Question: "What is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)?"

Answer: New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition — History
What began as the Revised Standard Version in 1952 led to the New Revised Standard Version of 1989. The NRSV was available in three versions: the NRSV, containing the Old and New Testaments; the NRSV Common Bible, which included the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books; and the NRSV Catholic Edition, containing the Old Testament books in the order of the Latin Vulgate. There were also anglicized editions of the NRSV, which modified the text slightly to be consistent with British spelling and grammar. The latest edition from the Society of Biblical Literature of the National Council of Churches is the New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition (NRSVUE), published in 2021.

New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition — Translation Method
Both the NRSV and NRSVUE are intended to take advantage of manuscript discoveries made since the printing of the Revised Standard Version. The NRSV translators chose to eliminate archaic language such as the pronouns thee and thou. They also made the controversial decision to translate some gender-specific words using more gender-neutral wording in places where gender was not seen to be an issue, e.g., “people” in place of “mankind.” The goal of the translators was to be “sensitive to the danger of linguistic sexism arising from the inherent bias of the English language towards the masculine gender” (Introduction, New Revised Standard Version, Oxford University Press, 1989). So, for example, the NRSV expanded gender-specific phrases such as brothers into brothers and sisters.

The NRSVUE takes the avoidance of “linguistic sexism” even further and attempts to correct the other perceived biases of earlier editions. As a result, the NRSVue claims to offer “clearer, more direct, and inclusive language, and increased cultural sensitivity absent of the unintended biases of prior versions” (, accessed 9/26/23). So, for example, the NRSVUE changes the wording of Matthew 4:24 from “demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics” (NRSV) to “people possessed by demons or having epilepsy or afflicted with paralysis.” The regulations for the “sin offering” in Leviticus 6:25 (NRSV) become rules for the “purification offering.” And where the NRSV refers to “sodomites,” the NRSVUE has “men who engage in illicit sex” (1 Timothy 1:10). All total, the NRSVUE made more than 20,000 revisions.

New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition — Pro’s and Con’s
The publishers of the New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition are careful to say that their work is not a new translation, only a new edition. The fact that the NRSVUE has a Catholic version (including the Apocrypha), is “gender-inclusive,” and softens terms related to homosexuality prevents it from being adopted by many conservative and evangelical Christians.

New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition — Sample Verses
John 1:1,14 — “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”

John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

John 8:58 — “Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.’”

Ephesians 2:8–9 — “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Titus 2:13 — “while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”