Last Updated 3/24/08
The primary source for interpreting the textual and translational notes of the NRSV is the "To the Reader" section that comes with every NRSV Bible. You can consult my web page Interpreting NRSV Text & Translation Notes for more detailed help in decoding these valuable notes.
This web page aims to provide examples of some of the more common categories of translational issues, as noted in the NRSV. Translational issues, as distinct from text critical issues, are places where which the source language wording is not in question but there are alternative ways of rendering it in English, or where some additional explanation about the meaning of the original language text is helpful.
|Translational issue||Bible verse (NRSV)||NRSV reads||NRSV translational note reads|
|information about units of measure, money, etc.||Isaiah 5:10||For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath, and a homer of seed yield a mere ephah.*||* The Heb bath, homer, and ephah are measures of quantity.|
When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents* was brought to him.
|* A talent was worth more than fifteen years' wages of a laborer|
But the same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii;* and seizing him by the throat, he said, 'Pay what you owe.'
NOTE: The NRSV does not note "denarius" at Matt 22:19 where the meaning is sufficiently clear from context alone.
|* The denarius was the usual day's wage for a laborer.|
|ambiguity with respect to antecedent of a pronoun||Psalm 118:24||This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.*||* Or in him|
|translation supplies the antecedent of a pronoun||1 Kings 13:23||After the man of God* had eaten food and had drunk, they saddled for him a donkey belonging to the prophet who had brought him back.||* Heb he|
|Isaiah 5:14||Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure; the nobility of Jerusalem* and her multitude go down, her throng and all who exult in her.||* Heb her nobility|
|Mark 8:14||Now the disciples* had forgotten to bring any bread....||* Gk they|
|figure of speech in the source language without a direct counterpart in the target language||Luke 21:15||for I will give you words* and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.||* Gk a mouth|
|Isaiah 66:14||You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies* shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of hte LORD is with his servants...||* Heb bones|