Date: April 5, 2022
Media Contact: Curtis Prather
Tel: (703) 461-1782
(ALEXANDRIA VA) – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announces the electronic publication of the New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition (NRSVue) Bible, with several VTS faculty and a Board of Trustees member contributing to this project. Stephen L. Cook, Ph.D. served as the book editor for Ezekiel, the Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, Ph.D. wrote the introduction and notes for Exodus, and the Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D. wrote the introduction and notes for Ezra and Nehemiah. Board of Trustees member Judith Newman, Ph.D. served as the general editor of the Deuterocanon/Apocrypha books.
“There are many indicators that you are in the presence of a distinguished faculty. And this is one of them,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. “These scholars who had the opportunity to illuminate our interpretation of Scripture must be extraordinary; the text is being read by the student or the preacher and their interpretation is embedded right in the text. I celebrate the achievement of colleagues who are doing that most fundamental task of making the Bible available to the people of God.”
The NRSVue clarifies and updates the existing translation based on the last thirty years of biblical scholarship. Findings from new manuscripts discovered since the last update are incorporated. The update also includes some inclusive language and cultural sensitivity in order to amend biases present in the previous edition. Over 12,000 substantive edits and 20,000 total changes were made throughout the editing process. The NRSVue continues to emphasize accuracy and clarity based on the principle of “as literal as possible, as free as necessary”. This translation ethos has made it a beloved translation across the English-speaking ecumenical world.
The National Council of Churches commissioned the Society of Biblical Literature to manage the project. Our faculty and Dr. Newman join hundreds of other scholars from a variety ecumenical and interfaith backgrounds who contributed. The electronic version of the NRSVue is now available for purchase, with print editions forthcoming in August.
Stephen L. Cook is Catherine N. McBurney Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at VTS and the author of several books, most recently Ezekiel 38—48: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Yale University Press, 2018). His other publications include many academic articles and chapters, as well as introductions and annotations to biblical books for the New Oxford Annotated Bible, the CEB Study Bible with Apocrypha, and the HarperCollins Study Bible.
Judy Fentress-Williams is Professor of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary. Her fields of expertise include Hebrew Bible, dialogic interpretation, religious studies, Afro-American studies, and literary criticism. Her publications include Holy Imagination: A Literary and Theological Introduction to the Whole Bible (Abingdon, 2021), and a commentary on the book of Ruth for the Abingdon Old Testament Commentary Series.
Melody Knowles is the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament. She teaches courses on the religion of Israel, the Psalms, Hebrew, and the Bible in film. Her published works include Centrality Practiced: Jerusalem in the Religious Practice of Yehud and the Diaspora in the Persian Period (SBL Press, 2006) and numerous articles on the Old Testament and its reception.
Judith Newman is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at Emmanuel College and in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, and also sits on the Board of Trustees of Virginia Theological Seminary. Her current research interests lie in the history of scriptural interpretation, ancient temporalities, as well as method in the study of the Bible and early Judaism and Christianity. Her most recent book is Before the Bible: The Liturgical Body and the Formation of Scripture (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online: www.vts.edu.