I’m a Bible junkie. As a pastor, I love preaching the Word and studying translations just to get different angles on how the text is translated. Out of Bible college I really loved the NASB. Well, no one else did. The NIV was king.
Recently I have loved the banter between TNIV and ESV fans. (Banter is the nice word. It gets nastier, obviously.) Over the years I have grown fond of the NRSV as well. My love for church history has made me more aware of the Apocrypha and my reading has included it from time to time.
One of the “bantering” points between TNIV and the ESV has been more along the lines of which one is more “pure” for “real” Christians. Recently, I was jarred once again by the perception that the NRSV is considered a “liberal” translation. Why? Really… because liberal denominations use it.
One comment on a blog actually went so far to say: “The next time you see someone denying miracles, the virgin birth, justification by faith, Christ being the ONLY way, six day creation or the innerancy of Scriptures (among other crucial doctrines), see what translation they prefer.” (Meaning, of course, the flaming liberal MUST be using the NRSV.)
Thus, reading the NRSV leads one to be a liberal.
So, I’ve spent large blocks of time reading the NRSV over the past few years and I’ve discovered that when I read it, all of a sudden I’m overcome with an urge to phone in a pledge to Green Peace. If I keep reading too long, I’m overcome with urges to read The Origin of Species. I’ve often been tempted to hand in my preaching credentials in my Pentecostal denomination because I’m wondering if miracles are true. It’s then I slam the NRSV shut and quickly pick up a TNIV or ESV. I’m then overcome with emotions to sing, “Soon and Very Soon,” send my donations to Concerned Women for America, and vote Republican.
So, I’ve found it to be true. Yes, the NRSV does indeed make one have overwhelming desires to be a liberal.