What Is Wrong With the Nrsv Bible

Title: The NRSV Bible: Unveiling its Shortcomings and Controversies


The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible has gained popularity among Christians for its modern language and inclusive approach. However, it has also faced criticism and controversies for various reasons. In this article, we will explore what is wrong with the NRSV Bible, shedding light on its flaws and highlighting some interesting facts surrounding this translation.

What Is Wrong With the NRSV Bible?

1. Gender-Inclusive Language:
One of the major criticisms of the NRSV Bible is its use of gender-inclusive language. While the intention behind this methodology is to promote gender equality and inclusivity, some argue that it sacrifices the accuracy and integrity of the original texts. Critics believe that altering the language can lead to misinterpretation and dilute the intended meaning of the scriptures.

2. Interpretive Bias:
Another issue with the NRSV Bible is the perception of interpretive bias. Critics argue that the translators’ theological and ideological perspectives influenced their rendering of certain passages. This bias can be seen in the translation of words like “virgin” to “young woman” in the prophecy of the birth of Jesus in Isaiah 7:14, which has sparked debates among scholars and believers.

3. Omission of Key Texts:
The NRSV Bible has been accused of omitting certain verses and passages that are present in other translations. Critics argue that this exclusion can hinder a comprehensive understanding of the scriptures. However, supporters of the NRSV Bible defend this omission, claiming that these verses were added later or lacked adequate manuscript support.

4. Inconsistencies in Translation:
Some critics point out inconsistencies in the translation of certain words or phrases throughout the NRSV Bible. These inconsistencies can lead to confusion and misinterpretation, undermining the accuracy and reliability of the scripture.

5. Controversy Surrounding Inclusive Language in Divine Names:
One of the most debated aspects of the NRSV Bible is its use of inclusive language when referring to divine names. Critics argue that this approach undermines the traditional understanding of God’s gender and can be seen as a departure from biblical orthodoxy. Supporters, on the other hand, believe that inclusive language promotes a more inclusive and egalitarian understanding of God.

Interesting Facts:

1. The NRSV Bible is an ecumenical translation, developed by scholars from various Christian denominations, including Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican backgrounds.

2. It is considered one of the most widely used translations in academic settings, often used as the standard text for scholarly research and theological studies.

3. The NRSV Bible was first published in 1989 as an update to the Revised Standard Version (RSV) Bible, aiming to provide a more contemporary and inclusive translation.

4. The NRSV Bible includes the Apocrypha, a collection of books not found in Protestant Bibles but included in Catholic and Orthodox canons.

5. Despite its controversies, the NRSV Bible has garnered praise for its commitment to accurate translation from original biblical manuscripts and adherence to scholarly standards.

13 Interesting Questions and Answers:

1. Does the NRSV Bible remove verses from the Bible?
No, the NRSV Bible does not remove verses; it excludes certain verses that have questionable manuscript support or were added later.

2. Who are the translators of the NRSV Bible?
The translation committee consisted of scholars from various Christian denominations, ensuring a broad representation of theological perspectives.

3. Is the NRSV Bible suitable for personal devotion and study?
Many individuals find the NRSV Bible useful for personal devotion and study, although it is important to be aware of its potential biases and omissions.

4. How does the NRSV Bible handle gendered pronouns for God?
The NRSV Bible utilizes gender-inclusive language for God, aiming to promote inclusivity and avoid reinforcing gender stereotypes.

5. Are there any other translations that address inclusivity like the NRSV Bible?
Yes, translations like the Common English Bible (CEB) and the New Living Translation (NLT) also aim to be gender-inclusive in their language.

6. What are the benefits of using the NRSV Bible for academic purposes?
The NRSV Bible is highly regarded in academic circles due to its commitment to accurate translation and its extensive footnotes, making it a valuable resource for scholarly research.

7. Can the NRSV Bible be trusted for accurate biblical interpretation?
While the NRSV Bible has its critics, it is still considered a reliable translation, but it is always advisable to consult multiple translations and study aids for a more comprehensive understanding.

8. Does the NRSV Bible offer alternative translations or footnotes for controversial passages?
Yes, the NRSV Bible often provides alternative translations and footnotes to highlight different interpretations or textual variants.

9. Are there any plans for a revised edition of the NRSV Bible?
As of now, there are no official plans for a revised edition; however, translations are constantly evolving, and future revisions are always a possibility.

10. Is it advisable to solely rely on the NRSV Bible for personal study and devotion?
It is generally recommended to consult various translations and study aids to gain a more well-rounded understanding of the scripture.

11. How do critics of the NRSV Bible respond to its inclusive language approach?
Critics argue that inclusive language can dilute the intended meaning of the original texts and may impose modern ideologies onto ancient writings.

12. Are there any denominations that officially endorse or reject the NRSV Bible?
While no denomination officially endorses or rejects the NRSV Bible as a whole, individual churches and denominations may have their preferences or guidelines for translations.

13. Does the NRSV Bible include textual footnotes explaining variant readings?
Yes, the NRSV Bible includes extensive footnotes that provide explanations for variant readings, textual issues, and alternative translations.


The NRSV Bible, despite its popularity, is not without its flaws and controversies. From gender-inclusive language to interpretive bias, it has sparked ongoing debates among scholars and believers. However, it remains a valuable resource for academic study and personal devotion, provided one is aware of its potential biases and omissions. Ultimately, the choice of translation depends on individual preferences and theological perspectives.