For the past few years, I had been strictly using the New Revised Standard Version for both my daily devotional time and scholarly writing. I enjoy the NRSV so much that I think I needed to take a break, but I wanted a translation that was generally gender-inclusive but still faithful translations. There are different ways of judging Bible translations: Optimistic Chad dedicated a whole series on “What Shall I Read?” after the “fall” of the TNIV. TC Robinson had an on-going series on the Common English Bible starting with Romans.
The way I pick a useful translation is I take my favorite story, Gideon in the book of Judges, chapter 6, and if the translation sits well with me, then I am fine with it. Has there ever been a translation that had a questionable iteration of Gideon’s story. YES! One example is that of Joel’s beloved New Living Translation, since it calls Gideon “a mighty hero,” which is really a bad value assessment given that chapter 9 shows how flawed Gideon is. It’s a perspective in black and white, that sugarcoats the narrative of Gideon and his family.
The past month or so, I feel edified by reading the CEB. Word choices such as “The Human One” rather than “Son of Man” haven’t really bothered me all that much. I originally downloaded on Amazon.com the CEB for free when it was made available, but I didn’t give it a second thought. I just wanted more Bibles for my Kindle. As I’m going through Psalms, verses such as “The LORD is intimately acquainted with the lives of the blameless; their heritage will last forever” (Psalm 37: 18 CEB) is so much more affirming of the relation God of the Hebrew Bible than “The LORD knows the days of the blameless and their heritage will abide forever” (NRSV).
So for the time being, at church and at home, I will use the CEB. For my studies and academic reading, I will stick with the NRSV. I guess I’m not so much an NRSV-onlyist afterall!
Finally, a Bible that suits my consumer needs. I’m a pacifist, and now I am excited to announce the introduction of the UN Peacemakers’ Study Bible, for those who believe in international peace movements and humanitarianism. Need a Bible full of quotes from Christian pacifists? This study bible has them, all the way from Tertullian to Menno Simos to John Howard Yoder. This study bible includes anti-war liturgies and and commentaries reflecting on the godly work that the United Nations does. The UN Peacemakers’ Study Bible contains special essays comparing American icons Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson to King David and King Solomon of Israel. Now you can have a Bible that reveals the true meaning of Scripture: to spread democracy and free market capitalism around the world!
Joel is opening up his eyes, as a faithful Methodist, to the purity that is the NRSV.
“One of the many helpful insights which I found in the NOAB NRSV are snippets of information such as this”
See, he is turning around, ain’t he?
Those that would sexually prey on children, well, JUSTICE WINS. I like it, Joel, I like it a lot (since it shows God has a special concern for the downtrodden and marginal over and against universalism):
The only thing I am not sure of is why would Joel, after such a great rabbinical defense of Mark 9 in the aforementioned post, go on to some mushy view of Mark 9:38-41? Personally, I am leaning towards closed communion for the greedy and corrupt business persons, like Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay of Enron. But mostly Richard Scrushy of Health South.