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New Testament Studies: RSV

Resources available at Yale Divinity Library for New Testament studies.

Introduction to the RSV

The National Council of Churches published the Revised Standard Version of the NT in 1946. The RSV was not produced du nouveau. It was a rework of the American Standard Version (ASV; 1901). Translation took decades as a committee of American scholars poured over the Nestle-Aland 17th edition Greek text (a novel decision at the time!). 

The RSV stands as the basis for many mid-twentieth century NT translations, including: RSV Catholic Editions (RSV-CE and RSV-2CE),  New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), English Standard Version (ESV).

Innovations of the RSV included preferring "Lord" or "God" over "Jehovah" for divine titles and restricting the use of archaic pronouns. 

Several Yalies served as RSV committee members, including: 

  • Luther Weigle (chairman)
  • Millar Burrows
  • George Dahl

Drafts of the RSV may be found in YDS Library Special Collections. Luther Weigle's papers may be found at SML.

RSV Permissions Policy

The Revised Standard Version may be quoted or reprinted without express written permission of the publisher under the following conditions: 

  • the extent of usage amounts to fewer than 500 verses

  • the extent of usage does not constitute a complete book of the NT

  • the extent of usage does not exceed 50% of target publication

The copyright notice runs as follows:

  • "Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

For non-commercial material (e.g. bulletins):

  • The initials RSV should follow quotations in parentheses (RSV)

RSV at YDL Special Collections

Standard Bible Committee Records. Includes agenda items, meeting notes, drafts, and page proofs of the RSV. 

Luther Allan Weigle was a key member of the RSV committee. Yale houses the Luther Allan Weigle Papers (MS 1042). Spans a century and a variety of materials (personal correspondences, meeting minutes, sermons, etc.).

Millar Burrows Papers. Burrows served on the RSV committee. Includes personal notes and correspondences related to the RSV.