medieval times, and his work influences the way Jews understand Biblical Hebrew when they read, chant and pray it.

        But the NRSV doesn’t do this for translating words from the original languages. They use a critical methodology–and this is why the RSV, the NRSV, and the NRSVue is hated so much by conservatives–for its heavy reliance on critical approaches. One cannot claim that the NRSV lifts anything from the NJPS because the two differ so greatly in philology–one, the NJPS bases its way of translation on tradition (that on Rashi’s principals as found in the Talmud) and the other, the NRSV, on critical principals of translating. Oil and water do not mix.

        And the NJPS was made for almost the opposite reason the JPS was created. As the former JPS was to help teach Jewish immigrants English, the NJPS was to help current Jews learn Hebrew. How? Because the current NJPS is most often published with the Masoretic Hebrew text beside it. The two most common editions being a Hebrew-English NJPS Tanakh which most Jews own and “Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary” published by the Conservative Movement. By reintroducing the text this way, American Jews are learning to preserve Jewish traditions in an ever increasing secular world. Now one can read English on one page and the Hebrew on the other.

  10. Dillon,

    I think you’re going overboard with the ESV hate under this post and under a lot of the other posts and really need to chill out. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t even use the ESV-CE and has no immediate plans to use it. Please, if you have the time, watch these two videos comparing the RSV and ESV and comparing the NRSV and ESV. They may give you greater perspective.

  11. Dillon,

    The ESV-CE has not fallen out of favor with Roman Catholics. On the contrary, since its original release by India’s Conference of Bishops, it has only increased.

    When “Liturgiam authenticam” was originally published, it stated the following: “In order that the faithful may be able to commit to memory at least the more important texts of the Sacred Scriptures and be formed by them even in their private prayer, it is of the greatest importance that the translation of the Sacred Scriptures intended for liturgical use be characterized by a certain uniformity and stability, such that in every territory there should exist only one approved translation, which will be employed in all parts of the various liturgical books…The Conferences of Bishops are strongly encouraged to provide for the commissioning and publication in their territories of an integral translation of the Sacred Scriptures intended for the private study and reading of the faithful, which corresponds in every part to the text that is used in the Sacred Liturgy.”–LA, II, 36.

    The adoption of the ESV-CE fit, as noted before, the principles set out both in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (VI, 22) which deeply encourages the use of a Bible in common with our “Separated Bretheren” and those of LA. The reasons for its employment was the universal translation of the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal.

    The ESV-CE has not ‘quickly fallen out of favor among Catholics’ since it was designed to be used only for India but later spread to become the official liturgical choice for the Catholic Church in England and Wales. But even before that, the Bishops Conference of Scotland also adopted the ESV-CE as far back as July 2020 (yes, Scotland is not England, in case you are wondering).

    Just so you know, every ESV-CE lectionary text changes, as LA requires and thus “Greetings, O highly favored one” (as it appears at Luke 1:28) becomes “Hail, full of grace” in the ESV-CE lectionary text, and “overseers” in 1 Timothy chapter 3 becomes “bishops” every time it appears. (See )

    The ESV-CE is published by SPCK Publishing in the UK and soon to be published as a liturgical Bible with the Abbey Psalms by CTS, so ‘losing favor with Catholics’ is definitely out of the question for now.

    As for here in the United States, it was never going to be an issue. Recall the instructions of LA?

    “In order that the faithful may be able to commit to memory at least the more important texts of the Sacred Scriptures and be formed by them even in their private prayer…uniformity and stability…in every territory there should exist only one approved translation…employed in all parts of the various liturgical books…which corresponds in every part to the text that is used in the Sacred Liturgy.”

    To make that very clear:

    “Only one approved translation…which corresponds…to the text that is used in the Sacred Liturgy.”

    This means that the ESV-CE wasn’t directly made for us, any more than the Jerusalem or the New Jerusalem Bible was purposefully produced for the American-speaking audience.

    While we’re not in a popularity contest, and for certain we can have various Catholic translation to read and study for our use. There are some people who advertise their personal selections as if they were a type of “liturgical alternative” recommended from above. And there are others who warn of the dangers of using the “other” versions too.

    As long as a Bible is approved by a proper Catholic authority, it is a Catholic Bible. It does not have to be the official Catholic Bible of your territory. Your favorite can be the Jerusalem Bible for the UK or you can prefer the RSV-CE 2nd edition over the NABRE. But you might like to stick with what the USCCB provides. Or you might like the ESV-CE. It doesn’t matter. They are all Catholic Bibles. All of them are valid, holy, and the Word of God.

    “Take and read!” That is the only instruction you need and should be offering to others when it comes to the Holy Scriptures. A litugical choice is something a bishops’ conference has to worry about. You, Dillon, are not a bishops’ conference. So that choice has been made for you. You can rest assured that any and all the Bibles they have authorized for your use are good selections.

