The Methodist church my aunt grew up in back in the 50s and 60s relied almost exlcusively on the RSV, and she continued to use it until her death a few years ago as her preferred translation.

However, when going through Christian bookstores (or just Christian sections of bookstores) today, I see the RSV (and NRSV) group with the NAB and other "Catholic" Bibles.

When/why did this occur (at least in the US)?

Are there aspects of the RSV/NRSV considered less ideal to Protestants now that were not as widely known/cared about half a century ago?

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    I wouldn't call it a Catholic bible. The NRSV is still used in the Methodist church that I attend. Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 5:58

1 Answer 1


The reason that many of them are considered "Catholic" is probably because there is now a "Catholic Edition" of the RSV and the NRSV. Both of these are gaining traction over the NAB if only because of the superiority of the translation.

The major difference between Catholic and Standard RSV is that the Deuterocanon is placed in the standard Catholic order and there are a number of small word changes (most notably "brethren" for "brother").

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    I think the inclusion of the Deuterocanon at all probably has a lot to do with it. A protestant would be surprised to see this in his bible. A Catholoic would expect it. So imagine you are a book seller, and you find a bible that includes it. Where would you stock it? Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 1:29
  • interesting - hadn't noticed that different in the "Catholic" vs "non-Catholic" [N]RSVs .. I see "brethren" and "brothers" used pretty frequently interchangeably in other "non-Catholic" translations :)
    – warren
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 14:35
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    @JoelCoehoorn Yes, but there are [N]RSV's which include the Deuterocanon. The difference is that the books are labeled "Apocrypha" and placed as more-or-less an appendix to the Old Testament. Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 20:43
  • So the RSV with Catholic ordering was in the 'Catholic' section of the bookstore, and presumably a Protestant RSV could be found in the Protestant section. Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 4:04
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    There's "NRSV with Apocrypha" which has the Apocrypha (including a few books the Greek Orthodox accept which Romans Catholics reject) in the middle between the Testaments, and "NRSV Catholic Edition" which has it spread throughout the Old Testament (and lacks the extra books accepted by the Eastern Orthodox). Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 4:58

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