Book Review

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

reviewed by Robert Nguyen Cramer (version






In the tradition of the Revised Version, The New Revised Standard Version (copyright 1989, the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.) is the most recent modern English translation that maintains the literary tradition and the quite literal translation methodology of the KJV. At the same time it is based upon the United Bible Society's definitive Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament texts, which are the best representatives of the original texts available to Bible translators today. As described in its preface ("To the reader"):

Though the occasional non-KJV wording (e.g., "humankind" instead of "man" Gen 1:26,27) may be objectionable to some readers, other readers may find the NRSV to be more desirable than either the ESV [book review] or the the NAB [book review], both of which use wording that is more like that found in the KJV. The NRSV is broadly accepted interdenominationally, has theologically neutral introductory materials and footnotes, and has a high quality translation. Like the ESV, the NRSV also has removed some UBS4-bracketed text, but also like the ESV, it has exercised its editorial role very responsibly.

The two editions of the NRSV that are especially recommended by are the following:

  1. The HarperCollins Study Bible, with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books - (edited by Wayne A. Meeks and the Society of Biblical Literature, New York: Harper Collins Publisher, 1993)
  2. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha: An Ecumenical Study Bible (edited by Bruce M. Metzger and Roland E. Murphy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994)

The combination of the NRSV used along with the ESV [book review] is's second for "Best KJV substitutes." The two above mentioned NRSV study Bibles are's picks for "Best study Bibles."


Copyright 1996-2004 Robert Nguyen Cramer