    But it would not be advised to be turning others away from any approved Bible. You are not authorized to do such a thing. You are not the Church. That is not your vocation.

    1. Joseph Carmichael,
      that’s a very enlightening comment thank you for your input. If I’m not mistaken the ESV-CE does indeed still use “O highly favored one” or something along those lines and not the “gratia plena”.
      I appreciate your distinctions between the differences between liturgical requirement in translations and translations for laity, as I find it so annoying that in the US we are effectively unable to bridge private study to liturgy.
      Although I don’t speak for the Church, I do think I have an educated opinion on the topic, no doubt they are approved editions but they aren’t perfect so it’s fun to learn and analyze each of them.
      When it comes to the American (Catholic) Church there seems to be so many different translations being used that it’s hard to strike common ground among even Catholics, so my main argument is in trying to find a translation that can create the most encounter with our fellow Catholics.

      I can’t help but ask, why not the UK use the NRSV-CE the same way Canada does, and if ICS Publications uses it in their books then it certainly seems more “accessible” whereas the dilemma with the ESV-CE is that it’s controlled by a sectarian publisher who’s Protestant interests will prevail as long as we ask to use their translation. So I don’t think it is strategically wise to use it for study or liturgy since they will be the agent in which the Church will have to go through for their liturgical translation, which goes against Liturgiam authenticam:
      “In purchasing these copyrights, the bishops are following the guidelines of the Holy See’s Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, which requires that a Conference of Bishops possess all the rights necessary to promote and safeguard the accurate and appropriate use of the texts of the Sacred Liturgy.”

    1. The principles of Bible translation are far too complex to explain on this thread. Here is a great article entitled, “Principles of Bible Translation” by Charles L. Winkler. They do not conver the way Orlinsky might have done things (as I don’t know too much about Talmud, after all I am a Catholic). But you will learn see the dyamics involved for Christian translators.

  12. Dillion asks: “I can’t help but ask, why not the UK use the NRSV-CE the same way Canada does…”

    I gather from this question that you are not very old, because this question shows you don’t recall what happened when Canada adopted the NRSV-CE. It was virtually an act of disobedience. What they did spurned the creation of the document we now know as “Liturgiam authenticam.”

    It began in 1990s, with the USCCB and the release of the 1991 NAB inclusive-language Psalter in preparation of what they did the following year, which was present a document to the Vatican outlining a plan to implement an inclusive-language lectionary for the United States of America and all territories that the USCCB and the Canadian bishops served, explaining why such a plan was important. The new inclusive plan was not only going to replace the old Grail Psalter with the new 1991 inclusive-language one, but abandon the NAB and all other Bibles for the newly released NRSV-CE text.

    On July 27, 1992, the Congregation for Divine Worship would formally rescind approval of both NRSV and the 1991 NAB Psalter for liturgical use by letter to both bishops conferences.

    This, however, did not sit well with the Canadian bishops.

    Ignoring the Holy See, the Canadian bishops began to produce a new lectionary based upon the NRSV. The Vatican was very disappointed that the Canadian bishops had devised this but after a few years of ad hoc use they finally gave their full permission. But the Holy See made it very clear that the bishops had prematurely published these works and that they would also have to be revised in order to receive full approval.

    When the 1992 response from the Holy See came back, some bishops in the United States did not like it. Many scholars on the CBA felt it was overreaching as well. So there were attempts to compose inclusive texts of other works. After all, Canada got to use the NRSV and got away with it, right?

    In response, the CDW produced “Liturgiam authenticam.”

    And there is your answer why nobody else is using the NRSV-CE. It is not approved for use. And now it is out of print. It also started a big ruckus in the English-speaking liturgical world. Either you ignored this or you were not born yet to know what had happened. This is why none of the conferences are considering it.

    And as for that last quote you gave me, it doesn’t mean that a bishop’s conference must be a publishing house and print their own books. It means they must have the rights to use a text. Therefore, if they, Canada, choose a text they do not own, like the Canadian bishops, they must enter a legal licensing agreement in order to publish the text. They must also get the permission to make any alterations to the text according to LA required for the Liturgy, such as changing ‘highly favored” to “full of grace” at Luke 1:28.

    In the UK, Crossway has given the rights to publish and distribute the ESV to SPCK Publishing, for both Protestants and Catholics. According to the way laws work, Crossway does not operate as a publishing house in the UK for that property. The Catholic Church there has licensed the work and it uses a publishing house of its own to create materials called CTS. It will publish the Lectionary and a Liturgical Bible based on the ESV-CE that SPCK Publishing currently publishes.

  13. Reading all this back and forth, I feel the safest route for me is going to be to wait for the ESV-CE “Liturgical Bible” to come out and make that my ESV-CE. Until then, the RSV-2CE will continue to do the job.

