Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 6, 1952
NUMBER 27, PAGE 4-5b

The "Revised Standard Version"


We've been much concerned at the unreserved praise and commendation that is being heaped on the newly published "Revised Standard Version" of the Bible. This book, recently published by Nelson, represents 14 years work by a group of 32 men, and is hailed far and wide as being "the most important English translation of the Scriptures since a slightly larger group of English scholars handed their three-year work to King James I in 1611."

It should be carefully noted by all thoughtful students that the entire committee of 32 men comes from the liberal, modernistic school of thought; and that their liberal philosophy shines through their scholarship in passage after passage. Take one case in point: "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isa. 7:14) The Revised Standard Version changes that "virgin" into a "young woman," thus completely removing that passage from significance in any proof of the divinity of Christ. When Matthew used the passage and referred it to Christ, he said, "Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel." (Matt. 1:22,23)

There is no doubt or question as to what Matthew said. Even the translators of the Revised Standard Version agree on that. But they also declare that Matthew misquoted Isaiah; that what Isaiah really said was not "virgin" but "young woman." For years there has been a hot warfare between conservatives and liberals over the question of the virgin birth of Christ. And Isaiah's prophecy has been one of the hottest battlefields of that war. The Revised Standard Version throws the decision to the liberalists, and gives forth a translation in keeping with the philosophy of modernism. Of course there was no possibility of mistaking Matthew's plain declaration, hence they could not exercise their "scholarship" in pronouncing on his statement. It is only in the disputed or questioned passages that they reveal their bias.

Mark 16:9-20

Another evidence of the modernism of the committee is found in their putting Mark 16:9-20 in a footnote! Their opinion seems to be that this is actually no part of the Bible, and they merely include it in a footnote as a curiosity with the statement that "Some texts and versions add the following passage." Some, indeed! Why did they not say "some" texts and versions omit it? That would have been accurate; for if they are going to judge by numbers, then far more include it than omit it.

Bible students have known all along, of course, that the last part of Mark's gospel was missing from some of the ancient manuscripts. And the American Standard Version (1901) states in the margin, "The two oldest Greek manuscripts, and some other authorities, omit from verse 9 to the end." But there has been no serious question on the part of anybody of any consequence as to the inspiration of that passage. Whether Mark himself wrote it or not, it is inspired, is a part of the Bible, and deserving of more than footnote level.


Jehovah" disappears from the Revised Standard Version. Accepting the liberalistic interpretation of the documentary hypothesis, the committee has deleted "Jehovah" and has used "The Lord" in its stead. Absent also is the word "Calvary." In its stead is "the place which is called The Skull." If the new version be generally accepted, the hymn books generally will need to be revised and all reference to "the cross of Calvary" will have to be expunged.

Commentary, Not Translation

The innumerable places in which the modernistic bias shows through in this Revised Standard Version fully justifies the comment of capable Bible scholars that this translation is more correctly to be classified as a "commentary" rather than a "translation." The comments, views, and "interpretations" of the translators have been inserted into the very text of the passage.

Using The Book

We notice that several of our brethren in the publishing business have been advertising the new Revised Standard Version extensively, and have been giving it fulsome praise. We hear that some of the teachers in Bible colleges have been recommending it to their classes for class use. And we've heard several young gospel preachers, coming out of these colleges, reading from it publicly in their preaching. All of which adds up to a dangerous trend. The new Revised Standard Version has no place in the home of the average Christian; it is misleading, false, and dangerous. It should be used by careful Bible students, preachers, elders, and teachers exactly as they would use the works of other men. Its place is as a reference work, not as a Bible for daily study and meditation.

It is open to precisely the same objection as is leveled against the Catholic Bible — religious bias has colored the interpretations. Catholicism on the one hand and modernism on the other have made both of these translations (the Catholic Bible and the Revised Standard Version) useful as reference works, but wholly unsuited to the uncritical reading of the average member of the church.

And, if we may say so without appearing captious, we think the brethren who are selling the book so widely and advertising it so extravagantly ought to be a little bit more restrained in their praises, and a little bit less irresponsible in their efforts to put a "Bible" into the hands of the unwary and unsuspecting — a "Bible" which is not a Bible but simply an imitation.

— F. Y. T.