Why is the NRSV not popular?

Answered by Michael Wilson

The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is indeed not as popular among Christians and churches as other translations of the Bible. One of the main reasons for this lack of popularity is its use of gender neutral pronouns. The NRSV, in an effort to be more inclusive and address concerns of gender bias, employs gender neutral language in certain instances where the original text may have been perceived as male-oriented.

Many Christians and churches, particularly those with more conservative theological perspectives, object to the use of gender neutral pronouns in the NRSV. They argue that it deviates from the original intent and meaning of the biblical text. They believe that the Bible should be translated and interpreted as closely as possible to the original manuscripts, without introducing modern biases or agendas.

The objection to gender neutral pronouns in the NRSV is often rooted in a more traditional understanding of gender roles and language. Some Christians hold the belief that God is consistently referred to as male in the Bible, and altering the pronouns to be gender neutral is seen as a departure from this understanding. They may argue that it undermines the authority and accuracy of the biblical text.

Additionally, some Christians and churches may feel that the use of gender neutral pronouns in the NRSV is influenced by contemporary social and political movements. They may see it as an attempt to conform the Bible to fit current cultural norms, rather than allowing the text to speak for itself. This can lead to a perception that the NRSV is compromising biblical truth in favor of political correctness.

While the NRSV is not widely embraced by many Christian denominations and congregations, it does find more acceptance in academic circles, including universities and seminaries. It is often used in scholarly settings due to its attention to linguistic accuracy and its attempts to address gender bias in translation. Academic journals and scholarly publications may also favor the NRSV for its inclusive language.

The NRSV is not popular among Christians and churches due to its use of gender neutral pronouns. Many individuals and religious communities hold conservative theological perspectives and prefer translations that adhere more closely to the original text without introducing contemporary biases. The NRSV’s attempt to be more inclusive and address gender bias is seen by some as a departure from traditional understandings of the biblical text. However, it does find acceptance in academic settings where its linguistic accuracy and inclusive language are valued.