  14. Where did you see that the nrsv-ce has been discontinued? I must’ve missed something. I’ve had a lot going on with wedding plans so that’s always possible. That’s kind of odd considering they still publish the rsv-ce.

  15. Never mind, I found the article you referenced lol. It’s interesting, “be it a commentary or a pew Bible or something else—there is a timeline for when its NRSV edition will go out of print.” I suppose that includes the Catholic Edition, but I would think that would be more explicit since that would impact the church in Canada. Maybe Canada will adopt the RNJB? Who knows? I wasn’t a big fan of either the NRSV-CE or ESV-CE, and so I don’t have a dog in this fight. I have my Knox, and didache NABRE ( AKA the brick).

  16. To Joseph,
    That’s very informative thank you. When it comes to accuracy and elegance the NRSV just seems superior, especially with regard to insights gained from the Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries. I wonder if the “defiance” of the Canadian Bishops Conference was in good faith and if the current hierarchy is wiser about the whole thing since gender-inclusiveness isn’t inherently bad but it definitely should be used appropriately and not for political sensitivities or ideology.

    To Kyle,
    I totally agree with you, it’s the most peculiar yet fascinating thing to me how there is so much disagreement with translations, I don’t consider it a fight but that the American Church is in a suspense about the issue. Elegance and accuracy seem like the most important attributes in a translation and I wonder how the NABRE will become in the end and fulfill those attributes, the RNJB does seem like a fitting alternative to the NRSV-CE in the case that it gets out of print, but since the Catechism employs the NRSV-CE along with the RSV-CE it seems like a trustworthy translation. Henry Wansbrough, OSB, who is the general-editor of both the NJB and RNJB endorses the NRSV-CE himself, so I trust his judgement. Since the RNJB uses a modified Revised Grail Psalms it seems like a more ecclesiastical alternative to the NRSV-CE.
    Though my biggest question is whether the NABRE uses more insight from the Dead Sea Scrolls than the NRSV-CE, since the OT is from 2010, and how that might stack up to the RNJB…

    1. I’m using “Dog in the fight” as an idiom, I don’t mean there is a literal fight. I’m not sure if the nrsv-ue is even approved for catholic use. If all versions of the nrsv will no longer be published and the nrsvue approval isn’t grandfathered in then the whole discussion is moot. I haven’t seen anything on a nrsvue for Catholics . Again I don’t use it or the esv-ce and I think we spend way too much time on minor differences.

      To me I’d rather the Bible be accurate and understandable than elegant, but that’s me.

      1. Kyle,
        Yeah I agree, it seems like if the NRSV-CE is going to be overshadowed (at least in the sense of the original NRSV) by it’s Updated Edition then it kind of makes the NRSV irrelevant as long is it’s literally out of print.
        Oh and what I meant by elegance is by being understandable and use of accessible English, in terms of literary quality that also is related to it being understandable since people will want to read something when it has literary qualities and appeal rather than being clunky and wooden.

  17. @Kyle W:

    “I’m not sure if the nrsv-ue is even approved for catholic use.”

    The NRSVue is not an actual revision of the NRSV in the traditional sense that the NRSV was a revision of the RSV (which is why the NRSV is being pulled from the shelves and being allowed to go out of print). It is an “update” (and thus the term “updated edition” in the title).

    If you read the introductory information from Friendship Press and all the details presented in the NRSVue edition’s introductory materials (which apparently nobody tends to read–or understands, which I don’t blame anyone for avoiding if they do because it can be very, very confusing), they basically just added new punctuation, capitalizations, and simply fixed the grammar. They added no new material, except for switching footnote readings for main ones (or vice versa, however you want to see it) whenever the scholars felt the evidence or grammar made it appropriate.

    This means there is no new material in the translation. It is still the NRSV, just “updated.” According from an article from the SMU School Perkins School of Theology blog, “an ecumenical and interfaith group of book reviewers initially vetted all of the changes that the coordinating staff had approved and made recommendations for slight changes to improve the readability of the product in worship and liturgical settings. Thus, as a member of the Bible, Translation, and Utilization Committee…the final form of the project…would embrace the reviewers’ comments without losing the imprimatur of the coordinating staff from [the Society of Biblical Literature].”–

    In other words, that’s why the Word on Fire logo appeared as one of the up-and-coming publishers of the NRSVue when Friendship Press announced the new Bible. So, unless someone steps in from now until then, you are not dealing with a new Bible translation or even a revision that should possibly (but I stress “possibly”) cause the NRSVue to be rejected for future Catholic use.

    However, due to LA, the USCCB is likely not going to be giving its seal of approval to the NRSVue, transfering what it gave to the NRSV to any printings of the NRSVue. The directives of LA now restrict things to one approved Bible per conference, so we are likely going to see Canada give the green light this time around as the NRSV is their text.

