Thursday, September 29, 2016

Question from Mike Holmes on the NRSV and UBS3


Mike Holmes sends this note for readers of the blog:
In the preface to the NRSV, the Committee states that the NRSV is based on UBS3, and that “Only in very rare instances have we replaced the text ... by an alternative.” I know of two, at Luke 11:33 and Acts 16:12, but am wondering if there is a comprehensive list. So, here’s my question: does anyone on the ETC Blog have or know of a list of UBS3—NRSV textual differences?
Any help for Mike? 


  1. Bruce Metzger mentions three examples: Acts 26:28; 1 Thessalonians 2:7; Revelation 22:21 (Metzger in: "Scribes and Scripture: New Testament Essays in Honor of J. Harold Greenlee" p. 119)

  2. A related question: does any English version with any commercial viability at all directly translate, without textual deviation, any commercially published Greek text, without advertising as its main feature that it provides the English meaning of that specific text?
    In other words, do all translators tend to second-guess the second-guessing text compilers?

    1. I don't know of any. I always thought it would be interesting to do, say, a straight translation of Vaticanus.

  3. A more exhaustive list can be culled from the apparatus of UBS5. One of the new features of UBS5 (see pp. 46-48 of the introduction) is that in the critical apparatus, UBS5 includes the textual decisions of several modern translations in English, French, Spanish, and German where they differed with the decisions of the UBS committee. (And UBS clarifies that these are not intended as textual witnesses.)

    NRSV, for example, is cited in the UBS5 apparatus as going with the omission of τη πιστει (which is only a marginal note in the NRSV and not part of the text). Of course, UBS5 doesn't include as many variants as NA28 so maybe there are other minor places of difference between UBS5 and NRSV than just those in the UBS5 apparatus.