One Bible, Many Versions, by Rich Shields


  1. paul
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    What is your view of the RSVCE2? It seems to be a modernized RSV71. Were any of the changes made for sectarian reasons?

  2. Posted March 24, 2013 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Paul, I’m not familiar with the RSV CE2. I just googled for it and it seems to be a Catholic edition of the RSV71. It is very difficult to speak with confidence about whether or not translation changes are ever made for sectarian reasons, *unless* the translators themselves point out a sectarian mandate which they were required to follow. The NRSV team mentioned a gender-inclusive mandate they were required to follow in making changes to the RSV71. Otherwise, suggestions about changes made for sectarian reasons are usually just guesses.

  3. Jack Robinson
    Posted March 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I have a question regarding the rendering of Proverbs 21:1 in NIV 2011. It reads, “In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.”

    Almost all other mainline translations including the 1984 NIV read something along the lines of the Lord sovereignly directing the king’s heart in the direction he chooses – not necessarily toward all who please him [though that would still be an accurate statement].

    Is the 2011 rendering accurate?

  4. paul
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    To Wayne

    What I have seen (on Catholic sites) is that the RSVCE2 is an approved minor revision (2001) of the RSV71. The largest part of the revision was the CE1 in 1966. It was a Catholic only affair and seems to be similar to the tiny ESV 07 and 11 revisions. Comparing it to my standard RSV it does seem to modernize at some words.
    My interest was because of the lack of quality constructed NT’s available and my love of the RSV. The Ignatius RSVCE2 NT is about a 8 pt with good line spacing, text only, sewn binding. gold gilt, two nice ribbons. Suitable to re-bind as a carry around NT.
    Catholic opinions praise the CE2 comparing it favorably to the ESV. The preface states they followed historical Catholic interpretation in points were translation choices were equal. Introduction: “There is frequently more than one way of translating a word or phrase with the critical evidence for each interpretation fairly evenly balanced. In such cases each man will translate according to his background and training. Thus a Roman Catholic might and indeed usually would give more weight to a reading or an interpretation which was traditional in his Church” (xiii).

  5. Posted March 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for that information, Paul.

  6. David Dewey (UK)
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I am now two thirds through this book. It is one of the best I have read in recent years, providing many examples and substantial evidence. It demonstrates that literal versions are often not as literal as they claim. After all that has been published in recent years, it pushes the argument back in favour of functional/dynamic approaches.

  7. David Dewey (UK)
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Another new title is ‘Translating the Bible’ by Philip Goodwin (pub. Jane’s Clarke). Using Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory, he examines the problem of how the KJV tradition creates difficulty for anyone translating the Bible into Anguish today. He works through issues in Luke 1-2, and provides his own experimental translation at the end of the book. The author is a friend of my brother, and my own book is footnoted three times. I hope to write a more thorough review when I am through, but it is a meaty read that goes well beyond the old form versus meaning battle

  8. Posted April 25, 2013 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    David, thank you for your responses and the info about the new title by Goodwin.

  9. Posted April 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    David and Wayne. I finished the book, One Bible, Many Versions. I am in the process of writing a complete review for Amazon. Even more am I convinced that the author moves past the decade long battle (ESV vs. NIV, etc.). Well done.

  10. David Dewey (UK)
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I too have finished ‘One Bible, Many Versions’. He leaves aside much of the usual polemic, and instead gives lots of evidence and examples. He shows that translation criteria for English are inapplicable in many other languages. He takes us beyond the past and current Bible wars, and shows how the Bible should unite, not divide, Christians; and the usefulness of having several versions on one’s bookshelf. Grudem, Ryken and others should read this book – and I say that as a regular ESV user!

  11. Posted July 24, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I just finished the book and my thoughts are mixed. There are many points that Brunn makes where he is “speaking to the choir” (especially at the very beginning and end of the book). But I believe he does a very poor job delineating between good translation and poor translation practices or discussing the the boundaries that should constrain every translator. Even though Brunn frequently states that he has personal preferences, there is underlying sense throughout the book that he considers every translation essentially equal.

    My review can be found here:

  12. Posted August 3, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Since publishing my review of David Brunn’s book, I have had the opportunity to dialog with him and clarify a few things. The results of that dialog can be found here:

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