    But I do not know if there will be a change to their liturgy. This is an updated edition. And again, there might still be some possible problems. Due to the history I mentioned, the Canadian bishops might not even move forward and dare give it a nod. Rocking the boat after what happened might be the safest thing to do. And if that happens, will WoF produce a NRSVue edition? Will you buy it? Will it be just the same thing with the replaced text which is just the “updated” alterations?

    It’s a great and accurate text either way, and very dependable and readable. I am only talking about its approval status in the Church and its liturgical use. (None of my above comments should be taken to reflect my personal opinions on or preference for any Bible translation.)

    1. From my understanding the NRSV Updated Edition did revise a passage where instead of saying homosexual it changed it to illicit sex or something like that. I feel like in order for it to be acceptable for Catholics to use, it would need to be directly approved since it does modify the pre-existing NRSV text. It might be the end of the road for Catholics using the NRSV now if it can’t be granted an imprimatur.
      With regard to the “standard” versions, it seems like Catholics have really clung to the RSV-CE to the point that there’s barely any Catholic NRSV study material outside of WOF series. As for which could be the best in terms of being up-to-date, the NABRE OT should be superior to the NRSV OT from what I read in an article by Aleteia. The RNJB would be the equivalent in Ireland (British Isles), Australia, and New Zealand.

  18. Dillion,
    The word “homosexual” never occurs in the NRSV.

    The NRSV Updated Edition corrected the use of the word “sodomite” that appears in their translation in a few places, such as at 1 Corinthians 6:9.

    The word “sodomites” is incorrect because the Greek word is not derived from Σοδομα the word “Sodom.” The Greek word here is μαλακοὶ, which means “men set [aside] for unnatural ends” or very literally “soft men.”

    This comment of yours: “It might be the end of the road for Catholics using the NRSV now if it can’t be granted an imprimatur.”

    The NRSV already has a very valid imprimatur for private use. It just isn’t approved for the liturgy for any other territory but Canada, and only for that territory by special permission.

    And thus I end on the following note: Please, for the love of all that is holy, unless the angels above start weeping, stop caring about Bible translations and what conference uses what, and do something else with your life. This comes from a man who’s job it was to know all about the Bible and the liturgy–you are very bad at Bible facts. Very, very bad. You’re probably a good guy, love God, but you really suck at this–really. I’m sorry. (It’s like when my mom took up belly dancing and was so bad at it–every time she did it, we had to keep rearranging the furniture.) I truly think your calling is elsewhere.

    I know that might sound a bit insulting, and as an older person I hope you understand that…well, sometimes you just gotta.
    –I’ve got no more to say here, ever, ever. Good-bye.

  19. That is by far the weirdest insult I’ve come across on the internet. I’m not here to state “facts” or to patronize anyone the way you’re doing. I’m expressing my opinion on here and I have just as much a valid opinion as anyone else.

  20. Wow love to see the action in the comment section after being fairly dormant all summer.

    If I can make an OT observation here: Why have I seen so little out there, both here and other places like YouTube regarding the Word on Fire Vol 3 Pentateuch? Is it a flop in terms of buzz after the first two volumes were very prominent here and other blogs?

    Will there be a feature upcoming? I’m curious how the WOF Bible experiment is faring.
    I personally have not bought it yet though I snapped up the previous 2 in leather.

    Sorry for the interruption now back to the debate

    1. That’s a good question, actually. I got my Vol. 3 copy a month early due to pre-ordering very early on, and I’ve enjoyed it—though, a little part of me wonders if I should’ve decided on the hardbacks for the full WOF series so they’d be easier to shelve than the leather ones, because a vertical stack or two for 7 leather volumes seems like it’ll be tricky in the future, but that’s a different story. Vol. 3 is quite a thick unit. As for reviews, I know Tim Wildsmith and Tim Nickels did their usual YouTube Bible reviews of it once it came out, but I too am curious as to why there wasn’t a review here. I kept checking back in expecting it around the time, but it never came. I’m going to guess Marc was worried about repeating what he said in the Vol. 2 two-part review, perhaps?

      1. Thanks for the comments! I have a copy of the WOF Bible volume 3, and I’ve started reading it. Primarily, I haven’t had the time to devote to reading a couple of biblical books in it like I usually do before writing an in-depth review. I’ve been considering writing a shorter review based on what I’ve read so far. It’s definitely on my todo list one way or another.

          1. I have the leather-bound editions, and I lay them flat on the shelf to store them. In that configuration, the three volumes measure 5 inches thick at the spine end and 4.75 inches thick at the opposite end.

    1. I’m not sure. But I am very surprised at how quiet it’s been regarding the ESV:CE Lectionary in the UK. Does anybody here know if was officially implemented this week or not? Seems like there’d at least be more fanfare on the CTS website, but I’ve been checking that and the Liturgy page on the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales and there’s nothing but crickets on both pages. Seems odd.

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