Bible Review 6:3, June 1990

Bible Books

Revised English Bible

(New York: Oxford Univ. Press and Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989) 1,294 pp. (with Apocrypha), $21.95 (cloth), $49.95 (leather)

New Revised Standard Version

(New York: Cambridge Univ. Press and Oxford Univ. Press; Nashville, TN: Holman and Thomas Nelson; World Bible; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan; all 1990) page count and price vary

Apart from religious considerations, Bible translations differ because of contrasting decisions about how to capture an ancient time and foreign culture in more familiar terms. New translations into English face the additional question of how to deal with the King James Version (KJV), which has acquired an authority and sanctity of its own.

Two new revisions of well-received translations, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and the Revised English Bible (REB), have much in common and some significant differences. Both have adopted you instead of thou and thee, and both claim to employ gender-neutral constructions when possible. Still, where the NRSV has “One does not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4), the REB has “Man is not to live on bread alone.”

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