Richard John Neuhaus wrote in these pages that if he had the authority, “everyone would use the Revised Standard Version.” Over at The American Conservative, Michael Brendan Dougherty fires off a volley against the venerable translation:
The mainstream option for believing Catholics is found in the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, which is descended from the King James, but adds a few Romish flourishes like “Hail Mary, full of grace” in Luke. Like the NAS and other “formal equivalence” translations it has a kind of dignity and is usefully accurate. But I find it unmemorable and unexciting. You wouldn’t read it but for an intense feeling of religious duty to do so.
Enter Baronius Press, an English publisher heretofore firmly in the Douay camp. They’ve just reprinted the Knox Version of the 1940s, a “dynamic equivalence” translation produced by English Catholic litterateur and apologist Fr. Ronald Knox. This witty priest was asked to to complete the task that never was successfully forced on Cardinal Newman, though many tried. [ . . . ]
With Knox translating, St. Paul is so much more fully alive: disputatious, cajoling, sarcastic, awed and bursting with enthusiasm and humor. In the RSV and so many others Paul sounds like a man reading a committee’s letter on topics of theological interest to Corinthians–with a knife pointed at his back.
Alan Jacobs, for his part, would like to see Christians circle around the English Standard Version.