“I am terribly curious about your reservations regarding the NRSV….
Would you consider posting on what you dislike about the NRSV, especially regarding gender, since you have several times recently remarked on this without examples….”
Below are three reasons why I ultimately chose the ESV over the NRSV:
1. As someone who is decidedly impressed with Paul’s Letters, in comparing the NRSV against the ESV in Paul, for me, the ESV came out the winner but not by a great margin. In fact, if not for a few hiccups in Romans, 2 Corinthians, and Galatians, in my opinion, the NRSV and the ESV would be neck and neck.
2. The ESV is somewhat better in its use of contemporary language (of course some would dispute this). I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say that NRSV is due for an update in this regard. For example, no modern Bible translation I know maintains the old “fornication” for porneia. Besides, porneia has a wider range than what is normally meant by “fornication.” For the moment,”sexual immorality” is a better choice.
3. As already mentioned above, even someone like N.T. Wright, who is considered pro-NRSV, objects to some of the gender-decisions in the NRSV: ““The NRSV is increasingly accepted in both church and academy. It is not without its faults, and not all of its attempts to avoid gender-specific language are as felicitious as they might be” (The Last Word, p. 143, emphasis added). Perhaps a few examples are in order: 1. As I’ve argued here, huiothesia is better rendered “adoption of sons.”
The NRSV has serious problems at Galatians 4:4-7. Just ask N.T. Wright! In fact, this is one of the places where N.T. Wright objects to the NRSV’s effort to avoid gender-specific language. But of course this gender-objection by N.T. Wright will not be the same for everyone who has a gender-issue with the NRSV.
For example, the generic “he” is still in use. And I’m not impressed with “brother or sister” for the Greek adelphos to simply avoid gender-specific language at places like Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 5:11, and the like. Adelphos is a familial term. But if we don’t want to use “brother” to translate it, fearing misunderstandings, then we need a new term that will preserve that familial nature of the Greek.
And neither is the ESV without its faults…