Friday, January 30, 2009

Another Post from Dr. deSilva on ESV Apocrypha

I asked Dr. deSilva two questions in the comment box:

1) Was it intentional the way in which the Apocrypha was arranged, with the Catholic Deuterocanonicals in order first? (I know that the original RSV NOAB Expanded Edition had it a little different)

2) How do you rate this new ESV edition in comparison with the NRSV? Do you think a Catholic, like myself, would be comfortable using it as a primary Bible for prayer and study?

Here is his reply:

Greetings, Timothy.

I really can't answer your second question, since only you can determine your level of comfort. If I were Catholic, I would probably be put off by the books appearing outside of the OT and in the back, although I do think placing them in the middle is an acceptable compromise (acceptable, because some Protestants wouldn't want it printed in a Bible at all, and Catholics would, of course, prefer the more common distribution of the books within the OT). As a translation, I think the ESV Apocrypha offers a strong option for devotional reading and study. I know that I approached my task with the attitude that I was translating the Church's scripture (even if it is not part of MY church's Scripture). I'm admittedly a little uncomfortable with some aspects of the ESV's inclusive language policy, though I think the NRSV sometimes solves the issue of gender inclusivity poorly (e.g., using "friends" or "beloved" to replace "brothers," when I would certainly have used "brothers and sisters" as the inclusive equivalent -- the kinship language being intentional and formational within the early church).

I'm embarrassed to admit that I have no answer for your first question at all. I never paid any attention to the question of how the books would be ordered -- just plugged along translating my own assignments!

All the best,

Thanks again, Dr. deSilva, for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

some Protestants wouldn't want it printed in a Bible at all

I find it fascinating in light of this that the one of the original major Protestant Bibles, the Geneva, contained the additional books. Martin Luther's Bible contained them too. As far as I know, even Anglican include them. (i.e. 1611 Authorized King James Version)

Anonymous said...

While there are probably Anglicans who don't like them (if you can think of ANY position on ANY topic, an Anglican is bound to hold it :), the Anglican Church does consider them important and appoints them to be read in public worship.
For some reason, we just don't consider them on par w/ the other books (even though they're included in the Bible that St. Paul was using. What can you do?).