A reader writes:
Are you familiar with this 2nd Edition of the Ignatius Catholic Leather Bible that has just been released? It is leather and I would like to get one, but I am never sure on what will be considered a "good" translation. I have read your tracts on Bible translations already and know that you recommend the RSV, so is the 2nd Edition RSV going to be pretty much the same thing and trustworthy?
I had not previously been familiar with the 2nd edition of the Ignatius Bible, though my confidence in the publishing house is such that I would have been able to recommend it anyway.
By a strange coincidence, however, I happened to have the chance to examine a copy of it today. (Our purchaser at Catholic Answers wanted me to look over a copy to see if it was something we want to carry.)
As a result, I now have more familiarity with it and can give a more specific response.
It appears that they have done three basic things:
- They re-typeset it so that it looks better than it did before on the page.
- They took the notes that used to appear in appendices at the end of the Old and New Testaments and put them on the pages that the notes apply to, so you no longer have to flip to the back of the book.
- They made minor changes to confusing and archaic language at a very small number of points in the translation.
Here’s how the Ignatius web site (www.ignatius.com) describes this edition:
A completely new typeset and designed edition of the popular Ignatius Revised Standard Version Bible, with minor revisions to some of the archaic language used in the first edition. This revised version is a contemporary English translation without dumbing-down the text. This second edition of the RSV doesn’t put the biblical text through a filter to make it acceptable to current tastes and prejudices, and it retains the beauty of the RSV language that has made it such a joy to read and reflect on the Word of God. Now the only Catholic Bible in standard English is even more beautiful in word and design!
Note the clause that I’ve highlighted in blue. This is code for "this Bible does not make feminist revisions to the genders that are found in the biblical text."
That’s a good thing.
And I’d have no problem recommending this edition.